The military situation in Afghanistan is sinking into complete collapse and there is need for new directions in combating Taliban forces. General Petraeus is leaning toward drawing upon tactics used in Iraq when he reached out to Sunni militants and formed the Awakening Council movement to combat al-Qaeda. He noted Afghanistan has over 150 tribal groups although most belong to the Pashtun ethnic group. “So it is essential that, again, the various tribes, of the local communities, indeed oppose the extremism, oppose the insurgents and enable the effort of the afghan government and the coalition.” He wants the Afghan government and coalition forces to involve tribal entities in order to have an effective fighting force against the Taliban.
The real question which has never been answered is why hasn’t the Bush administration been training an Afghan army from day one of the invasion of that country in 2001? Why did it take seven years to finally get around to arming tribal groups?