Engaging Afghans KLE Keys to Success
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"A pillar of Coalition Force/United States Government (USG) efforts in Afghanistan is to separate the people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from insurgent groups such as the Taliban, Haqqani Network and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HiG) and unite the same populace with their fledgling government. In order to do this, the men and women undertaking this effort have access to the latest in information, training and hightech equipment. But possibly the most important asset any soldier, airman, marine, sailor or civilian can possess is the ability to engage. Not the enemy on the field of battle but the Afghan civilians he or she encounters on a daily basis. It is through mastering the art of the Key Leader Engagement (KLE) that strong relationships, which are the cornerstone to victory in COIN [Counterinsurgency] operations, can be truly fostered. Believe it or not [...] your time in Afghanistan is short and the quicker you can establish a strong relationship with the populace of your area the greater the results you'll see in a shorter period of time. Your actions during the longest of meetings or the shortest of convoy stops will leave an impression that will last much longer and spread much farther than you can imagine and may be the key to success or failure for you or other units during future"
This article was published in Culture and Conflict Review (Fall 2009), v.3 no.3
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