World Politics Review: U.S. Army Reaches Out to Wary Afghan Farmers

11.11.09

Categorie: Afghanistan, Axe in Afghanistan '09, COIN, David Axe, Waste |

by DAVID AXE

When the gate opened at the U.S. Army outpost in Baraki Barak district on the morning of Oct. 25, it seemed the Army’s long-planned strategy to win over local farmers might fail. For weeks, Able Troop, an element of 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry, had prepared to provide free veterinary services to potentially hundreds of local farmers — coordinating with the local government, hiring vets, stockpiling medicine, and spreading word of the event. The idea was to win the farmers’ allegiance, and create what 3rd Squadron commander Lt. Col. Thomas Gukeisen called “dislocated envy.” That would, in theory, bring other Baraki Barak residents into the coalition fold, in search of basic services for their own farms.

But the plan hinged on farmers accepting the gift that the military and the district government were offering. As Baraki Barak Sub-Governor Mohamed Yasin Ludeen pointed out, “You can cook rice for a man, but you can’t make him eat.” Indeed, on the morning of the veterinary event, no farmers or animals waited at the gate. Able Troop commander Capt. Paul Shepard had said he expected scores of “customers” at opening time.

There were some worried expressions among the Able Troop command staff that morning. At stake was a three-month-old campaign to win back Baraki Barak and the rest of Logar province, an agricultural region just south of Kabul, from extremist elements, including Taliban fighters, cells from the Al Haqqani network and Mafia-style organized crime.

Read the rest at World Politics Review.

(Photo: David Axe)

Related:
How to Bomb Nice
Cargo Jam!
Afghan Pirate Radio Defies Morale Crackdown
Special Delivery
Chopper-Bombing Drone-Killer
Saving Razia
Birds, Beware
Rescuers Re-Rescue the Rescued
Tale of Three Districts
Chicken & Egg
With Friends Like These
Interpreting Pashtunwali
Rocketman
Farmers’ Powwow
Op Donkey Haul
Parachute Day-Laborers
In Afghanistan’s Logar, Filling the Deadly “Bowl”
Mosque Makeover
World Politics Review: Generator Delivery Underscores Afghan War Challenges
The Baraki Barak County Fair
Ambushed!
Battle Wagons
Op Donkey Haul Video
Mosque Makeover Video
Afghan National Police Checkpoint Video
Ambush Video

|

5 Responses to “World Politics Review: U.S. Army Reaches Out to Wary Afghan Farmers”

  1. [...] insurgents prefer daylight, mostly leaving the night to tech-savvy U.S. forces. Afghans are “solar-powered.” U.S. Army Capt. Paul Shepard explained, [...]

  2. [...] But insurgents prefer daylight, mostly leaving the night to tech-savvy U.S. forces. Afghans are “solar-powered,” U.S. Army Capt. Paul Shepard explained, [...]

  3. [...] insurgents prefer daylight, mostly leaving the night to tech-savvy U.S. forces. Afghans are “solar-powered,” U.S. Army Capt. Paul Shepard explained, [...]

  4. [...] insurgents prefer daylight, mostly leaving the night to tech-savvy U.S. forces. Afghans are “solar-powered,” U.S. Army Capt. Paul Shepard explained, [...]

  5. […] insurgents prefer daylight, mostly leaving the night to tech-savvy U.S. forces. Afghans are “solar-powered,” U.S. Army Capt. Paul Shepard explained, […]

Leave a Reply