Counterinsurgency is the dominant aspect of US operations in Afghanistan, and since ISAF—the NATO-led security and assistance force—has assumed growing security responsibility throughout the country, it is also a mission for the Europeans.1 The frame in which military operations are conducted is irregular warfare, a form of conflict which differs from conventional operations in two main aspects. First, it is warfare among and within the people. Second, it is warfare in which insurgents avoid a direct military confrontation, using instead unconventional methods and terrorist tactics.

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