Sometimes it takes an outsider to let all the players know what's really
going on. Case in point is a recent survey conducted by a Western NGO in
Afghanistan. Some 500 people in six provinces were queried. The answers track
with what the government and NATO civil affairs operators already know, but
it's still information that never seems to get out to the Western public.
example, when asked what the most common source of conflict was, the response
was; 50 percent said land issues (largely for grazing
animals), 43 percent said water (Afghanistan is a dry place)
and 34 percent said family matters (feuds often go on for
they feared the most, the response was; 16 percent the Taliban, 14 percent warlords, 13 percent said criminals and 11 percent
said NATO and American troops.
Afghans try and resolve disputes? 55 percent go to a local or tribal
council, 36 percent would go to the nearest police, while 21 percent would go to the district of provincial
reinforces is that rural Afghanistan is very self contained and used to taking
care of themselves. Outsiders, including the Taliban, are seen as a threat.
Problems, and solutions, are seen as local. Anyone wanting to reach these
people, must also think local. It's sort of like the old American saying, "all
politics is local."