On 15 Oct 2012 I was interviewed by both the Dari and Pashto channels of the Voice of America – Afghanistan. Below are the videos of each interview, and further below are the approximate English transcripts.
VOA: Given Afghanistan’s achievements and the security challenges facing the country, including green-on-blue attacks, can the transfer of security responsibility to Afghans succeed?
DHY: It can certainly transfer, yes, but its success is a different question. It’s important to remember that only 15% of these attacks are the result of infiltration–that is, the Taliban sends one of its fighters undercover into the Afghan National Security Forces to attack NATO forces at a later time. Another 15% are the result of coercion of existing ANSF members–either by blackmailing them and threatening their families if they do not attack NATO forces, or by bribing them with money. The remaining 70% are due to cultural clashes. The reason for those cultural clashes are frequently rooted in the way of training. American forces tend to train Afghans by using a great deal of shouting, profanity and even humiliation because that’s how most armies are trained, including America’s. In fact, Afghans train the same way, but it completely changes the dynamic when the trainer is an outsider and not from the same culture or religion as the trainee. Read the rest of this entry »