David Kilcullen, a former adviser to Gen. Petraeus and author of Counterinsurgency, among other highly regarded books and essays on the subject, thinks that what the Afghan people want—and what the Taliban are doing a much better job at supplying than the Afghan government—is justice.
Where the Taliban have strongholds, they've set up courts, they issue property deeds, they even have ombudsman's offices where people can file complaints and get responses.
"There's nothing like that in the official Afghan system," Kilcullen says. "If you show up at an Afghan police station with a complaint, they'll beat you up for bothering them. If you take someone to an official court, it takes months to get a judgment, and it will go to the guy who pays the biggest bribe. The Taliban courts take a half-hour, they're free, and the Taliban locals enforce the agreement."
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Interesting reporting via Fred Kaplan of Slate: