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GR&D

Governance, Reconstruction, & Development

Feb 05, 2010

Shah Wali Kot Report: The Gateway District

GR&D

Governance, Reconstruction, & Development

Commander, Governance, Reconstruction, & Development: Lt. Col. Patrick L. Gaydon Editor, Tiger Team Leader: Capt. Jonathan Pan Copy Editor: First Lt. Amador Jaime Photographer: Task Force Stryker Public Affairs Office: Sgt. Justin Graff Contributing: Task Force Buffalo Civil-Military Officer: Capt. Jon Burton Human Terrain Team AF8: Doug Grindle Human Terrain Team AF8: Bill Aaron United States Department of Agriculture: Jim Green Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team: Catherine Dunlap Office of Transition Initiatives: Naomi Wachs Center for Army Lessons Learned: Lt. Col. Moliki Mulitalo

Cover Captions: (Top) An Afghan girl laughs with a U.S. Soldier at the Suznai Clinic in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff) (Bottom) An Afghan boy watches a passing U.S. Patrol in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

Map of Kandahar Province courtesy of Afghanistan Information Management Services

Map of Shah Wali Kot District courtesy of Afghanistan Information Management Services

Table of Contents

Section 1 SOUTHERN SHAH WALI KOT

Sherband Bazaar Diversion Weir Deh He Bowchi Canals Suznai Village 2 3 4 5

Section 2 CENTRAL SHAH WALI KOT

District Center Wayan School Dilak Clinic Kuchis (Tamba) Town Section 3 TIGER TEAM ASSESSMENTS Human Terrain Information Operations Agriculture Office of Transition Initiatives Center for Army Lessons Learned

8 9 10 11

14 24 30 34 38

Section 4 APPENDICES Appendix A: Acronyms and Definitions 42

Task Force Buffalo

Shah Wali Kot (SWK) is the gateway district connecting Uruzgan to Kandahar. Additionally, from Shah Wali Kot flow critical irrigation routes into Kandahar City and beyond. SWK is also home to the Dahla Dam. However, the ongoing Dahla Dam improvement project does not figure to serve the people of SWK. While recognizing the importance of the Dahla Dam project and its potential to transform the environment within Kandahar Province, we must be prepared to address the immediate needs of the people of SWK. If we fail in this endeavor we stand to lose the support of the people here as was recently experienced in Helmand Province when expected benefits of the Kajaki Dam project were not realized by the people in that district. We must also be prepared to gain the full potential of Highway 617; the one viable route linking the Pashtun people of Uruzgan to those of Kandahar. Nearly 90 kilometers of this key transportation artery remain unpaved despite the existence of an official construction contract and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) oversight. Increased Coalition and Afghan National Security Forces presence along the entire route have set the conditions for completion of this project. We must take this opportunity to allow the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) to link Uruzgan's largest population center, Tarin Kowt, with strategic Kandahar City. Toward these ends, Task Force Buffalo, in conjunction with the SWK District Government, proposes a three-phased way-ahead for SWK. Phase 1: Execute immediate impact, population-centric projects through the District Government. Phase II: Coordinate with USACE to finish Highway 617 construction. Simultaneously, employ the World Council of Credit Unions Southern Initiatives and their sharia-compliant loans to help break the poverty cycle in Shah Wali Kot and decrease the dependency on Kandahar City goods in the local economic centers. Phase III: Link the district government to the provincial government by showing the Provincial Governor and his Line Ministers the success stories and potential for future success in SWK. Very respectfully, Jonathan T. Neumann Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Commander, Task Force Buffalo

Shah Wali Kot District Government

For the past three years the Shah Wali Kot District has been ignored. There was no safe route into Kandahar City and I could not travel more than two miles from the District Center without feeling threatened. Shura members and village elders did not feel safe to travel to the District Center to attend the Shuras, and locals would go to the Taliban to resolve their issues. The future for the Shah Wali Kot District was bleak. Two months ago the Americans moved into the area and aided our Afghan National Police in providing security for our District. Security is my number one priority, because without security additional aid and education cannot be accomplished. Since International Security Assistance Forces have showed up we have held weekly Shuras, and many Shura members along with Tribal Leaders have started to attend. Each week we are seeing an increase in participation. So many issues arise during the Shura that I have a hard time dealing with them all. However, this is not something I am going to complain about; it is my job. No matter what the tribe or what the issue I will work day and night to help any individual that comes to my door. I see a future where all villages will rely on the local government for help and the Taliban will be threatened whenever they enter the Shah Wali District. We are a long lasting district with a wonderful culture, and we will prosper once again. The Taliban have attacked the District Center on several occasions and I have lost nine members of my family in this district, but this does not discourage me. I love this district and will continue to fight for it. Haji Ubeidullah Popal District Governor of Shah Wali Kot

A view of the Shah Wali Kot landscape through a broken window at the Sherband Bazaar. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

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SOUTHERN SHAH WALI KOT

1

SHERBAND BAZAAR

SUMMARY

The Sherband Bazaar is the largest bazaar in SWK district. Some of the shop owners have indicated that they are squatting on government land and that there is a provincial plan to relocate them. The Governance, Reconstruction, & Development Fusion Cell (GR&D) has contacted the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team to investigate this issue. If the shop owners are indeed being relocated, Task Force Buffalo is looking at moving them to the Sherband Gas Station which is less than one kilometer north of the Sherband Bazaar and has ample room for expansion. A large percentage of the shop owners and their goods come from Kandahar City. 90% of their customers are people in transit to and from Tarin Kowt. Every shop has the same goods. The lack of variety causes local SWK residents to pay 30 Afghani for a taxi ride to Kandahar City and purchase more diversified goods there. GR&D and Task Force Buffalo is investigating why locals are not shop owners and why aren't more local goods sold at the bazaar. GR&D believes that part of the solution involves microfinance and small grants through the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) which will allow locals to start their own businesses. The bazaar is busiest on Fridays, when locals come to have picnics at the Diversion Weir. An Afghan boy looks on as U.S. Soldiers peruse the Sherband Bazaar in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. The goods in this shop come from Kandahar City. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

Shah Wali Kot Report | The Gateway District

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DIVERSION WIER

SUMMARY

The Diversion Weir is once again damaged and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is scheduled to repair it. The locals say that the Dahla Dam Project does not benefit the SWK residents and GR&D assesses that there is potential for future sabotage if these people are not engaged. There is a similar experience with the Kajaki Dam in Helmand Province which provides electricity for Lashkar Gah and Kandahar City with local tribes along the power lines disenfranchised and stealing or disrupting power. There is a potential to tie in the local population to GIRoA by repairing the Deh He Bowchi canals which directly benefit SWK residents.

U.S. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, inspect a Diversion Wier in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

Governance, Reconstruction, & Development | FEBRUARY 5, 2010

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DEH HE BOWCHI CANALS

SUMMARY

Task Force Buffalo recognizes the importance the irrigation system plays in effecting a large population of farmers along the Arghandab River in southern SWK district. Following detailed assessments along the river bed from the Dahla Damn to the Sherband Bazaar, Task Force Buffalo concluded that the irrigation systems are in desperate need of reconstruction. In many areas along the river, the irrigation systems (primarily spillways and canals) are in vital need of refurbishment. The majority of canals are a mixture of burlap, mud, and stone; they are poorly made, ineffective, and torn from the natural flow of water. Like many of the canals, the spillways suffer the same lack of care and durability. Currently, many locals are working to rebuild the canals and spillways in hopes to irrigate their fields prior to the rainy season. Although irrigation systems are under great despair, it provides an opportunity for GIRoA and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) to provide an essential service to the villages along the riverbed. Improving the irrigations systems in Southern SWK will help bridge the gap between GIRoA and southern SWK. Task Force Buffalo and the District Governor will start by partnering to fix the irrigation system in Deh He Bowchi. The Deh He Bowchi Canals in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. The canals show promise and can be improved to increase efficiency for future operations. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

Shah Wali Kot Report | The Gateway District

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SUZNAI VILLAGE

SUMMARY

In Suznai, the GR&D Tiger Team met a farmer who rented tractors to plow his onion field. The rented tractors came from Kandahar City. The farmers aren't paid a salary but they get to keep 3% of the earnings or produce of the whole harvest as part of zakat, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a small percentage of one's possessions (surplus wealth) to charity, generally to poor and needy Muslims. GR&D Tiger Team recommended a potential CERP project of purchasing Massey-Ferguson tractors with 55 to 75 horse power. The reason for a tractor of this size is that they come automatically with hydraulics which provides for possible attachments such as front end loader, blade, disc and etc. A tractor for a village is not just a farming piece of equipment. They will use it multi-purpose for public good. The Massey-Ferguson is a well known and common tractor for Afghanistan thus there is common knowledge of operation, maintenance and repairs. There is still debate in regards who the tractors should go to, the maliks (village elder) or individual farmers? Also in Suznai, there exists a school and clinic. School is currently out of session and many children ran out to see the team. Suznai has good potential to be a focus area for the battle space owner. A young Afghan girl smiles while meeting U.S. Soldiers in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. The children in this village were very outgoing, and much more open to having their photos taken. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

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Soldiers from C Company, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regimen, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division patrols Shah Wali Kot District, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

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CENTRAL SHAH WALI KOT

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DISTRICT CENTER

SUMMARY

The district center's exterior has seen extensive work by Task Force Buffalo's GR&D team. He wishes to refurbish the interior of the district center and GR&D is assisting in packaging a CERP packet together. There has been two Cash for Work projects centered around cleaning the District Center and both have been successful, with 40 workers showing up to the first session. The District Governor (DG) shows up quite often and usually returns only on the weekends to see his family in Kandahar City. By refurbishing the district center, GIRoA can have a shining beacon of local governance that SWK residents can be proud of.

An Afghan man earns money by painting the outside walls of the Shah Wali Kot District Center. He's participating in a program called "Cash for Work," which gives locals the opportunity to earn money for improving the area. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

Shah Wali Kot Report | The Gateway District

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WAYAN SCHOOL

SUMMARY

Improving education throughout SWK is one of the DG's top priorities. According to the DG, only 2 out of 13 schools are active due to the security threat of insurgents. Wayan School, which lies 100 meters south of District Center is one of two schools in the district that is active. Just south of Wayan School is Dilak Village where hundreds of kids roam the streets. Village elders stressed the importance of education in discussions during Shura meetings, . With that in mind, Task Force Buffalo's GR&D team assisted in repainting the school, fixing the drinking well, and refurbishing the soccer field in order to draw more children to the school. The school's principal coordinated for the procurement of desks and other schools materials from Kandahar City in preparation for the school season to come. Task Force Buffalo GR&D and the DG's goal is to fill one classroom in hopes that it will draw more students. Sports has always a good way to draw communities together, and with the soccer field outside the Wayan School, there is endless potential. The DG envisions different villages playing against each other in the near future. Capt. Max Hanlin hangs out with a bunch of children at the Wayan School in Shah Wali Kot district, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Capt. Jon Burnton)

Governance, Reconstruction, & Development | FEBRUARY 5, 2010

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DILAK CLINIC

SUMMARY

The Battalion Physician's Assistant recently assessed the clinic and was very impressed. The main intent of the GR&D Tiger Team visit was for female team members to assess the female section of the clinic as the all male-patrols never ventured into that section. Afghan Health & Development Service delivers medical supplies every three months which the clinic staff has to ration. The primary ailments are diarrhea and malaria. The clinic staff said that all services are free. Having female team members was useful in assessing the female side of the clinic which was assessed to be quite adequate. The clinic and its staff were assessed by the GR&D Tiger Team to be one of the best that it has seen in southern Afghanistan. The atmosphere around the clinic was very positive as the children all had shoes and were well mannered. This is in direct contrast to the children right outside the clinic. Those children had no shoes and looked very downtrodden. This is an interesting case for the Human Terrain Team (HTT) to investigate; is there a correlation between those who can get aid and those who cannot?

A room inside the Wayan Clinic in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. This is the largest open clinic in the district. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

Shah Wali Kot Report | The Gateway District

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KUCHI (TAMBA) TOWN

SUMMARY

Kuchi is a term that is generally used to describe the transhumant or nomadic pastoralists of Afghanistan. In fact, it is a term that may cause confusion since it refers to a lifestyle (migratory), a production mode (livestock dependent), and a cultural identity. Many "Kuchi" may have settled decades ago, owned land or large transportation companies, and still refer to themselves as "Kuchi." Also, those that have lost their livestock during the years of war have been forced to settle, however still refer to themselves as Kuchi, and have not been able to establish an alternative livelihood. Tamba Town is a town with an estimated population of 5,000. The company commander of the area assessed it to be half as much. The GR&D Tiger Team recommends that CERP projects should not be executed until part of the population migrates to Uruzgan in the coming months. The HTT can be utilized to assess the remaining population. Although CERP projects should be held off, some form of humanitarian aid distribution should be part of the next visit as there has been multiple visits and assessments. Members of the Governance, Reconstruction, and Development team sit and speak with villagers in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. The women in the village would only speak to the female members of the GR&D team. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

Governance, Reconstruction, & Development | FEBRUARY 5, 2010

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An Afghan man tends his shop at the Sherband Bazaar in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

3

TIGER TEAM ASSESSMENTS

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HUMAN TERRAIN

SUMMARY

Human Terrain Team AF 8 Point of Contact: Doug Grindle ([email protected]) SWK district faces significant problems of development, governance and security. However, those very problems are likely to present significant opportunities for ISAF to prove their good will and separate the insurgents from the population, especially in view of the relative permissiveness of the operating environment.

THE ECONOMY AND SOCIETY OF SHAH WALI KOT DISTRICT

SWK district is dominated by two major pieces of infrastructure. 1. The Band-e Arghandab lies in the middle of the district. This sizeable lake is formed by the Dahla Dam, which was constructed in the 1950s. The dam is silted up and in need of major repair which is being done by ISAF and associated agencies. 2. A main highway (Highway 617) runs from Kandahar City to the South through the district and onto Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan Province to the north. The lake forms a major presence but has relatively little impact on the lives of the majority of the residents of the district, who live to the north. The lake feeds a river, the Rud Arghandab, or Arghandab River, which flows south through Arghandab, Zhari and Maiwand Districts. It is a major lifeline for those districts, but flows through only a small portion of SWK. Consequently the efforts of ISAF aid agencies to improve the flow of the Arghandab River will impact few of the villages in SWK. Most villagers live a rural existence, using the main road to go to Kandahar City for shopping as necessary. The highway is in good repair for many stretches, but begins to break up in sections north of the SWK district center (near the village of Dilak, at the center of the district). Security problems also persist to the north of the district center, and the services of a warlord in Uruzgan Province named Matullah Khan are needed to keep the road clear for commercial traffic. The economy of SWK is predominately agriculture. Most farmers are subsistence farmers. But the district has a thriving cash crop industry, centered on onions, pomegranates and other consumables. These are shipped to Pakistan by exporters based in Kandahar City or Pakistan itself. Most export sales seem to be done by buyers coming directly to the farmers' fields, and taking the produce directly to market. Some enterprising farmers in the district have set themselves up as exporters in their own right. They are able to buy produce from other farmers, hire a truck, take the

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produce to Chaman or Quetta and sell the produce there. One farmer/exporter from SWK (who was interviewed by HTT and ISAF aid agencies) said the business is profitable and he intends to convert land used for wheat to pomegranate orchards and buy more land. The flip side of this practice is a dark underbelly of the SWK economy. This farmer/ exporter said he employs his family, who are paid 3% of the crop for the work they put in year round. The majority of the farmers in SWK are not exporters, are not landowners, and live in abject poverty as renter-farmers. This class of farmer-renters, or sharecroppers as we would call them, is huge. They live in rented houses, work rented land, and receive a pittance of the produce. In one village, named Suznai (where a medical clinic and school are located), villagers say none of them own their own land. For 80 years the land has been owned by two or three landowners, after they somehow obtained it from the government. The villagers work the land, rent their houses, and receive 3% of the produce they farm. They report good landowners give their tenant farmers 6%, while bad ones give only 3%. Neither is enough to adequately feed a family. This pattern is likely replicated across the district It is impossible for these poor people to ever own land. The landowner is also generally reluctant to sell them land. There are no jobs for young people in the villages, who must leave as they grow older and find work in Kandahar City as drivers and mechanics. There is no money to travel to government schools, and generally no schools in the villages. (Of the 13 schools in the district, ISAF say two are functioning). Money to pay for health care is not available. These people have no services, and no hope of improving their lives. These people are the most vulnerable to insurgents' financial payments to commit violent acts against the coalition. Across SWK, the high level of unemployment, lack of basic services, lack of options to improve their lives leads to a sense of apathy. When villagers buy goods they go to Kandahar City, where it is cheapest. (A taxi ride to Kandahar City will generally cost 30 Afghani (60 cents)). The economy has a trade component as well. There are two main bazaars in the district. Unfortunately, the proximity of SWK to Kandahar City sucks much of the life out of these bazaars. When a taxi ride costs on average 30 Afghanis, there is little incentive for people to shop locally for most of the items they buy. The shopkeepers buy goods in Kandahar city and mark them up accordingly; it is foolhardy for a villager to buy from a middle man in SWK who marks up prices on goods that could be obtained 30 minutes down the road. As with most developing economies, time is less important than money. There is widespread underemployment in SWK and people are likely to take more time by travelling in search of bargains.

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The bazaar north of Checkpoint 18, located in the southern SWK beside a bridge where the main highway crosses the Arghandab River, is composed of 39 shops. Many of these shops carry the same limited number of items: tomatoes, oranges, apples, a few agricultural implements such as shovels, motor oil, vegetable oil, gloves and some scarves. There is a vehicle mechanic, one butcher shop and one motorcycle repair shop. The bazaar is set up to cater to travelers driving along the highway, heading for Uruzgan. The shopkeepers say 90% of their customers are "highway" customers and 10% are local farmers. The shopkeepers buy their wares at Kandahar City and mark them up. With Kandahar City barely 25 minutes travelling time to the south, it is unlikely anyone would shop at this bazaar when they can go a few miles farther south and get better deals. The other bazaar is a cluster of six or so shops in Dilak Village, near the district center at the center of SWK. The shopkeepers there also buy their wares at Kandahar City. However, because it is located about an hour's drive from the city, the proportion of locals shopping at the stores is higher than at the bazaar down south; 30% of customers are locals and 70% are highway travelers. The variety of products is similar as in the other bazaar: tomatoes, apples, oranges, motor oil, vegetable oil, gloves and a few scarves. The fact that traders in the SWK bazaars appear to be buying from the same stalls in Kandahar City that the locals can easily access will likely limit commercial activity in the district. There is likely no "middleman" sector of wholesalers in Kandahar City which would offer a better price to shopkeepers than ordinary farmers in SWK can procure for themselves. The upshot of this is that there is almost no way a shopkeeper in SWK can sell at a reasonable price, vis-a-vis shops in Kandahar City. There are consequently no reasons for locals who live in SWK not to pay 30 Afghanis to take a taxi to Kandahar City for bargains. This effect has stunted the retail sector in SWK. There is however no reason a new commercial sector in SWK could not be created. For instance, farmers in SWK say they rent tractors within Kandahar City. That may be a good business venture for SWK. Also, gas and diesel are generally bought in Kandahar City, so the competition for a retailer would be low in SWK. And craft industries that produce items to be sold in Kandahar City, such as rugs, baskets or similar items, could be created. But the marketing and sales environment for such craft items are almost completely unknown to ISAF and therefore the risk would be high. There is almost no service sector in SWK. The school near the district center is open, as is the school at Sunzai. The two medical clinics in SWK employ a limited number of people. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have a marked presence. According to a HTT estimate, their size is no larger than 250 men. Most people in the

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area are subsistence farmers, and the lucky ones own their own land. The more lucky people own land they rent to others, and often live overseas or in Kandahar City or Kabul. Some people are so skilled they have become exporters, and are near the top of the social scale.

DEVELOPMENT

SWK district faces significant problems of development, governance and security. However, those very problems are likely to present significant opportunities for Coalition Forces to prove their good will and separate the insurgents from the population, especially in view of the relative permissiveness of the operating environment. There are government services, but these are diffused and are outside the scope of daily life for most residents of the district. Good clinics exist in two locations: in Suznai and Dilak village. The clinic at Dilak, which is near the district center, reports that it receives supplies every three months from the Afghan government. These shipments are limited and would probably last a single month if they were not rationed. It is unknown if the medical staff in the district charge a fee for their services, which is a common practice elsewhere. This lack of responsiveness by the Afghan government to the needs of the ordinary Afghan villager has a two-fold effect. It reduces the legitimacy of the government, which appears to not care about its people, and increases the attractiveness of the insurgent's standing offer for villagers to commit violence against ISAF and the government for money. Assistance in the form of aid projects will likely come in three forms for SWK: One form will be the large projects affecting whole districts: the reconstruction of the Dahla Dam; the reconstruction of a sluiceway that helps feed two canals that run through Arghandab district to the south; and the reconstruction of attendant waterway -related projects. Another form will be the provision of aid on a large-scale programmatic basis by aid agencies, affecting individuals. These could include widespread training for farmers on how to boost productivity by using new techniques or receiving new tools such as tractors and farm implements. Widespread aid could also take the form of microloans or grants given out as business development funds for people looking to begin some sort of commercial activity. These would all be highly effective in boosting productivity, reducing unemployment, and making SWK a self-sufficient district, rather

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than the underdeveloped community dependent on the commercial life of Kandahar City it now is. A third form of assistance would be village-specific. Some of this is already being done, such as cash-for-work programs to clean up premises and spruce up government buildings. For instance, a school has been repainted, as has the district center. Village-specific projects in ISAF hands however sometimes produce effects which have little bearing on the lives of the typical rural Afghan. Painting a school or a government building is a good start, but is only a start, and a potentially false start at that. Elders who report back to their villages that the district governor has a shiny new building while their village has nothing could stir up as much resentment as it does pride in the district government. Village-specific aid projects can have a major impact on the perceptions of the people. One shura representative urged ISAF to travel to the most remote rural villages and address the problems there, and offered to ensure that the particular shura representative would accompany ISAF into the village, whatever the risk. Some villagers say they lack water. The farmers rely upon runoff from the streams when it rains, and say the runoff dissipates too quickly. They ask for check dams and reservoirs. They also say it has been years (if ever) that ISAF have come to their villages, and are eager to cooperate should they come, despite any insurgent threat Other villagers such as the Kuchis have little need for check dams. They use few of the government's resources and want little in return, because they say they travel too much to make use of them. In this case assistance should be tailored to their needs. Medical civil affairs patrols would likely be a very welcome sign of assistance to the village, and Veterinary Civil Assistance Projects (VETCAPs) would likely be equally welcome. (Such assistance may conflict with the policies of some international agencies, and in that case common sense is usually the best guide on how to proceed). Other villages, especially those south of the Arghandab lake, use the runoff of the Arghandab River area as it flows past, but do so inefficiently. ISAF have identified several villages in which irrigation ditches that capture the river's flow and raise it up to irrigate fields are in poor shape and made of mud walls. These can be relatively easily rebuilt using ISAF money to improve the efficiency of the flow and improve productivity. In all these cases ISAF are responding to the will of the villagers, and appear to care about them. ISAF should be cautious in ensuring the village projects are tied into the government at the beginning-stage as well as at the end-stage of the work. This would involve a visit by the district governor to the affected area both before and after work is completed. This would not, however, involve the district governor actually doing any

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work nor exercising any control over the project, which likely would significantly delay the progress of the project. But visibility is absolutely vital, so the villagers see his hand in early on and later too. Addressing the needs of the villagers should also incorporate the input of the district shura. Compared to other areas, the SWK shura appears to be well handled, with less corruption. This is probably due to the fact that historically so few projects have been done in the area; there simply has been no opportunity for the shura members to be tainted by corruption. This is a benign side-effect of the neglect of the area by ISAF for years. The down side is that as the flow of projects begins, ISAF will have to find ways of incorporating shura members into the process without allowing them to steal for their own ends. Projects must be vetted to ensure they are not installed in places which primarily benefit the needs of individual shura members. This would negatively impact the perceptions of the people. Currently many people in SWK say they do not rely upon the government. They say it is no good because it has no money; the district governor is selfish; and the best way to resolve problems is to go to ISAF directly. This is true in the three-year dispute of the Kuchis at Tamba town with a member of the Kandahar Provincial Council, a Dr. Hayatullah. Dr. Hayatullah has ordered the Kuchis off their land, and the district governor, who is of the same Popalzai tribe, supports Hayatullah. This rankles with the Kuchis. What they do not say (with the exception of the Kuchis) is that the government at the district level is corrupt. They say that the government is under-resourced and it does not care, but that is different from corruption. ISAF have a rare opportunity to execute aid projects with the imprint of the district government without the taint of immediate corruption. Therefore ISAF should be very careful in how they arrange which village gets what aid and when. ISAF should avoid any appearance of impropriety. Massive strides can be made in the minds of the local villagers if they see impartiality and fairness in an effective assistance program tailored to each affected village. It is likely the best way to avoid corruption is to do careful assessments of tribal and population distribution, and not allow control of the aid process to pass to the district governor or shura until the process is established in a fair and ethical manner. For instance, install check dams where the villages are most heavily clustered, and not where the shura representative or governor's relations live.

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SECURITY

Security has been dramatically improved in the short time ISAF forces have realigned away from Arghandab district and toward SWK. Afghan National Police (ANP) at Checkpoint 18 say that before the realignment, in late fall 2009, they would need to take ten or fifteen Ford Rangers to go to the district center twenty-five miles up the road, or else risk serious attack. Now they can safely take a single Ranger with three men inside. ISAF are based out of Forward Operation Base Frontenac, near the Arghandab Lake. In its previous mission the U.S. battles pace owner was patrolling in southern Arghandab district and rarely ventured north into the villages of SWK. They have now begun patrolling through those the villages of southern SWK. According to local villagers, the effect of the ISAF patrols along the main highway and into the villages has pushed the insurgents farther into the hills. They said that the insurgents used to patrol inside villages adjacent to the highway on a regular basis, but now they are afraid to do so. The insurgents have been pushed into the hills of SWK and into Khakrez District to the northwest of SWK. SWK is dominated by the main highway. It can be divided into two sections, the area south of the lake and the area north of the lake. These sections are distinct and different. To the south, small villages line the Arghandab River. Many hills and ridges dot the area, which is rolling and broken. The population centers are huddled around the wadis. The line of the district is north to south, mainly along the river. The line of population is therefore also relatively concentrated and mostly north to south. The northern section of SWK is different. The relevant topography resembles a tree, with the trunk representing the main highway. Significant population centers run along the main branches, which are river valleys extending to the west and east of the main highway. Within the space of twenty-five kilometers north of the district center there are five or six of these "branches." Many of the villages in the depths of the valleys have had little or no contact with ANSF or with ISAF. The insurgents have taken advantage of this situation. Historically, the insurgents used SWK as an transit point from staging points in the north attacking into areas to the south which have seen significant fighting. Areas to the south include Arghandab, Maiwand and Zhari, all of which are considered insurgent hot spots both now and in past times dating from the Soviet occupation. Highway 617 is therefore of interest to both insurgents and ISAF. For ISAF, it is a lifeline to Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan. For insurgents, it is a lifeline to the south.

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Without ISAF presence in SWK, insurgents exerted measures of control to include intimidation, extortion of assistance and recruiting day fighters throughout the population. The District Center, now a peaceful place, was hemmed in to the point that on several occasions the insurgents threatened over-watch positions around the District Center itself, which pitched battles were fought. According to the shura members, the populace has little sympathy for insurgents. The shura representatives themselves are subject to intimidation when they go to the district center every week. But the representatives say villagers are too apathetic at the moment to do anything to remove insurgents, because they are too poor and too disconnected from the government to care. The shura representatives argue that providing projects and assistance to villagers, in the form of reservoirs, check dams and handouts of seeds, will motivate them to begin providing information on insurgents, but they lack the will and "energy" to do so now. This is a very positive assessment by the shura representatives, and is likely to be a correct one, because most villagers have never received anything of value from the government. The Kuchis are a likely source of vulnerability for ISAF. The tribe is the most vulnerable of the area because they have little standing with the district government and are open to insurgent intimidations on their wanderings far from settlements to which they might belong. The possible nexus of Kuchi and insurgent influence should be further explored. As ISAF expand their influence further into the valleys, it will require better visibility on the families, clans, tribes and economy of the areas it wishes to exert influence. To the north, insufficient ISAF presence has led to an Afghan solution. A "warlord" named Matiullah Khan has established himself in Uruzgan Province with his unit, the Kandak Amnianti Uruzgan ("Uruzgan Security Battalion"). Besides being a security official, he runs a private security company (Tundra Security) which escorts commercial convoys north through the rugged mountains from SWK into Tarin Kowt. This very profitable sideline business protects the truckers from insurgent attack. Checkpoints manned by Matiullah Khan's men line the main highway going north from northern SWK into Uruzgan Province. Some are manned full-time; the northern checkpoints are manned temporarily as convoys push north. It is unknown whether Matiullah Khan's influence is a good or bad development for SWK; but it is significant regardless. The ANP have a presence in the District Center and at several other points within SWK, but they are not a significant provider of security for the majority of the population yet. One limiting factor within the ANP is that some corruption has crept in. An ANP soldier

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HUMAN TERRAIN

reports that many of them, at least ten or more, are routinely not paid. Most are not trained at the regional academy, though some report they have. One soldier claims he has not been paid his 9,000 Afghani ($180) monthly salary for six months; the same soldier says nine other soldier have not been paid for two or three months. He claims the current commander, Shamsullah Khan, is taking their pay. He alleges this practice was also done by the former ANP commander, Haji Dera Khan. Both commanders have been based at the district center near Dilak. This will likely be an even bigger irritant to local ANP soldiers when their pay is increased by $45 a month, which should start in March. Ordinary citizens are likely to bear a burden from corruption like this, either because the ordinary policeman needs to steal from people passing by in order to survive, or because a commander who is stealing from his soldiers is also willing to steal from the ordinary citizens he is charged with protecting. Either way, the practice should be investigated and dealt with immediately. ISAF have significant influence with ANSF, and their word should be of high importance to the Afghan security officials.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

The tribes appear to have good relations with each other. Shura representatives say almost all the villages and tribes are represented at the shura. Even the Kuchis, who have a grievance with the Popalzai district governor and Dr. Hayatulla, the Popalzai Provincial Council member, say they do not dislike Popalzais. They say instead the tribal element is being pulled into the dispute, not a cause of it, because the district governor and Dr. Hayatullah are tribal figures and other tribesmen must follow them. The upcoming HTT study will likely focus on a number of factors of importance to the district and ISAF including: general issues, jobs and the economy, trade, tribal dynamics, government, security, development and aid projects and social services. Some factors affecting SWK are outside the scope of ISAF influence. The pattern of land ownership and indentured servitude are very entrenched. The limited amount of arable land combined with high birth rates and prevalent poverty means that many villagers will continue to be powerless for years to come, regardless of what ISAF try to do. However, ISAF can benefit many villages if they tailor projects specific to village needs. ISAF funding sources are practically unlimited in the context of a society where $1,200 is a good yearly wage. Restoring the legitimacy and a sense of caring inside the villages is a relatively easy fix, to the extent security permits in outlying villages. Overall, SWK is a district of importance because it connects other districts which are more important than SWK itself. Both ISAF and insurgents have appeared to have neglected it. There are no strong nodes of support for either side, but ISAF is a weak favorite of the populace, which is too apathetic to support preference.

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The existence of security which can lead to development presents ISAF with an opportunity to have significant impact on an area ripe for assistance. The war in SWK will likely be won by the efficiency with which customized development projects are delivered to villagers on a wide scale, influencing people who want to be won over but who have seen little effort by the Afghan government as yet. The effect of winning in SWK would be to dislocate insurgent efforts elsewhere in more contested areas.

Bill Aaron of the Human Terrain Team, 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, takes a picture of a young Afghan boy wearing his helmet. The boy was reluctant to put it on at first, but found a smile for the picture. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

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INFORMATION OPERATIONS

BACKGROUND

Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team, Regional Command South Point of Contact: Catherine Dunlap ([email protected]) On January 29th, 2010, the Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team (CAAT) Information Operations (IO) officer participated in a Tiger Team visit to Task Force Buffalo. Capitalizing on their momentum and successes in the Arghandab River Valley, the battalion invited the team as a sounding board to assess possible projects: both short term, quick impact as well as long term in their redefined area of operations, the SWK District. As part of the mission in Afghanistan to execute U.S. policy and guidance and serve as the civilian counterparts to the military commander, the team would provide advice and assistance in respect to the targeted projects and initiatives in order to determine the best partnership with the DG and what plan to implement for the particular projects. More specifically, allocating military efforts to civil efforts with the greatest counterinsurgency payoff while optimizing and harmonizing the employment of locals and promoting GIRoA. The following were on the table for potential projects: Bazaars (Sherband and Dilak): Relocation funds for Sherband Bazaar Improvements for both bazaars Suznai Agricultural Opportunities: Tractor Co-ops Deh He Bowchi Irrigation canal restoration Dilak District Center: Governance Empowering the District Governor Schools (Dilak and Wayan): 2 functional schools out of the 13 schools in district Kuchi "Tamba" Village: Cooperative Medical Engagement (CME) / Humanitarian Assistance (HA) Medical Clinics (Dilak and Suznai): Interior Refurbishment Exterior

OBSERVATIONS

With the literacy rate below 6% in the SWK district and no Radios in a Box (RIAB), positive IO will be measured with: actions on the ground, relationships built between local nationals and ISAF, and creating opportunities for the DG to shape and build confidence in the locals' perception of him and in GIRoA. The actions taken by Task Force Buffalo are with a single objective: the Afghan people.

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BAZAARS, CLINICS AND SCHOOLS (IO OPPORTU NITIES)

Proposal: Provide merchants with relocation funds in order to move stores further away from Highway 617. Repair the existing irrigation canals and renovate clinics and schools. Sherband Bazaar is adjacent to Checkpoint 18. Checkpoint 18 is compromised of Joint US/ANP personnel. The bazaar is made up of 16 improvised working spaces converted into shops on the side of well-travelled Highway 617. The property belongs to GIRoA and the DG anticipates the shopkeepers would have to reposition their stores further away from the highway. Highway 617 traverses from Kandahar City to the North in Uruzgan Province. The northern and southern ends of the highway are paved, the center is not. Customers are made up of friends of the merchants, as much socializing was observed, truck drivers, and a sprinkling of locals. The distance between the roadside bazaar and the nearest village is approximately seven kilometers. The merchants are from Kandahar City (thus money flows back into the city, not SWK) and have pooled their resources to hire a security guard for night duty. All merchants sell similar merchandize to include fruit and vegetable types with the exception of two shops; one is a bakery and the other a welding shop. Away from the bazaar stood a lone gas station. The fruit selection was fresh, however some vegetables were rotting. Merchants varied from friendly to indifferent with a few that could be interpreted as hostile. Dilak Village Bazaar is near the District Center and adjacent to the Dilak Clinic on Highway 617 (unpaved portion). The school has been recently renovated and the clinic is fully functional. The clinic is well manned by male nurses, a midwife (who wasn't present during the assessment) and lab personnel. The clinic's equipment is dated but clean. Injuries requiring treatment not treatable at the clinic requires one of the medical team members to drive patients into Kandahar City, an hour's drive at a minimum. Task Force Buffalo discussed the possibility of GIRoA funding an ambulance and repairing a wall in the rear in the women's portion of the clinic grounds. There are many villages close by, however only a paucity of shops. Very basic items are sold, and there is room for expansion which will create the opportunity for locals to have a wider variety of goods to purchase. The proximity to the school, clinic, district center and the villages, makes this an ideal economic hub for GIRoA-led, ISAFsupported economic revitalization efforts. The Suznai medical clinic is located adjacent to a large village and original location of the district center. The district center was moved to make it centrally located to the population. The old district center has been converted to a school. The proximity of the clinic and school to the population is relevant for security and development purposes, however, there are no teachers available and the clinic was closed for the day. The clinic requires some interior wall and floor (concrete) upgrades, a well, and a generator

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INFORMATION OPERATIONS

for electricity. Locals engaged were receptive and friendly to the team. Sherband Bazaar IO Recommendations: Solar lighting for the bazaar and gas station area The bazaar will most likely remain in the general area. Offer incentives (small business loans/grants) to locals to open up shops with a greater variety of goods. If locals own and run their own businesses, it gives them a stake in bettering their district's future. Sherband Bazaar, Suznai Clinic and School IO Recommendations: Solar lighting Pave Highway 617 near the riverbed (this is a strategic road and also requires transporting emergency medical patients to Kandahar City) Add speed bumps (children and elders walking) Add flag pole with Afghan flag for children's (boys') school Promote nationalism (hand out Afghan flags to children) Restaurant nearby could be used for GIRoA related social gatherings Wayan School, Dilak Clinic IO Recommendations: Encourage the DG to have a Teacher or Doctor Day at the District Center Indigenous capacity building DG might bring in "apprentices" or "interns" - educated teens to create a teen center DG hosts a job far at the District Center. This create opportunities for locals. DG provides HA to "needy" families, this is tough as they are already needy Census by locals (funded by cash for work) to research the baseline for "poverty" Provide HA to elders for distribution Conduct census for number of boys and girls (for equitable HA purposes)

KUCHI PO PULA TION

Proposal: Identify needs and ways to encourage GIRoA and ISAF support. Separate the insurgents from the population. The Kuchi Population in central SWK reside on property donated by Mullah Mohammed Omar. The Dahla Dam could be seen at close distance. During the patrol's interaction with the Kuchi men, it was discovered that the land was donated to the landowner who permanently lives in Sweden and allows the nomadic population a respite. The few men who engaged in conversation with the patrol offered the following: Population is made up of Gilzai tribe members

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Had no knowledge of any Radical Taliban (although this is the location of an IED that fatally wounded one of the battalion's company commander) Kuchi leave for a few months, but do spend most of their time in this village When they go, it is to Uruzgan Not as nomadic as they once were; have lived there for fifteen years Feel that they are given placebos when they go to the local clinic Once independent but now reduced to: Chance laborers Beggars Internally Dislocated Persons The Kuchi woman that the CAAT IO female spoke to hid her mouth while she spoke. Her teeth were broken or missing and although she had children as young as twelve, she appeared to be at least eight years old. She had three Talismans around her neck, which other adults and children had as well. This Talisman is a Turkish artifact from ancient mythology. Prayers were locked in envelope-shaped red cloth lockets which the hope of healing and protection. She complained about her eye which she tried to going to the clinic to resolve but all she received was aspirin. She requested that someone from the patrol look at her eye. The men hovered around her and wouldn't let her speak freely; they wanted to be heard as well. Root causes of ISAF conflict with the insurgency may be found in this village. Later at the Dilak Clinic, the staff remembered her and also implied they had given her a placebo because they did not have the right medication for her ailments. The staff said that services at the clinics are free of charge. Kuchi IO Recommendations: Provide CMEs/VETCAPs Provide Humanitarian Aid, which builds trust and confidence

AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES; TRACTOR CO-OPS, IRRIGATION CANALS

Proposal: Identify agricultural opportunities, consider tractor co-ops, and repair irrigation canals. The area is economically dependent on agriculture with most of the locals involved in these activities. Locals claim children could not attend school because they were needed in the fields. Yet, children were everywhere. The locals have asked for improving water irrigation, which is currently decreased due to drought in previous years. The irrigation can be improved by cleaning the various karezes and canals. Farmers asked for seeds as SWK has not received any from GIRoA because Arghandab District is a higher priority for GIRoA. Locals mentioned that the tractors plowing their fields were rented at roughly $20 an hour. SWK has great agricultural potential: wheat,

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corn, vegetables, etc. There are no aid agencies carrying out development work in the district. Agricultural IO Recommendations: A District Support Team should be stood up At the very least provide an agricultural expert at the District Center In Islam, there is an entire surah in the Quran, al-Nahl. According to the hadith, Prophet Mohammed strongly recommended honey for healing purposes. Not only does the Quran promote honey as a nutritious and healthy food, it also describes that it is the female bee that creates honey within her stomach. Symbolically, bees are very important to the Afghan people. Consider hiring an apiologist for training locals on apiology RIABs can be a good source of knowledge propagation Place the RIAB in the District Center Hand out RIABs to remotely located villages Provides the DG with access to his people Cell phone coverage is needed for feedback Continue to assess Kuchi population in order to provide a form of culturally relevant, quick impact, and high payoff Kuchis are a very good source of information There has not been much information gathered from these people At the mention of the word "Taliban," a few fighting age males ran away The Afghan Kuchi nomads are comprised of two large groups. In western and southern Afghanistan, they are of mainly from the Durrani Tribe; in the East, they are mainly from the Ghilzai Tribe. They cross boundaries with ease and receive news from great distances relatively quickly. The Ghilzai have been strong supporters of the Taliban for two reasons; the Taliban Senior Leadership is compromised of many Ghilzai and Kuchi have settled in Hazara property, this is due to repression of Hazara by the Taliban. Ghilzai Kuchi believed they "had a good life under the Taliban." They never forget positive or negative events. For example, they still remember that on December 5th, 2001, U.S. forces mistook Kuchi in SWK for Taliban which led to the deaths of twelve people from two families. As a precaution, Task Force Buffalo should keep this in mind as possible grounds for retaliation.

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CLAIMING THE INFORMATION INITIATIVE

RIAB can extend the reach of IO tremendously. In the past, ISAF has provided hygiene radio spots for women, storytelling radio spots for children (with read along books distributed in areas where teachers aren't available), and also culturally sensitive music. RIAB can also provide weather and traffic information, discussions on areas of interest for farmers, and local news. As long as it is timely, truthful, and factual, RIAB can reach out and safely reach the locals until security improves. The District Governor should be encouraged to speak to his people by announcing upcoming events or simply rallying his audience on various issues. Finally, the process for units to acquire HA has prevented their capability to distribute these much life-saving items. Two Task Forces in the south have already requested CAAT assistance in unraveling this process.

Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team Member Catherine Dunlap spends time with Afghan children in Shah Wali Kot District, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

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AGRICULTURE

SHAH WALI KOT AGRICULTURE ASSESSMENT

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Advisor Point of Contact: Jim Green ([email protected]) An agricultural assessment was conducted between January 29th, 2010 and February 1st, 2010 in the SWK district of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The purpose of this assessment was to provide a brief overview of agricultural concerns, issues and opportunities for stabilization, reconstruction and development work.

BACKGROUND AND OBSERVATIONS

SWK is home to the major agriculture irrigation water source for Kandahar Province: The Dahla Dam and its Reservoir. The Dahla Dam on the Arghandab River provides an important water resource for irrigation throughout the Arghandab River Valley. SWK (approximately 34,600 people) hardly receives any benefit from the Dahla Dam, its Reservoir, and its improvements. This issue is a very "sticky issue" to most SWK residents. Lack of adequate water for irrigation and jobs add to this "sticky issue" especially with the fact that the Dahla Dam within the District boundaries. The major agriculture production area is in the southern portion of the District along the Arghandab River. This area uses water from the river, not from the improved canals that actually begin at the Arghandab District boundary. The district's major sources of irrigation are from the Arghandab River, dug wells, karezes, wadis, and small reservoirs. There is a lack of improved water irrigation facilities within the district. Water intakes and canals are poorly devised and constructed therefore, they need more efficiency in design and construction. Most, if not all, water well pumps observed were very old and inefficient. There are a lot of upland farming areas that are highly dependent on the dug wells, karezes, and small reservoirs. Orchards are primarily pomegranate and fig with some apricots, pears, and apples as well. Crops such as onions, tomatoes, carrots, wheat, and corn are grown. Farmers transport their crops to market in Kandahar City but buyers also come to the farm to purchase its crops. Most farmers are subsistence farmers but their extra harvests are used for local and regional bartering for other products. Most large purchases of supplies and materials for farm and home use are purchased in Kandahar City. Local bazaars carry very little agriculture equipment, tools, and supplies.

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AGRICULTURE

Farmers are primarily renters, share croppers, laborers, or squatters. Of the farmers visited, only a minority owned their land. In the southern end of district, along the Arghandab River, some farms are of marginal size, five to twenty jeribs (one jerib is 0.2 hectares) with the rest having a size of two to five jeribs. As in other Kandahar districts, this district has many landowner issues and disputes. These cause concerns between farmers as well as non-governmental organizations and ISAF with their stabilization, reconstruction, and development projects. Even though tractors were observed in use on some farms, it is apparent that there is a lack of adequate supply of tractors. Larger farmers that own tractors, rent tractors out to at twenty U.S. dollars per hour. This is an enormous amount for tractor and implement rental fees. Therefore, more tractors and implements are needed within the district. There are some farmers that also rent tractors from Kandahar City. When most farmers are tilling the soil this is when tractors and implements are in demand. Thus, with a shortage of tractors and implements, the supply and demand ratio hampers farm productivity. It was observed that some farmers were in the process of diversifying from annual crops to orchards (primarily pomegranate) for higher income farming. It was noticed that lack of agricultural training and education within this district is paramount. Farmers expressed desire for agricultural education, training, and tools. There is no agricultural expert at the district level (Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (DAIL) or ISAF) on a regular basis to answer questions and provide technical expertise. Basic agricultural questions about legumes, cover crops, pest management, honey bees, and etc. could not be discussed due to lack of knowledge. Even basic farming tools such as shovels, picks, axes, pruning tools, and etc. are lacking. Commercial fertilizer (Urea and Diammonium Phosphate) knowledge and inputs appeared to be very low. Livestock production was primarily from Kuchi farmers. Their biggest concern was for lack of feed grains for winter feeding. Overall health of livestock (sheep, goats, donkeys, camels, and home poultry) was in pretty good condition. Cattle appeared to have nutritional and parasitic problems. This could be due to the lack of consistent feed grains and quality (rumen issues). It was observed that water well levels were relatively low due to several factors: wasteful use of irrigation and domestic water and lack of adequate rainfall and snowfall.

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RECOMMENDED ACTIONS

1. Jobs creation: a. By improving village and on-farm irrigation systems (inlets, canals, canal liners, canal cleaning, dams and small reservoirs) for more efficiency in operations. b. Developing micro-watershed projects with installation of check dams and possibly level terraces. These projects can improve water well hydrology and water quality by slowing water runoff and providing higher level of water intake into the village water wells. A reduction of soil erosion and sediments loads will improve water quality. 2. Equipment Needs: a. Tractors: More tractors are needed within the district. Provide tractors and implements to key villages for demonstrations projects. Tractors should be between 65 to 75 horse power PTO (providing hydraulics). This size is recommended so that the village can use tractor for multiple use and for added implements. Small grants/ loans and micro-financing opportunities could be introduced. b. Small hand tools (shovels, picks, wheelbarrows, axes, hand sprayers, and pruning equipment) are needed. CERP could possibly assist with this item. 3. Agricultural Education and Training: a. Provide agricultural education and training program by requesting combination of USDA Agricultural Expert, DAIL Agriculture Extension Agent, Cultural/Agriculture Advisor (CERP), and Kandahar Agricultural Professors with student assistants. The local school beside District Center should be considered for providing agricultural education and training courses as a site location. It is an adequate facility with good security. It is very important that in the agricultural education and training areas are Afghan-led, ensuring that all activities are congruent with Afghan culture and practices. Agricultural tools and equipment could be provided with a certificate of completion and recognition from a particular training course. If a number of courses are provided incentives that could be provided for all farmers attending the training. This incentive could be a "Master Farmer" certificate or award. All areas of agricultural education and training (crops, water management, nutrient management, crop rotation, orchard establishment and management, bee's, livestock nutrition/health/management, watershed management, and etc.) are in desperate need within this district.

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4. Livestock Health and Nutrition: a. Feed grains: Further assessments are needed to provide to a solution to the lack of feed grains (possibly corn) and fodder (possibly alfalfa/clovers). More market access and local crop production could be stimulated for bartering (grain for animal). If severe problems are discovered, DAIL should evaluate and implement a solution. 5. DAIL Coordination: a. It is imperative that all of the above recommendations be coordinated with DAIL, the District Governor, Shura leaders, Shura members, Cooperatives, and etc. Coordination with all of these participants at the District level will enhance every project. By encouraging DAIL's participation, we are promoting an Afghan-led solution which is culturally-sensitive and therefore sustainable. Wasteful irrigation system near Dilak Bazaar. Drip irrigation would benefit more land with less water. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

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OFFICE OF TRANSITION INITIATIVES

INTRODUCTION

Office of Transition Initiatives Point of Contact: Naomi Wachs ([email protected]) As part of the U.S. Mission to Afghanistan's assistance effort in Afghanistan, the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) launched the Afghanistan Stabilization Initiative (ASI) in July 2009 to support U.S. and Afghan government efforts to stabilize priority conflict-prone areas. Focused in the eastern and southern parts of the country, ASI delivers projects in support of community priorities and counterinsurgency objectives in districts where ISAF counterinsurgency actions have been focused. ASI implements fast, targeted projects through small grants aimed at fostering and strengthening the links between GIRoA and local populations. In so doing, it emphasizes a process oriented approach to project identification and implementation in order to contribute to community stability and support overall U.S. counterinsurgency objectives. ASI supports stability through improving the economic and social environment in targeted districts, and by increasing public access to information about the GIRoA's social, economic and political activities and policies in Afghanistan. ASI uses a consultative approach that identifies and implements small community improvement projects, bringing together communities and legitimate local GIRoA actors. The focus of these activities is determined through a consultative process between the GIRoA and the local communities. ASI is focused on many of the ISAF Joint Command (IJC) priority districts; as such OTI staff coordinate closely with military counterparts, especially during the "shape", "clear" and early stages of the "hold" phases. As such, ASI staff live and work with the military in these key districts, and look for ways to create conditions to support longerterm development investments. In Central Kandahar, ASI is currently working in Kandahar City and Arghandab district, with expected expansion to other IJC priority districts. As such, ASI wanted to get a better understanding of what is happening in SWK, as it is a transit area for many of the districts in which we work. SWK is currently not an IJC priority district; however, ASI now has the situational awareness that could enable expansion there should IJC's priorities change.

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RECOMMENDED ACTIONS

Sherband Bazaar: Additional analysis needs to be done to determine if it due to a lack of variety of goods sold that people don't shop at this bazaar, or due to cheaper prices in Kandahar City even with the inclusion of the cost of a taxi ride. Should there be a decision to support this bazaar, we need to make sure we understand how support can best be distributed. Micro-finance and loans (through CERP or the World Council of Credit Unions) could have promise for the bazaar if it is lack of variety that is keeping local residents away. Should it be supply chain issues that cause prices to be higher here, this is something that could possibly be assisted with programs from USAID's Office of Economic Growth. De He Bowchi Canals: For all programs that involve water issues, it is critical to involve DAIL. If possible, we should get a broader picture of why the canals are in the state they are in; the Kandahar A young Afghan boy in Shah Wali Kot District, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

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Provincial Reconstruction Team or CIDA could help provide this background. Possible topics to explore: What type of maintenance plan can be put in place so the canals don't get into disrepair again? Why is this a high priority project? Do we know if doing this will provide support for one tribe over another, and if so, do we have ways to mitigate that if it causes further tensions? Suznai: I have some concerns related to the distribution of tractors, as it can be a lot more difficult than you might expect. Simply distributing them does not address maintenance or upkeep, and these issues can actually cause friction within a community. If there is a desire to go forward with this, it needs to be done with the support of the Provincial Governor and DAIL. We also should look at DAIL's policy related to not providing agricultural inputs for free - communities and individuals need to provide some sort of payment in order to really own the input. Going against a Ministry or Department's policy would undermine the offices that we are trying to support. As my USDA colleague discusses, the focus should be on increasing farmers' yields, as most of the residents of the district gets their income based on the amount they produce. Better tools and techniques could go a long way, and providing subsidized tools for those who complete a training program that would support his aim. Microfinance options could also be a way to get better tools into the hands of local farmers. Also, women's programs should be explored to provide them with ways to earn a bit of income. For example, perhaps they can cook food for people passing through the bazaar. District Center: I'm glad to see that one of the main refurbishments of the center is to the shura room, as it provides a place for the District Governor to meet with local leaders. Additional refurbishments should include office space for line ministry representatives, so when these representatives are in the district, there is a place for them to work in close collaboration with the DG. Dilak Clinic: Overall, a good clinic. One thing to look into would be their need to ration in order to keep supplies in stock for 3 months. Is there a way to demonstrate to Afghan Health & Development Service that more supplies are needed, and if so, can they then get those supplies? Kuchi (Tamba) Town: Before providing any HA, do we have a good sense of what is actually needed in that town, and how we can tie it to the government. We also need to get a sense of how this village relates to the other villages with more stationary populations - is this village a source of friction, and if so, how can we mitigate that? Also, the issue of who actually owns the land that they are occupying should be

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explored. This would help get a better sense of what is happening in the area and how much the town contributes toward instability in the district.

CONCLUSION

Much of the idea behind stabilization is tying local populations to district and provincial government agencies that can provide services to the population. I support how CPT Jon Burton and the Task Force Buffalo team is working closely with and through the District Governor. The next step is to tie in the work they are doing to the provincial government and line ministries whenever possible. Even if these agencies aren't there now, we can start engaging them to assist with getting them there in the future.

Jim Green, of the United States Department of Agriculture, points to a potential location for a small demonstration garden within the Shah Wali Kot District Center, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

Governance, Reconstruction, & Development | FEBRUARY 5, 2010

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CENTER FOR ARMY LESSONS LEARNED

CALL LESSON OF THE DAY

SUBJECT: GR&D Tiger Team 1. Observation: The Tiger Team concept was born out of the necessity for a true picture of the battle space in regards to GR&D. This is important so that the GR&D cell (a brigade asset) can make an assessment in areas such as security, governance and essential services within targeted areas. Once this assessment is completed the GR&D cell can then assist the unit in obtaining a unity of effort from both civilians and military entities and tapping into resources (CERP) and expertise (USDA, USAID). 2. Discussion: When the target area is identified by the Team Leader, which is a member of the GR&D cell, he will begin research on the target area and determine what type of expertise will be needed. The size of the team is based on the focus and scope of the mission. The targeted area of this mission was the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Battalion's battle space. It included areas such as the SWK district center, the Sherband Bazaar, the Diversion Weir, the Deh He Bowchi Canals and the Suznai Village. The team was consisted of eight members, five civilian members which represented the HTT, USDA, CAAT and USAID, and three military members from the Brigade which included the Team Leader, Center of Army Lessons Learn (CALL) Liaison Officer (LNO) and the Brigade Public Affairs Office photographer. The team spent a total of three actual days on the ground gathering information. The scheduled agenda is listed below: a. Day 0: Team assembled at Brigade Headquarters and traveled to targeted area by convoy. Made contact with unit LNO (usually the Civil Affair Team Leader) CPT Burton. The unit LNO is critical, he was our mission coordinator he made sure all our needs were met, to include transportation, billeting, and security. We also had an meet and greet with the Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Neumann. He voiced his concerns and vision for his area and gave a short brief on his area of operations. b. Day 1: Checkpoint 18, Sherband Bazaar, Diversion Weir, Deh He Bowchi Canals, Suznai Village. c. Day 2: Checkpoint 8, Kuchis (Tamba) Town, District Center, Wayan School and Dilak Clinic. d. Day 3: Shura, Return to Forward Operating Base Frontenac, final report to Battalion Commander and return by Convoy to KAF.

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CENTER FOR ARMY LESSONS LEARNED

3. Recommendations: a. The Tiger team concept should be continued with Standard Operating Procedures developed so that continuity is not lost. b. Female interpreters are a must to accompany female members of the team if contact with local national females are desired. c. The team was limited in its movement and ability to gather information due to the limited numbers of interpreters. 4. Related CALL publications: None 5. Theater Observation Detachment: Lt. Col Moliki Mulitalo at the 5/2 ID (SBCT) Acknowledgement: 5/2 ID (SBCT) GR&D cell A young Afghan boy helps clean up around the Shah Wali Kot District Center. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

Governance, Reconstruction, & Development | FEBRUARY 5, 2010

39

Afghan men entertain a small boy at the Sherband Bazaar in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Justin Graff)

4

APPENDICES

41

APPENDIX A Acronyms & Definitions

This section contains all of the abbreviations and acronyms found in the Shah Wali Kot Report: The Gateway District. Table A.1

ACRONYM ANP ANSF CAAT CALL CERP CIDA GIRoA GR&D HTT ISAF LNO RIAB SWK USACE USDA DEFINITION Afghan National Police Afghan National Security Forces Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team Center for Army Lessons Learned Commander's Emergency Response Program Canadian International Development Agency Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Governance, Reconstruction, Development Human Terrain Team International Security Assistance Force Liaison Officer Radio in a Box Shah Wali Kot United States Army Corps of Engineers United States Department of Agriculture

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GR&D

Governance, Reconstruction, & Development

"As the country now turns a new leaf, our ambition is to give hope to each and every Afghan." -Hamid Karzai President of Afghanistan

Task Force Stryker Governance, Reconstruction, & Development NIPR: [email protected] SIPR: [email protected] Mission Secret: ISAF RCS KAF BSTB EDO IS DSN: 318-562-6024

GR&D | Shah Wali Kot Report: The Gateway District | FEBRUARY 5, 2010

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