Defeating Hezb-E-Islami-Gulbuddin: A Whole-Of-Government Approach   [open pdf - 653KB]

From the thesis abstract: "Over the last fourteen years, coalition partners and Afghans alike spent significant blood and treasure to promote the establishment of a legitimate Afghan government, create the conditions for regional stability and security, and eradicate Al Qaeda and their sanctuaries within Afghanistan. Afghanistan has made significant accomplishments with respect to human rights, the rule of law, and governance. The Afghans have fielded capable national police, border police, and army forces, which are now solely responsible for securing the Afghan population. The seeds of a uniquely Afghan democracy were sown as evidence by the establishment of an Afghan Constitution in 2004 and the two relatively successful presidential elections held in 2009 and again in 2014. Soon, a peaceful transition following an anticipated run-off election will yield the office of the executive branch from Hamid Karzai to either Dr. Abdullah Abudullah or Dr.Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, which will mark the first such transition of power in modern Afghan history. Both candidates are strong supporters of the Afghan Constitution and the proposed bilateral security agreement (BSA) between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) and the United States. Thus, we can anticipate a strong US diplomatic, economic, and military presence in Afghanistan in the near-term. However, several potential barriers to the future success and maturation of the fledgling GIRoA exist and must be taken in to account when formulating our foreign policy and military strategy for a post-2014 Afghanistan. This paper focuses on the development of an operational approach for combating one such potential barrier, the terrorist organization, Hezb-e-Islami-Gulbuddin (HIG)."

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