Pursuant to the Team Obama-approved COIN doctrine, the posture our troops in harm's way in Afghanistan must adopt is one of doing everything possible not to give offense to the Afghans. In fact, last February, the military distributed to U.S. forces in theater a handy pocket guide entitled, "Inside the Wire Threats - Afghanistan Green on Blue." It is all about establishing of a "bond of trust" between Afghan army and NATO personnel.
Interestingly, another document produced for the military's use in May 2011 shows why, as a practical matter, that can't happen. This unclassified "red team" analysis suggested that the problem is, as its title suggests, "A Crisis of Trust and Cultural Incompatibility." It found, based on extensive interviews with U.S. and NATO troops, that practices inspired by, condoned or even mandatory under the brutally repressive Islamist doctrine of shariah - such as the "poor treatment and virtual slavery of women in Afghan society," the practice of child abuse including the "raping and sodomizing of little boys" and the torture of dogs - contributed to a "cultural gap" that alienated U.S. and Western personnel from their trainees and other native counterparts.
As noted by shariah expert and blogger Andrew Bostom , one of the recommendations (albeit, the fortieth out of fifty-eight) offered by the red team for addressing this underlying problem was, clearly at variance with the COIN party line: "Better educate US soldiers in the central tenets of Islam as interpreted and practiced in Afghanistan. Ensure that this instruction is not a sanitized, politically correct training package, but rather includes an objective and comprehensive assessment of the totalitarian nature of the extreme theology practiced among Afghans."
The Obama administration responded to this red team analysis and its findings by ordering it to be rewritten and by classifying it. Then, the COIN-compatible pocket guide was promulgated, directing in the words of the inimitable Diana West that:
"1) U.S. troops are to walk on eggs and refrain from saying or doing anything that might set off their armed, ‘hair-trigger moderate' Afghan counterparts: ‘Avoid public rebukes,' troops are told. ‘Counsel in private jointly with [the Afghan army] chain of command'....Whatever we call such behavior - "politically correct," "multicultural," "diversity-minded" or simply "sensitive" - our enemies perceive it through the lens of their culture and, more importantly, the doctrine that governs it, namely shariah. Specifically, they understand it for what it is: submission. And, according to that doctrine, the appropriate response to an infidel enemy's submission is more violence to make him, as the Quran puts it, "feel subdued."
"2) Worse, U.S. troops are ordered to assume the age-old role of the dhimmis, those wretched, self-censoring non-Muslims repressed and stunted by Islamic law: ‘Respect Islam, Koran or a mosque; Afghan women, elders and children. Avoid arrogance; i.e., belief that ISAF culture is superior to Afghan culture.'"
Accordingly, if we persist in this submissiveness, far from winning Afghan hearts and minds, we are likely to put not just our troops there at ever greater risk. We will invite our foes to engage in more jihadist violence elsewhere, including here.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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