The US Army has two approaches to counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. One is hard, or combat-focused, and the other is soft, or development-focused. This study examines two US Army task forces deployed to Panjwai District, Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013. CTF 4-9 and 1-38 offer a meaningful comparison because they pursued these contrasting approaches among the same population and against the same enemy at the same time and place. The study compares each unit’s approach and finds that neither approach was successful absent the other. The article concludes by recommending further research into combining the approaches at the operational level.
- US Army