Friday, February 24, 2012

Afghan Insurgent Reintegration Effort Works, Official Says

From DoD:

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2012 – The Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program, established and run by Afghans since 2010, resolves grievances that lead to fighting and delivers peace at a local level, a senior coalition officer said today.

British Royal Marine Maj. Gen. David A. Hook, who directs the force integration cell for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, spoke with Pentagon reporters via video conference from ISAF headquarters in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The peace program, which the Afghans implement locally but direct and coordinate nationally, gives insurgents a chance to leave the battlefield peacefully and permanently and rejoin their communities with dignity and honor, Hook said.

“Any counterinsurgency strategy includes a nonmilitary solution that reaches out to insurgents with the goal of peaceful reintegration where everyone benefits,” he added. “This program ambitiously seeks to do this and to deliver peace at a very local level.”

Reintegration is an essential element in the comprehensive counterinsurgency campaign that ISAF Commander Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen is implementing, he said. A cornerstone of the local approach, he added, is resolving grievances that led people to fight or become insurgents in the first place.

“The overwhelming majority of those fighting in the south and other areas are fighting for nonideological reasons,” Hook said. … Addressing their grievances can draw them back into society.”...

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