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Secessionist Jihad: the Taliban's struggle for Pashtunistan.

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We Got it Wrong from the Start

In the days immediately following the 9/ 11 attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush convened his inner circle of foreign policy and military advisors at Camp David to determine the best way for the nation to respond. Recognizing the public mood, and wishing to differentiate his administration from the previous one, Bush pushed his team to develop a plan which would accomplish more than just "pound sand" with cruise missiles-he wanted action and tangible results. The evidence soon indicated that Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda (AQ) terrorist organization was the responsible party, and that it had planned, trained for and mounted the attack from the safe haven of Taliban-led Afghanistan. In a very straightforward way, the U.S. told the Taliban government that if it did not hand over Osama Bin Laden and the AQ organization, it would attack Afghanistan and replace the Taliban with a regime that would cooperate. (1)

And thus, the U.S. went to war against what they viewed as an Islamic Jihadist group which had seized control of a sovereign state and taken to harboring Islamic terrorists. As other invaders over the millennia had found before them, taking control of Afghanistan was relatively easy--but keeping control of it was another, more difficult task. By late November 2001, only two months after operations began, the Taliban had fled Kabul and the coalition of tribes and ethnic groups called the Northern Alliance swept into the southern strongholds of their Taliban enemies, supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Special Forces and U.S. airpower.

But as we enter the seventh year of conflict in Afghanistan, the Taliban is resurgent. While it is far from controlling the country, the Taliban certainly controls intermittent stretches of southeast Afghanistan and threatens to establish footholds in any southern area not actually held and patrolled by a U.S. or NATO soldier. The Taliban is far from defeated. Why?

One of the reasons for our failure to subdue the Taliban insurgency may be that we have not identified the proper causes behind it. We have labeled the Taliban a jihadist movement and ascribed motives to them based on religious traditionalist goals, in part because that is what the Taliban itself has stated. But had we looked deeper, we might have found that the root causes behind the enduring and resilient nature of the Taliban have very little to do with religion, and much to do with an ancient ethnic struggle between the Pashtun people, and virtually everyone else in the region. And much like the enduring struggles of the former Yugoslavia, religion has become a blanket for what, in reality, is an ethnic and cultural struggle between tribes in a zero-sum game to control territory.

What is also clear, and in little dispute, is that the U.S. took great pains to avoid a confrontation with Afghanistan's neighbor, Pakistan. The U.S. government viewed the Taliban as a religious group, closely allied to AQ and other Jihadist organizations, which had taken power in Afghanistan through a blend of popular support and military action. And while it was clear that a significant portion of the Taliban's support came from Pakistan, the U.S. plan to support its ally, Pervez Musharraf, and his military regime in return for their support, established both a precedent and a penchant for viewing the conflict through the very western lens of a statist mindset and as a religious conflict with Jihadist Islam.

But has this been correct? Has our western perception of nation-state sovereignty and the very real religious nature of the wider "War on Terror" blinded us to a fundamental truth about the nature of the Taliban in the lesser regional struggle against terror in Central Asia? And has this led us to base our warfighting strategy on a false paradigm?

By mentally segregating the Taliban as an "Afghan" problem, by not addressing their roots of support inside the border with Pakistan, and by ignoring the obvious truth of their largely homogeneous ethnic composition, I believe that we have misdiagnosed not only the nature of their insurgency, but also the best way to deal with that insurgency. This approach has put us on the path of treating the symptom, but not the disease.

As a result of this imprecision, we have applied a series of remedies designed to combat religious extremism (but not ethnic separatism) with lackluster results. However, had we correctly identified the ethnic nature of this conflict early on, and applied remedies designed to counter and combat an ethnic secessionist insurgency, and in so doing faced that transnational nature of "Pashtunistan," we would very likely have been more effective in combating them.

Up to this point, we have viewed the Taliban as a Jihadist Muslim insurgency, composed largely of Pashtun tribesmen. I argue that what we should be doing is viewing and, more importantly, treating the Taliban as a Pashtun ethnic insurgency, composed largely of Jihadist Muslims.

In Counterinsurgency, the Why May be More Important than the How

People are moved to fight for very deep-seated reasons; this is especially true of insurgencies. We know from recent psychological studies of current and former terrorists and insurgents that most of them viewed themselves as soldiers fighting for a cause, very much the same as institutional soldiers of state-owned armies do, and with the same convictions and types of motivations. In the same way, the population which supports insurgents is also supporting that cause. Usually, both segments are trying to effect a change in their political or cultural conditions, a change from the current conditions which they can no longer tolerate peaceably. (2)

We also know that the goal of the insurgent is not necessarily to win a military victory. More importantly, the insurgent must gain and maintain the support of the population to win. If he can do this, he will eventually prevail. The same therefore goes for the counterinsurgent. In this type of warfare the real goal is to win the people, the insurgent cannot live without it, and the ruling government cannot remain in power if they do not have it. (3) It is that simple.

What this means to both sides is that they are in a popularity contest for the favor of the people. The insurgent has decided to take up arms because he thinks that is the best way for him to achieve his goals. Often, if he starts to see success in achieving those goals, or if those goals become impossible or unwinnable, he can be persuaded to disarm and work towards a peaceful solution. There are plenty of recent examples of this, from the decommissioning of the Irish Republican Army to the dissolution of the European leftist terrorist groups after the fall of communism. (4)

For the counterinsurgent, it also means that one can choose to combat an insurgency in one of two basic ways, one may impose and maintain the strictest of police-state regimes and allow no freedoms which would permit the insurgents to operate; or one might compromise with the insurgents and give in to their demands, at least enough to make it no longer worth the effort of armed struggle. (5) The first choice is difficult to achieve and requires massive resources. It is also anathema to liberal society and in the modern western world, it is simply not done. Which leaves us with the second option--compromise.

Keeping in mind that it is not necessarily the insurgent himself with whom we must find the compromise but the people who would support him, the option of compromise does not mean giving in to the demands of the insurgents themselves. More correctly, it means working with the population which is at play, and finding workable and acceptable ways to address the complaints which have driven them to insurgency. Successfully finding the happy medium between allaying their frustrations enough to forego supporting the insurgency, and yet still remain in power, means stealing a march on the insurgents, and cutting them off from their base of support. At this point, not only can they no longer win, but if they continue the struggle the population itself may eventually turn against them and take active measures to help you destroy them so that they can get some peace. This is the dynamic currently at play in Al-Anbar province and many other areas of Iraq, where AQ and other sectarian groups are finding that the population is turning against them and supporting the coalition forces.

So, to forge a political compromise with the affected population, one must know what is causing them to rebel or at least support a rebellion. As in any negotiation, a proper understanding of the fundamental problems is necessary to effectively address the key concerns, those most central to the core problem, and find the best solutions. Without this understanding, one runs the risk of giving too much. But more crucially, one may never address the real sources of discontent, and end up losing everything.

It is in this regard that the U.S., and the rest of the world, has failed in Afghanistan. We have not correctly determined the root causes of instability which have propelled several millions of people to support the Taliban. We might want to start over again with the fundamentals.

Scoping the Problem: Who Are the Taliban?

As President Bush's cabinet and advisors well knew, the Taliban was the de facto government of Afghanistan. However, they missed the significance of the Taliban's almost wholly Pashtun membership, certainly at its leadership and inner core. Similarly, while the Pakistani roots of the Taliban were well known, the decision to treat it as an Afghan problem, and as an Islamic Jihadist group rather than a secessionist insurgency, focused our counterinsurgency efforts on the wrong things.

That the Taliban is a homogenous organization made up largely of Pashtuns, is not in itself a controversial statement-it is simply a fact. (6) But recognizing how this fundamentally shifts not only the underlying goals and base of popular support for the movement seems to be more difficult. This is exacerbated by the fact that the Taliban members and even their leadership do not seem to comprehend the issue either.

Bard O'Neill has categorized nine different types of insurgencies based on the root causes behind them. This taxonomy is an important step in counterinsurgency warfare because it allows us to adapt our strategy to the specific type of insurgent threat we face. Two of these categories are the Traditionalist and the Secessionist models.

Traditionalist insurgencies focus on "primordial and sacred values, rooted in ancestral ties and religion", to impose a government system based on these ancient values, usually one characterized by passive participation by the masses and reliance upon an inherited or clerical elite for the major functions and decisions of government. (7) The Islamic Jihad groups-AQ, Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf, et al, fall into this category, as do many of the Shia groups and the government of Iran (as well as the inherited monarchies of the Middle East). On the face of it, so does the Taliban.

One might easily classify the Taliban as a traditionalist insurgency at first glance. Everything it has said and published as either manifesto or edict would support such a claim; its goals and the government it established support it further. But looking at their actions once in power; the ethnic homogeneity of its ruling elite, and the history which gave rise to the movement, leads one to an overridingly strong case that the Taliban is actually a secessionist insurgency which has cloaked itself in the traditionalist mantel for very practical reasons.

Secessionist insurgencies seek to separate from their current state and establish new states based upon their political, ethnic, religious or whatever other feature they feel sets them apart from their current political peers. Some of the more notable insurgencies in history have been secessionist, to include our own American Revolution, the 1999 war in Kosovo, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. (8)

Given this definition, one might say that the Taliban could not possibly be secessionist. Everything it advocates speaks to a traditionalist mindset. It has actively advocated the unity of the Islamic umma; it does not wish to separate from Afghanistan, but to unite it under its banner, and nowhere in its creed does it advocate power for one group over another, but rather passionately it struggles for the greater Jihad and the unity of all under the banner of Mohammed. (9)

All of this is true, but it ignores the greater and deeper sources of discontent that fuel the Pashtun people's support for this jihad; the transnational make up of the Taliban, and the dimension of their exclusion from the Pakistani elite. To understand this, one must view Central Asia from a tribal, ethnic and historical perspective, without the artificiality of political boundaries.

Pashtuns and Pashtunwali: Defining a People

The Pashtuns define themselves not by language, but by adherence to an ancient code of conduct dating back to the pre-Islamic era. (10) To anyone having dealt with Albanians and familiar with their Kanun of Lek Dukagjin, this Pashtunwali, or "Way of the Pashtuns" is strikingly familiar. Like the Albanian Kanun, it might be described as the glue which binds this disparate people together as an ethnic group, and the beginnings of an insight into the ethnic dimension of our war in Afghanistan.

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The Pashtun people are by some measures the world's largest tribal society, some 6 million native speakers, who have seldom in their long history had anything holding them together except for their language, a close relative of Farsi-Persian. They are mostly concentrated in southern Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan. See geographical location shaded in white on map above.

As a tribal people, Pashtuns are far more ready to subscribe their loyalty to their tribe over any ties to a nation, much less a nation ruled by people from a different ethnic group or tribe. (11) A brief glance at the map shows that while most Pashtuns reside within the borders of Afghanistan, there is a fair-sized and reasonably compact Pashtun area largely within the boundaries of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP).

Looking at the raw numbers gives another, starker view. Pashtun speakers comprise 35 percent of the Afghan population and are the largest, single ethnic grouping in that country. In Pakistan however, they are only 8 percent and are a clear minority. (12)

History provides an explanation. The origins of Afghanistan and the Pashtuns are inextricably tied, and equally indistinct. From the earliest times, the two have often been synonymous (13) and the history of one was to a great degree the history of the other. Afghanistan as we know it today was founded in 1747 by a Pashtun warlord named Ahmad Shah Abdali (he later changed his name, and that of his clan to Durrani), who united the disparate Pashtun clans under his banner to conquer all of present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Iran, and southward to Delhi.

This acme of Afghan/Pashtun power was short lived as it ran headlong into the birth of the British Empire in India. (14) For the next 190 years, the Afghans, and virtually everyone else in South Asia, began losing ground to first the British East India Company, then the British Empire proper. As the British expanded north and west, following the western rim of the Himalayan Mountains, they began having difficulties with the Muslim tribes of the "Northwest Frontier". People they called the "Pathans" and often subcategorized as Afridis, Yousafzai or a host of other names (most, by the way, Pashtun clan names) proved a constant source of instability.

In an effort to stabilize the frontier and prevent Russia from expanding and threatening India, Britain invaded Afghanistan three times. None of these expeditions ended well. By 1893, Britain gave up hope of controlling these tribal people. Lord Roberts himself called the region "ungovernable," and commissioned a survey of that land which they could control, and that which they could not. (15) The resultant "Durand Line" more or less describes the southern boundary of Afghanistan today.

Like many arbitrary surveys of the colonial age, Sykes-Picot comes to mind as another example. The Durand Line was drawn by westerners, to the demands of western governments, with no regard to the facts or rights of the indigenous peoples. It cut across the heart of Pashtun tribal areas and while it allowed for a majority Pashtun ethnicity in Afghanistan, it created a minority Pashtun area in that part of India which would later become Pakistan. This gave rise to the problem of secession.

While Pashtuns in Afghanistan have long been a major political power if not a clear majority, their kin in Pakistan have been excluded from power by the largely Urdu and Punjabi speaking city dwellers in Karachi and Islamabad. (16) Although given a large degree of autonomy within the boundaries of the NWFP, some Pakistani Pashtuns have reacted to their minority status by demanding their own state--"Pashtunistan".

So there is an urge for independence and for a state of their own that is strong within the tribal culture of the Pashtuns. It drove them to found Afghanistan in 1747 and it is now driving some to seek a new country carved out of Pakistan. But how did this become translated into an Islamic Jihadist call for religious reform? There seems too large a gap between the impulse for secession, and the call for jihad.

But not really. Viewed from the context of tribal culture and a strong desire to be seen as a separate people, the turn to religion was an almost natural response. Tribal societies do not have strong leadership models, they exist in a "headless" state, and the Pashtuns are no exception to this. (17) As they turned inward and began looking for ways to unify the disparate and often hostile clans, the native religion and traditional practices were a natural choice. (18)

As a tool to unite the Pashtun people, religion worked well. But it also had perhaps the unintended (there is no evidence to the contrary) consequence of covering the real reason behind the discontent-the urge for separatism--and spilling over into the larger, non-Pashtun but religiously observant Muslim population in the region. This was further confused and muddled by historical events in Afghanistan which allowed the discontent of the Pakistani Pashtuns to spill over the border and helped unite the greater Pashtun tribe even further.

While the Pakistani Pashtuns struggled with their minority status following partition in 1947, their cousins in Afghanistan had grown accustomed to being the ruling elite. Since the founding of the kingdom in 1747, Pashtuns had filled virtually all Afghan leadership positions. But in 1973, Shah Mohammed Zahir, a Pashtun, was overthrown and Afghanistan began its spiral downward to its current failed status with a series of increasingly leftist and socialist governments. On the way downward, the Pashtuns were replaced as the power elite by Tajiks and other northern tribes eager for their turn at the wheel. This climaxed with the 1979 Soviet invasion and the imposition of the Communist regime.

These events had the effect of pushing the Afghan Pashtuns in much the same way as their cousins across the border. Dispossessed of the power they once held, and dominated by people they viewed as godless heathens, the Afghan Pashtuns turned inward to find their identity and unity in religion. Whether this came as a result of, or in parallel with, the natural retreat to Pakistan and their cousins to the south is immaterial to this discussion. What is important is that the war with the Soviets united the Pashtuns as few things had since the British left, and gave a physical outlet to their secessionist urges. (19) It also greatly confused the issue of religion as the cause of the insurgency.

As the Muslim world reacted to the Soviet invasion, dollars and dinars began to flow, and people as well. It was an almost geographic certainty that the entry point for this assistance from the umma would be through Pakistan, and through Pashtun hands. The other peoples who comprised the remainder of the Afghan resistance had ethnic homelands that were either already under Soviet domination, or in Iran, which was not only Shia, but also in no economic shape to be of assistance to anyone throughout the 1980s. Pakistan was the only neighboring country through which people, money and materiel could pass, and the doorway was through the NWFP and the Pashtun tribal lands.

As the Muslim fighters and financiers became acquainted with these people who had so strongly embraced Islam as their rallying point, it was easy for them to confuse the issue of ethnic nationalism with Islamic Jihad. Just as we have done, the Arabs and others took the Pashtun piety at face value, and not for the unifying rally point it actually was. Not that this mattered at the time, they were, after all, solely in the fight to repel the godless invaders and sort out the details later.

As long as there was the common Soviet enemy, there was cooperation. But after the Soviets left, cracks began to appear in the coalition of tribes and ethnic groups as they began to struggle for power. And it was in this maelstrom that the natural advantages of size and the unity that language, culture and the appeal to the common religion began to once again favor the Afghan Pashtuns. Given their secure bases in Pashtun areas across the border, and their large ethnic population within Afghanistan, the Taliban (as the Pashtun religious reformers now came to be known) with its agenda of government inspired and led by the Quran also had great appeal to the non-Pashtun Muslims who, like everyone else, took the religious face of the movement as the Truth and ignored the heavily Pashtun composition of the leadership. But as the Taliban swept into power, often hailed as liberators by the non-Pashtuns, the cracks began to appear in the heretofore wholly religious facade.

While I believe it is quite possible that even now, the Taliban leadership itself believes the movement to be religious and not at all about ethnic power or secession, the reality of its ethnic membership, monolingual administration and the very real tribal urges to keep important decisions and positions within the trusted group, all converged to insure that only Pashtuns had positions of power and control within the government, even in non-Pashtun areas. (20) By the end of the Taliban's reign, Afghanistan had once again separated along ethnic lines, with the Northern Alliance composed of Tajiks, Uzbeks and other northern ethnic groups opposing the Pashtun Taliban for political control.

Taliban activity is now largely restricted to the Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan, and particularly the border region with Pakistan's NWFP, from which it can stage and train for missions and operations inside Afghanistan. The Taliban is a transnational Pashtun ethnic group which uses its bases in safe areas within Pakistan as sanctuary to continue their fight for a homeland encompassing Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, and essentially to re-establish the Empire created by Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1747. And as for their paradoxical claims of Islamic Jihad? While I have no doubt that they themselves believe it, the Islam they wish to impose has more to do with their Pashtun traditions and serves more as a unifying force for the Pashtuns themselves than it does anything else.

There is no denying the religious component of the Taliban, it is indeed a jihadist organization to its very core. It describes itself as such; its members proclaim it as such and ascribe to neither ethnocentric not nationalist goals. It is easy to see why AQ and other jihadist organizations interact with it so closely, and why so many western observers have chosen to classify it as a traditionalist insurgency. But in reality, the Taliban movement began as an ethnic based response to the domination the Pashtun people were feeling from other ethnic groups in Pakistan, and the loss of control they were experiencing to other groups in Afghanistan. So, what do we do about it?

Treating the Cause Rather than the Symptom

If we acknowledge the true reasons behind the Taliban's continued struggle and the Pashtun people's support for it, then we can better combat it. But this requires a change not only in how we deal with the Pashtun people in finding a path to compromise, but also in how we conduct our military operations. The most fundamental change to consider is our policy towards the Taliban sanctuaries within Pakistan. This is not a new suggestion, but in recognizing the transnational and ethnic nature of the Pashtun struggle, it is one with renewed urgency.

Throughout history, insurgent movements which operated from secure bases outside the area of combat operations had a far greater chance of success than those without such security. This only stands to reason: a secure base provides breathing room where they can ignore their logistical security to focus all of their combat power at the time and place of their choosing. This is a significant advantage over the defender who must defend everywhere at once. (21) It was this dynamic which Wellington used with the Spanish Guerrillas to defeat Napoleon in the Peninsular campaign, and that the Viet Cong used so effectively against us in Viet Nam. It was also the way that the Taliban and its allies fought the Soviets. So, to ignore the history of this is staggering.

While the political realities of Pakistan dictated a cautious course, it is after all a nuclear power and politically unstable, those realities have recently changed. And the fact is that one source of Pakistani instability is the question of Pashtunistan and the secessionist movement boiling over from the NWFP. Joining in common cause with the new government currently forming in Jalalabad to restore order to the country by helping them to suppress the Taliban activities within their borders might be doable if we can demonstrate its utility. If we do nothing to deny the Taliban their safe areas, then we are likely to be in Afghanistan, like the Soviets, for a long time with very little to show for it.

More basic than this, and more volatile, is the question of Pashtunistan itself. If we are going to treat the cause of the disease, should we address the Pashtun peoples' evident desire for a homeland of their own?

As a point of discussion, a start point for negotiations with the Pashtuns themselves, we should consider the prospect of creating a Pashtunistan which reflects the tribal boundaries. This would be a new state, carved from parts of both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Parts, I might add, over which neither we nor the Pakistani's exert much control. Like the British in 1893, we might draw a line separating that which we can control, from that which we cannot. Unlike the British, we would draw it with regard to tribal and cultural lines, and not with a more tactical or geo-political motive for the preservation of our own empire. This new area would be composed largely of ethnic Pashtuns, similar to what we have created in Kurdistan or Bosnia, and it would therefore very likely have the consent of the population on the ground. This would not be easy or acceptable to all parties, but with the current advantages of precedence, common sense, political change in Pakistan and military strength on the ground, we probably have the best conditions we will ever have in our lifetimes of making it work.

The alternative to this is allowing Afghanistan to pursue the failed course it has since 1747 as a collection of squabbling ethnic groups with nothing in common but hatred, dominated by the Pashtuns who seem dangerously infatuated with their pre-modern views of Islam. While we cannot impose the former easily, we cannot allow the latter to continue.

Endnotes

(1.) Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002).

(2.) John Horgan, "Disengaging from Terrorism," Janes Intelligence Review, December 2006. Sent to author by email from Dr. Horgan on 5 November, 2007.

(3.) David Galula, Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958 (Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2006 originally published 1963).

(4.) Horgan.

(5.) Bard E. O'Neill, From Revolution to Apocalypse: Insurgency and Terrorism, 2nd edition (Washington DC: Potomac Books, 2005).

(6.) Ali A. Jalali and Lester W. Grau, Whither the Taliban? (Fort Leavenworth: U.S. Army, Foreign Military Studies Office, 1999) Downloaded from the Internet on 19 February, 2008 at http://call. army.mil/call/fmso/fmso.htm.

(7.) O'Neill.

(8.) O'Neill.

(9.) Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (revised and expanded edition) (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006).

(10.) Jalali and Grau.

(11.) David Ronfeldt, "Al Qaeda and its Affiliates: A Global Tribe Waging Segmental Warfare," First Monday, Volume 10, Number 3 (March 2005), accessed 13 February 2008 at http://firstmonday. org/issues/issue l0 3/ronfeldt/index.html.

(12.) CIA World Factbook.

(13.) V. Minorsky "The Turkish Dialect of the Khalaj", Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, University of London, Volume 10, Number 2, 1940 accessed from JSTOR,19 February 2008 at http://www. jstor.org.library.norwich.edu/view/13561898/ap020036/02a0012 0/0?currentResult=13561898%2bap020036%2b02a00120%2b0% 2cEFFF3F&searchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jstor.org%2Fsearch% 2FBaslcResults%3Fhp%3D25%26s1%3D 1%26gw%3Djtx%26jtxsl% 3D 1%26jcpsi%3D 1%26artsi%3D 1%26Query%3DKhalaj%26wc%3 Don.

(14.) Battle of Plasey, 1757.

(15.) Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia, (London: Kodansha Globe, 1994).

(16.) Jalali and Grau.

(17.) Ronfeldt.

(18.) Jalali and Grau.

(19.) Ibid.

(20.) Ibid.

(21.) Thomas M. Huber, "Napoleon in Spain and Naples: Fortified Compound Warfare," U.S. Army Advanced Operations and Warfighting Course paper #H205, 2002. "Backlash to Revolution: The Decline of Napoleon" (Leavenworth: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College) accessed 15 October, 2007 at hops://courses.leavenworth. army.mil/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/ common/course.pl?course_id=_1455_1.

Mike Holmes is an employee of Oberon Associates, currently assigned as an Operations Officer at the TRADOC Program Office for Biometrics and Forensics at the U. S. Army Intelligence Center, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard serving as the S2 for the 49th Theater Information Operations Group, TXARNG. He has served in a variety of assignments, to include brigade and battalion S2, and was an Intelligence liaison and U. S. Arresting Officer for the British led MND-SE in Basrah in 2005. He holds an MA in Diplomacy with a concentration in International Terrorism from Norwich University, and is a graduate of U. S. Army Command and General Staff College. He may be reached at mike.holmes1@us.army.mil.
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Date:Jul 1, 2008
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