An Interim Assessment on the Campaign for Regaining Momentum in Helmand Province (Small Wars Journal)

Interview with Jeffrey Dressler

by Octavian Manea


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Jeffrey Dressler is a Research Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) where he studies security dynamics in southeastern and southern Afghanistan. He has previously published the ISW report, Counterinsurgency in Helmand: Progress and Remaining Challenges (January 2011). Dressler was invited to Afghanistan in July 2010 to join a team conducting research for General David Petraeus following his assumption of command.

How would you diagnose the COIN efforts and the on the ground developments before summer 2009?

Primarily, I would say that the effort was under-resourced from the beginning of 2006 up until 2009. I would also point to a lack of strategic clarity in terms of the objectives that were being pursued. The forces, lacking the resources and the mandate to really operate in an aggressive manner, were unable to address the enemy situation and instead were focusing on reconstruction and development as the means to win over the population.

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Special thanks to Small Wars Journal.