Major General Hook is the Director of the HQ ISAF Force Reintegration Cell
I was delighted and honored to be able to speak to them as the ANA can play a key role in APRP as they are revered, respected and trusted by the Afghan population. The ANA can help throughout the three stages of the APRP process (which I will explain in an upcoming post) through the daily contact they have with their Afghan brothers and sisters. Through their role in providing security to the Afghan people they are very well placed to conduct outreach activity to those involved in the insurgency and to protect those that come back into society. The confidence and respect with which the ANA is held makes them exemplary ambassadors for the cause of peace and reintegration.
The direction for the ANA involvement in the peace process comes directly from Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, ANA’s chief of staff. He has given clear direction through orders or ciphers to the ANA to support APRP and to work in concert with the provincial governors and chairs of the Provincial Peace Committees (PPCs) to improve APRP delivery.
Gen. Karimi has stressed the importance of the role of the RCA within the APRP process. The RCAOs are expected to train the ANA units in the APRP and explain the central role and responsibilities that they have in its implementation. The role of RCA is therefore at the heart of the ANA approach to peace and reconciliation; they are integral to bridging the gap between the local population and Afghanistan’s federal government.
Gen. Karimi has also made it clear that the offer of peace portrays steadfastness and strength; but not weakness. The message must be clear to those who continue to fight the Afghanistan National Security Force and the International Security Assistance Force’s unrelenting pressure on the insurgents will continue, leaving them the choice to be: killed, captured or reintegrated into Afghan society.
I was asked several interesting questions following my brief, perhaps the best focused on whether APRP represents weakness on the part of ISAF and the government of Afghanistan.
My view of APRP is entirely opposite to this. Firstly and most importantly, this is a programme that was started by His Excellency, President Hamid Karzai. History has shown us that you cannot just fight your way out of an insurgency; success over any insurgency has included reconciliation and reintegration. The ANSF will grow to its full strength this year and along with ISAF forces will continue to apply unrelenting pressure to the insurgency. When you combine this with the fact that the US and other nations are signing strategic partnership agreements with Afghanistan and the recent NATO Chicago conference declarations, the security forces here are stronger now than ever. The international community’s long term commitment to Afghanistan means that the insurgents can no longer wait us out and their only way for them to help in building a better Afghanistan is to return to peace and help build a better country. So I think this a misconception that should be put to rest; APRP does not represent weakness, it is a sign that Afghanistan is on the right course towards to peace.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of veterans' issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.