Yet the U.S. military has long known that one of the causes of the failure on the ground is cultural incompatibility, ignorance and the difficulty in understanding a social and cultural context (dynamic and articulate) such as the Central Asian country’s. Even by early 2011, worried by the rise of “friendly fire” incidents, some generals commissioned a detailed search on “fratricide murders” from the N2KL Red Team, a group of experts and scientists managing psychology and military operations.
A detailed report, “A Crisis of Trust and Cultural Incompatibility,” was published in May 2011. The alarmed authors warned that “fratricidal murders” — in which an Afghan soldier kills one of the coalition forces — are not isolated cases, but “a real systemic risk” caused by the growing distance between Afghan soldiers and their Western counterparts, perceived as arrogant and insensitive.
What applies to soldiers also applies to the Afghan society as a whole: There is less and less tolerance for the occupying troops. Their behaviors receive more and more condemnation. Some of which are fatal.
In reality, more than just leaflets rain down from the Afghan skies. The new American strategy, murky and uncertain, has ensured one thing: more bombs, more targeted murders, better use of air weapons and a greater commitment — with the help of NATO partners — to build a national air force with more aircrafts and better trained pilots.
It’s not new; it’s the same old Obama policy (fewer soldiers, more bombs). But there are at least three key differences: the first is that the commitment of “boots on the ground” will increase: For now, there are over 15,000 soldiers, and on Monday, the U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis confirmed that another 3,000 are leaving.