Day 91, January 29, 2009

Jan 29, 2009
*Special to asia!
-A +A


" We cannot just take the tactics, techniques, and procedures that worked in Iraq and employ them in Afghanistan. How, for example, do you communicate with the Afghan people? The answer: very differently than the way you communicate wth the Iraqi people, given the much lower number of telelvisions and a rate of illiteracy in the Afghan provinces that runs as high as 70 to 80 percent.

"Outside Kabul and other big Afghan cities, Afghans don't watch much television; they don't have televisions. In Iraq, one flies over fairly remote areas and sill sees satellite dishes on many roofs. In Afghanistan, you not only won't see satellite dishes; you also won't see electrical lines, and you may not even find a radio. More over, you can't achieve the same effect with leaflets or local newspapers because many Afghans can't read them. So how do you communicate with them? The answer is, through tribal elders, via hand-crank radios receiving transmissions from local radio stations, through shura councils and so on."

David Petraeus in an interview with Foreign Policy Magazine.

The general elaborates in an interview about the inherent differences in Iraq and Afghanistan and accordingly the differences that need be in implementing effective strategies in both countries.

In the same issue, US Marine Nathaniel C Fick and former US Army lieutenant-general and West Point professor also write eloquently about what would work in Afghanistan, drawing on their personal experiences and shedding light on the practical problems the US military encounters there, and make a point-by-point attack of conventional wisdom.

Recommended reading.


dan-chyi chua

Dan-Chyi Chua was a broadcast journalist, before forsaking Goggle Box Glitz for the Open Road. A three-year foray led her through the Middle East, China, SE Asia, Latin America and Cuba, and she's now grounded herself as a writer for, content with spending her days in Jerusalem.

Contact Dan-Chyi