Posted by: Christian | September 8, 2008

Tribal Lashkars as Counterinsurgency Franchisees

I have written (skeptically) about the potential for the al Anbar strategy to be replicated in Afghanistan at the CT Lab. Click here to read.

Pic: Her Majesty’s “loyal” local allies about to kill their allies.


  1. I agree with you.

    There is an additional reason that such a strategy won’t work in Afghanistan. The US has no country neighbouring Afghanistan to facilitate an al Anbar like covert operation. Pakistan has been tried but the religious/political drawbacks are too great (this time) for the Pakistani militay or ISI to take up the challenge. In the 1980’s there was religious legitimacy for killing Russians or communists but today Muslims killing Muslims enjoys no such legitimacy.

    I suggest what has given the US covert al Anbar stategy credibility in the eyes of Sunni leaders is the covert involvement of Saudi Arabia. This gives taking money (some American, some Saudi) brotherly, tribal and religious sanction. So the US has a cooperative facilitator (Saudi Arabia) right along the Iraqi border.

    Its very much in Saudi interests to have a stable Iraq well desposed towards Sunni neighbours. Pakistan on the other hand benefits from constant disorder in Afghanistan but on Pakistan’s terms.

    For more on the Saudi covert program see


  2. Maybe it can be replicated better in the FATA.

    Pakistani tribes fight back against Taliban

    Sons of Dir Awakening


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