It’s not been mentioned much on this side of the pond, but I imagine Stateside readers will have already heard about the US soldier allegedly “sold” to a militant Afghani clan by local-level insurgents. Here’s hoping he gets hauled out of there sooner rather than later. [image by Soldier’s Media Centre]
John Robb points out the marked difference in military networking that this sort of action represents; the Haqqanis are leveraging an entrepreneurial instinct in their local supporters, a sort of monetized and crowdsourced insurgency that relies less on having a standing army and more on rewarding local people for doing things your way.
As Fourth Generation Warfare becomes increasingly prevalent, perhaps the military forces of the West should take a page or two from the playbooks of their opponents – maybe wallets and billfolds are better targets than hearts and minds. After all, if your country is being torn apart economically by a war you don’t understand, who are you going to support – the alien invaders with expensive military hardware who blow a lot of stuff up in the name of political concepts that you don’t fully understand, or the guys who reward you for easily accomplished favours on your home turf?