Might be interested in this
US strategy may soon focus more on the tribal groups.
Filkins, one of the most intrepid war correspondents, reports that special-operations forces have begun to help anti-Taliban militias in southern and eastern Afghanistan, where the insurgents are concentrated. These militias have risen up spontaneously in certain tribal groups, but U.S. commanders hope that they can use the example of these revolts "to spur the growth of similar armed groups across the Taliban heartland."
The interest, even excitement, in this development stems from two sources. First, it is reminiscent of the Anbar Awakening in 2006-07, when Sunni tribal leaders in western Iraq formed alliances with U.S. forces—whom the Sunnis had been shooting just months earlier—to beat back the bigger threat of al-Qaida.
Second, it has drawn high-level attention to a 45-page paper by Army Maj. Jim Gant, the former team leader of a special-ops detachment stationed in Konar province. The paper, called "One Tribe at a Time: A Strategy for Success in Afghanistan," recounts his experiences with organizing "tribal engagement teams" to help local fighters beat back the Taliban—and it spells out a plan to replicate these teams across the country.
The premise of his paper is that Afghanistan "has never had a strong central government and never will." Rather, its society and power structure are, and always will be, built around tribes—and any U.S. or NATO effort to defeat the Taliban must be built around tribes, as well.
The United States' approach of the last seven years—focusing on Kabul and the buildup of Afghanistan's national army and police force—is wrongheaded and doomed. The tribal approach also has many risks. But the case for it, Gant argues, is this: "Nothing else will work."
Read this "One Tribe at a Time: A Strategy for Success in Afghanistan (pdf)
"? I haven't, just going to have a look now.*
My guess is it isn't much of plan IF the end goal is still Afghanistan, rule from Kabul, end to Taliban and other regional insurgencies. Afghanistan is not Iraq. If it doesn't solve the Kandahar/Kabul problem or the nomad/settled problem it will have no impact.
Now, if you combine the "One Tribe at a Time" approach with a Pashtun King ruling from Kabul... that could work. I could imagine some of the nomad population being roped in on the side of a Pashtun king.
The Pashtun can go from brother to mortal
enemy—in 60 seconds. It is one of the things I
respect and enjoy most about the Pashtun culture.
It is also important to remember that most of the
insurgents are Pashtuns. In many cases the Taliban
rule of law (Shar’ia law) is in direct conflict with
Pashtunwali. We currently are not using this to our
Ask a Pashtun what comes first, Islam or Pashtun-
wali, and he will invariably answer: “Pashtunwali.”