Oef XVIII recommended reading list

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OEF XVIII RECOMMENDED READING LIST

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this reading list is to provide the OEF XVIII Academic Week attendee with a comprehensive reading list from several of the SMEs who will present during this academic session. The literature and products listed below are recommended as General Reading, by Line of Operation (Security, Development, and Governance) or by geographic region. These recommendations are not all inclusive, but rather a good start to establishing a solid understanding of the Afghan context needed to conduct Partnership and/or VSO in Afghanistan.
GENERAL READING:
Topic: In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan
Author: Seth Jones
Book
Link: http://www.amazon.com/Graveyard-Empires-Americas-War-Afghanistan/dp/0393338517/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Very thorough overview of 2001-2008 US counter-insurgency strategy on Afghanistan that covers much the same ground as Giustozzi and Barfield but from a very different perspective. Very useful for understanding how Coalition decision-making on Afghanistan has shifted over time and serves as an excellent introduction to a very complex operating environment for military and intelligence professionals. Recommended in particular for those without prior Afghanistan deployments before moving on to more granular levels of detail at the provincial and district level.
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Intelligence, Security, Development, Governance, Information Operations, Insurgency

Topic: Taliban, Jihad, Descent into Chaos


Author: Ahmed Rashid
Book

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Taliban-Militant-Fundamentalism-Central-Second/dp/0300163681/ref=pd_sim_b_3

http://www.amazon.com/Jihad-Rise-Militant-Islam-Central/dp/0142002607/ref=pd_sim_b_5
http://www.amazon.com/Descent-into-Chaos-Disaster-Afghanistan/dp/014311557X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Written by one of the first authors to map out the Taliban phenomenon in detail for Western readership, Ahmad Rashid's work has long been regarded as an excellent introductory text to the movement and his description of the 1990s Afghanistan helps to understand the societal conditions that led to the rise of the Taliban. These books should be understood as a trilogy in three parts describing the circumstances behind the rise of the Taliban and similar Islamic extremist movements in Central Asia (most notably Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) throughout the 1990s and the deterioration of security in Afghanistan and Pakistan post-2001. While a very broad general introduction to the extremely complex Afghanistan/Pakistan/Central Asia problem set, it serves as an excellent introduction to Afghanistan and its description of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and operations in Afghanistan in particular should be understood for any VSO leaders planning to operate in RC-North.
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Intelligence, Security, Development, Governance, Information Operations, Insurgency

Topic: Decoding the New Taliban


Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Decoding-New-Taliban-Insights-Columbia/dp/0231701128
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED

Brief Description of the product: A collection of essays from a variety of subject matter experts providing a detailed granular profiles of Helmand, Uruzgan, Kandahar, Zabul, Nangarhar, and the old Loya Paktia (Paktia, Paktika, and Khost) provinces circa 2008 and how the local dynamics of each province affected the insurgency. The book is particularly valuable for its in-depth description of the various factions of the Taliban on a regional basis in order to inform VSO leadership of how fighters that claim allegiance to Mullah Omar may behave in extremely diverse ways depending on local factors. The book is also valuable for its excellent descriptions of the Taliban splinter factions including the Hajji Juma Khan Mohammadhasni network, the Mullah Dadullah Front (listed in the book under various names), and the Haqqani and Mansour networks.

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Intelligence, Security, Governance, IO, Insurgency
Topic: Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History
Author: Thomas Barfield
Book
Link: http://www.amazon.com/Afghanistan-Cultural-Political-Princeton-Politics/dp/0691145687/ref=pd_sim_b_6
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: As with most national histories of Afghanistan, this book is heavily based around Kabul and its various rulers and thus serves as an good national narrative for understanding the perceptions, fears, and cultural memory that influences Karzai and his immediate inner circle in terms of the context in which they view local events. By understanding a broad-brush narrative of Afghanistan, VSO leadership will be able to assess and hopefully deflect any fears on the part of Afghan leadership should their efforts draw the attention of Karzai or other Kabul-based elites. It may also be helpful in understanding the ability of malign actors to manipulate elite leadership fears by drawing on shared historical memory, particularly that of the Anglo-Afghan Wars in the 1800s.-Dan Darling
Barfield’s book traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in Afghanistan, from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today. It serves as a great historical primer for VSO.-Seth Jones

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, Development, IO


Topic: NationBuilding Is Not for All
Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Professional Article

Link (if applicable): http://aan-afghanistan.com/uploads/AAN-Politics-of-Education.pdf

Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Discussion of the education politics of Afghanistan with historical and ethnic context, critical for understanding the context of controversy that frequently occurs with respect to local development efforts at the district level and zero-sum mentality of some Afghans towards it.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Development
Topic: Negotiating with the Taliban: Toward a solution for the Afghan conflict
Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28117/1/WP66.2.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: A thorough and detailed overview of the myriad of issues involved in negotiations between Taliban senior leadership (TBSL, often used synonymously to refer to the Quetta Shura) and GIRoA. While the vast majority of these issues are well beyond the scope of the VSO mission, it is extremely important for VSO leadership to be aware of these issues and the impact that they may have in their battlespace, particularly in RC-East and RC-South.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, Insurgency
Topic: A Review of Reconciliation Efforts in Afghanistan
Author: Joanna Nathan
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Vol2Iss8-Art4.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Basic overview on the failure of reintegration and reconciliation initiatives by GIRoA from 2001 to 2009. Very helpful for VSO leadership to understand the problems that they are likely to encounter if and when GIRoA-supported reconciliation initiatives occur.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, Insurgency

Topic: Respectable Warlords?

Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.dfid.gov.uk/r4d/PDF/Outputs/CrisisStates/WP33.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Discussion of the Coalition's extensive use of warlords in the immediate aftermath of the Taliban. Because of the long and often-brutal history of warlords in Afghanistan, most VSO efforts will be portrayed by the Taliban as an attempt by ISAF to restore this warlord state and Afghan powerbrokers themselves may seek to leverage the warlord legacy in order to firm up their patronage networks. By understanding the perils of warlordism in post-2001 Afghanistan, VSO leadership can attempt to avoid these real and perceived pitfalls to successfully establish local security in a given area.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency, Governance, IO
Topic: Religious Institution Building in Afghanistan
Author: Mohammed Osman Tariq
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.prio.no/sptrans/1874190685/Religious%20Institution%20Building%20in%20Afghanistan%20PRIO%20Paper%202011.pdf
Brief Description of the product: A detailed profile of madrassa religious institutions in Afghanistan, particularly for those whose previous interactions with Islamic societies has occurred primarily in the Middle East. Should be understood in the context of any VSO outreach to local national religious leadership.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, IO, Development

Title: “Afghanistan”


Author: Louis Dupree
Type: Book
Classification Level: Unclassified

Brief Description of the product: Dupree’s Afghanistan is one of the classic anthropological books on Afghanistan from one of the greatest historic anthropologists. While some chapters are a bit outdated, Dupree’s discussions of the role of tribes, sub-tribes, and clans – and their use by successive governments in Kabul – are helpful. It serves as a useful historical primer for VSO.-Seth Jones

Category: Security, Governance, and Development

Title: “Empires of Mud: Wars and Warlords in Afghanistan”


Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Type: Book
Classification Level: Unclassified
Brief Description of the product: Giustozzi outlines the historical role of “warlords” in Afghanistan. He argues that warlords have long participated in state formation and considers the dynamics of warlordism.-Seth Jones
Category: Security, Governance, and Development

Title: “It Takes the Villages”


Author: Seth G. Jones
Type: Journal Article
Classification Level: Unclassified
Brief Description of the product: Jones argues that current efforts to stabilize Afghanistan are based on a misunderstanding of the country's culture and social structure. Defeating the Taliban will require local, bottom-up efforts, beginning with a deep understanding of tribal and subtribal politics-Seth Jones
Category: Security

Title: “Community Defense in Afghanistan”


Author: Seth G. Jones
Type: Journal Article
Classification Level: Unclassified
Brief Description of the product: Jones argues that success in Afghanistan requires helping establish local defense forces and improving security, governance, and development at the local level.-Seth Jones
Category: Security, Development, and Governance

Topic: The Pathans


Author: Sir Olaf Caroe
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Pathans-1957-Oxford-Historical-Reprints/dp/0195772210/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308628532&sr=1-1
Brief Description of the product: A dated but valuable overview of Pashtun (Pathan) society and historic norms to provide VSO leadership an idea of historic norms within Afghan society to draw upon community memories of traditional social and governance institutions.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, IO, Development

Topic: Afghanistan: The Problem of Pashtun Alienation
Author: International Crisis Group
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://merln.ndu.edu/archive/icg/afghanistanpashtunalienation.pdf
Brief Description of the product: Addresses the historic legitimacy gap that GIRoA has faced in many parts of Afghanistan due to the heavy dependence of the new government on Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara-dominated central government that continued to be a major factor into the 2009 presidential elections and will likely continue to resurge as discussions of Taliban reconciliation continue to develop.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, IO, Development
Topic: The Importance of Tribal Structures and Pakhtunwali in Afghanistan
Author: Shahmahmood Miakhel
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://pashtoonkhwa.com/files/articles/Miakhel%20-%20Importance%20of%20Tribal%20Structures%20in%20Afghanistan.pdf
Brief Description of the product: Macro-discussion of Pashtun tribal society, culture, and traditional leadership structure. Specific nature will vary from district to district depending on local history and elite structures.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, IO, Development
Topic: Khans and Warlords: Political Alignment, Leadership and the State in Pashtun Society
Author: Jose Oberson
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.kit10.info/Khans%20&%20Warlords%20in%20Pashtun%20Society%20PART%201.pdf
http://www.kit10.info/Khans%20&%20Warlords%20in%20Pashtun%20Society%20PART%202.pdf

Brief Description of the product: Lengthy discussion of the rise of warlordism within Pashtun society and how warlords have eclipsed or incorporated the traditional khan class into their ranks, thereby shifting long-standing patterns in Pashtun political alignment and paving the way for the current fractured structure within Afghanistan.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, IO, Development
Topic: The Clash of Two Goods: State and non-State Dispute Resolution in Afghanistan
Author: Thomas Barfield and Neamat Nojumi
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTLAWJUSTINST/Resources/clash_of_two_goods.pdf
Brief Description of the product: Discussion of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms in Pashtun society.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, IO, Development

Topic: Islamist Networks: The Afghan-Pakistan Connection


Author: Olivier Roy and Mariam Abou Zahab
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Islamist-Networks-Afghan-Pakistan-Comparative-International/dp/0231133650/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308627565&sr=1-1
Brief Description of the product: Thorough overview of cross-border insurgent networks operating between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Extremely useful in identifying the historic role of non-state cross-border support in sustaining the Afghan insurgency. While most applicable for RC-East, these cross-border ties are likely to be found in all RCs.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency, IO
Topic: Revolution Unending
Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Unending-Afghanistan-Comparative-International/dp/0231136269/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1308632664&sr=1-1

Brief Description of the product: A very thorough if academic account of the myriad of ideologies, factions, and personalities that formed as a result of the mujahideen era and social disruption in Afghanistan. Applicable for all RCs, with particularly valuable overviews of more obscure Afghan political and mujahideen factions not found in general accounts.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency, Governance, IO
Topic: Development
Author: William Easterly
Title: The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good
Brief Description of Product: This book powerfully lays out the pitfalls of development improperly done, making a compelling comparison between regions in which the West has done extensive development work (e.g. sub-Saharan Africa) and regions in which we’ve done effectively none (India and China, which have both become exponentially more prosperous during the same period that sub-Saharan Africa has stagnated or even grown poorer).

 I think it’s important for VSO practitioners because it will help them have realistic (i.e. fairly low) expectations for the success of their development/stabilization efforts.  But it’s not all doom and gloom, and offers some concrete principles (like accountability for projects’ success and the importance of setting modest, concrete goals) that seem to be tied to some form of development success.



Of course, VSO practitioners focus more on stabilization than true development, but this book will help them to arrive knowing how difficult positive change is to produce—showing up with realistic expectations will help prevent disappointment, temper frustration, and actually make small successes more likely.-LTC Bill Rice

RC-North:
Topic: Empires of Mud
Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Empires-Mud-Wars-Warlords-Afghanistan/dp/0231700806
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED

Brief Description of the product: In-depth profile of the warlord parastates established by Abdul Rashid Dostum (Uzbek), Ismail Khan (Tajik), and Ahmad Shah Masood (Tajik). These are the most developed parastates in Afghanistan and provide VSO leadership with excellent case studies of the strengths and weaknesses of the feudal patronage models adopted by these long-running warlords in providing sustainable security, governance, legitimacy, and development in their areas. Most applicable for team leaders heading to RC-North, RC-West, or RC-Capital, but also serves as a very useful companion piece to "Politics and Power in Kandahar" as far as understanding informal power relationships throughout Afghanistan.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Security, Development, Governance
Topic: The Insurgents of the Afghan North
Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://aan-afghanistan.com/uploads/AAN-2011-Northern-Insurgents.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: An excellent companion piece to "Empires of Mud," this article traces the rise of the various insurgent groups operating in RC-North and the need to implement a more comprehensive solution to the insurgency at the district level in order to thwart the Taliban's ability to co-opt disaffected elements including Tajiks and Uzbeks. Also provides a detailed look at the post-2001 and post-2008 developments within the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan that has allowed the group to once again become a viable actor within the Afghan insurgency.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency, Governance
Topic: The Ethnicization of an Afghan Faction: Junbesh-i-Milli from its Origins to the Presidential Elections
Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/13315/1/WP67.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Excellent discussion of the evolution of Abdul Rashid Dostum and his broader political patronage network from a pro-communist to Uzbek solidarity movement. Should be read by any team leaders planning on operating in RC-North-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Development, Governance

Topic: Paying for the Taliban’s Crimes: Abuses Against Ethnic Pashtuns in Northern Afghanistan


Author: Human Rights Watch
Professional Article

Link (if applicable): http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2002/afghan2/

Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Documents collective reprisal against Pashtun population in RC-North that created the conditions for later radicalization and resurgence of the Taliban in these areas.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Development, Governance, IO
Topic: Uzbeks Versus The Center: Mobilization as an Ethnic Minority in the Tajikistan and Afghanistan Civil Wars
Author: Christian Bleuer
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2002/afghan2/
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Discussion of collective mobilization among the Uzbek population of Afghanistan, logical implications for development of ALP in Uzbek majority areas of RC-North.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Development, Governance, IO, Security
RC-West:
Topic: Empires of Mud
Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Empires-Mud-Wars-Warlords-Afghanistan/dp/0231700806
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED

Brief Description of the product: In-depth profile of the warlord parastates established by Abdul Rashid Dostum (Uzbek), Ismail Khan (Tajik), and Ahmad Shah Masood (Tajik). These are the most developed parastates in Afghanistan and provide VSO leadership with excellent case studies of the strengths and weaknesses of the feudal patronage models adopted by these long-running warlords in providing sustainable security, governance, legitimacy, and development in their areas. Most applicable for team leaders heading to RC-North, RC-West, or RC-Capital, but also serves as a very useful companion piece to "Politics and Power in Kandahar" as far as understanding informal power relationships throughout Afghanistan.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Security, Development, Governance
Topic: The Dissipation of Political Capital among Afghanistan's Hazaras: 2001-2009
Author: Niamatullah Ibrahimi
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28493/1/WP51.2.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Detailed profile of Hazara society in post-Taliban Afghanistan and how it has generally avoided the emergence of a single charismatic leader, but at the price of a dissipated political influence compared to the far better mobilized Tajik and Uzbek minorities.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Security, Development, Governance
Topic: The Failure of a Clerical Proto-State: Hazarajat, 1979-84
Author: Niamatullah Ibrahimi
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://kms1.isn.ethz.ch/serviceengine/Files/ISN/57848/ipublicationdocument_singledocument/72834fdf-a0d1-4046-8572-37039b5785d2/en/wp6.2.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Discussion of mujahideen-era efforts by the Hazaras to establish a parastate similar to that successfully created by Ismail Khan in Herat, may shed light on future Hazara political aspirations and avenues for Iranian influence in RC-West among their co-believers.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Security, Development, Governance
Topic: The religious identity of the Hazaras of Afghanistan and modern day Pakistan
Author: Jennifer Ruth Creasy
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://theses.gla.ac.uk/1277/01/2009CreasyMTh.pdf

Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED

Brief Description of the product: Detailed discussion of Hazara social and religious identity, useful for understanding and interpreting Sunni sectarian prejudices that frequently surface in Coalition intelligence reporting.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance
Topic: Politics and Modern History of Hazara Sectarian Politics in Afghanistan
Author: Humayun Sarabi
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://kms1.isn.ethz.ch/serviceengine/Files/ISN/57848/ipublicationdocument_singledocument/72834fdf-a0d1-4046-8572-37039b5785d2/en/wp6.2.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Discussion of sectarian politics amongst the Hazaras, also useful for understanding the Hazara populations in Baghran (RC-Southwest) and Uruzgan (RC-South) and their relationships with the overwhelmingly Sunni majority.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Security, Development, Governance
RC-East:
Topic: Heroes of the Age: Moral Fault Lines on the Afghan Frontier
Author: David B. Edwards
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Heroes-Age-Frontier-Comparative-Societies/dp/0520200640/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308628550&sr=1-1
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Biographical sketches of three major Afghan leaders helps to provide context and insight into leadership norms within RC-East. Author underplays importance of ideology in favor of cultural factors as the root causes of conflict within Afghan society.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, IO
Topic: Pashtun Tales: From the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier
Author: Aisha Ahmed and Roger Boase
Book

Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Pashtun-Tales-Pakistan-Afghan-Aisha-Ahmed/dp/0863566375/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1308629189&sr=1-1

Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Useful collection of traditional Pashtun proverbs and stories from Af-Pak border region.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: IO

Topic: Tribal Dynamics of the Afghanistan and Pakistan Insurgencies


Author: Hayder Mili and Jacob Townsend
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Vol2Iss8-Art3.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Very basic introduction to the Ghilzai/Durrani tribal divide in RC-South and the dependence on the Haqqani Network in RC-East on the Zadran tribe, a topic covered in far greater depth during the relevant chapter in "Decoding the New Taliban."-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, Insurgency

Topic: Tribal Security System (Arbakai) in Southeast Afghanistan


Author: Mohammed Osman Tariq
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.dfid.gov.uk/r4d/PDF/Outputs/CrisisStates/OP7.pdf

Brief Description of the product: A brief description of the arbakai (tribal police) phenomenon that summarizes the limited degree of academic literature available on the topic, most of it heavily focused on Loya Paktia (Paktia, Paktika, and Khost provinces) and their historical application as extensions of the Afghan state. Because VSO/ALP efforts in Afghanistan are overwhelmingly referred to as arbakai in local national discourse in-theater and it is important for VSO leadership to understand the history and application of these concepts as well as what has traditionally been expected of arbakai by their constituency.-Dan Darling


“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency, Governance, IO

Topic: Pakistan: Terrorism Ground Zero

Author: Rohan Gunaratna
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Pakistan-Terrorism-Ground-Rohan-Gunaratna/dp/1861897685
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: A comprehensive overview of the myriad of terrorist and insurgent organizations operating in both the FATA and Pakistan. Because many of these groups also operate in RC-East, this primer serves a definitive guide to non-Taliban, Haqqani Network, or HIG elements operating in Afghanistan and should help VSO leadership to distinguish between these extremist groups. There is also a useful discussion of Pakistan-based support to the Afghan insurgency including the first comprehensive overview of the street politics in Karachi.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency
Topic: Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11
Author: Syed Saleem Shahzad
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Pakistan-Terrorism-Ground-Rohan-Gunaratna/dp/1861897685
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED

Brief Description of the product: Written by the recently-murdered security correspondent for the Asia Times, Shahzad provides a definitive overview of al-Qa'ida and its role within the Afghan insurgency, achieving access to Taliban and al-Qa'ida senior leadership including Sirajuddin Haqqani and Ilyas Kashmiri that even the most seasoned intelligence professionals would envy. The greater value of his work and the corroborating nature of the majority of his reporting can be discussed at a higher level of classification. VSO leadership should understand his account as being one that provides an enormous amount of value in understanding Taliban and al-Qa'ida grand strategy and how they view ISAF grand strategy.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency
Topic: The Kafirs of the Hindu Kush: Art and Society of the Waigal and Ashkun Kafirs
Author: Max Klimburg
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Kafirs-Hindu-Kush-Oxford-Historical-Reprints/dp/0195771273
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Detailed discussion of non-Muslim culture and society in Nuristan province.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: IO, Governance
Topic: Nuristan, Encyclopedia Iranica
Author: Max Klimburg
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.iranica.com/articles/nuristan
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Historical discussion of Nuristan province from one of the foremost experts on the subject.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: IO, Governance
Topic: The situation in Nuristan
Author: Max Klimburg
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/5453932/situation-nuristan
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Further discussion and background on the post-Taliban situation in Nuristan.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: IO, Governance
Topic: The Current Political Situation in Nuristan
Author: Richard F. Strand
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://users.sedona.net/~strand/
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Amateur website highlighting the political and societal evolution of Nuristan from 2003-2007.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: IO, Governance

Topic: The Evolving Role of Uzbek-led Fighters in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Author: Jeremy Binnie and Joanna Wright
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/the-evolving-role-of-uzbek-led-fighters-in-afghanistan-and-pakistan
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Discussion on the use of Uzbek radicals as “shock troops” in RC-East.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency

RC-South:
Topic: Koran, Kalashnikov, and the Laptop
Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Koran-Kalashnikov-Laptop-Neo-Taliban-Afghanistan/dp/0231700091
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Details the establishment and expansion of the Taliban in multiple provinces and serves as a much-needed update for how the insurgency established and expanded itself post-2001. The book is particularly useful in its granular descriptions of how abusive behavior on the part of local actors in Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan, and Zabul helped to drive the group's ability to resurge and regroup. It also contains much-needed factual information on Taliban organization, strategy, military tactics, and counter-insurgency effort that, while dated, provide VSO leadership with much-needed historical context for how the Taliban has reacted to past counter-insurgency efforts.
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Intelligence, Security, Governance, IO, Insurgency-Dan Darling
Topic: My Life with the Taliban
Author: Abdul Salam Zaeef
Book

Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/My-Life-Taliban-Columbia-Hurst/dp/0231701489/ref=pd_sim_b_12

Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: While biased and self-serving, Abdul Salam Zaeef's account of his life as a Taliban official provides a great deal of insight into moderate Taliban perspectives from a southern Pashtun member of the Kakar tribe. VSO teams operating in areas in RC-South or RC-SW with known former Taliban officials operating in positions of continued influence and power should develop a general understanding of his worldview in order to facilitate interaction with former Taliban leadership.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency, Governance

Topic: Are the Afghan Taliban Involved in International Terrorism?


Author: Anne Stenersen
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/CTCSentinel-Vol2Iss9-Art1.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Overview of the continued impact of Mullah Dadullah and the emergence of his followers as an independent pro-al-Qa'ida faction of the Taliban despite his death in 2007. This is an extremely important dynamic for VSO leadership operating in RC-South and RC-SW to understand because the radical faction formerly led by Dadullah continues to play a significant role in the insurgency to date.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency
Topic: The Taliban’s Campaign for Kandahar
Author: Carl Forsberg
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.understandingwar.org/files/The_Talibans_Campaign_For_Kandahar.pdf
Brief Description of the product: Detailed overview of pre-surge growth of the insurgency in Kandahar from 2001-2009.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, IO, Development, Insurgency

Topic: Politics and Power in Kandahar

Author: Carl Forsberg
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.understandingwar.org/files/Politics_and_Power_in_Kandahar.pdf
Brief Description of the product: A comprehensive overview of the Alikozai, Achakzai, Barakzai, Nurzai, and Popalzai power structures within Kandahar and much of southern Afghanistan that serves as RC-South's version of "Empires of Mud." Required reading for any VSO leader operating in RC-South, particularly in areas like Arghandab where conflict between competing elements of these tribal patronage networks is as pervasive as the actual fighting against the Taliban. The collapse of security in Arghandab district following the death of Alikozai paramount tribal leader Mullah Naqibullah Akhund and subsequent fracturing of the tribe serves to highlight the impact that these feudal-style patronage networks have making or breaking the security situation.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, IO, Development, Insurgency
Topic: Taliban Phenomenon: Afghanistan 1994-1997
Author: Kamal Matinuddin
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Taliban-Phenomenon-Afghanistan-1994-1997/dp/0195792742
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED

Brief Description of the product: As one of the few books written on the Taliban prior to 9/11, this provides a detailed history of how the group managed to gain control of Kandahar in the first place and should be read by VSO leadership operating in RC-South, particularly Kandahar province and adjoining districts. Because much of the history of Maywand, Panjawi, and Spin Boldak districts during this period is obscure, this book provides an extremely valuable contribution to the literature in shedding light on the Taliban's earliest conquests in areas that are still considered bedrocks of the group's support.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency, Governance
Topic: Putting it together in Southern Afghanistan
Author: Tribal Analysis Center
Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.tribalanalysiscenter.com/Research-Completed.html
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: This article presents a helpful and contextual overview of some of the major insurgency factors associated with Southern Afghanistan. Some of these include the troublesome border with Pakistan, macro-level overview of Southern tribes, and insights into some of the more influential influencers, such as Sher Mohammed Achkunzada. This article draws out case studies for how alliances and bottom up efforts could potentially stabilized this critical region of the Afghan Insurgency.-LTC Scott Mann
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Security
Topic: Alikozai Tribal Dynamics. A very unusual Duranni Tribe
Author: Tribal Analysis Center
Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.tribalanalysiscenter.com/Research-Completed.html
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: This article presents an insightful look into the Alikozai of Southern Afghanistan and the critical role they have played historically in rural Afghan stability and could play again. -LTC Scott Mann
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Security


RC-Southwest:
Topic: Taliban and the Crisis of Afghanistan
Author: Amin Tarizi
Book
Link: http://www.amazon.com/Taliban-Crisis-Afghanistan-Robert-Crews/dp/0674032241/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1307669943&sr=1-1
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED

Brief Description of the product: A collection of essays on the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan and how the group attempted to impose its ideological vision. The discussion of Taliban efforts to establish Pashtun hegemony over the Baluch population in Nimruz, Farah, and southern Helmand by Lutz Rzehak is important for informing any VSO efforts in majority Baluch areas of RC-SW, RC-South, or RC-West.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Insurgency, Governance
Topic: The Panjpai Relationship with the Other Durranis
Author: Tribal Analysis Center
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.tribalanalysiscenter.com/Research-Completed.html
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: This article helps the reader understand the relationship and tensions between the Panjpai Durrani, and the Zirak Durrani, as well as the historical factors that led to this. -LTC Scott Mann
“So what?”-Understanding these inter tribal tensions are key to leveraging a VSO program that is as representative as possible.
Topic: Tribes” and Warlords in Southern Afghanistan, 1980-2005
Author: Antonio Giustozzi
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://kms1.isn.ethz.ch/serviceengine/Files/ISN/58063/ipublicationdocument_singledocument/68a83d80-5802-4bad-89a1-19e4f70bce67/en/wp7.2.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Detailed discussion of the rise of the Akhundzada family in Helmand from 1980-1995 and 2001-2005.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance

Topic: Tribal & ethnic groups in the Helmand Valley


Author: Richard B. Scott
Professional Article
Link (if applicable): http://easterncampaign.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/scott1980.pdf
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Historic discussion of pre-1979 Helmand tribal society and what normalcy looked like in Helmand prior to its domination by the Akhundzada family and subsequent conquest by the Taliban.-Dan Darling

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance

Topic: The Baluchis and Pathans
Author: R.G. Wirsing
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/Baluchis-Pathans-Report-Minority-Rights/dp/0946690510/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308627450&sr=8-1
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Historic discussion of Baluch-Pashtun ethnic relations and norms in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most likely to be encountered by teams operating in Nimruz, the Reg-e Khan Neshin and Dishu districts of Helmand, and Registan in Kandahar.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, Development, IO, Insurgency
Topic: The Black Tents of Baluchistan
Author: Phillip Carl Salzman
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.amazon.com/BLACK-BALUCHISTAN-Smithsonian-Ethnographic-Inquiry/dp/156098810X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1308627491&sr=1-1
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: Historic discussion discussion of Baluch society and governance, most applicable teams operating in Nimruz, the Reg-e Khan Neshin and Dishu districts of Helmand, and Registan in Kandahar where large Baluch populations are likely to be encountered.-Dan Darling
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance, Development, IO
Topic: Afghanistan’s Development: An Instability Driver?
Author: Tribal Analysis Center
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.tribalanalysiscenter.com/Research-Completed.html
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED

Brief Description of the product: This article presents a compelling description of how development applications in Afghanistan have actually run counter to rural society and de-stabilized many areas. Also, in this article, there is a very helpful analysis of tensions between rural and urban Afghan society.-LTC Scott Mann

“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Development
Topic: Jirga System in Tribal Life
Author: Tribal Analysis Center
Book
Link (if applicable): http://www.tribalanalysiscenter.com/Research-Completed.html
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: An excellent analysis of the role this informal Afghan governance structure plays in rural areas. A definite primer to read before the governance classes during the round robin period. -LTC Scott Mann
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Governance
Topic: Pashtun cultural factors limiting warlord development
Author: Tribal Analysis Center
Article
Link (if applicable): http://www.tribalanalysiscenter.com/Research-Completed.html
Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED
Brief Description of the product: This article does a good job of explaining how the fractured nature and dynamic operating logic of the Pashtun People actually makes the creation of large militias through VSO, very unlikely. -LTC Scott Mann
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: Provides the VSO Leader with a key counter-argument to VSO and ALP creating militias.
Topic: Shaping Coalition Forces Strategic Narrative in Support of VSO
Author: Scott Mann
Article – Small Wars Journal
Link: http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/721-mann.pdf

Classification Level: UNCLASSIFIED

Brief Description of the product: This article makes the case for the need for a coherent central narrative to accompany VSO that amplifies the actions and deeds of local Afghans standing up for themselves, supported by their government, against a criminal insurgency. This narrative is focused on influencing the perceptions of three key audiences: (1) the Afghans, the American and NATO Homefront, and the Insurgents. -LTC Scott Mann
“So what?”-Why this product is relevant to the VSO Leader: This article provides a road map for how IO and Strategic Communications could leverage VSO to shape key perceptions and achieve strategic effects from local VSO applications. CJSOTF-A has largely employed the concepts in this article as the information component to their VSO program, however, the GIRoA and Coalition is still absent a central narrative.


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