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NPS Prof. to NATO and US Afghanistan Commander: “It Takes the Villages”

NPS Prof. to NATO and US Afghanistan Commander: “It Takes the Villages”
Submitted 11/4/2008 3:04:12 PM

Naval Postgraduate School National Security Affairs Research Professor and director of the university’s Program for Culture and Conflict Studies Thomas Johnson recently returned from a six-week DoD-sponsored trip to Afghanistan where he met with the commander of both U.S. and NATO forces, Gen. David McKiernan, and delivered a clear message: “To win, it will take the villages. We won’t succeed until we shift the center of gravity of our counterinsurgency strategy and administration from the capital Kabul to the tribal villages and districts. All counterinsurgency is local, and we have to decentralize the deployment of our troops to help the rural tribal elders resist the extremists.” The message seems to have gotten through. Within the month, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen told journalists that the situation in Afghanistan will probably get worse ‘barring rapid, major improvements to bolster district and tribal leaders’ to offset the weak central government in Kabul. In the photo, Johnson, left, presents an NPS coin to Jalalabad Mayor Lal Agha Kaker during a Sept. 3 meeting to discuss governance and security issues, in appreciation for his dedicated service to the people of Afghanistan. (Released)


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