The tactical guys in the field understand the significance of influence. From Command Sergeant Major Michael T. Hall at NATO ISAF HQ:
[The words on this cardboard] encapsulates everything we’re trying to achieve in Afghanistan at the strategic, operational and tactical level on a single piece of cardboard that is understood and practiced at every level in Fox Company.
We have all have got to take the mental leap and realize that the best way to protect ourselves and the population is thru the Afghan people and the ANSF.
Everywhere we build trust, there are examples of this. The ANSF are, our relief, treat them that way, help develop them that way, and understand it has to be an Afghan way, or it will not be sustainable and everyone knows that. We have to push as hard as we can, but the push can only be lead by example, and sometimes that doesn’t seem to be enough, but, remember, we have tours, this is life for them.
The cardboard reads from Fox Company 2/2 US Marines reads:
Best counter to IEDs: #1 The Afghan people, #2 ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] partners and then metal detectors, dogs, [Afghan] BOSS, [Airplanes], etc. More than 80% of our IED finds have been the direct result of tips from local nationals because of the respect that you show to the people – and because they’ve watched you ruthlessly close with and destroy the enemy. Never forget that the best X-IED TTP’s = #1 the Afghan people & #2 our ANSF partners.