â€œThe focus of this operation from the very beginning has been on the people, not the enemy.â€ These are the words of Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, the Commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade operating in Afghanistan, quoted in American Forces Press Service article, “Afghansâ€™ Attitude Will Be Measure of Success, Vice Chairman Says“.
The theory is to win the hearts and cooperation of the local populace, becoming a force mulitiplier against the Taliban. It worked in Iraq, and the goal is to make it work in Afghanistan.
While browsing the DefenseLink site, I also ran across this picture of an American Combat Medic treating an Afghan boy’s finger during a patrol in Kunar Province. The photo illustrates exactly what the General was talking about.
(US Army photo)
In a presentation to Congress, Vice Chairman of the JCS Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright said, â€œIf they start supporting us with intelligence, with the giving of their own sons and daughters in the fight, and that they see there is more value in being able to produce crops rather than warriors, and that they can be sustained in that type of a lifestyle, then we will have an opportunity to turn the corner.â€