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Engagement, partnership, or security? clarifying the role of community policing in Afghanistan’s counterinsurgency Claybo, Daniel Bryan 2011

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Engagement, Partnership, or Security? Clarifying the Role of Community Policing in Afghanistan’s Counterinsurgency  by  Daniel Bryan Claybo  B.A., The University of Toronto, 2009  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Political Science)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  October 2011  © Daniel Bryan Claybo, 2011 Abstract   Current counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine in Afghanistan portrays community engagement and ‘winning over’ local villages as the key to COIN success. With the ongoing withdrawal of Coalition troops, strategy has increasingly emphasized the training of local security forces capable of engaging and gaining the support of Afghan communities while protecting them from the insurgent threat. This strategy draws on the principles of community policing but neither articulates them clearly nor implements them in accordance with policing experience. COIN is inherently ‘outcome-driven’ and thus is difficult to reconcile with the ‘process-oriented’ community policing approach. If community policing is to be utilized as an effective COIN engagement strategy, policing lessons must be integrated into COIN doctrine to overcome the challenges and conflicting priorities common to both efforts.  I argue that three community policing lessons are particularly relevant to current COIN policy in Afghanistan. The militarization of the Afghan National Police, the ‘localizing’ of community policing arrangements, and the COIN approach to Afghan youth and children should be reconsidered in light of the experiences and research of community policing. I use a comparative case study of the COIN during the Troubles in Northern Ireland to highlight how these policies interfere with community engagement and require a clearer division of labour when pursuing COIN and community policing priorities. Community policing does not offer a solution to the challenges of community engagement during insurgency but integrating the two fields allows strategic expectations to align with the realistic limitations and possibilities of engaging communities through policing.    ii Table of Contents  Abstract ................................................................................................................................................ ii Table of contents................................................................................................................................. iii Acknowledgements............................................................................................................................. iv Dedication ............................................................................................................................................ v 1. Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 1 2. Overlapping Community Engagement in Afghanistan’s COIN and Community Policing............. 3      2.1 Community Engagement in COIN Strategy ............................................................................. 3      2.2 Policing Partnerships as Community Engagement in COIN .................................................... 6      2.3 Community Policing as a Law Enforcement Approach ......................................................... 12      2.4 Integrating Community Policing Lessons into Afghanistan’s COIN ..................................... 17 3. Community Policing Lessons for Community Engagement in Afghanistan................................. 19      3.1 Militarized Police and Community Engagement: Irreconcilable Strategic Demands ............ 19      3.2 ‘Localizing’ Community Policing Arrangements: Important Cautions to Consider .............. 32      3.3 Including Youth in Community Engagement: Small Efforts Can Make a Difference ........... 42 4. Implications and Conclusion.......................................................................................................... 47 Bibliography ...................................................................................................................................... 51        iii Acknowledgements  My sincere gratitude to my parents and the unqualified support you offered my academic pursuits. Of course thank you to the Bank of Claybo for staving off the hounds long enough to finish.  Respect to my friends in the department, without you I would not have made it through coursework. Special thanks to my late-night coffee shop companion, you are a good friend and I have your back when they come for you. Finally, I tip my hat to A. Taher, it is unlikely you will read this but I would never have considered graduate school without your advice.                iv   v Dedication  To my parents and sister.                     1. Introduction  Counterinsurgency (COIN) strategies are often the joint product of overzealous ambition and creeping desperation. These two motivations are not particularly conducive to thorough premeditation and detailed planning but are understandable consequences of the unpredictable nature of insurgencies. The COIN in Afghanistan is no exception as strategists face a volatile insurgency requiring adaptable tactics and resource allocation. Despite a complex Afghan insurgency, the COIN has remained true to its broad goal of “winning the hearts and minds” of the population. Currently, this goal manifests itself in ongoing efforts to engage communities through policing partnerships with COIN forces. It is believed these partnerships will foster the trust and confidence of Afghan communities needed to build popular support for the government while simultaneously isolating insurgents from the general population. Unfortunately, practical and political pressures have led to community engagement with minimal strategic guidance, based almost entirely on historical COIN experience and the limited successes therein.  Policing partnerships with the local population is a relatively recent innovation for COIN and military forces in general and is part of the general development of unconventional warfare into a decidedly multi-disciplinary enterprise. The incorporation of non-military activities into COIN provides an opportunity to reinforce COIN doctrine with lessons acquired outside of the limited insurgency experience. In the case of policing partnerships, COIN activities conform to the principles of the law enforcement philosophy commonly known as “community policing”. This policing approach is also concerned with winning public support for the police force through community engagement that builds confidence and trust in the police while securing a community ‘partner’ to help control crime and disorder. Although COIN strategy has prioritized community engagement and policing partnerships, problems with coordination, instability, and a   1 host of other insurgency challenges have resulted in haphazard COIN community engagement. Often, it is inconsistent with the stated COIN goal of “winning hearts and minds”; at worst, it undermines this COIN effort and potentially exacerbates the tensions between the Afghan government and its people.  In this paper, I examine community engagement through policing partnerships as they are utilized in Afghanistan’s COIN and compare them to the literature and experiences of community policing. I argue that Afghan COIN strategy can be augmented by community policing lessons as the efforts in both fields have identical goals and must overcome similar challenges. To support these lessons I use a comparative case stuffy of the police COIN role during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Although there is no perfect approach to community engagement during COIN, community policing offers a more tested and nuanced understanding of this process and can improve some of the currently confused and contradictory COIN assumptions. The current COIN strategy in Afghanistan draws on community policing principles but neither articulates nor applies these principles in accordance with policing experience. The COIN strategy of community engagement neglects the fundamental lesson of community policing, that it is the process of engagement rather than the outcome that determines public support. COIN forces face incentives to focus on outcomes over process and thus there must be a clearer division of labour between COIN and community policing efforts. Reconsidering the militarization of the Afghan National Police (ANP), the ‘localizing’ of community policing arrangements, and the approach to Afghan youth and children are necessary steps towards improving the effectiveness of community policing in the COIN effort.    2 2. Overlapping Community Engagement in Afghanistan’s COIN and Community Policing 2.1 Community Engagement in COIN Strategy Without delving too deeply into COIN history, it is pertinent to trace the development of COIN doctrine into the current emphasis on community engagement. Insurgencies have long been recognized as military movements that could “neither exist nor flourish” without the “sympathies and cooperation” of the masses (Tse-Tung, 1978, p. 41). However, for most of modern history COIN traditionally distinguished between political and military efforts. The threatened state’s political actors fought to ‘win over’ the public while COIN military forces were tasked with raising the ‘costs’ of insurgent activities (Leites and Wolf, 1970, p. 36). The COIN failure in Vietnam and a renewed interest in irregular warfare during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars led to a reconceptualised military role in these conflicts. “Psywar” tactics, persuading insurgents to defect and inform and convincing an uncommitted populace that the government is effective at meeting their needs and fighting the insurgency, were accredited with the valuable intelligence that helped produce what are considered rare COIN successes (Nagl, 2002, p. 93). Two experiences greatly influenced the modern COIN approach to “Psywar” and the current use of community engagement: the British colonial government’s “Briggs Plan” for the Malayan Emergency and the Combined Action Platoon/Program (CAP) developed by the U.S. Marine Corps in the Vietnam War. The Briggs Plan was a “step by step plan” for separating Malayan insurgents from the general population by disrupting insurgents within a given region, providing consistent population-security to the region with the goal of increasing intelligence flow, and isolating insurgents from the food and information supplied by the populace, therefore forcing the them   3 into attacking defensible positions (Nagl, 2002, pp. 71-72). 1 Of particular importance to modern COIN strategy were the successful coordination of army, police, and civil administration and the use of small unit patrols and ‘normalized’ (rather than paramilitary) police activities to improve intelligence gathering (Hack, 2009, p. 388). Similarly, the CAP was a regional “strategy of pacification” in which Marines and local Vietnamese security forces “would patrol, train, eat, sleep, and live together in the villages as one” in order to maximize population-security, intelligence gathering, and local security force capabilities (Lange, 2006, pp. 5-6). This program pioneered the ‘oil spot concept’ in which COIN forces would secure a population centre and establish close links with the populace and then expand control into the surrounding region (Nagl, 2002, p. 158). “The CAP built trust with the people, trained them to defend their homes, developed an intelligence network to identify [insurgents], and improved their quality of life” (Lange, 2006, p. 7) while in the Briggs plan the “security and confidence [of the population] were central” to gaining essential intelligence (Hack, 2009, p. 388). Beleaguered COIN strategists in Iraq and Afghanistan seized on these perceived successes in winning “hearts and minds” and these two experiences provided the foundational principles for community engagement in Afghanistan. Community engagement is central to the “permanent-presence” strategy, which in turn developed out of the overarching “clear, hold, and build” COIN approach currently employed in Afghanistan. “Clear, hold and build” is akin to the ‘oil spot strategy’ and entails ‘clearing’ a region of insurgent influence and providing initial security, ‘holding’ or maintaining this security and preventing the return of insurgent influence, and ‘building’ localized institutions capable of fulfilling the first two steps independently while increasing Afghanistan’s overall stability,  1 The Brigg’s Plan also involved widespread forced resettlement of the Malayan rural populace. This was arguably essential for the COIN success but is clearly unsuitable for modern operations. Nonetheless, the listed elements of the Plan continue to hold significant influence over current COIN strategy.   4 security, and prosperity (DOD, 2009, pp. 15-16). One of the most pressing difficulties facing the Afghan COIN mission is “the inability of international and Afghan forces to ‘hold’ territory once it [is] cleared of insurgent groups” (Jones, 2009, p. 320). This problem stems from a recurring pattern of the Afghan insurgency: although ‘cleared’ from a region during a COIN surge, insurgents utilize peripheral ‘safe havens’ to regenerate and from there undermine reintegration efforts, intimidate the local population, and weaken government credibility until they eventually “regain influence and dominance over the local population centers” (DOD, 2011, pp. 54-55). This pattern appears in a variety of forms in different regions and is part of the overall insurgent “exhaustion strategy” that targets the “effectiveness and legitimacy” of the government in order to hasten its collapse when international support is withdrawn (Kilcullen, 2009, p. 52). This strategy plays to the fundamental insurgent advantage in which “[they] succeed by sowing chaos and disorder anywhere; the government fails unless it maintains a degree of order everywhere” (Army/Marine Corps, 2006, FM 1-9). To offset this pattern, COIN commanders adopted a “permanent-presence” strategy in which security forces establish themselves in a population centre and by “protecting and interacting” with inhabitants, they “[draw] the enemy into attacking defended areas” (Kilcullen, 2009, p. 96). Similar to the Briggs Plan this strategy forces insurgents, adverse to losing influence in the community and allowing the government to build local credibility, into attacking a defensible force. The two key elements of this strategy, protecting and interacting with inhabitants, are seen as equally essential as insufficient positive community interaction will not bait insurgent aggression while a failure to protect communities will invalidate the entire security relationship and purpose of COIN. Successful interaction is achievable through a variety of means so long as they involve a process of “close engagement” between COIN forces and   5 district and tribal leaders (Kilcullen, 2009, p. 71) achieved through “locally legitimate and effective arrangements; a genuine partnership with local communities” (p. 113). Likewise, the level of protection is unspecified but must satisfy the intelligence requirements of COIN which entails sufficiently consistent security that “the population [can] be won over and induced to provide information about local clandestine cells of the enemy” (Kilcullen, 2009, p. 94). 2.2 Policing Partnerships as Community Engagement in COIN Although originally intended as a strategy for Coalition force engagement with Afghan communities, a permanent-presence of Coalition forces is inherently unsustainable (Kilcullen, 2009, p. 97) and COIN doctrine requires an eventual transition of responsibility to local forces and institutions (Army/Marine Corps, 2006, FM 1-147). To this end, “a viable indigenous police force with a permanent presence in urban and rural areas is a critical component of counterinsurgency” (Jones, 2008, p. 17). In recent years, Coalition forces have been withdrawn and the permanent presence of COIN forces is increasingly left to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) which “should lead and conduct all military operations in all provinces by the end of 2014” (DOD, 2011, p. 49). Coalition forces are transitioning from protecting and interacting with the populace to developing Afghan security forces capable of maintaining this mutual security relationship indefinitely. The key objective of this long-term relationship is that security forces “gain the confidence and trust of the local population” (Cordesman, Mausner, & Kasten, 2009, pp. 19-20). Currently, the long-neglected ANP is at the forefront of COIN strategy and therefore is expected to build relationships of trust with communities while providing sufficient order to maintain confidence in the Afghan government. COIN strategy has always recognized that police are generally better integrated with the population than the military and thus provide superior intelligence from their “intimate   6 knowledge of local happenings, people, and organizations” (Leites and Wolf, 1970, p. 74). Furthermore, the police “public relations” role during insurgencies has a long history, with one early military commentator noting that public relations “is a subject to which the police must give increased attention as compared to public relations in a noninsurgent context” (Epstein, 1968, p. 151). Unfortunately, the police role in COIN was “largely ignored” in official policy until the recent US Army/US Marine Corps COIN field manual which represented “a considerable break with previous doctrine” (Corum, 2007, p. 137). This manual notes that “the primary frontline COIN force is often the police – not the military” (2006, FM 6-90) and includes a significant section on police organization and training. Nonetheless, COIN strategy in Afghanistan notoriously neglected the police for much of the campaign in favour of the military and “while attention and resources were lavished on the latter, complementary efforts to build and reform the [ANP] suffered from weak and disorganized efforts” (RUSI and FPRI, 2009, p. 2). To illustrate, between 2001 and 2007 the ANP’s international funding was less than one-tenth of that received by the Afghan National Army (ANA) (Skinner, 2008, pp. 301-302) while the “United States focused purely on the ANA to the extent that it appropriated zero dollars for the ANP in FY 2003” (Cordesman et al., 2009, p. 41). Although by 2005-2006, the importance of the ANP became apparent, “evidence continued… that the main police reform players misunderstood the nature of policing” (RUSI and FPRI, 2009, p. 3). In 2009 President Obama unveiled a new strategy for Afghanistan that explicitly shifted “the emphasis of [the U.S.] mission to training and increasing the size of the Afghan Security Forces” and placed an unprecedented priority on policing “because it is far cheaper to train a policeman to secure their village…than it is to send [U.S.] troops to fight tour after tour of duty with no transition to Afghan responsibility” (Office of the Press Secretary, 2009). This new   7 priority, coupled with a dramatic surge in funding2, has inevitably increased both the domestic and international political pressures on training and fielding the ANP. With a new strategy in place and ongoing operations subject to reform, I will not dwell on the well-documented past mismanagement of policing in Afghanistan. However, it is important to emphasize the sudden shift of COIN policing from a policy afterthought to the centrefold of current strategy. A rapid change in strategic priorities offers opportunities for improvement but also presents an inherent risk when funding and political pressure exceeds operational experience and preparation. Currently, this issue has arisen in the uncertain and often contradictory role assigned to the ANP. It is expected to partner with local communities in order to improve its accountability and standing with the public. On the other hand, the ANP is also often in the front lines in battling insurgents which strategists believe is necessary to maintain the confidence of the Afghan public. The need to improve the accountability and standing of the ANP is part of the broad security sector reform (SSR) initiative that claims legitimate and trustworthy institutions are needed to sustain any improvements in security. From this perspective, “a corrupt, badly trained, badly led police force that abuses civilians will undermine the entire COIN strategy, no matter how much success the military forces might have” (Corum, 2007, p. 137). Endemic corruption and illegitimate practices are seen as the most serious failings of the ANP as they lead “many Afghans… to avoid the police and rely on local leaders in attempting to obtain security and justice” (Cordesman et al., 2009, pp. 103-104). Such failure is devastating to government control over rural Afghanistan where “local ties tend to far outweigh government influence” (Kilcullen, 2009, p. 54) and where “along with security for person and property, dispute resolution is the public service that tribal and community leaders… most ardently wish for” (p. 47).  2 For FY 2010, the U.S. Congress appropriated $9.2B “to grow, train, equip, and sustain” the ANSF. In February 2011, President Obama requested the FY 2012 budget increase to $12.8B (DOD, 2011, p. 41).   8 SSR of the ANP requires “a change in culture among local police” and improved “responsiveness and accountability” which are “critical aspects of [police] institutional development” (Dobbins, Jones, Crane, & DeGrasse, 2007, p. 62). The International Crisis Group notes that “there has been no apparent movement on external accountability and oversight, including community consultation, which should not be regarded as an ‘addon’ but vital to defining the police’s role in society and ensuring real community support” (emphasis added, 2008, p. 13). Community partnerships help to ensure that the police serve the needs of the people and contribute to building ‘bottom-up’ a legitimate Afghan government. In this context, community partnerships involve “understanding the immediate law enforcement concerns of Afghanistan’s communities and addressing them… [through] community meetings [and] sponsored lunches with civil society groups… [which] would reorient the public to the new community focus (and could warn against bribery attempts), and would provide a clear signal to the public that change is coming” (RUSI and FPRI, 2009, p. 116). SSR priorities appear in active policy as attempts “to work with local Afghan informal leaders and their organizational structures to support the anti-corruption initiative by using their own influence” (DOD Inspector General, 2011, p. 50). However, in reality SSR recommendations to improve police training and reorient their COIN role towards trust building are overshadowed by what is generally considered more pressing security concerns (Mullen, 2010, pp. 128-129). Community policing partnerships are seen as effective COIN security strategies because they facilitate interaction with communities, population security, and build the long-term skills required for a sustainable police force. The respective priority of these three objectives is an open question, although current operations indicate at least some emphasis on population security.   9 Nevertheless, all three are needed for COIN success and thus community policing partnerships must work towards all these objectives. In the “permanent-presence” strategy, community policing partnerships are favoured for the community interaction they encourage rather than simple law enforcement as this interaction keeps COIN forces “engaged with the populace… [and] as the populace and counterinsurgents learn to know each other better, two-way communication develops, building trust and producing intelligence” (Army/Marine Corps, 2006, Table 5.1). This “population-focused counterinsurgency strategy” naturally incorporates activities inherent to community policing such as “patrolling; policing; protecting threatened individuals; gaining people’s trust; asking for help in tracking down criminals, terrorists and insurgents; and otherwise protecting [Afghan] communities” (O’Hanlon & Sherjan, 2010, p. 35). David Kilcullen suggest efforts to “wean” tribal and community leaders away from insurgents through “local security measures such as neighbourhood watch groups and auxiliary police units, [and the] creation of alternative economic activities (including jobs and social networks)” (2009, p. 54). Forming a strong bond between security forces and communities is central to Afghan COIN strategy because “in a country where loyalty and group solidarity are fundamental to daily life, community pressure can be a powerful weapon” (Jones, 2010, p. 127). Thus, community policing partnerships are seen as a way to foster a community ‘ally’ in the effort to isolate insurgents. COIN doctrine also views community policing partnerships as a means to gain a community ally in the active fight against insurgents. Prioritizing local policing provides the village level security believed essential for ‘holding’ rural Afghanistan. An ANP presence in every community secures against the crime and disorder that is a leading concern to many Afghans (Jones & Muñoz, 2010, p. 9), which in turn is seen as the key to public confidence in   10 government forces and support for the COIN effort (Army/Marine Corps, 2006, FM 5-68). However, the unique circumstances in Afghanistan have necessitated less ideal approaches to providing population security. Because “the readiness level of the ANP to meet its internal security and law enforcement and community-policing mission remains low” (DOS & DOD Inspectors General, p. 8, 2006), COIN forces have developed “local security programs… [that] integrate bottom-up village and district defense systems, and serve as a complement to top-down, national-level ANSF development” (DOD, 2011, p. 61). Although COIN success is linked to governments with competent security forces, policy-makers currently consider local population security so essential to the COIN mission that they are willing to forgo at least some ANSF control and authority to community-based policing mechanisms. It is difficult to determine the relative importance of community policing in ANP training but it is clear that building a national police force with community policing capabilities is important to COIN strategy in Afghanistan. While allowances must be made for the still embryonic ANP training process led by a transitional group of U.S. departments, NATO nations, and private contractors (DOS and DOD Inspectors General, 2011, pp. 2-3); it is nonetheless surprisingly difficult to uncover the details of ANP training. In their study of global COIN and counter-terrorism policing, David Bayley and Robert Perito found that “no major donor country maintains libraries of foreign police-training curricula, not even for those programs they may have sponsored or participated in developing” (2010, p. 118). Despite this obstacle, there is still evidence that community policing capabilities are considered a necessary component of ANP training for a COIN environment. The proclaimed training priorities of “the EU, Italy, Canada, the UK, and other coalition partners… stressed the importance of community policing and taught civilian police skills [to the ANP] as a countermeasure to what the Europeans believed was the   11 overly militarized US approach to training” (Bayley and Perito, 2010, p. 31) and the Government of Canada’s website states that community policing is one of the “four niche areas” focused on by Canadian police training officers in Afghanistan (2011, http://www.afghanistan.gc.ca/canada- afghanistan/police.aspx?lang=eng). There is also evidence that the “militarized” American training mission is receptive to community policing as a tool in the ANP’s COIN arsenal. For example, in 2008 Major Florentino Santana of the U.S. Army presented a monograph titled “A New Paradigm for the Iraqi Police: Applying Community-Orientated Policing to Iraqi Police Development” that recommends various community policing methods be incorporated into Iraqi Police training as part of the larger COIN mission in Iraq. In 2010 Lieutenant Colonel Santana, strategic planner and the deputy director of Strategic Plans and Policy for U.S. Forces Afghanistan, published another article recommending the same community policing methods be incorporated into ANP training. This article goes beyond simple COIN ‘alliances’ and recognizes that in community policing, “the community must be more than an ally or partner in the fight against crime; it must be at the head of the organization to which police are responsible and accountable” (p. 17). Although the importance of community policing to formal ANP training is still unclear, considering this indirect evidence and the overall importance of community-police partnerships in COIN doctrine, it is fair to argue that an ANP with community policing capabilities is a necessary element of Afghanistan’s COIN. 2.3 Community Policing as a Law Enforcement Approach  Analogous to the common critique directed at COIN doctrine, community policing is generally viewed as a “decidedly vague notion” (Lau, 2004, p. 63) and both police officers and observers have difficulty determining the boundaries of community police work (Terpstra, 2009,   12 p. 70). Despite being hailed as “the most important innovation in American policing” (Forman, 2004, p. 1) and undergoing near-universal “international institutionalization” (Terpstra, 2009, p. 64), community policing as an organizational model continues to resist definitive interpretation. Nonetheless, just as certain functioning principles and strategies have emerged out of the doctrinal confusion of COIN, community policing experience has produced several successfully tested approaches to community partnerships notwithstanding continued uncertainty regarding purpose and long-term goals. While care is necessary to avoid entanglement in the ongoing and very contentious debate surrounding the definition of community policing, it is possible to draw a general outline of the enterprise that highlights its connection to COIN operations.  The origins and expansion of community policing as a philosophy and strategy is a complex subject requiring details beyond the scope of this paper. An abbreviated history is that institutionalized community policing appeared towards the end of the 20th century as an organizational response to changes in the nature and formation of Western societies, increasingly negative perceptions of police authority, and the new limitations and opportunities of evolving technology. The rise of community policing was “a product of context and contingency... a recognition that many ordinary police institutions were, in many respects, disengaged from their communities” (Emsley, 2007, p. 242). Following a growing consensus in policing research that “the standard model of policing… which draws on generally applied tactics and uses primarily the law enforcement powers of the police, has generally not been found to be effective either in reducing crime or disorder or decreasing citizen fear” (Skogan & Frydl, 2004, pp. 249-250), community policing initiatives became the widespread policy response. Because community policing is undoubtedly “a plastic concept, meaning different things to different people” (Eck and Rosenbaum, 1994, p. 3) its rapid emergence as the guiding philosophy for almost every   13 modern police force in the world has raised a great deal of academic scepticism. Nonetheless, there is no denying that community policing has changed the community-police dynamic, the difficulty lies in finding agreement on the precise nature of these changes. Key principles of community policing that have remained relevant to practical and theoretical discussion are: (a) the core community policing philosophy that criminal activity is a product of societal factors over which police have little direct control; (b) a subsequent police recognition that improved intelligence, legitimacy, and crime control effectiveness requires “a proactive reliance on community resources”; and that (c) access to ‘community resources’ is achieved through increased police accountability and community involvement in police decision- making (Friedmann, 1992, pp. 3-4). Where the police role has shifted to accommodate these principles there is less emphasis on traditional reactive operations (i.e. investigations, arrests) and more proactive interaction with community members to identify and address community concerns (Friedmann, 1992, p. 18). As police have relatively little control over the outcome of their efforts (crime control), it is the process through which community-police interaction occurs that determines the success of community policing (Skogan & Frydl, 2004, p. 305). These principles highlight the key paradox of community policing philosophy and operations. The original police purpose is to control crime but police acknowledge this cannot be fulfilled without sufficient community support. Community support can only be built by redirecting the primary police effort towards the process of community interaction, thereby altering the original crime control purpose. If the majority of crime cannot be controlled by the police, then the policing effort can no longer be evaluated in terms of crime control outcomes. This requires a fundamental redefinition of the police role from outcome- to process-orientated policing.   14 The important overlap with COIN operations is that “much of the community policing literature is focused on capacity building within communities, [namely] building and sustaining a community partner to work with the police on matters of neighbourhood crime and disorder” (Greene, 2000, pp. 312). This partnership serves a near-identical purpose to its COIN counterpart: to encourage a “new relationship, based on mutual trust...between the police and the citizens it serves” (Friedmann, 1992, p. 29) and “to improve confidence in police effectiveness and the legitimacy of police authority, and to promote a willingness to pass information to police” (Meredyth, McKernan, and Evans, 2010, p. 233). Furthermore, like in COIN, community policing partnerships aim to increase public participation in order maintenance so that “the police and the public actually coproduce public safety” (Greene, 2000, p. 313). Before discussing any form of policy integration I must note that the concept of ‘community policing’ I utilize in this paper is admittedly ambiguous. Between the dominant North American literature and broader international case studies, a multitude of approaches to police-community interactions have been identified. These range from easily recognizable ‘neighbourhood watch’ organizations to more complex forms of police-instigated vigilantism found in communities with minimal formal policing mechanisms. It is not specifics I am after, but the broad lessons in building trust and confidence between the community and police that arise out of a variety of experiences. This deep and varied pool of experience is supported by extensive critical academic discussion and provides a rich source of insight for COIN operations. However, this variety is also the greatest challenge for integrating community policing into COIN as community policing does not provide a precise understanding of policing partnerships and thus is not a panacea for designing operational COIN community partnerships.   15 If anything, the community policing literature is particularly critical of attempts to ‘transplant’ the community policing experience into failing or transitional states. Some warn that such policing exports are often motivated by a “naïve” understanding of the sources of crime and state structure collapse (Brogden, 2005, p. 66) while others allude to a more sinister system of “commodification” in which a “cadre of… policing gurus” conveniently appear to “governments and politicians [who are] too willing to defer to expertise” (Ellison and O’Reilly, 2008, pp. 396- 397). While caution is appropriate when suggesting community policing partnerships provide a ‘solution’ to COIN challenges, this is currently a moot point as COIN strategy has already placed community policing partnerships on the agenda. I am therefore more concerned with maximizing the effectiveness of existing operations rather than proving that they represent the best approach. In doing so, the variety and acknowledged complexity of partnerships in community policing actually proves advantageous. Community policing is difficult to define or standardize precisely because it recognizes that “communities have special structures and feature their own processes, problems and unique characteristics” (Friedmann, 1992, p. 13). Police-community partnerships that ‘work’ in one community may be ineffective or counterproductive in another setting. While this makes it difficult (if not impossible) to universally identify ‘what works’; when community policing experience and literature agree that certain forms of community engagement ‘do not work’ one can be fairly certain this conclusion is reliable. Therefore, my integration of COIN and community policing does not explicitly advocate ‘solutions’ but is used to help determine the likelihood these partnerships will work the way they are intended.     16 2.4 Integrating Community Policing Lessons into Afghanistan’s COIN The previous discussion demonstrates the importance of community policing partnerships to the Afghan COIN strategy of community engagement. Policy-makers have displayed considerable willingness to incorporate community policing tactics and programs into COIN efforts to provide SSR and improve the security situation. However, while numerous programs appear under the community policing umbrella and some may very well prove suitable to COIN tactics and training guidelines, the candid reality is that these matters are better left in the hands of those actively involved in COIN and reconstruction operations. Such actors are doubtlessly more aware of the specific circumstances, complexities, and limitations driving policy in Afghanistan. As mentioned, the entire community policing enterprise is premised on understanding and adapting to the unique characteristics of the community involved. Thus the following section does not presume to offer specific policy recommendations; instead it is concerned with providing theoretical and practical guidance to COIN community engagement based on the accumulated community policing experience in the same enterprise. A successful COIN in Afghanistan is seen to require Afghan communities with sufficient interest and involvement in security provision to maintain the ‘hold’ phase of operations and allow the ongoing ‘building’ of the Afghan state and security forces. To this end, there is currently a clear COIN objective to increase the Afghan population’s confidence and trust in the ANSF, particularly the previously neglected but increasingly emphasized ANP. Community policing partnerships are considered a promising route towards building this confidence and trust but COIN doctrine offers limited guidance to this venture. In particular, there is no elaboration on how to balance the competing demands of community interaction, population security, and improving police capabilities. Community policing offers an extensive pool of experiences and   17 critical discussion regarding these priorities. While it cannot perfectly resolve the contradictory nature of community policing partnerships, it does provide a more tested and nuanced understanding of the compromises involved. It is important that COIN policy towards community policing partnerships takes advantage of the broad lessons from community policing to reduce the discrepancies between strategy and reality. The following three policy areas involve particularly conflicting demands on community engagement. Current policy in these areas has been driven by political pressure and the perceived necessities of a volatile insurgency. This is understandable but should not preclude opportunities to redirect operations to better align policy with COIN objectives. While community policing cannot offer a perfect solution to community engagement, integrating its lessons into COIN doctrine is a critical step towards strategic coherence.               18 3. Community Policing Lessons for Community Engagement in Afghanistan  Successful community engagement in Afghanistan is frustrated by three trends in COIN strategy: the militarization of the ANP, the ‘localizing’ of community policing arrangements, and the ‘conscious neglect’ of Afghan youth and children. COIN strategy is based on the assumption that police can only effectively engage communities if they are protected from insurgent attacks and thus facilitates the ongoing militarization of the ANP. Community policing experience suggests militarized police face incentives to neglect their community policing function and also challenges the assumption that police must be secured from insurgent violence before community policing is possible. COIN strategy has ‘localized’ community policing arrangements by outsourcing this activity to local security providers and by attempting to tailor community engagement to the unique dynamics of Afghan society. Policing research cautions against these trends as the entities engaging in community policing reap the benefits of public support and because community dynamics are often more complex than engagement strategies recognize. Finally, COIN forces are encouraged to ignore youth and children when engaging communities because of the danger they pose. Community policing research reveals that youth and children should not be neglected and suggest steps be taken to distract this cohort when engaging the community. 3.1 Militarized Police and Community Engagement: Irreconcilable Strategic Demands  The United States assumed the bulk of ANP training in 2007 and began to “refocus the ANP away from pure policing efforts” to facilitate “a more full-spectrum role… needed to deal with real-world conditions on the ground” (Cordesman et al., 2009, p. 100). This “full-spectrum role” entailed an undeniable “militarization” of the ANP with one observer noting an estimated “70% of the ANP’s time is spent on counterinsurgency work as opposed to law and order   19 protection” (Skinner, 2008, p. 300). This is ironic as no observer, civilian or military, SSR- or security-centric, favours a militarized police over the civilian alternative.  The militarization of the ANP is justified by the belief that although “the military threat [from Afghan insurgents] is not necessarily more serious in the medium and long runs than the threat of crime and corruption, [it] is more time urgent in the short run” (Cordesman et al., 2009, p. 132). Much of Afghanistan is considered too insecure for both the populace and ‘normal’ police and it is argued that the COIN must lower the “threat posture” before security forces can be reasonably expected to “interact more closely and in a more friendly and collaborative manner with the local population” (Kilcullen, 2009, p. 100). COIN doctrine explicitly warns against a premature transition to ‘normal’ order maintenance by police prior sufficient population security which risks invalidating legitimacy gained through the transition (Army/Marine Corps, 2006, FM 1-131). Unfortunately, police were deployed in Afghanistan before the security needed for ‘normal policing’ was ensured. The United States, under pressure to increase “force generation” and ‘boots on the ground’ committed to meeting “the recommended ratio of six policemen per 1000 population, as developed through ISAF analysis, in a country facing a persistent COIN fight” (DOD Inspector General, 2011, p. 11). In response to the rapid increase in ANP deployment insurgents have “singled out the police for attack through targeted killing of senior officials and frequent assaults on police facilities and personnel” (International Crisis Group, 2008, p. 3). Between January 2007 and June 2011 nearly 3500 ANP officers have been killed, 1250 of these in 2010 alone (Chesser, 2011, p. 3). It is unsurprising that ANP training has subsequently included “more military skills and combat training” even though this causes the ANP to be less “self-sufficient” as a police force (Cordesman et al., 2009, p. 110).   20 This ‘target-hardening’ of the ANP has raised concerns they are being “used inappropriately as a fighting force against heavily armed insurgents” and are now “expected to operate as ‘little soldiers’ helping to seize and hold territory and prevent the return of the Taliban” (Perito, 2009, p. 8). Those police training programs committed to developing ‘professional’ police through civilian police trainers have been forced to give way to military and private contract trainers able to operate in increasingly hostile environments (Sachs, 2011). Also, in an effort to synchronize training efforts across organizations, COIN leaders have argued against multiple training programs that focus on “community policing” in safer areas and “counterinsurgency and survival techniques” in danger zones as “a lack of common standards creates forces not appropriate for the current threat environment” (Caldwell & Finney, 2010, p. 124). With the current trends in police militarization, it is easy to forget that the main purpose of police in a COIN environment is to provide security and pursue ‘hearts and minds’ community engagement and partnership. That the latter purpose has been neglected is a serious concern to all involved but the lack of a feasible alternative limits the redirection of ANP training. With the ANP spread thinly across wide rural areas, lacking equipment and training, and forced to “switch between policing and military roles with little notice” (Cordesman et al., 2009, p. 111), most trainers believe they have little choice but to emphasize military capabilities if only to ensure the organization’s survival. The process of police militarization during the Troubles bears a remarkable resemblance to the transformation currently taking place in Afghanistan. Although these two insurgencies take place in dramatically different settings and political circumstances, the same COIN necessities pressured the militarization process in both campaigns. Northern Ireland illustrates the problems that arise when a ‘police-priority’ approach to COIN is adopted without a thorough   21 understanding of the inherent limits and capabilities of police. To be clear, the Troubles are best known for complex ethnic, political, and religious strife that is largely outside of this paper’s comparative scope. The deep-rooted division between Protestant unionism and Catholic nationalism was the central feature of the Troubles but plays a background role in the following discussion. In the late 1960s, intense and widespread sectarian violence broke out in Northern Ireland and led to the collapse of the unionist-controlled government in 1972 and was followed by a period of “direct rule” by the British government. In the period leading to the collapse of the unionist regime, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), Northern Ireland’s primary police force, clearly played a “political role” in support of the unionist government and favoured Protestants over Catholic nationalist communities (Weitzer, 1995, pp. 44-45). The RUC’s “blatantly political policing” of the 1950s and 1960s caused deep resentment amongst the Catholic population towards the force and eventually it became incapable of providing ‘regular policing’ to nationalist communities (p. 51) and instead resorted to highly militarized COIN operations (p. 63).  The British Army was initially sent to Northern Ireland in 1969 “in support of the civil power” and to help the RUC contain the political violence. However, due to a growing number of violent attacks on the police, “this strategy became less and less applicable… and the army increasingly came to take over the functions of the police” (Thackrah, 1983, p. 41). Nonetheless, the British COIN strategy in Northern Ireland was heavily influenced by the previously discussed experience in Malaya and the emphasis soon shifted to ‘winning the hearts and minds’ of the population by coordinating the civil-military elements of the campaign and encouraging ‘police primacy’ over the army (Dixon, 2009, p. 446). The ‘police primacy’ strategy was based   22 on the general COIN assumption that the police are better at engaging and partnering with communities because they are “more effective intelligence gatherers, more likely to be sensitive to local opinion, and therefore more effective at winning hearts and minds, [while helping] to create an image of normality” (Dixon, 2009, p. 464). Similar to the recent increase in ANP deployment, the RUC in Northern Ireland “was once again pushed to the forefront in the maintenance of internal security” in a process known as ‘Ulterization’ (Ellison & O’Reilly, 2008, p. 407). Also similar to the Afghanistan mission, Ulterization was impeded by the high levels of violence and disorder with many regions “effectively designated ‘No-Go’ areas and inaccessible to the RUC” (Ellison & Smyth, 2000, p. 82). This caused the RUC to return to a COIN role (Ellison & Smyth, 2000, p. 91) and facilitated a “widespread emphasis on the militarization of policing strategies” (Ellison & O’Reilly, 2008, p. 407). This occurred despite the stated COIN goal of using the police to ‘normalize’ the security situation and foster legitimizing relationships with the populace and resulted in “an uneasy blend” of the ideal ‘normalized policy’ and the militarized ‘on the ground’ reality (Weitzer, 1985, p. 53). The subsequent violence during the Troubles and slow process towards stabilization highlights just how seriously militarization interferes with the police community engagement role.  The entire enterprise of modern democratic policing is based on the premise that the coercive force of the military is unsuitable for maintaining domestic social order. COIN strategy clearly recognizes that “it has, is and will continue to be humanly impossible for the army to build appropriate police-citizen relations of respect, trust and tolerance by day whilst engaging in guerrilla warfare by night” (Thackrah, 1983, p. 47). That this also applies to the police is intuitive and strongly supported by the evidence. As previously discussed, no modern COIN strategy favours a militarized police as this “works against every principle of democratic   23 policing” and undermines the COIN Psywar as “the people will never trust police who routinely wield machine guns and act like an army” (Wiatrowski & Goldstone, 2010, p. 83). Unfortunately, these views are based on normative assumptions of ‘appropriate policing’ that do not always align with strategic reality. Thus, militarized police are a regular, albeit problematic, feature of post-conflict societies. I do not argue that a militarized police will undermine the COIN mission, too many examples exist of stability being reached through (or despite) a militarized police to support such a claim (Northern Ireland is one such example). However, the evidence is clear that a militarized police will prevent the community-police engagement that is central to the ‘hearts and minds’ COIN objective.  The experience of the RUC during the Troubles is a perfect case in point. The RUC had long been alienated from the Catholic nationalist community and its failure to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of this population (Dixon, 2009, p. 472) is tied to so many situational factors that any correlation with their militarized activities is incomplete at best. However, deep ties of “historical identification” bound the RUC to the Protestant unionist community and anything less then unqualified public support from this quarter was rare out of fear this would lend credence to rival Catholic claims (Weitzer, 1995, p. 125). According to COIN doctrine, the RUC should have had no difficulty engaging the Protestant population as there was no question of their legitimacy and authority. In reality, the RUC’s militarized role directly interfered with its ability to pursue or benefit from this engagement. In particular, there was a failure by the RUC to develop the interactive and mutually beneficial partnerships with the Protestant population that is integral to winning ‘hearts and minds’. In 1993, a series of public opinion surveys brought attention to the 84% of working-class Catholics who did not want closer links to the RUC Community Affairs Branch and various   24 other signs that Catholics disapproved of the police. Given less attention was the finding that roughly 90% of working-class Protestants wanted closer links to the RUC and only a respective 10% and 24 % of Protestants described the RUC as “community-orientated” and “trustworthy” (surveys cited in Ellison and Smyth, 2000, pp. 186-187). The Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland (ICPNI) also raised this issue in its groundbreaking report on recommendations for the peace process. It notes that “for a significant number of Protestants, support for the RUC as an institution may be expressed more strongly than satisfaction with the delivery of the local police service” (1999, p. 13). It also identified a general consensus among communities that “would like to see a less ‘military’ style of policing, without armoured cars and fortified police stations, and with less weaponry and smaller patrols” (p. 16) and that all political orientations saw such police “as an instrument of British government policy rather than a service meeting local priorities” (p. 23). Furthermore, it argues that the militarized policing style also frustrated the police themselves and quotes serving and retired officers who “regretted the difficulty of providing a proper community policing service with the constraints imposed on them as a result of the threats to their security” (p. 41). The reason militarized activities and community engagement are incompatible is revealed in the community policing literature. In short, successful and sustainable community-police engagement that builds confidence and trust is only possible with a substantial dedication of time, resources, and training towards encouraging “the greater personalization of police-citizen interactions” (Buerger, Petrosino, & Petrosino, 1999, p. 142). This is difficult for any traditional police officer accustomed to controlling situations and being the “central figure” during community interactions as community policing requires them to “participate, promote, and persuade” and become “one of many interested stakeholders” in the relationship (Buerger et al.,   25 1999, p. 127). For obvious reasons, this is doubly difficult for militarized police during conditions of insecurity who are forced to “rely more on preemptive action, indiscriminate arrest, higher degrees of force, and covert as opposed to public intelligence gathering” (Bayley & Perito, 2010, p. 75). While an exact formula for successful community engagement is unlikely to exist, the community policing literature has firmly concluded that it requires a high degree of complexity (Sozer, 2009, p. 36) and a police strategy that is focused, specific, and tailored to the community problems it seeks to address (Skogan & Frydl, 2004, p. 251). Such levels of complexity and focus have proven difficult for ‘normal’ police forces in peacetime environments, they are virtually impossible for militarized forces facing a violent insurgency.  A militarized police is incapable of pursuing the community partnerships encouraged by the ‘hearts and minds’ COIN approach. Such a police are unlikely to gain any more confidence or trust than an equally trained and deployed military force. The situation in Afghanistan reflects this, as the “much better trained” ANA is generally far more popular amongst the population than the ANP (Wiatrowski and Goldstone, 2010, p. 89). Of course, COIN strategy can favour a militarized police over pure military presence for reasons other than improving community partnerships. For example, in Northern Ireland there was significant political pressure on British COIN leaders to “radically redefine the nature of the conflict and the image of the antagonists” (Weitzer, 1995, p. 74). Casting insurgents as criminals to be countered by the police was considered both a prudent Psywar tactic and a way to reduce British military involvement in light of fierce domestic criticism. Similar motivations no doubt played a large part in the recent emphasis on policing in Afghanistan and the benefits and drawbacks of such objectives are beyond the scope of this paper. However, the move towards a militarized police for political breathing room should be undertaken only with a full appreciation of the long-term   26 consequences of this decision, namely the incredible challenges involved in ‘normalizing’ a militarized police.  A wealth of SSR literature details the significant challenges involved in reforming domestic police forces in post-conflict and transitional states. However, most discussion is focused on countering corruption and improving accountability and respect for the rule of law. These are critical issues often less important to COIN strategists more concerned with stabilizing the security situation. As previously mentioned, a common theme in Afghan COIN strategy is that lowering the ‘threat posture’ will allow COIN forces to focus on the engagement with communities needed to sustain government control. There is often an assumption that simply “having enough presence on the ground to understand the relationships among locals in a given area and to build trust with civilians” (O’Hanlon & Sherjan, 2010, p. 37). Unfortunately, community policing experience shows that the transition from ‘security provider’ to ‘community partner’ is not nearly as simple or viable as COIN strategy would suggest.  Once again the ‘normalization’ process in Northern Ireland is an excellent example and illustrates how even one of the largest police forces per capita, in a modern Western nation, and with a history of democratic policing is unable to fulfill its community engagement role following massive militarization. Many blame the difficult transition on the long history of sectarian violence and the RUC’s involvement in this violence which “convinced many Catholics that the force could never change or be trusted” (Ellison & Smyth, 2000, pp. 103-104). This was critical and significant efforts were undertaken to change the political associations of the RUC; including making the demographic composition of the force more representative and changing the force’s name to the neutral Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). However, the process of changing the actual function of the police is the relevant lesson for Afghanistan as it reveals   27 how militarization impedes community engagement. Despite the lengthy reform of the PSNI with strong international support and the eventual full support of all domestic parties, “the change to policing on the ground has been largely unaffected, and in many areas of the Province policing largely mirrors the reactive style of policing characteristic of the Troubles, albeit in a relative peace-time context” (Topping, 2008, p. 391). The progress of police reform has been described as “torturous” (Ellison, 2007, p. 244) and there has been an ongoing “mission creep back to the comfort zone of counterinsurgency duties and responsibilities” in PSNI training and management priorities (Ellison, 2007, p. 259). This challenge is by no means unique to Northern Ireland and is a common theme amongst all societies seeking to refocus the mission of their police forces. It concerns the ability of police officers to cast aside the pressures and expectations of the traditional law enforcement mission and adopt a genuine appreciation for the importance of community engagement. For example, efforts to reform the police in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina and instil the community policing ethos have stumbled as “police attitudes, norms and values are still overwhelmed with principles of the long-standing traditional policing model… these officers have great problems in understanding the fact that community trust and confidence are very important prerequisites for effective policing, and that traditional reactive responses alone are not sufficient” (Deljkića & Lučić-Ćatića, 2011, p. 181). While past experiences with war and widespread instability exacerbate this trend, these problems are not confined to transitional societies. Even in North America, where formal community policing originated and political and popular support is widespread, police have had great difficult genuinely engaging the community. Community policing is often not considered “real police work, but rather social work” by officers (Deukmedjian and de Lint, 2007, p. 245) and community policing initiatives tend to   28 suffer from an “institutionalized… distinction between ‘core’ and non-‘core’ duties” (Lau, 2004, p. 76). This serves as a reminder that even in the most supportive environments, police have difficulty becoming the ‘community partners’ sought after in COIN strategy. Expecting the ANP to abandon their military mindset and embrace their role as a community partner is drastically neglecting the experiences and lessons of modern community policing.  In the end, COIN strategy has limited interest in issues that will not directly improve the tenuous security situation. Nothing discussed previously suggests that the COIN requires less military activities. On the contrary, I raise these points to illustrate the problems involved in tasking a police force with military activities while expecting them to engage the Afghan population. Most recognize that ‘police primacy’ should not entail police assuming the responsibilities of the military. Bayley and Perito urge for increased military protection of police in Afghanistan and that “if the military cannot provide sufficient security to allow civil police to maximize their comparative advantage [in winning public support], then civil police should not be deployed (2010, p. 163). Although this is necessary when the ‘enemy is coming over the barricades’ and police are violently overrun at their posts, it oversimplifies the significantly more complex ability of the police to build community trust and confidence. Extensive research in community policing has revealed surprising evidence challenges the long-held notion that levels of insecurity determine public confidence and trust in the police. A growing consensus of academic observers and police practitioners accept that successful community partnerships are less determined by ‘outcomes’ than they are by ‘process’. People’s opinion of the police is less influenced by whether the police deliver a favourable outcome (arresting a suspect, settling a dispute in their favour) and more on how the police reach whatever outcome results (Forman, 2004, p. 35). Both public trust and confidence in the police depend on   29 “how police treat victims, witnesses, bystanders, people reporting crime, and those who commit crime” (Skogan & Frydl, 2004, p. 292). Of particular relevance to COIN is that there is little substantiated research that community policing programs such as “neighbourhood watch, general foot patrol, storefront offices, and community meetings” actually reduce crime or disorder (Skogan & Frydl, 2004, pp. 233-234). However, research strongly indicates that these community policing partnerships are “more effective in reducing the fear of crime and in improving public relations” (Sozer, 2009, p. 144).  The existing evidence from community policing begs a reconsideration of the role ascribed to community engagement in COIN doctrine. It may be able to significantly improve community relations and support but it has little impact on actual levels of crime and disorder. Evidence also indicates that successful community policing partnerships are possible despite high levels of disorder and violence and low community support for the police. In fact, American community policing “found that residents who resided in high-crime neighbourhoods, where support for the police was traditionally very low, were among the most active participants in police beat meetings, neighbourhood projects, and more aggressive forms of community policing activism (Reisig, 2007, p. 359). Furthermore, police who carefully engage in “process- orientated policing” generally find citizens far more willing to participate in community partnerships regardless of the level of crime (Reisig, 2007, p. 366). Similar experiences have occurred in transitional societies such as Bosnia and Herzegovina where concentrated and sustained efforts to encourage community policing interactions “achieved considerable results in [communities] where a low level of trust in police was identified, and where the incidence of crime was very high” (Deljkića & Lučić-Ćatića, 2011, p. 178). Even in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, where the RUC was found to have generally failed their community policing   30 mission, a few examples exist of successful policing partnerships that gained the confidence and trust of individual violent neighbourhoods. The ICPNI notes one case where a police team posted to the Markets area of Belfast insisted on maintaining a positive attitude towards residents and consistent interaction with the community despite the loss of many officers to the violence. The result was a rare ‘success story’ where the local police team gained significant support from the community despite general opposition towards the RUC as an institution and the severe ongoing violence (ICPNI, 1999, p. 41). This challenges the ‘paradox’ of COIN policing which assumes “insecurity indicates both a need for police and an impediment to their effectiveness” (Bayley & Perito, 2010, p. 69). The success of community engagement is not dependent on the security level and may in fact benefit from officers taking risks to get closer to the community. All of the previous discussion is important to the COIN emphasis on ‘controlling expectations’ (Army/Marine Corps, 2006, FM 1-139). Assurances that the ANP will be able to control crime and disorder while defending against insurgent activity and providing local intelligence to COIN forces have proven incredibly difficult to uphold. A police force that is honest and open about its reliance on community support and actively works to build this support through respectful and reciprocal interaction is not only more feasible but also more aligned with the realities of community policing. Such an approach would not be unique to the Afghan COIN. Following the time his Special Forces team spent integrated with an Afghan tribe, U.S. Army Major Jim Gant noted the remarkable importance of ‘honour’ in Afghan tribal society. He argues that winning hearts and minds must be done “on the ground, person-to-person, by gaining respect and trust with each tribe” (2009, p. 27). Gant believes tribal order is maintained through “mutual respect, dignity, pride and honour” (2009, p. 14). His argument that successful community engagement by U.S. forces requires them to become “American tribesmen” (p. 6) aligns with the   31 community policing emphasis on personal and respectful interaction between police and the public. Even COIN leaders such as General McChrystal have acknowledged the potential rewards of “showing greater solidarity with the Afghan people” and he avoided using body armour and  limited his security detail “to set the right tone and send the right message” (O’Hanlon & Sherjan, 2010, pp. 44-45). If American COIN leaders are convinced that community engagement goes beyond simply ensuring security, there is precedence for building a community police force despite ongoing violence. 3.2 ‘Localizing’ Community Policing Arrangements: Important Cautions to Consider  Although militias, tribal alliances, and the retainers of local power-holders were instrumental in the opening years of the Afghanistan War, following the collapse of the Taliban government Coalition forces became increasingly averse to armed non-state actors. It was generally feared that these actors might challenge the embryonic Afghan government, whether by directly rivalling state authority or by simply operating outside of the limited government and Coalition control. Disarmament initiatives were introduced and an emphasis was placed on building an ANA (and eventually an ANP) capable of providing for the Afghan state’s security needs. However, in recent years the ‘security gap’ in Afghanistan has become an increasingly pressing concern to the COIN as Coalition troops are withdrawn before the ANA and ANP have the capacity to secure much of the isolated rural population. With recently ‘won-over’ tribes and villages constantly under threat of attack or co-option by insurgent forces it has become apparent that “doing nothing to fill the security gap is not a genuine option” (Cordesman et al., 2009, p. 135). The response was an increased willingness by Coalition and Afghan government leaders to court various local security entities as stopgap measures until the ANP’s capabilities increase.   32  In 2006 the Afghan National Police Auxiliary (ANPA) was the first such entity to arise, advocated by the US as a compromise between the return to tribal militias and total reliance on the limited ANP (Skinner, 2008, p. 302). Despite fierce criticisms to the contrary, it was hoped that ANP commanders would be able to control these locally recruited auxiliary police deployed within their own communities and would be able to prevent them from becoming the tools of local power-holders. With hindsight, it is clear the ANPA was a “quick-fix effort” (Perito, 2009, p. 9) and little coherent effort was made to properly train, vet, or monitor these units. Rife with corruption, incompetent practices, and increasingly conflicting with regular ANP members and duties, the ANPA was formally disbanded in September 2008 (Cordesman et al., 2009, p. 136).  The current community-based police programs are still in their early stages and are primarily being used to help ‘hold’ high risk regions with insufficient ANSF presence. The most widespread program is known as the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and is part of the recently organized Village Stability Operations (VSO). VSO began in early 2010 and involve U.S. special operations forces immersed into a village and essentially becoming the ‘American tribesman’ advocated by Major Gant. The VSO force ‘shapes’ the village towards the COIN effort through “the building of rapport, trust, and relationships” and “[protect] the population [while] laying the foundation for follow-on development and governance efforts” (DOD, 2011, p. 61). The ALP was formed in August 2010 and is utilized in particularly insecure regions to help the VSO force ‘hold’ their village. “District ALP sites fall under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior and thus are under the authority of the given district’s chief of police… ALP members are nominated by a representative local shura [tribal council], are vetted by the Afghan intelligence service, and are trained by and partnered with designated U.S. forces” (DOD, 2011, p. 62).   33  It is too early for reliable evaluations of the AP3 or ALP, and while many concerns have been raised, they cannot yet be accurately substantiated. One report, released by the Human Rights Watch in September 2011 raised allegations of human rights abuses by the ALP such as “murderous tribal vendettas, targeted killings, smuggling, and extortion. [With] rapes of women, girls, and boys [being] frequent” (p. 1). Although disturbing, it is unlikely that the possibility of human rights abuse alone will lead to the disbandment of the ALP and similar local security providers. COIN leaders are under considerable pressure to disrupt insurgents at all costs and unless violations of this nature are shown to undermine security improvements, change is unlikely in the near future. For example, the failed ANPA was disbanded only when “nearly one third of [its] trainees were never seen again after they had been given a gun, uniform and [the] brief training” (International Crisis Group, 2008, p. 4). Therefore, the following discussion will not directly address the risk of local security providers harming their own communities but rather how these security providers can potentially interfere with the COIN effort to engage communities.  Northern Ireland’s history with local part time policing begins with “the very emergence of the state itself, when from its inception its very existence was threatened by communal violence” (Mapstone, 1994, p. 19). Prior to the partition of Ireland, a number of armed local Protestant militias existed with the proclaimed objective of defending the union with Great Britain and Protestantism in Ireland. These local forces were outlawed following partition for fear they would “exacerbate the unrest and lead to civil war” (Ellison & Smyth, 2000, p. 25). However, with the rise in violence after 1919 the British government agreed to create auxiliary forces to support the Irish police and British army. Organized as the Ulster Service Corps (USC), membership of these auxiliary forces consisted primarily of former members of the now illegal   34 protestant militias and vigilante groups (Weitzer, 1995, p. 32). During the first few turbulent years of the new Northern Ireland state, the USC “bore a major burden of responsibility for the enforcement of law and order in the province” while the RUC became established (Mapstone, 1994, p. 21). Although violence eventually subsided sufficiently to allow the disbandment of much of the USC, one section known as the ‘B Specials’ remained until the Troubles. The B specials were a part time reserve force primarily involved in guard and patrol duties within their own localities. They were renowned for their local knowledge as “they were in the country all the time and if anything happened they knew all about it” (Mapstone, 1994, p. 22) and thus they provided the crucial link between individual communities and the larger COIN activities of the RUC and military. In essence, they played the same community policing role as the ALP but for the additional dimension of being involved in widespread abuse and prejudice against the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland. The crisis of police legitimacy during the Troubles led to the official disbandment of the B Specials in 1970, although most members were eventually incorporated into the replacement police and military reserve units (Ellison & Smyth, 2000, p. 73). While the unique sectarian nature of the Northern Ireland conflict once again necessitates caution in transferring lessons between the two settings, the experience with auxiliary and part-time community policing during the Troubles illustrates the challenges such entities pose to the community partnerships sought by COIN strategy. Although the majority of literature is concerned with how these units contributed to the oppression of the Catholic population, I focus on how community-based security providers impeded engagement with the Protestant population which was already supportive of the RUC and the COIN effort in general. By extension, these problems should be of more concern to attempts at engagement with the often-times ambivalent or hostile Afghan population.   35 COIN experience has already revealed the dangers of relying on simple alliances with tribal leaders to secure communities. For example, the failure to connect or co-opt the people of the Arghandab region on a local level is blamed for the rapid Taliban resurgence following the death of government ally Mullah Naqib in 2009 (Jones & Muñoz, 2010, p. 74). COIN strategy has since prioritized this localized involvement and the VSO are just one example of close local partnership between Afghans and U.S. forces. Unfortunately, this lesson has not yet extended to the deployment of the ANP, and many of these community partnerships risk disappearing when U.S. troops are withdrawn. The VSO, among other objectives, are meant to help compensate for the tendency of Afghans “to avoid the police and rely on local leaders in attempting to obtain security and justice” (Cordesman et al., 2009, pp. 103-104). Although the VSO appear to be successful at engaging communities and the DOD claims “the insurgency increasingly views [VSO] as a significant threat to their ability to influence the population” (2011, p. 61), they neglect the ANP from the entire partnership building process. The VSO’s ALP partnerships are meant “to free [ANSF forces] that would otherwise be tied down to patrolling villages and providing local security, so that they can be used to conduct offensive operations against insurgents” (Jones & Muñoz, 2010, p. 76). Consequently, reports indicate that approximately 50% of rural Afghans in the east and south have no weekly contact with the ANP (Jones, 2009, p. 181). A partnership effort that bypasses the ANP may be justifiable as a “but we must do something now” operation due to the limited capabilities of the police (Cordesman et al., 2009, p. 135). However, until these partnerships lead to support for the ANP they will not aid in the COIN mission’s transition to Afghan responsibility.   36 It is not uncommon for police to outsource day-to-day community functions to auxiliary units with varying levels of affiliation to the regular police or, during severe unrest, to community-based reserve units. In Northern Ireland the B Specials were tasked with staffing checkpoints, conducting border and community patrols, and “more mundane tasks” (Weitzer, 1995, p. 32). These tasks were considered necessary but a drain on the manpower of the regular police. However, they also constituted the bulk of community-police interactions and the focal point for community engagement. In the words of one local reservist, “I was very proud because I was involved in a country platoon, where people were farmers, and there was a tremendous social aspect as well… we all knew each other and got on well, and we thought we were doing something to protect the community” (Mapstone, 1994, p. 23). Subsequently, the B Specials gained significant respect amongst the Protestant population and most “expressed reverence for the force” (Weitzer, 1995, p. 41). Unfortunately, the confidence and trust placed in the B Specials did not necessarily extend to the RUC and the reserve force was inherently more aligned with the interests of its community than the overarching COIN effort. When it became apparent that members of the B Specials were involved in Protestant unrest, the British government was forced to re-examine the reliability of their local ‘partnerships’ and decided to disband the part time reserve (Mapstone, 1994, p. 25). The protestant community “felt a deep sense of betrayal over the disbanding of the B Specials” (Maguire, 2000, p. 347) and this was followed by “fierce rioting in Protestant areas of Belfast, resulting in the killing of an RUC Constable, the first police fatality of the [conflict]” (Ellison & Smyth, 2000, p. 66). This illustrates that the partnership gained through community policing is not as straightforward as COIN strategy suggests. Community security providers who   37 wear uniforms provided by the government do not necessarily ‘pass on’ loyalty and trust to the central authority that they earn through community involvement. Community policing research indicates that police agencies as a whole can only sustain the support of the public if the entire department is engaged in partnership building interactions as “separate units with different orientations will not work because much of traditional reactive policing is incompatible with community policing” (Famega, 2009, p. 79). It is the individual police officer and the relationships he or she forms with the community that produce the generalized improvements in public support for the force (Skogan & Frydl, 2003, p. 298). By extension, the connection of the individual officer to the organization seeking increased support is the crucial element in benefitting from the community-level partnerships. This is likely more important in Afghan communities where “primary loyalty [is] to persons rather than to abstract concepts such as the state or the law” (Brzoska, 2009, p. 248). A COIN strategy that distances the focal point of community engagement from the recipient cause through the outsourcing of community policing activities should not expect to reap a substantial or sustainable return in public support. COIN and community policing are both prone to assumptions about community dynamics and tend to focus on the police behaviour needed to gain community support rather than the communities themselves. Over time, both fields have begun to recognize that the dynamics of individual communities are highly variable and that it is often counterproductive to assume one method of engagement will function in all communities. Unfortunately, these lessons almost always become apparent following a failed attempt at engagement. In Afghanistan, this encouraged the accommodation of the unique tribal nature of rural Afghan society. After losing substantial control of the militias used to overthrow the Taliban, COIN strategists realized “the   38 focus of bottom-up efforts should be on tribal leaders and their shuras and jirgas, not individuals” (Jones, 2009, pp. 320). Nonetheless, recognizing the importance of one complex aspect of Afghan society should not discount further exploration. Thus far, COIN strategists have displayed a notable willingness, considering the challenging conditions, to examine and understand the nature of the communities they seek to engage. They have noted the dangers involved in assuming an understanding of ‘tribalism’ will be sufficient when pursuing community engagement. As one COIN leader notes, “the point that I would make is there’s some 425 tribes here in Afghanistan and oftentimes a single tribe might be on one side of a valley and another tribe on the other side. So you need to be careful about which tribe you engage because they may have traditional hostile rivalries, etcetera” (quoted in RUSI and FPRI, 2009, pp. 131-132). Furthermore, attempts have been made to expand the understanding of the tribal structure to encompass the “competing identities of tribe, subtribe, clan, qawm, or locality” and to recognize the importance of “the overarching tribal identity… because it remains important for some Pashtuns” (Jones & Muñoz, 2010, p. 17). This nuanced approach is beneficial when attempting community engagement. However, there is a danger that the developing concept of ‘community’ can become fixated on one facet while ignoring others that may have even more influence on the success of policing partnerships.  The Northern Ireland experience again provides a telling example of how community engagement ‘tunnel-vision’ can hamper or even reverse attempts to build policing partnerships. In this society, the obvious feature requiring police attention was the Catholic-Protestant divide. In the build-up to the Troubles, the RUC largely neglected or outright discriminated against the Catholic population and “the Ministry of Home Affairs was never sufficiently concerned with the level of Catholic confidence in the RUC to initiate any meaningful program to improve   39 relations” (Weitzer, 1995, p. 37). Throughout the Troubles, police reform focused heavily on reversing this discrepancy by altering the force composition, offering more even-handed treatment of Protestants and Catholics, and overall attempting to address more Catholic grievances. While such reform “was to be a key factor” in the peace process (Ellison, 2007, p. 265), the success of community policing partnerships have been heavily curtailed by a failure to go beyond the Protestant-Catholic divide. In particular, police have neglected to explore and utilize aspects of housing segregation and national identity that continue to confound partnership efforts. Segregated housing produced a population with “definite ideas” about their neighbourhood loyalties and boundaries which tended to be “relatively insulated, self-sufficient, integrated localities” (Weitzer, 1995, p. 13). Efforts to appeal to the larger religious identities of the population often did not address the very specific needs of these individual neighbourhoods. Similarly, assumptions about the cohesive identity of the Protestant community have proven misleading as survey research revealed “that there is no single agreed national identity in Northern Ireland. In reality the label of national identity masks a range of social and political attitudes” (Mapstone, 1994, p. 87). The overarching emphasis on reconciling the Catholic- Protestant divide in police relations produced programs that neglected these complex attributes and encouraged “institutional inertia” in police efforts to explore these additional dimensions (Topping, 2008, p. 391). This is not meant to dispute that certain characteristics of a society are more meaningful to community engagement than other. The religious divide in Northern Ireland and tribalism in Afghanistan are clearly central considerations. However, this must never limit further examination of additional community dynamics that may or may not have a direct influence on the success of policing partnerships.   40 Another point must be made about community engagement when no recognizable community exists. COIN commentary has occasionally warned against relying on community structures for engagement with one U.S. Army assessment concluding that “a singular focus on ‘tribe’ as the central organization principle of Afghan society implies a need to identify leaders, institutions, and relationships that may not exist” (cited in Jones & Muñoz, 2010, p. 16). Similarly, an Afghan ambassador to Washington warned that “Afghan tribal structures had been weakened by decades of conflict” and that attempts to use these structures for community policing “could backfire” (cited in Perito, 2009, p. 10). In his first-hand account of Afghan society during the Taliban regime, Dexter Filkins notes his belief that “something had broken fundamentally after so many years of war, that there had been some kind of primal dislocation between cause and effect, a numbness wholly understandable” (2008, p. 20). The disruption or complete absence of recognizable community structures is expected in war-torn societies and must be acknowledged in attempts to engage communities. Unfortunately, community policing experience offers little useful guidance for these situations other than a necessary reminder about the inherent limits of policing. Without some form of community structure police cannot gather intelligence and have no means to counter disorder beyond the limited influence of their physical presence. It is not difficult to find examples of modern North American police forces struggling to bring order to drug-ridden, transient communities in the heart of urban ghettos. Initially, there were hopes that community policing arrangements might help improve community organization and cohesion. However, no evidence has appeared to support this ideal and at least one extensive American study concluded that community policing fails “to affect community processes [or] build stronger communities” (Kerley & Benson, 2000, p. 65). Therefore, it is critical that COIN forces in war-torn   41 Afghanistan thoroughly examine the extent of community degradation before engaging in partnership building. 3.3 Including Youth in Community Engagement: Small Efforts Can Make a Difference  The simplest description of the COIN approach to youth in Afghanistan is ‘conscious neglect’. In all of the COIN policy guides to community engagement there is but one reference to youth, and this clearly states a preference for non-engagement. Kilcullen’s advice to company level COIN forces in Afghan communities is to “beware the children”. Stop your people fraternizing with local children. Your troops are homesick; they want to drop their guard with the kids. But children are sharp-eyed, lacking in empathy, and willing to commit atrocities their elders would shrink from. The insurgents are watching: they will notice a growing friendship between one of your people and a local child, and either harm the child as punishment, or use them against you… Harden your heart and keep the children at arm’s length. (2006, p. 7) While presumably reasonable guidance for COIN forces engaging communities briefly and moving on, this is clearly insufficient for any force, particularly the police, engaged in permanent presence operations. Unfortunately, no follow-up has yet to be produced in either official COIN policy or academic commentary.  Despite the lack of policy attention, COIN discussion has raised Afghan youth as an issue that needs to be addressed. Kilcullen notes the danger of unengaged young Afghans being lured into insurgent violence because “when the battle was right there in front of them, how could they not join… [considering] how boring it was to be a teenager in a valley in central Afghanistan” (2009, p. 40). He warns that “an unemployed, traumatized, deracinated youth population [is] vulnerable to recruitment” by insurgents after the “traditional authority structure has been   42 especially heavily corroded through war and its attendant social chaos” (2009, p. 79). A recent UN report on Afghanistan notes that “the recruitment and use of children in the armed conflict emerged as an increasing concern in the first half of 2011” and cites children and youth suicide bombers as well as children being used to carry bombs that are detonated remotely (UNAMA, 2011, p. 5). It also reports that “Afghan security forces have made an increasing number of arrests of children suspected of being suicide attackers” (2011, p. 15). Clearly youth are a COIN concern in Afghanistan and security forces are unable to simply rely on engagement with existing community and familial structures to control the younger generation.  Similar to Afghanistan, the COIN strategy during the Troubles did not consider youth a priority and no particular importance was placed on engaging youth during police reform. Youth and children were generally seen as stone-throwing “nuisances” or potential future terrorists while the army and police admitted they were “difficult to try and deal with” (Thackrah, 1983, p. 43). Little attention was given to the effects of insurgency violence on Northern Irish youth until the beginning of the peace process roughly a decade ago when a number of troubling issues in youth disorder and youth-police relations began to arise. It should be noted that research data seems to indicate that “the intensity and severity of the experiences of children in Northern Ireland have been less than in other conflicts” (Muldoon, 2004, p. 456). Therefore, one can assume that the trends identified in Northern Ireland are but a shadow of the problems faced in Afghanistan where the violence is significantly worse. Furthermore, although Catholic youths undeniably faced more violence and trauma than their Protestant counterparts, the following issues of disengagement and alienation from the police appear to affect young people “regardless of community background” (Byrne, Conway, & Ostermeyer, 2005, p. 55).   43 In general, survey evidence indicates that young people found it “hard to relate” with the police force during and after the Troubles (ICPNI, 1999, p. 16) and that the majority held negative views of the police (Byrne et al., 2005, p. 3). Young people in Northern Ireland appear to have a particularly low opinion of police authority in their communities and this has seriously affected their willingness to interact with the police force. For example, only 38% of youth respondents would contact police first to report an attack and only 12 % would consider joining the police service (Byrne et al., 2005, p. 5). Research in Northern Ireland is also concurrent with the wider international empirical evidence which suggests “that exposure to violence, and, in particular, community violence, can negatively impact on adolescent mental health including poorer psychological health” which includes an “increased likelihood of suicide ideation” and “increased aggression” (McAloney, McCrystal, Percy, & McCartan, 2009, p. 637). While not particularly surprising, this evidence is a reminder of the dire consequences similar trends amongst Afghan youth would have on the long-term COIN effort.  I will not argue that youth and children should be a priority in COIN community engagement. Although the growing realization that successful COIN campaigns are drawn-out affairs and the decade-long conflict in Afghanistan are good reasons to consider increased engagement with youth; the extremely challenging circumstances, limited resources, and fatigued international political willpower for the Afghan mission do not lend themselves to a serious policy reorientation of this kind. COIN policy is not alone in its neglect of youth; community policing, despite the consensus that youth and young adults commit the majority of crime, has long struggled to include youth in community partnership plans. Community engagement has invariably prioritized business interests, organized neighbourhood groups, and government or NGOs over neighbourhood youth (Forman, 2004, p. 20). Nonetheless, community   44 policing has had significantly more time and opportunity to learn from its mistakes and is gradually moving towards increased youth engagement. These steps have been small but provide some important lessons for COIN strategy: even small efforts can have a significant impact on community engagement.  Community policing research has repeatedly indicated that police passivity towards youth and a lack of leisure activities have a considerable negative impact on young people’s perceptions of the police and increase their tendency for disorderly behaviour. Neither of these issues necessitates extensive programs; they only require a shift in how and where police interact with youth. In Northern Ireland, the lack of communication or interaction between police and youth on an informal level was found to be a leading cause of the negative view of the police (Byrne et al., 2005, p. 7). Similarly, a review of the community policing research found that an absence of familiarity between youth and police contributed strongly to the lack of respect for police (Williams, 1999, p. 168). Furthermore, this passivity and lack of respect allows police to become an “anonymous target for the pent-up frustration” of disenfranchised young people (Marans & Berkman, 1997, p. 3).  Kilcullen has already alluded to the dangers of bored youth in an insurgency setting and it is important that this is met with policy change. If police and security forces are to engage with Afghan communities, keeping the youth preoccupied should be a priority. Evidence from Northern Ireland clearly shows that young people’s involvement in violence and disorder increases with boredom due to the lack or inaccessibility of recreational facilities (Byrne et al., 2005, p. 11). Street violence was also “highest during school holidays and where there is a lack of other leisure activities for young people” (Smyth, Fay, Brough & Hamilton, 2004, p. 116). The specifics of youth engagement can only be determined by those actors actively involved in   45 the villages and communities. They have a better understanding of what is realistic on the ground and over time. However, it is safe to say that including the advice to “keep the youth distracted” in COIN doctrine is an appropriate step towards more sustainable community engagement.                       46 4. Implications and Conclusion  COIN strategy requires engagement with communities and community policing is idealized as effective engagement that provides population security while building support for government security forces. Unfortunately, community policing in a COIN setting is incredibly difficult as the fundamental principles of community policing do not fit with COIN priorities. The success of community policing is determined by the process of engagement whereas COIN is inherently concerned with outcomes. The COIN approach to community policing in Afghanistan is repeating many of the mistakes recognized during the Troubles as there are incentives to neglect the process of police-community engagement. Community policing in COIN will not be successful if the policing and COIN roles are not distinguished. A clear division of labour between the two efforts is required to allow police to focus on and benefit from the process of community engagement. The preceding discussion highlighted three policy areas of the Afghanistan COIN that must be redirected if community policing is to have any role in ‘winning over’ the population.  With increasing insurgent violence directed against the ANP, the COIN response of militarizing the police has led to many of their activities being indistinguishable from the ANA. As the experiences in Northern Ireland illustrate, a militarized police is incapable of successfully engaging communities. Community policing research finds that successful process-orientated community policing is time-consuming, complex, and contrary to many of the roles and activities of traditional police. Militarized police are less likely to overcome these challenges as they are inherently focused on outcomes such as the number of insurgents killed, lack of civilian casualties, and number of ‘boots on the ground’.   47 The assumption that the ANP will be able to return to proper community policing once the ‘threat posture’ has been reduced does not align with the community policing literature nor the experiences of police reform in Northern Ireland. Overcoming the institutional affiliation with militarized activities is very difficult and will unlikely occur in time to benefit the COIN effort. Therefore, if the ANP is to successfully engage in community policing, this task must be clearly separated from other militarized COIN duties. COIN military forces must protect communities and their police from insurgent attack as the police cannot fulfill both roles. Fortunately, community policing experience indicates that the police and the population do not need to be fully secured for beneficial engagement to occur. If the military can maintain sufficient security so that the police are not overrun at their posts, commitment to the process of community policing despite the insurgent threat may actually increase the return in public support. The ANP is in desperate need of this support and it will be unfortunate if their military role is not redirected back towards community policing at this early stage of their development.  Recent attempts to ‘localize’ community policing arrangements in Afghanistan raise concerns about the effects of such community engagement on the COIN mission. The COIN focus on population security has compelled strategists to outsource community policing tasks to local security providers. While this may improve the security outcome, it also outsources the process of community policing as local security providers now interact significantly more with their communities than the ANP. Community policing experience cautions against this trend as it will likely result in more public support for local security providers than government forces. Should these groups need to be disbanded, the COIN effort may not benefit from the public support they achieved and it may even aggravate tensions with the local communities. The ANP   48 must fulfill its community policing duties if public support for the police and COIN effort is to be sustained long-term.  The COIN reliance on tribal structures when engaging Afghan communities risks inhibiting the community policing effort. Tribal structures in Afghanistan are certainly important but they must not overshadow other potentially influential dynamics. Community policing can only succeed when the process of policing is carefully tailored to individual communities. Focusing on one aspect of Afghan society may cause other key dynamics to be neglected. Furthermore, the tribal dynamics may not be as strong or as universal as COIN strategy assumes. Community policing research is an important reminder of the limits to community engagement and the inability of police to rebuild shattered communities. Those undertaking community policing in Afghanistan must have the freedom and ability to thoroughly explore the dynamics of the populace before attempting serious community engagement.  Finally, the COIN approach towards youth and children is unsustainable, particularly during the long-term conflict in Afghanistan. While COIN military forces may benefit from avoiding contact with children, those engaging in community policing cannot afford this option. At the very least, attempts must be made to distract the youth and children from the insurgency and violence surrounding them. This does not necessarily require large-scale programs or policy change but ignoring them all together will forfeit an opportunity for community engagement that may mitigate the serious COIN consequences of an entire generation raised in a violent insurgency.  COIN doctrine has undergone significant changes since the Taliban regime was overthrown in Afghanistan. It now incorporates numerous disciplines that are increasingly being prioritized ahead of traditional military activities. Engaging the population through community   49 policing is incredibly difficult in this complex insurgency. 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