MULTI-NATIONAL BASE TARIN KOT, Afghanistan (Feb. 22, 2011) -- Counterinsurgency, also known as COIN, is the main focus in Afghanistan. It is a partnered effort between the Afghan government and coalition forces to bring peace to the nation by gaining the confidence of the people; and it will soon be fully led by Afghan National Security Forces.
On Feb. 16, a class of 20 ANSF members and their Australian mentors received training on COIN tactics as part of an ongoing effort to give the Afghan military the lead in upcoming operations.
The goal is to teach ANSF members the best way to defeat the insurgents, which is to build trust in the Afghan government, said Staff Sgt. Neil Frachiseur, COIN instructor from 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.
"Everything we do is seen and interpreted by ourselves, by the enemy and by the population," said Al Bachus, an instructor for the COIN Training Center in Afghanistan. "Your actions continue to have an effect. Just like when you throw a pebble into the lake. The water will continue to ripple until it hits the shore."
The key to counterinsurgency, he said, is to understand every ripple and its consequences - good or bad.
The class starts by teaching students how much they already know about COIN. An open discussion led by the instructor allows students to find the answers to common counterinsurgency problems.
From there the instructors build upon what the class already knows, said Frachiseur.
Every class taught at the COIN Training Center is tailored to fit the needs of the class and their level of understanding.
"This training has been very useful," said Col. Hajji Fazal Ahmad Fahim, operations officer for the Operations Coordination Center - Uruzgan Province. "It helps us separate the enemy from the regular people."
Ultimately, the plan is to have Afghans teaching COIN to other Afghans and have them learning from each other from the start.
Frachiseur said the Afghan people know what their country needs, so it's important for them to take control.
The COIN Training Center now has a permanent team dedicated to training Afghans in the Uruzgan Province.
"Eventually, the Afghans will take control of the entire class," said Frachiseur. "We'll still be here in an advisory role, but the course will be theirs."