View Full Version : Agricultural Component of the Afghanistan Surge?

12-14-2008, 03:28 PM
If we are to accept the premise that Afghanistan will require an integrated DIME (Diplomacy, Information, Military, Economic) solution to its problems then we might profitably consider the makeup of the future ‘Surge’ that is to be sent to this country, which is renowned for its isolating geography. (1, 2, 3)

The USDA estimates that about 80% of Afghanistan’s population works in Agriculture (4) Accordingly, I will focus exclusively upon an analysis of the feasibility of an Agricultural Component for the Afghanistan Surge because it is my preference to have Afghani’s working in Agriculture and its supporting industries rather than ‘working’ to harm our troops (the analysis takes into account that the growing season lasts only part of the year).

If we take the American Model to be the 100% Agricultural Solution it would seem that for ~ 400 million acres of arable productive farmland (5 -FAO) 21,000 Agricultural Specialists (6 - USBLS) (Subject Matter Experts on soil, crops, pests, etc.) would be needed. This works out to 19,048 acres per Ag Specialist.

Oftentimes when a soldier is ‘downrange’ a less than 100% solution is found to be ‘good enough’ in many instances. Lets assume a 70% solution is our upper limit and a 51% solution is our lower limit for a typical ‘good enough’ solution. Given that Afghanistan has approximately 20 million acres (1 ha = 2.47 acres) of arable productive farmland (7 - FAO) a 70% solution would require approximately 730 Agricultural Specialists, and a 51% solution would require approximately 530. If we are concerned about difficult geography we might plus up the force to 150% of what’s needed or a little more than 1560 Agricultural Specialists. We need to take into account the concept of sweat equity and have Afghani’s as the lead element in this effort. (8 - Wikipedia) USDA states that they have provided 70 technical specialists for Afghanistan since 2003 and that Congressional Funding is an issue of concern. (9 – USDA)

We would need to arm Agricultural Specialists with training, seed, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides for crops that are both cultivatable in Afghanistan as well as desired by the Afghani’s from a business standpoint. This might include crops such as Almonds, Cotton, Pomegranates, Raisins, Tea, and Wheat. (10 - FAO) Planning and preparation could be best done now, while planting season is some months off.

The approximately 3 billion dollar floral industry is an agricultural business model that might apply to Afghanistan. (11 – USDA ERS) Columbia and some of its competitors in Africa provide many data points to consider. (12 – Business Daily Africa). India has expertise in this business as well. (13 Trade Journal) It’s certainly not the only business model for Afghanistan, but perhaps it could be part of a 51% to 70% ‘good enough’ solution focused upon an Agricultural Component of the Surge.

Opium’s importance in Afghanistan cannot be discounted, and may account for approximately half of the country’s estimated 4.4 billion dollar GDP. (14 - UN) Fulfilling demand for opium by pharmaceutical companies might be a small part of a solution to this complex and multi-faceted problem. (15 - Wikipedia)

An analysis similar to that of the proposed Agricultural Component of the Afghanistan Surge should also be prepared for the supporting project managers, irrigation specialists, hydraulics & hydrology specialists, and the water well specialists, needed to supply adequate water for the myriad small scale agricultural projects that might be accomplished as part of a Surge in Afghanistan.

The USAID, USACE, USISP, and others have already been thinking about and working on the roads needed to get agricultural supplies and products in and out of remote villages. (16, 17, 18, & 19) We could also build an estimate for the number of road crews, road security teams, truck drivers, mechanics, gas station personnel (as well as the appropriate specialists) that could be employed by focusing upon an Afghani led Agricultural Component of the Afghanistan Surge.

It is my opinion that by ensuring that the Afghanistan Surge has a thoroughly planned and resourced Agricultural Component we could reduce the impact, currently very visible in Afghanistan, of the old saying, ‘idle hands are the devils playground’. Iraq AAR lessons on this same issue are instructive. (20)

(1) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan)

(2) (http://mountainrunner.us/2008/10/new_army_doctrine_places_stabi.html)

(3) (http://www.defenselink.mil/News/newsarticle.aspx?id=51353)

(4) (http://www.fas.usda.gov/ICD/afghan/Afghan0908.pdf)

(5) (http://www.fao.org/ag/agl/agll/terrastat/)

(6) (http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs001.htm#related)

(7) (http://www.fao.org/es/ess/compendium_2006/pdf/AFG_ESS_E.pdf)

(8) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweat_equity)

(9) (http://www.fas.usda.gov/ICD/afghan/Afghan0908.pdf)

(10) (http://www.fao.org/es/ess/compendium_2006/pdf/AFG_ESS_E.pdf)

(11) (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/Archive/Floriculture/)

(12) (http://www.bdafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4599)

(13) (http://www.floracultureinternational.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=1&ed=9)

(14) (http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2003/nar819.html)

(15) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_poppy)


(17) (http://www.hq.usace.army.mil/History/bridge4.htm)

(18) (http://www.usip.org/pubs/usipeace_briefings/2007/1108_afghanistan_economy.html)

(19) (http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/the-essential-4gw-reading-list-chapter-3-david-kilcullen/)

(20) (http://projects.nytimes.com/reconstruction#p=1)

12-21-2008, 01:18 AM
While I agree with you in principal, we have to look at what is currently needed. Water seems to be the current issue with wheat production. http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/highlights/2008/12/Afghanistan/. Dependency on rainfall will continue to limit production and the simple, gravity fed irrigation systems are not particularly useful for wheat as they are for row crops.

What might be needed are wells with large scale watering systems (the large spoke style sprinklers used in the Midwest). Not sure the terrain and water table can sustain that.

I am not convinced that growing wheat will have any affect on opium production. If you look at the maps of where wheat is grown and where opium is grown you will see they do not coincinde. While I am not positive, I believe this has to do with the ability to grow each type of crop in the region. http://www.unodc.org/documents/frontpage/opium_cultivation_map_2008_Afghanistan.pdf

12-21-2008, 03:15 AM

Agree with you on the water (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=61722&postcount=47) issue. No water, no crops...

Thanks for the USDA link. This USDA report (http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/highlights/2008/08/Afghanistan%20Drought/) was from earlier in the year

Well-below normal rainfall and winter snowfall across the majority of Afghanistan during late 2007 and early 2008 have led to the worst drought conditions in the past 10 years

Here is an interesting (and dated) FAO report (http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/countries/afghanistan/index.stm) which provides some insight into Afghanistan irrigation issues:

Irrigation systems can be divided into four main categories:

* Kareze systems. A kareze (qanat) is an unlined tunnel in the hillside, bringing water by free flow from underground aquifers to be used for surface irrigation. Dug by local craftsmen from shafts at close intervals, they are small in size but may be many kilometres in length. It is estimated that 6 470 kareze still supply water to 167 750 ha, as in 1967, the date of the last inventory. It should be noted that kareze are often used for domestic water supply.
* Small-scale informal surface water systems. These are the traditional irrigation systems, many of which have been established for centuries. In the past, maintenance and reconstruction were generally arranged on a traditional informal or communal village basis, and water rights were determined and recognized in a similar manner. Technical knowledge and operational systems were thus dependent on traditional community structures, and were largely retained in the memory of individuals.
* Large-scale informal surface water systems. These are located mainly in the plains and along the main valleys. Although they are called informal, their operation and maintenance was highly structured. Repair and maintenance works can mobilize very large quantities of labour for a long period and farmers in the command area have to contribute in labour, cash or kind. Large parts of these schemes have been abandoned because of the sterilization of the land (waterlogging and salinization), particularly in the Hari Rud, Farah Rud and Helmand valleys.
* Formal irrigation schemes. Formally organized large-scale irrigation systems are a relatively recent innovation. However, by the late 1970s three large-scale modern irrigation systems had been built and were in operation: the Helmand-Arghandab system in the south-west, the Ghaziabad farms near Jalalabad in the east, and the Kunduz-Khanabad system in the northern part of the country. By 1993, only a very small part of these schemes was still operational. Land tenure was different from most traditional systems in that ownership of land was registered. Some schemes were operated under private land ownership agreements, while others were operated as state farms where land ownership was deeded to the State.

Qanats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qanat) were a concept taught in some of my hydraulics courses, and I ran across Iraqis who knew about their use in Iraq:

A qanat (from Arabic: قناة‎) or kareez (from Persian: كاريز) is a water management system used to provide a reliable supply of water to human settlements or for irrigation in hot, arid and semi-arid climates. The technology is known to have developed in ancient Persia,[1][2][3] and then spread to other cultures.

Certainly there seem to be no easy answers other than sustained effort by local folks who are dedicated (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4242494.stm) and who hopefully have some access to trained and dedicated folks who are willing to help out (http://www.defendamerica.mil/profiles/june2006/pr061406ms1.html).

As a CA Bubba, I often feel that raising, training, resourcing, and motivating a local 'technocrat army' is not as high on our to do list as it should be.



12-21-2008, 04:47 AM
Thanks for the information on the qanat. I ran across one of these systems in Khost province. It was rather amazing as it ran better then ten kilometers from the river to and under a local town. The Afghans are so good at irrigation systems that they have learned how to make water run up hill. It is actually an illusion created by the step valleys but you would swear that it runs up hill.

Three other things. First, I think that the soil tends to fail from overuse and crops have to be rotated further limiting production.

Second, in places where that happens, and generally all around the country, orchards and in particular olives might be a better cash crop. I had heard while in county, but have been unable to verify, that prior to WWII Afghanistan had a flourishing olive oil business. I know these trees take years before they produce but they may be a better fit for the soil and conditions.

Finally, Pakistan and its constant battle with India still hampers the ability to export goods. Afghanistan is a few hundered miles from one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world but could never hope to get its goods to market there.

Food for thought.

12-21-2008, 04:18 PM
Today's Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/19/AR2008121902748.html) has an Opinion Article that is of interest...

The result of letting the Pentagon take such thorough charge of the programs to create local police forces is that these units, in both Iraq and Afghanistan, have been unnecessarily militarized -- producing police officers who look more like militia members than ordinary beat cops. These forces now risk becoming paramilitary groups, well armed with U.S. equipment, that could run roughshod over Iraq and Afghanistan's nascent democracies once we leave.

Or consider another problem with the rising influence of the Pentagon: the failure to address the ongoing plague of poppy farming and heroin production in Afghanistan. This fiasco was in large part the result of the work of non-expert military personnel, who discounted the corrosive effects of the Afghan heroin trade on our efforts to rebuild the country and failed to support civilian-run counter-narcotics programs

Tom Odom
12-21-2008, 05:29 PM
I saw that one and I guess if you want to write an extremist, conspiratorial viewpoint about how the Pentagon is out to conquer the US government, you can. Frankly it just shows that the person who wrote--despite his familial ties to the services through his father--has never served in the Pentagon.

Rumsfeld did push the boundaries and undercut other agencies. That does not leave those other agencies blameless, either in rolling over and accepting the Rumsfeldian push or later in faling to meet their own responsiblities.

Looks to me like the author is posturing for a job in the new administration.


12-21-2008, 05:53 PM

Like you I am biased and don't see it all as horrible/evil thing, but this article does serve to illustrate some of the perceptions we bump into out in the field. I have had to spend more time than I thought would be necessary with my DOS, OGA, USAID, and USACE friends working through the one team one fight concept. Change is tough.

I feel that we also need to look at why many of our Inter-Agency brothers have this perception...the whole where there is smoke there is fire thing does apply to a certain extent. We have not conquered our inter-service/inter-agency tribal tendencies and have yet to really make the DIME concept work in this fight. I believe that the force-mix requests and staffing are very telling in the upcoming Afghanistan Surge. I see little to no info about a surge in the D,I, & E components...



12-21-2008, 06:00 PM
The Kansas Army National Guard was selected to take the "Agricultural Development" mission in AFG for the next three years. Guard units in Kansas screened Soldiers in their formations with Ag backgrounds and asked for volunteers. With Kansas State being a huge aggie school, there are plenty of experts around, plus all of the small farmers. A friend of mine was picked up for a year long tour. He is a CPT and has an agronomy degree. He has been told that the mission consists of teaching afghans new methods of planting, irrigation and harvest. Plus he will be doing some soil work.

I'll post more as I find out. He leaves next month.

I found this:

Tom Odom
12-21-2008, 06:03 PM

Like you I am biased and don't see it all as horrible/evil thing, but this article does serve to illustrate some of the perceptions we bump into out in the field. I have had to spend more time than I thought would be necessary with my DOS, OGA, USAID, and USACE friends working through the one team one fight concept. Change is tough.

I feel that we also need to look at why many of our Inter-Agency brothers have this perception...the whole where there is smoke there is fire thing does apply to a certain extent. We have not conquered our inter-service/inter-agency tribal tendencies and have yet to really make the DIME concept work in this fight. I believe that the force-mix requests and staffing are very telling in the upcoming Afghanistan Surge. I see little to no info about a surge in the D,I, & E components...




I agree that the biases and perceptions play a large role and do affect what we try and do. But where I disagree with this opinion piece are the ideas that:

a. The Pentagon is a monolith capable of acting as the inner evil empire; there are as many agendas inside the Pentagon as there are outside, perhaps more.

b. That inner agency friction is somehow a new phenomenon and that the Constitution is under attack as a result of the evil empir (see a.)

In 15 years of inter-agency work, the turf battles never stopped. At best, good leaders--civilian or uniformed--minimized the friction. At worst, bad leaders--civilian or uniformed--only thought in terms of their own agencies agenda. Based on this author's criticisms, I would tentatively place him in the latter category.



Ken White
12-21-2008, 06:53 PM
Today's Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/19/AR2008121902748.html) has an Opinion Article that is of interest...The premise of the article, that DoD primacy in intelligence and foreign affiars is wrong and needs to be reined in is, IMO, correct -- however, he totally misses on almost all the reasons we are where we are.

He presents a State centric view of the current Administration -- which admittedly has screwed up a number of things. So, however, have the other 11 Administrations I've seem; every single one of them including FDR. All of them contributed in several ways to put DoD in its current position.

A combination of federal missteps, academic arrogance, media ignorance and Congressional errors and partisan stupidity in the vetting and Advice and Consent business have also conspired to insure that few civilians on any real competence and stature are remotely interested in Fedral service. Why would anyone really competent want to put up with that idiocy?

We are in the DoD primacy arena because State defaulted on their obligations a number of time over the years, because Congress is venal and corrupt and would prefer to fund big ticket defense items due to the fact that helps all Districts rather than properly fund foreign affairs and assistance (and to the fact that State has never been able to state their needs very well). He neglects the death of USAID and the US Information Agency virtually at the request of DoS. Two very big errors an both were fought for by State through several Administrations and were effected prior to this administration assuming power in 2000. He needs to speak to Warren and Maddie...

The unintended consequences of Truman's establishment of a DoD -- which was not necessary and arguably led to greater efficiency (at least nominally...) at the cost of less effectiveness and of Goldwater Nichols which placed the geographic CinCs in a position to dominate regions of the world while State did and said nothing and the ineffective Desk system at Foggy Bottom and a few marginal Ambassadors virtually demanded that something be done; DoD did it -- not necessarily because they wanted to, because somebody had to...

Physician heal thyself.

On the issue on former military folks in high places; a valid concern. he suggests placing competent civilians in those positions. I totally agree -- the question is, where do you find those kinds of folks? Take a look at the last few Cabinets. Big talent is rare.

ADDED: See also Tom's comment which is correct and if anything, understated and that of jkm_101_fso for an example of DoD filling a gap that exists because state drove USAID out of business.

Schweich LINK (http://www.state.gov/outofdate/bios/s/87429.htm) is also a piece of work for complaining about ranks when he uses his own -- rather temporary and , IMO undeserved -- to promote his agenda and he sure does have one...

Parochial and self serving article -- but his principal point is valid.

12-21-2008, 09:39 PM

As always I learn from your posts and am interested in references if you are willing to share. The DOS/USAID splits are of particular interest as well as the Goldwater Nichols history.

jkm_101_fso 's post(thanks for the link jkm) is significant in several ways.

It's good to see the need for an agricultural surge officially acknowledged. A quick back of the envelope calculation tells me that if your average Afghani Farmer works for 6 months, takes every Friday off, and only works eight hours a day (most farmers work more), then he would be spending 1248 hours focused on improving his, his family's, and his nation's condition through agriculture as opposed to spending this time engaged in warfare. Depending upon the size of the force opposing us as well as the number of folks needed to push the country to stability, the total number of hours at stake is not insignificant. It would be wise of us to help the Afghani's to spend these hours on agriculture.

From the article I gather that 6 ADT's will be deployed to a country that has ~ 20 million arable acres. The ADT's are not alone (http://www.army.mil/aps/08/information_papers/other/ARNG_Agribusiness_Development_Team.html)

John Santas, an associate director of international agricultural programs at the University of Illinois, and Myers, a not-so-retired professor of plant genetics at SIUC, are heading a new project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development to revitalize agricultural education in Afghanistan as part of postwar reconstruction efforts.

From a practical standpoint as one who has been dropped off in the boonies with a couple of duffle bags and told 'figure it out' I still have questions:

1) Who's in charge of the Ag Effort?
2) Will DOD, DOS, USAID, USACE, & Coalition Forces support this?
3) How is it prioritized and resourced?
4) How are we tying ADT's, PRT's, Universities, NGO's, IO's, and Coalition forces together?
5) What are the metrics for 2009 (ie how many tons of wheat, cotton, pomegranates etc.)?
6) Who is the CIO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Information_Officer) and what are the digital languages we will speak during this effort?

As I look for answers to these and other questions I am struck by the diMe as opposed to DIME emphasis. Once again it seems we (M=Military) are going to be planning, blocking, and carrying the ball while most everybody else will be smoking and joking on the bench.

Going back to the article, if we keep doing the same things I predict that we can except the same perceptions and outcomes.



12-21-2008, 10:16 PM
I recall reading some years back that prior to the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan was 3rd in the world for tourism and much of the land was covered with orchards. The Soviets knocked out most if not all the irrigation infastructure (down to 3%) and in the process created a climate change in the region. Creating a much drier climate than they already had, when there in 2002 many Aghans commented when it rained in Kandahar it was the first rain something like 10 years. Wondering if others have read/heard the same? If they actually had this once before can it not be done again? I understand the time to get trees to maturity to bear fruit, but in the process can we not reverse the climate in the region? In doing so making the region much more productive overall.

Ken White
12-21-2008, 10:49 PM
...am interested in references if you are willing to share. The DOS/USAID splits are of particular interest as well as the Goldwater Nichols history.There's no share to it, I have no file on the topic. It's all out there and Google works.

Not at all hard to find LINK (http://www.usaid.gov/about_usaid/usaidhist.html). Note that Democratic foibles in 1971 and 1978 lead to emasculation which was completed by the Peace, Prosperity and Democracy Act (heh. How pathetic is that name...) of 1994.

That set the stage for the Administration to jawbone the Congress:
Arguing that the Secretary of State should have more direct control over all tools of U.S. foreign policy, a number of analysts and members of Congress proposed in the mid-1990s to abolish the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and USAID, and consolidate their operations within the State Department. After three years of debate, Congress enacted legislation in 1998 (Division G of P.L.105-277), transferring USIA and ACDA into State, but retaining USAID as an independent agency. The legislation, however, further required that the USAID Administrator report to and serve under the foreign policy guidance of the Secretary of State. This remains the current relationship between USAID and the Department of State.The 'analysts' above cited were mostly from DoD and the Congroids were those Bill got to push his vision -- and State's -- to consolidate their power and get hold of the AID budget to an extent. Bill pushed ececutive power like all Presidents have (and will...), he was just a shrewder politician in the way he went about it than many.

The above quote is from a CRS study LINK (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33491.pdf) and is on Page CRS 9 . Note (Pages CRS 3 and 4) that for 2006, State managed $10.6B, USAID managed $4.37B and the two jointly managed $2.6B. It's all about money...

Addressing part of the flaky article's point, note on Page CRS 10 that the funding lines are still opaque -- that's the way Congress likes it -- that way they get to allocate $$$ and don't have to answer questions about it.
Going back to the article, if we keep doing the same things I predict that we can except the same perceptions and outcomes.Foolish and pointless article -- his 'solutions' are aimed at a symptom, not the problem; as I said above (to and for State) "Physician, heal thyself."

In order for change to be made, State will have to correct it's ideological bias (unlikely) AND Congress will have to put the good of the nation above partisan politics (even more unlikely) and our system of budgetary allocation will need to be changed (still more unlikely). That sounds bad -- and it is -- yet, incremental change, always the American way, can and does occur. Unfortunately, it's usually one step forward and two back but every now and then, with a charismatic President (I see none in the near future, including the next), a good Congress (those do occur with moderate frequency) or a significant event (hopefully not... :wry: ) we get three steps forward and only one back.

As for Goldwater Nichols, I'm not sure what you're asking for. The Act itself is out there, plenty of discussion about it is also easily found. What I said about it was: ""Goldwater Nichols which placed the geographic CinCs in a position to dominate regions of the world while State did and said nothing..."" I'm unsure why that needs amplification as I thought it was pretty much common knowledge.

The point is that was an unintended consequence; the Act was designed to strengthen the power of combatant commanders versus the DC DoD and Service Chief bureaucracies. It did that but it also inadvertently created a series of regional bureaucracies which provided Pro Consuls or Satraps in the form of the Cincs who were and are located in (mostly) and looking at large multinational regions on a consolidated and daily basis. At the same time, State had only individual Ambassadors in each country, the regional focus was effective only within the State bureaucracy in DC and those folks did not have the clout that the individual Ambassadors had or have. Nor did they have the clout that more money and visibility gave the Cincs. Congress frequently outsmarts itself like that...

12-22-2008, 01:08 AM
Found some more info...


One of the things the United States is known for is its military might, but a group of Kansas National Guardsmen will soon be demonstrating that there is more to the National Guard than that as they deploy in February 2009 to show the people of Afghanistan how to do something that Kansans are known for: farming.

A joint Kansas Army and Air National Guard team of approximately 60 personnel will go to Afghanistan next year as an Agribusiness Development Team (ADT). The team, comprised of personnel with backgrounds and expertise in various aspects of the agribusiness field, will work in conjunction with the Provincial Reconstruction Team, USAID, USDA, the Department of State and other agencies in Afghanistan's Laghman Province. Their year-long mission is to assist in building capabilities for increased agricultural production, training and services, and improving the safety of food and other agricultural products that are produced and distributed to the Afghan people. They will also assist in the development of sustainable agriculture and other related enterprises that will increase the economic well-being of the Afghans.

The Kansas National Guard will be performing this mission in partnership with Kansas State University over a three year period to build continuity and relationships with local and regional Afghan individuals and leaders.

Entire article:


Military team melds farming, business savvy for Afghanistan

by Mike Belt
November 23, 2008

A team of Kansas National Guard troops will go to Afghanistan next year to combine its military and civilian skills and help to improve the country’s agricultural capabilities.

“We’re looking at agricultural-type tasks, while at the same time we have to provide security for when we go out to villages and interact with the populace,” said Capt. Trent Miller, of Eudora. “We’ve got two ongoing missions rolled into one.”

A team of 60 Army and Air Guard members has been specially selected for an agribusiness development team.

In February, the team’s members will begin their year-long deployment to Laghman Province in northeastern Afghanistan.

Article: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/nov/23/military-team-melds-farming-business-savvy-afghani/?city_local

12-22-2008, 03:01 AM
Much more at the link (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2001/soviet-afghan_compound-warfare.htm)

Accordingly, numerous Soviet-sponsored attempts to enlist popular support foundered. In 1981, the government announced formation of the National Fatherland Front, conceived as a coalition reaching out beyond the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan to village and tribal leaders. Although official claims, by 1986, asserted a total membership of over a million, the support was entirely illusory and its impact minimal. Other visible attempts to mobilize support entailed land reform, construction projects, literacy campaigns, and the promotion of greater civil equality for women. None of these initiatives, not even land reform, achieved much progress. Failure to resuscitate the Afghan economy, an important component for improving popular perceptions of the regime, also hampered the Soviets. In fact, the war—as evidenced by the effects of massive bombing—crippled development prospects by exacerbating agricultural shortages and driving up prices.30 As asserted in a retrospective analysis by M. A. Gareev, deputy chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Soviet Army and later the General Staff, reform imposed from above had little prospect of success. Rather, he argued, support should have been built from below, beginning with the Moslem clergy, who numbered perhaps 40,000 and wielded tremendous influence.31 Still other measures that produced meager results included proclamations of amnesty for deserting soldiers and well-publicized agreements of cooperation with Islamic institutions.

An Afghanistan food price report from Reuters (http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/43ab985dcc0e584a698303d13064d548.htm)

Wheat prices have seen a marginal but steady decline since May in all the provinces in line with the "decreasing trend of wheat prices on global markets", it said.

Wheat prices have fallen by up to 17 percent in global markets over the past few months.

And a link on cloud seeding (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_seeding) for ODB

Cloud seeding, a form of weather modification, is the attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud. The usual intent is to increase precipitation (rain or snow), but hail and fog suppression are also widely practiced in airports.

12-22-2008, 11:27 PM
An excellent article on development work in Afghanistan, I concede there maybe some spin at work here: http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/features/3083501/afghanistan-will-thrive-if-only-we-let-it.thtml

A Google search on the author Clare Lockhart found she's been on the Charlie Rose show, which appears to be a badge of success.


12-22-2008, 11:50 PM
Funny you mention that, just saw a show a few weeks ago about that. Pretty amazing stuff. I relate the issues in Afghanistan to our very own dust bowl years. The farming was done incorrect, caused massive erosion and dust storms. The debate has been made that through inproper/over cultivation enhanced the drought of the dust bowl years. I'm no where near an expert on these things, but it kind of makes sense to me.

Droughts occur frequently in the areas affected by desertification, and are generally a feature of their natural climate. The relations between desertification and drought on the one hand, and human influence on the other, are complex. Occasional droughts (due to seasonal or inter-year variations in rainfall) and long-term droughts covering wide areas are both caused or aggravated by the influence of man on the environment (the reduction in vegetation cover, the change in the Albedo effect, changes in the local climate, the greenhouse effect, etc.). Human influence can also hasten desertification and aggravate the negative consequences on man. But the degradation of land due to desertification has a serious compounding effect on drought, and thereby reduces the chances of the local people to cope with difficult periods.


My question with cloud seeding is are we in effect robbing Peter to pay Paul. We seed the clouds in the southwest which then reduces the rain in the central US? Seems there is some speculation that this is what happens but no one really knows for sure.

12-23-2008, 05:23 AM

Back in my younger days I used to hike near one of I.M. Pei's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I._M._Pei) buildings where a bunch of big brain folks (http://www.ucar.edu/tools/education.jsp) were asking the atmospheric questions that you are posing. Much later, during my ag engineering course I had to spend a fair amount of time figuring out the correct nozzle sizing for center pivot sprinkler systems and how to properly tilt fields in order to optimally distribute the water...its more complex than it looks and it pushed me hard in my spreadsheet modeling abilities. I do have a friend however, who was a supercomputer driver and who has worked on some atmospheric modeling issues; I will ask him what he thinks about Afghanistan when I see him next.

In the meantime this link on laser leveling (http://dswcpunjab.gov.in/contents/Laser_Leveling.htm)of fields might be of interest and besides it makes me chuckle to think about both trying to fit one of these rigs into the back of Chinook and how it would be received when we landed.


Thanks for the link from the Spectator, it was a good read. Oxfam (http://www.oxfamamerica.org/whatwedo/campaigns/aid_reform) has an interesting link that I ran across today

Oxfam America is working to increase the effectiveness of US foreign aid by placing the voices and priorities of poor people at the center of aid policy and practice. Through analytical and field research, we will bring out the hopes and concerns of intended beneficiaries, implementing partners, aid professionals, other donors, and host governments.

I have very much enjoyed working with the majority of the NGO's and other groups I bump into 'downrange'. There are lots of good ideas and dedicated people out there. Some of the older folks (and I am not as young as I used to be as my college age kids continually advise me...) are pretty wise and have been kind enough to show me a tip or two. I was in a chai bar in Mosul once and struck up a conversation with a gentleman (http://www.olivegroup.com/) who was easily 20 years my senior, still getting things done on the security side, and I greatly appreciated his insights.


Thanks for the info. My library is pretty thin when it comes to CINC info. I have a single first hand account written by GEN Zinni (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Zinni)/Tom Clancy/Tony Koltz entitled Battle Ready (ISBN 0-399-15176-1) which I go back to from time to time. Some of my friends down the street at the 3/325 did Provide Comfort (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Provide_Comfort) which he covers in the book. USAID/DOS wise it's all FM's and experience. The CRS link was a good read. As a taxpayer I really like those CRS reports, we are getting our moneys worth on that one.



06-27-2009, 07:09 PM
From the AP by NICOLE WINFIELD US announces big shift in Afghanistan drug policy (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i45D5zekcQEsPKeULo3S8cPzTccAD9935HJ00)

The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, told the AP that the U.S. eradication programs were only driving Afghan farmers into the hands of the Taliban.

"Eradication is a waste of money," Holbrooke said on the sidelines of a Group of Eight foreign ministers' meeting on Afghanistan, during which he briefed regional representatives on the new policy.

"It might destroy some acreage, but it didn't reduce the amount of money the Taliban got by one dollar. It just helped the Taliban. So we're going to phase out eradication," he said. The Afghan foreign minister also attended the G-8 meeting.

Afghanistan is the world's leading source of opium, cultivating 93 percent of the world's heroin-producing crop. While opium cultivation dropped 19 percent last year, it remains concentrated in Afghanistan's southern provinces where the Taliban is strongest and earned insurgents an estimated $50 million to $70 million last year, according to the U.N. drug office.

To fight it, he (U.N. drug chief Antonio Maria Costa) said major powers had to expand their counter-drug efforts to neighboring Pakistan as well as Iran, where half the 7,000 tons of exported Afghan opium transits, "causing the highest addiction rate in the world."

06-27-2009, 07:16 PM
Stoned wallabies make crop circles (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8118257.stm)


Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.


Australia supplies about 50% of the world's legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers.

07-07-2009, 12:29 AM
From the AKO website by Sgt. Doug Roles, 56th SBCT: Space technology assists Iraqi irrigation inventory project (http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/06/30/23723-space-technology-assists-iraqi-irrigation-inventory-project/?ref=home-ata71-title)

BAGHDAD (June 30, 2009) -- Soldiers from the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team's geospatial intelligence section are playing a role in helping Iraqi leaders prepare to expand irrigation and farming throughout Iraq.

The Soldiers are teaching 20 Iraqi technicians on data processing procedures they will use to inventory the Iraqi farmland and irrigation infrastructure.

Sgt. 1st Class Marvin Nichols and Pfc. Amanda Po, both with Headquarters Company, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, are presenting a geospatial systems workshop to Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Agriculture officials in the International Zone. The course, that began June 21, will continue throughout the week.

The workshop shows technicians how to compile data, gathered recently by field technicians, to measure canal layouts and amounts of acreage used for growing various crops.

"Basically they're looking for an accurate, fast way of processing this information," said Nichols, the brigade's senior geospatial intelligence engineer.

Nichols explained that the ministries will use the raw data to begin a cost analysis of improvement projects. Many parts of the canal system are over 30 years old and are in various states of disrepair.

The Stryker Soldiers got involved in the data-gathering effort after previously assisting the U.S. Agency for International Development/Tatweer program by preparing maps of a roughly 35-square-kilometer area, between Taji and Baghdad. That area, south of the grand canal, is the pilot area for the irrigation inventory.

The Tatweer, an Arabic word meaning development, provides support to the ministries for capacity development in public management.

07-07-2009, 06:49 PM
From the AKO website by Staff Sgt. Stacia Zachary: Agri-business development team plants seeds of hope for Afghan people (http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/07/06/23919-agri-business-development-team-plants-seeds-of-hope-for-afghan-people/?ref=home-headline-title0)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FINLEY-SHIELDS, Afghanistan -- At war in a country that has been devastated by centuries of fighting, the U.S. military is committed to helping Afghanistan attain a functional level of prosperity and self-sustainability through improved agricultural methods.

Teams of National Guardsmen from Missouri and 11 other farm-belt states are deploying to Afghanistan on year-long tours to assist in this effort. The Guardsmen bring with them more specialized skills than those of the usual advisory panels that typically helm projects such as these. This mission calls for military members with expertise in farming, raising livestock and cultivating natural resources.

The U.S. military recognized the necessity of such teams in late 2007 when reconstruction teams realized people in rural areas needed something more pressing than a new school or road. Across Afghanistan, these teams have been inundated with requests for help with farming and other agricultural endeavors.

The Nangarhar Province Agri-Business Development Team has focused on facilitating sustainable projects that aid the Afghan people in a manner that results in greater impact and more long-term benefits.

"We have a wide-range of programs geared at helping the Afghan people gain better farming practices and that often means providing basic systems such as wells and karizes to irrigate the crops," said Maj. Denise Wilkinson, ADT executive officer who is deployed from the Missouri Joint Force Headquarters. "We have projects with large budgets, but we have found that it's the small projects at little cost that have the biggest impact on the people who need our help the most."

Currently, the Nangarhar ADT has 74 active projects totaling $5.6 million.

Projects the team manages include:

- Building grain mills.
- Introducing new wheat seed.
- Developing canning and juicing factories for harvested vegetables and fruits.
- Building cool storage facilities to store harvested crops operated by solar panels.
- Overseeing micro-slaughter facilities to increase sanitization of livestock meat.
- Launching vet clinics focused on de-worming the livestock.
- Advising with reforestation projects.
- Increasing the crop yield for commercial use.
- Operating cold- and warm-water fish hatcheries.

"The real intent here is to show them how to harness the resources they've got," said Master Sgt. Richard Frink, a native of Carthage, Mo. "Once we do, you'll see a lot of change for the better, because they can take care of themselves."

07-19-2009, 12:07 AM
Joshua Foust at Registan (http://www.registan.net/)provides a link a a US Forces Facebook page: U.S. Forces - Afghanistan: Midwest grain bins going to Afghan farmers (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&suggest&note_id=102164304839&id=69621718453)

July 17, 2009

By U.S. Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens
Task Force Warrior Public Affairs Office

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Members of the Task Force Warrior Agri-Business Development Team visited several villages in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province, July 13, to assess completed grain bins that once occupied farmlands in Imperial, Neb. The bins have been relocated and reconstructed to help Afghan farmers with grain storage issues.

“These completed grain bins are the first in Afghanistan, and serve as an excellent way for farmers to store their grain,” said ADT Agronomist, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Eldon Kuntzelman, who first thought of the idea to ship grain bins to Afghanistan, June 2008, during pre-deployment preparations.

Rooting around on the Facebook page also leads to: U.S. Forces - Afghanistan: Provincial Governor Unveils District Development Plan in Garmsir (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=101655189839)

Story by Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Cox
Regimental Combat Team 3


The most noteworthy event though, according to the battalion commander, has been the activity around "Drop 8," a sluice gate along the Helmand River now acting as the primary entrance for all the irrigation in the district.

"There was a problem with silt building up," he explained. "But working together with the district governor and elders, we were able to solve the problem within one week.

"It's a great example for the people to see the government of Afghanistan working to meet their needs," Cabaniss said.

07-19-2009, 02:11 AM
I'm about to drop an AAR in the Afghanistan PTP thread, but I just attended a lecture by Gretchen Peters (author of Seeds of Terror, and she made the point that opium cultivated in Afghanistan would have to go through a shift in collection and production methods in order to come close to the hygienic methods required for medicinal purposes. She also added that unless the whole shebang was subsidized, medicinal opium would not likely garner prices higher than the farmer would get for growing wheat.

I found those points very interesting.

07-20-2009, 12:23 AM
...standard disclaimers apply.

From the Potters for Peace Website: Low Cost Water Filters made by Locals (http://s189535770.onlinehome.us/pottersforpeace/?page_id=9)

Since 1998, Potters for Peace has been assisting in the production worldwide of a low-tech, low-cost, colloidal silver-enhanced ceramic water purifier (CWP). Field experience and clinical test results have shown this filter to effectively eliminate approximately 99.88% of most water born disease agents.

Every year there are 1.7 million deaths, mainly children under the age of five, due to diarrhea caused by unsafe water. The U.N.’s Millennium Development Goal is to halve the number of people unable to reach or afford safe drinking water by the year 2015. Achieving this would require that at least 125,000 people be connected to safe water supplies each day before the 2015 target.
Incredibly, this problem is still not being realistically addressed, high- tech solutions are proposed, but in general there is no investment in technology that can easily be copied by local workshops in developing countries.
The ultimate objective of the CWP project is to meet this urgent demand for safe water in rural and marginalized communities, and provide employment for local potters.

Potters for Peace is a member of the World Health Organization’s International Network to Promote Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage.

It is a simple, pressed bucket shape 11” wide by 10” deep, made with a mix of local terra-cotta clay and sawdust or other combustible, such as rice husks. The simplest press utilizes a hand-operated hydraulic truck jack and two-piece aluminum mold.
After firing to about 860 deg. C. the filter is coated with colloidal silver. The combination of fine pore size, resulting from milled, screened materials, and the bactericidal properties of colloidal silver produce an effective filter.
A 1.5 to 2.5 liter per hour rate of filtration is determined by the combination of clay/combustible mix and firing temperature.
For use the fired, treated filter element is placed in a five gallon plastic or ceramic receptacle with a lid and faucet. Pricing for ready to use filter units is determined by local production costs and is usually between $10-25 with the basic plastic receptacle. Replacement filter elements will cost $4 to $6. A basic production facility with three or four workers can produce about fifty filters a day.

A low rez pictorial USDA powerpoint presentation on Low Cost Bucket Drip Irrigation (http://www.chapinlivingwaters.org/Introduction%20to%20bucket%20drip%20031006.pdf). A 5.7 mb file on this topic from the USDA website is located here (http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/ifac08_db_chapin_080415.pps).

07-23-2009, 04:47 PM
From the AKO website: U.S. forces foster growth in Afghanistan (http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/07/23/24765-us-forces-foster-growth-in-afghanistan/?ref=home-headline-title2)

WASHINGTON (July 22, 2009) -- U.S. forces aided Afghan farmers and villagers recently in operations aimed at cultivating a brighter future in Afghanistan.

Farmers in Panjshir province's Dara district will be able to store their produce from the fall harvest in a temperature-controlled underground facility for the first time, thanks to the efforts of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team.

The $45,000 project provides farmers with a place to store food either for personal consumption or to sell at markets. Potatoes, watermelon, wheat and other fruits and vegetables can be stored in the facility.

The storage room was built underground for improved temperature control and has a thermal-chimney vent system and a solar-powered ventilation system.

"We're all very excited about what this facility can do for us," said Zubair, a facility maintainer and local farmer. "This will extend the age of our products, especially over the very cold winter."

Panjshir is still without sustainable electricity, which limits food-storage options.

"From what we've learned, fresh fruits and vegetables often go to waste because there isn't a proper way to store them," said Sgt. Daniel Kelley, the team's civil affairs liaison to the Panjshir director of agriculture. "Hopefully, this facility will help the residents of Dara maintain a healthy food source for longer periods of time or even help them earn extra money."

The minister of counternarcotics in Kabul recognized the people of Panjshir for having a poppy-free province, awarding the $1.4 million in January through the Good Performance Initiative. The provincial governor, in turn, committed the money toward agricultural projects that will improve the sustainability of farmers and their crops.

As a result, the reconstruction team has increased its agriculture-related efforts, and now has 14 projects worth $1.6 million, with plans for another eight under way.

07-23-2009, 05:52 PM
- good news all the way around, not much mention of it in the media though - those grain bins are easy to assemble

07-26-2009, 03:39 PM
From the LA Times by David Zucchino: U.S. Army's farm program tackles Afghan rebuilding from the ground up (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghan-farmers26-2009jul26,0,1898417.story)

In a country where 80% of working-age males are small-scale farmers, such a program might seem central to the rebuilding effort. Yet the U.S. military has just 350 agricultural specialists in a country of 31 million, covering nine of 34 provinces.

Using military discretionary funds, Jones' team operates in an obscure corner separate from America's civilian-funded reconstruction effort, which since 2001 has cost $7.9 billion.

For years, the United States has focused on eradicating opium poppies, by far Afghanistan's leading cash crop and foreign currency earner. Help for millions of subsistence farmers growing wheat, corn and other staples has been a lower priority.

The eradication program, called "a sad joke" by the director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, did nothing to prevent skyrocketing opium production after the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

Last month, Richard C. Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, called opium eradication "a waste of money" because it puts farmers out of work and drives them toward the Taliban. Holbrooke said eradication efforts would be phased out in favor of arresting major drug traffickers and promoting alternative crops.

Holbrooke also said U.S. civilian agriculture assistance to Afghanistan would increase from tens of millions of dollars a year to hundreds of millions.

07-26-2009, 10:26 PM
I'm thinking more on the dynamics of agriculture in Afghanistan, and am certainly realizing that it will take more than new, studier, or more valuable cash crops to unlock the grip of opium, but among the staple crops, how are farmers doing?

When I catch pictures of farmland in Helmand or elsewhere, it all seems fairly lush and sturdy from what I can see, but is that all just an inaccurate picture? What efficiencies can be achieved? What projects are/have been underway in that area which has made a noticeable difference?

Right now I have no idea what Helmand's agriculture could use, in terms of micro-projects, to make the ROI better. I know the farmers themselves know, but has anyone come across information that tells the story of what they think they need? If I get anywhere at all involved in LOO work during the next deploy, I suspect it will have a heavy agricultural component.

07-27-2009, 03:04 AM
Does anyone really know the acreage involved in poppy growing? Why not let the farmer grow his opium crop, pay him fair market value then destroy it when it is half grown and can't be salvaged? Farmer gets his money for only half his labor and doesn't hate America. The Taliban has to extort him to replace their opium income that has been destroyed. Major drug dealers are replaced as fast as they go down - its market driven and the money runs up into the echelons of politics, any cop knows that, what Holbrooke means is popping some of the middle men, which looks good in print.

07-27-2009, 06:31 AM
These might be of interest...

UN FAO Report: Afghan Agriculture: Principle Issues and Priorities for Action (http://www.ands.gov.af/src/src/UN/FAO_MDG/Note%20FAO%20Afghan.pdf)

USAID sponsored report: Agricultural Growth Priorities for Afghanistan (http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADF908.pdf)

07-27-2009, 09:40 AM
Does anyone really know the acreage involved in poppy growing? Why not let the farmer grow his opium crop, pay him fair market value then destroy it when it is half grown and can't be salvaged? Farmer gets his money for only half his labor and doesn't hate America. The Taliban has to extort him to replace their opium income that has been destroyed. Major drug dealers are replaced as fast as they go down - its market driven and the money runs up into the echelons of politics, any cop knows that, what Holbrooke means is popping some of the middle men, which looks good in print.


The alternative you pose has appeared here before, IIRC on several threads, usually on decriminalise / alternatives and very recently when comparisons were drawn between legal growing in the West and illegal in Afg. Try this long running thread: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=1234 I know you've been there!

I am sure the acreage used in Afg is in the public domain, the UN Drug Control programme and I'd try this: help: http://davidmansfield.org/index.php
Which has ots of reports on eradication and other counter-narcotic policies (mainly in Afghanistan) on a quick visit.

Gretchen Peters has written on this theme too: http://gretchenpeters.org/ .


07-31-2009, 09:18 PM
Found this WaPo article via the ICSR blogsite: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/18/AR2009061804135.html?wprss=rss_world&sid=ST2009061804190

Added and apologies if here already.


08-16-2009, 12:58 PM
From the WSJ by YOCHI J. DREAZEN: U.S. Seeds New Crops to Supplant Afghan Poppies (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125021357982431177.html)

The new $300 million effort will give micro-grants to Afghan food-processing and food-storage businesses, fund the construction of new roads and irrigation channels, and sell Afghan farmers fruit seed and livestock at a heavy discount. The U.S. is spending six times as much on the push this year as the $50 million it spent in 2008.

"We're trying to give the farmers alternatives so they can move away from the poppy culture without suffering massive unemployment and poverty," says Rory Donohoe, the U.S. Agency for International Development official leading the drive. "The idea is to make it easier for farmers to make the right choice."

The eradication effort has been widely unpopular in Afghanistan and hasn't discernibly hurt the drug industry here. Afghanistan accounted for 12% of the world's opium production in 2001, according to the United Nations. By 2008, it accounted for 93%

U.S. and Afghan officials also argue that the plunging price of opium -- which has dropped from $225 per kilogram of dried opium in January 2005 to $75 per kilo in April -- means many farmers could make more money selling wheat or corn.

For many farmers, the question of what to grow comes down to cold economics. According to a recent U.N. report, the average poppy farmer in southern Afghanistan earned $6,194 in 2008. Farmers in the south who grew other crops earned just $3,382. The U.N. and U.S. estimate that $500 million of opium is grown each year in Helmand alone.

Mr. Walid supports 23 people with his agricultural earnings. Corn and wheat prices are so low he will have to plow over his fields and replace them with poppy if market conditions don't improve: "I won't have a choice," he says.

Abstract by Elsevier Ltd, paper by Philippe Chabota and Paul A. Dorosh: Wheat markets, food aid and food security in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, after two decades of civil strife and successive droughts from 1998 to 2002, large inflows of food aid, distributed mainly to returning refugees and through food for work programs, have helped offset production shortfalls of wheat, the country’s major staple. At the same time, private international trade from neighboring countries, especially Pakistan, has also played a major role in augmenting wheat supply and stabilizing prices.

This paper presents an analysis of wheat prices and market flows in Afghanistan based on results of surveys of wheat traders and millers, and econometric analysis of price movements in major markets in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In spite of food aid imports, domestic prices were not lowered below import parity levels in most major Afghan markets. Thus, the price evidence suggests that large-scale inflows of food aid, which benefited the country by providing resources for targeted food for work and other programs, did not have major price disincentive effects on domestic production, at least through mid-2003. However, following the 2003 bumper harvest, the analysis suggests that continued food aid inflows may have depressed producer prices by as much as about 15%. Moreover, given substantial prospects for rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure, there is ample scope for increasing domestic production of wheat and decreasing import demand, so price disincentive effects of food aid remain a possibility in the future, as well.

08-16-2009, 02:13 PM

After the frequent reports that the Taliban are using home made fertiliser IEDs in Helmand I trust that care is being taken in supplying a fertiliser which cannot be used as an explosive. I am assured such a product exists, maybe not locally available and so more costly.


08-16-2009, 03:37 PM

Having been on the wrong end of rocket, mortar, and rifle fire I can only imagine what being on the wrong side of an IED is like. :mad:

I ran a quick google search, tending towards the idealistic side of the fertilizer spectrum, which might be of interest to you nonetheless.

From Wikipedia: Fertilizers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertilizer)

Fertilizers are chemical compounds applied to promote plant and fruit growth. Fertilizers are usually applied either through the soil (for uptake by plant roots) or by foliar feeding (for uptake through leaves).

Fertilizers can be placed into the categories of organic fertilizers (composed of decayed plant/animal matter), or inorganic fertilizers (composed of simple chemicals and minerals). Organic fertilizers are 'naturally' occurring compounds, such as peat, manufactured through natural processes (such as composting), or naturally occurring mineral deposits; inorganic fertilizers are manufactured through chemical processes (such as the Haber process), also using naturally occurring deposits, while chemically altering them (e.g. concentrated triple superphosphate[1]).

Properly applied, organic fertilizers can improve the health and productivity of soil and plants, as they provide different essential nutrients to encourage plant growth. Organic nutrients increase the abundance of soil organisms by providing organic matter and micronutrients for organisms such as fungal mycorrhiza, which aid plants in absorbing nutrients. Chemical fertilizers may have long-term adverse impact on the organisms living in soil[citation needed] and a detrimental long term effect on soil productivity of the soil[citation needed].

Fertilizers typically provide, in varying proportions, the three major plant nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium known shorthand as N-P-K); the secondary plant nutrients (calcium, sulfur, magnesium) and sometimes trace elements (or micronutrients) with a role in plant or animal nutrition: boron, chlorine, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, molybdenum and (in some countries) selenium.

From Emerging Asia (http://www.emerging-asia.com/): Afghanistan’s Fertilizer Market: Reliant on Imports from Neighboring Countries (http://www.emerging-asia.com/en/clientresource/papers/Afghanistan%20Fertilizer%20Market%20-%20Emerging%20Asia%20Whitepaper%20January%202009.p df)

Agriculture has traditionally been fundamental to the livelihood of the Afghan people, generating 50% of the country’s GDP and supporting 85% of its people. Use of fertilizers in Afghanistan has steadily grown since the 1970’s and today is one of the fastest growing markets in the country with at least $50M US Dollars invested during 2007 and 2008. Demand continues to be strong, and has been a driver of the sharp price increase in fertilizer experienced over recent years.

Ghulam Mohammad Din, ltd appears to participate in a fairly large part of the market share of the Afghanistan fertilizer market.

Rehabilitation of a 300 ton per day Urea Plant at Qala Jangi and 48MW Power Plant at Kud Bergh (Soviet era plant commissioned in 1974) Afghanistan appears to be underway by Global Edison. (http://www.globaledison.com/index-2.html)

From USAID Affordable Seeds and Fertilizer Reduce Afghanistan’s Food Crisis (http://afghanistan.usaid.gov/en/Article.592.aspx)

More than six million Afghans do not have enough to eat, partially due to drought. USAID, in partnership with the Afghan government and the private sector, is combating Afghanistan’s food insecurity crisis by providing high-quality, subsidized wheat seeds and fertilizer to farmers in 14 northern and western provinces. As an alternative to direct food handouts, access to affordable agricultural supplies strengthens families, communities, and food economies by promoting local production, community decision-making, and farmer-supplier relationships.

Farmers are chosen according to need by teams of Afghan stakeholders at the local, provincial, and national levels. More than 10,000 farmers in Bamyan received seeds and fertilizer in February, and distributions in 13 other provinces have benefitted more than 241,000 farmers to date. With an average farmer household of 6 individuals, the program has improved the lives of nearly 1.5 million Afghans over the past four months.

Haji Kamal of Sari Pul is one of the drought-affected farmers that USAID has helped. "I have a shortage of seeds," Kamal says. "Our harvest has not paid off for two or three years, and we had to sell livestock to earn enough to eat. If I have good seeds, I can feed my family, and earn enough to live."

08-16-2009, 03:41 PM
Value Chain Analysis (http://apps.develebridge.net/amap/index.php/Resources)

USAID Value Chain Analysis (http://www.microlinks.org/ev_en.php?ID=24002_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC)

This briefing paper outlines some of the key elements of the value chain approach as articulated and promoted by USAID’s Microenterprise Development office. The value chain approach is used to drive economic growth with poverty reduction through the integration of large numbers of small enterprises into increasingly competitive value chains. Features discussed in the paper include a market system perspective, a focus on end markets, understanding the role of value chain governance, recognition of the importance of relationships, facilitating changes in firm behavior, transforming relationships, targeting leverage points and empowering the private sector.

Perennial Horticulture in Eastern Afghanistan: Subsector Overview and Implementation Strategy by DAI (2005) (http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADF909.pdf).

The objectives of this subsector analysis of the fruit and nut sector were to identify crops with the greatest potential, identify key constraints to growth and develop an implementation strategy for ALP/E.

Growth Strategy and Action Plan for the Carpet Cluster of Afghanistan by OTF Group (2006). (http://www.trade.gov/static/afghanistan_carpetstrategy.pdf)

This presentation includes an overview of the Afghanistan Competitiveness Project, a situation analysis of the international marble market and Afghanistan’s carpet industry, goal-setting for the cluster and the project, an analysis of buyers’ needs, Afghan carpet market positioning, and action guidelines.

Marble Cluster Strategy by OTF Group (2006) (http://www.trade.gov/static/afghanistan_marble.pdf).

This presentation includes an overview of the Afghanistan Competitiveness Project, a situation analysis of the international marble market and Afghanistan’s marble industry, goal-setting for the cluster and the project, an analysis of buyers’ needs, Afghan marble market positioning, and action guidelines.

George L. Singleton
08-16-2009, 04:49 PM
How about infrasture for consumer needs or wants inside Afghanistan?

Coke and Pepsi plants?

Canned food plants?

Consumer electronics, TVs, radios, plants to make such?

Bicycle factories to built same?

Auto and truck manufacturing plants?

Hydrophonics, water based farming?

Just some thoughts to broaden and deepen this discussion.

08-16-2009, 06:26 PM
Attributed to a Library of Congress Country Study of Afghanistan dated 14 January 2002 and linked here (http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/51/347.html) and here (http://www.gl.iit.edu/govdocs/afghanistan/Industry.html)


Private nonagricultural enterprise was usually small and family based. Private sector activities included services, such as internal and foreign commerce and transport. There was also a small private industrial sector, which included such operations as small machine shops and furniture-making establishments. Most of these shops were found in Kabul. The most important private industrial activity was handicrafts production. In 1981 the government estimated that the handicrafts sector contributed 9 percent of GNP and employed 300,000 people, far more than the work force in heavy industry and mining combined. Most of the workers were women. Handicrafts production was scattered throughout the country but was specialized by region. Textile embroidery and leather goods were found mostly in the south around Qandahar. Wood and stone carving were concentrated in the northeastern provinces, while jewelrymaking was done primarily in the Kabul area. Carpet and rug weaving, the most important handicraft, came from the north and northwest. Carpets and rugs provided over 10 percent of export revenues in 1981 and were especially popular in Western Europe. In addition, a significant number of carpets were thought to go into Iran unofficially. Afghan carpets were made of pure wool and were hand-knotted. Apart from carpets, however, the quality of handicraft goods was often poor. Production techniques were simple and had scarcely changed for generations. Output was directed primarily to local markets and was limited in volume. Crafts were often disappearing from the larger cities because the small elite's tastes were changing. It was developing a preference for modern imported goods rather than traditional objects of wealth. Artisans retained markets in smaller towns that served a traditional hinterland. Except for the small elite, however, private industrial operations continued to serve most people's needs for clothing, furnishings, and building materials.


In 1985 Afghanistan produced large amounts of natural gas and was preparing to exploit further other natural resource deposits. Natural gas was the most important mineral resource and industrial product. The country was thought to possess 110 to 150 billion cubic meters of total reserves. With Soviet assistance, production began in 1967 at the Kwoja Gugerdak field, 15 kilometers east of Sheberghan in Jowzjan Province. The field's reserves were thought to be 67 billion cubic meters. The Soviets also completed in 1967 a 100-kilometer gas pipeline, 820 millimeters in diameter, linking Keleft in the Soviet Union with Sheberghan. Other fields were discovered at Kwaja Bolan, Yatim Taq, and Jousik, with reserves of about 2.5 billion cubic meters. Gas production rose from 1.68 billion cubic meters in 1968 to 2.8 billion in 1980. In 1982 a new field at Jarquduk, also in Jowzjan, started production, again with Soviet aid. In spite of the new field, gas production slumped somewhat after the record year in 1980. In the mid1980s the country was producing about 2.5 to 2.6 billion cubic meters annually. The government attributed this decrease to reduced pressure in the gas fields (see table 8, Appendix).
The government placed a high priority on expanding the country's natural gas industry. In 1985 the Afghans, with Soviet assistance were trying to restore pressure in the existing fields. In 1978 a gas desulfurization plant was completed by the Soviets at Jarquduk with a capacity of 2 billion cubic meters annually. The plant could also produce 15,000 tons of condensate annually. Geologic exploration intensified in the early 1980s with the key assistance of Soviet experts, despite hazards to their physical safety. Satellite photos were also used. In 1984 two new gas fields were found at Bashikor and Jangal in Jowzjan. Work on a second gas pipeline to the Soviet Union was also under way in the mid-1980s.

The Soviets had long exhibited interest in the natural gas deposits across the Amu Darya in Afghanistan. They began geologic exploration in earnest in 1957 with the conclusion of a technical assistance agreement. From the beginning, Soviet aid was designed to promote large exports of natural gas to the Soviet Union. Although production started in 1967, there was no Afghan gas consumption until 1975, when about 2 percent of the output was diverted to a thermal power plant at Mazar-e Sharif. The value of these gas reserves jumped with the advent of the Iranian Revolution. In late 1979 a dispute over prices caused Tehran to halt gas exports to the Soviet Union. It was, as a result, a cold winter for many citizens of the Soviet Central Asian republics. After their intervention in Afghanistan, the Soviets secured control of the Afghan gas facilities, whose production aided the development of the Turkmen, Uzbek, and Tadzhik republics. By the mid-1980s gas exports to the Soviet Union represented 90 percent of total production and constituted a vital element in the Afghan budgetary and trade picture. The Soviets, however, paid Afghanistan a very low price for gas; in 1981 it was only half the price of Soviet gas piped to Western Europe. These relatively low prices dated back to the initial Afghan gas exports. Whereas world gas prices varied according to calorific value, Afghanistan received prices far below those of any major world exporter. In addition, Afghan officials were unable to verify the actual amount of gas pumped to the Soviet Union because the meters were on the Soviet side of the border, and Afghan officials had no access to them.

Afghan gas consumption was concentrated in the city of Sheberghan, where in 1982 a local distribution network was finished. About 3,000 homes had access to the network. In 1980 the thermal electricity plant at Mazar-e Sharif was converted to operate on coal rather than gas. Gas still powered the thermal plants providing electricity for Balkh and Mazar-e Sharif, and the fertilizer plant at Mazar-e Sharif used gas as a production input.


Despite the low level of technical development and the slow growth rate of its output, agriculture dominated the economy throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The share of agricultural output in GDP remained about 60 percent between 1961 and 1980. These figures were probably too low, for a great deal of agricultural output remained on the farms as subsistence production. The economy's overall growth, therefore, depended largely on this sector. Rapid growth was not forthcoming. From 1965 to 1976 total agricultural output rose only 25 percent. On a per capita basis, output fell 4 percent during this period. The sector's rate of growth slowed after the Soviet invasion, with increases averaging just 1.4 percent annually between 1981 and 1983. By the 1980s output was rising faster than the size of the agricultural labor force, indicating improved productivity, although it was still very low. The government statistics indicating these trends had to be regarded with some skepticism, however. Agriculture employed the majority of the work force although its share was decreasing, from 64 percent in 1977 to 56 percent in 1982. Agriculture was the foundation of the economy not only because of its large contribution to GDP and national employment but also because it provided many of the materials upon which much of the country's industry and trade depended. Cotton was the critical raw material for the textile industries and a valuable export; wool was the main input for the important carpet industry and was also an important export commodity. Cottonseed was the key input for the extraction, refining, and soap industries. The sugar beet crop was refined domestically, and there was also fruit and nut processing and packaging for export. Hides and skins, such as karakul, were key inputs for much of the local handicrafts industry and were also major export items. Agricultural products constituted 75 percent of the country's exports in 1977, but this fell to 43 percent in 1984 as natural gas exports increased.

After the drought of 1971-72 and the subsequent famine in parts of the country, self-sufficiency in food, especially wheat, became a major goal of the government. Production of cereals rose just enough during the 1970s to obviate the need for imports during years when the precipitation was normal. During dry years, however, such as 1977, the country had to import wheat and other staples. With the disruption of agriculture caused by the fighting after the coup, the government had to buy wheat from foreign suppliers to avoid scarcities. In 1982 Afghanistan imported over 200,000 tons of wheat from the Soviet Union, and estimates of imports in 1983 and 1984 rose to twice that figure.

By the mid-1970s, however, the country's agricultural sector was making modest achievements. The weather was more favorable, and the use of fertilizers and pesticides was expanded. Fertilizer use increased from 9,000 tons in 1967 to over 100,000 tons in 1978. In the 1960s the United States Agency for International Development (AID) began a program that was designed to raise wheat output through higher yielding varieties-notably Mexipak-so that wheat output would rise enough to achieve basic self-sufficiency. New varieties of rice, sugarcane, sugar beets, and cotton were also introduced into the country. Average yields rose during the decade before the PDPA coup.

The August 2008 Library of Congress Afghanistan Country Study can be found here (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/Afghanistan.pdf) (pdf pages 8-13 may be of added interest)

08-29-2009, 07:54 PM
Water resource development in Northern Afganistan and its implications for Amu Darya Basin (http://books.google.com/books?id=eWiReSL6D6YC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false) by Massod Ahmad and Mahwash Wasiq

Matt Kearney, Here We Go (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFU1ISPmeYk)

Solane, Valpolicella (http://www.wine.com/V6/Santi-Valpolicella-Solane-2004/wine/88722/detail.aspx)

09-15-2009, 05:57 PM
Roots of Peace, 2 Sep 09: Comparative Net Income from Afghan Crops (http://www.rootsofpeace.org/documents/Comparitive_Net_Income_from_Afghan_Crops-Roots_of_Peace_Sept-2-2009.pdf)

Among the long list of challenges in rebuilding Afghanistan, drugs stand out as the most daunting of tasks which offends our civil society. It is such a daunting task that many believe that it is impossible to find an alternative crop that pays farmers better than poppy. The reality is that there several more lucrative alternatives to poppy. The myth is that there are no better alternatives. The second myth is that the drug problem is the fault of the drug lords and cartels and we simply need to stamp out all production of this evil plant. The reality is that we must stop looking to solve our drug problem solely by stopping its’ production. Production of heroin is surely a problem we need to solve, but as long as there are buyers in the western markets, there will be producers somewhere in this world. Historically, the power of the market has proven to be irresistible and unbeatable: if market conditions are right, someone will respond. But, we can use these same market forces to stimulate Afghan farmers to switch out of poppy production by helping them see the better income opportunities associated with alternative crops. Perennial crops, like grapes, almonds, apricots, cherries and pomegranates have a clear advantage over opium.
AREU, Apr 09: Water Management, Livestock and the Opium Economy: Challenges and Opportunities for Strengthening Licit Agricultural Livelihoods (http://www.areu.org.af/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=659&Itemid=26)

The major objective of this research is to enhance the sustainability of Afghan rural livelihoods and reduce dependency on illicit crops by providing policymakers with clear and accurate information on the use, management and role of natural resources in farming systems, and how these influence opportunities for agricultural development. The research is intended to produce evidence-based recommendations to increase the effectiveness of agricultural and rural policy. To achieve this goal the WOL project team has undertaken an ambitious programme of field research, spanning eight Afghan provinces and many rural communities, using a combination of research methods and integrating diverse thematic studies through an empirically grounded farming systems approach.

09-17-2009, 02:35 PM
From the Stars and Stripes by Sandra Jontz Water projects hurting Afghan farmers (http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=64799)

KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Poor placement and management of wells and dams over several years by nongovernmental organizations and military reconstruction teams throughout Khost province have drained water tables, drying out land cultivated by thousands of farmers in the mountains.

As a result, some farmers who grow wheat, corn, rice or fruit didn’t grow enough crops to feed their families. They turned to earning money by logging and goat herding or other means, and bought food at markets.

The solution is smaller dams that are easier to maintain and allow melted snow and rainwater to pool in more places and seep into the ground, raising the water table.

The dams, ranging from one to three feet in height, will be easier for villagers to clean and maintain, said Joyce, who before joining the Army worked as a ranch manager in western Oregon.

Watershed management is one of many projects undertaken by the ADT soldiers, who arrived in eastern Afghanistan in March as part of the U.S. military’s effort to stabilize farming, the country’s main source of subsistence and income. Roughly 85 percent of the nation’s inhabitants are farmers.

The state of Indiana has pledged to supply National Guard units for five years to maintain continuity in the effort, officials said. The 1-19th is the first.

By stabilizing the farming industry, and enabling farmers to not only survive but eventually profit, officials hope to give military-age men alternatives to fighting alongside the anti-government forces, which in the province include the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Haqqani network.

The handpicked teams of guardsmen are specialists in agribusiness, including farming, ranching and business practices, and will help Afghans with, among other things, forestry, agronomy, horticulture, range land management and animal husbandry, said Maj. Ron Crane, the educational director. He recently hosted a "train the trainer" session for Afghan extension agents.

09-17-2009, 02:49 PM
From the Stars and Stripes by Sandra Jontz Water projects hurting Afghan farmers (http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=64799)

Excellent post Surfer. That is some systems thinking:eek: If you get the water....you get the food. These are Strategic targets of the highest order they determine whether a population will live or die regardless of what belief they system is.

Lock....er down....getttt er done:D

09-17-2009, 05:22 PM
Lock....er down....getttt er done:D :D

Darcy's law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darcy%27s_law) is the start point. Aquifer modeling software can be a bear to use, it can also be a bit black-box, but it's worth the time. Visual Modflow (http://www.scisoftware.com/products/visual_modflow_intro/visual_modflow_intro.html) is often considered to be the standard-bearer in this field (I have no financial interests or otherwise in the company). One of the technical reference bibles regarding aquifer modeling is Freeze and Cherry's book Groundwater (http://www.amazon.com/Groundwater-Alan-R-Freeze/dp/0133653129) Aquifer/Groundwater modeling is a graduate course offering in civil engineering programs...and I suspect that petroleum engineers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_engineering) would be able to offer a wealth of information to anyone so interested..

09-17-2009, 05:51 PM
and I suspect that petroleum engineers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_engineering) would be able to offer a wealth of information to anyone so interested..

I have a friend who is a hydrogeologist who has done a lot of work building modeling software in the area as well.

09-17-2009, 06:56 PM
Hey Marc,

We will need to catch a beer sometime ;)

As we consider the Stars and Stripes story we might also think about how a groundwater model is built and what it can tell us versus what we think it can tell us. Here are a few things to consider, and of course this is not an all inclusive list:

1. Was the model developed using uniform procedures and methods?

2. How was the above ground survey performed?

Ground team, LIDAR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIDAR), IFSAR (http://www.csc.noaa.gov/crs/rs_apps/sensors/ifsar.htm), etc? Each has pro's and con's and different levels of accuracy and precision which can significantly impact the model.

Was the same datum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datum_(geodesy)) used for measurements taken?

3. How were engineering properties/concerns that we need to input into the model gathered?

When were all of the water surface elevations taken (spring, summer, fall, winter, morning, lunchtime, evening, etc.) and how (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/ec/ec1368.pdf) were they measured?

Were the wells logged (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well_logging) and the resulting data captured?

Can the resulting geotechnical data be used to estimate transmissivity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_conductivity#Transmissivity), storage (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2004/3128/), etc. ?

Were the effects of nearby wells (http://nevada.usgs.gov/barcass/articles/Ely27.pdf) considered?

4. How often is data captured to update the model?

5. Is there a QA/QC process (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_assurance) and do all involved understand it and buy in?

Most importantly we need to ask if all ISAF personnel (http://afghanistan.cr.usgs.gov/water.php) are consistently coaching Afghans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabul_University) how to catch that particular fish.

09-17-2009, 10:12 PM
From the September 10th 2009 Economist: India's water crisis
When the rains fail (http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=6899464&story_id=14401149)

Many Indians share his worries. Around 450m live off rain-fed agriculture, and this year’s monsoon rains, which between June and September provide 80% of India’s precipitation, have been the scantiest in decades. Almost half India’s 604 districts are affected by drought, especially in the poorest and most populous states—such as Bihar, which has declared drought in 26 of its 38 districts. Uttar Pradesh (UP), home to 185m, expects its main rice harvest to be down by 60%. The outlook for the winter wheat crop is also poor, with India’s main reservoirs, a source for irrigation canals, one-third below their seasonal average. That also means less water for thirsty cities, including Delhi, where 18m people live and the water board meets around half their demand in a good year.

Belated cloudbursts in AP and other states have brought relief. But late sowing tends to produce a thin harvest. AP counted some 20 farmer suicides last month, and there will be more. A short drive from Hyderabad, Koteswara Rao watched as four Hindu outcasts and two blue-horned bullocks ploughed his 16 acres (14 of them leased) for cotton. If it fails he will be left with a $4,000 debt and, being of lofty caste, he said, he could never sweat it out as a labourer. “Suicide would be easier.”

09-18-2009, 12:34 AM
For those of you building a library; although not as mathematically rigorous as the go-to book Groundwater (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0133653129/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0961645601&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0SFR37X5NCNSBZ3QTN27) by our good Canadian Doctors Freeze and Cherry, an equally important, very accessible, and commonly referenced book is Dr. Driscoll's work, in partnership with Johnson Screens/US Filter, entitled Groundwater and Wells (http://www.amazon.com/Groundwater-Wells-Fletcher-G-Driscoll/dp/0961645601).

Don't forget your dowsing rods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowsing)... :wry:

Steve the Planner
09-18-2009, 03:28 AM

Right: Water Management is a big target, but if you look, for example, at Saudi Arabia's water planning structure (applicable to other marginal wayter areas), they identify, for example, historical aquifers that are non-recharging, as well as those that are recharging, and their recharge rates, and sources.

It is from the stratified volume analyses that they can then determine sustainable water use models, and make critical planning decisions about how, and how much, to use it.

Of course, they also have access to MONEY, which can create water by expensive desalinization processes.

In Iraq, my big battle was to keep the US from drilling wells everywhere as a quick fix which, like in India, was sure to destabilize a rapidly dropping regional water table. There is actually a very deep aquifer which few used, but it wouldn't take long to be adversely affected if everybody used it.

Still, it fascinates me that the indigenous Afghan traditional approaches of small scale, easy maintenance systems are so well adapted, but our folks always want to bring what they know from Missouri or Pennsylvania to these very unique and challenging environments.

In April, I attended a planning seminar in Minneapolis, and there was a great seminar on adapting what is known elsewhere to the emerging and very real problems in the Southwestern US. Trying to find sustainable approaches.

Sooner or later, we might learn from the Afghans how we might be able to help them.


09-19-2009, 04:18 PM
Hey Steve,

One of the books on the nightstand is The Conquest of Nature, Water Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany (http://www.amazon.com/Conquest-Nature-Landscape-Making-Germany/dp/0393062120) by David Blackbourn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Blackbourn). It seems to be a pretty even handed treatment of things and it is my first exposure to a water based history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_history) as opposed to technical report. If I find one about Afghanistan I'll pass it along.


Steve the Planner
09-19-2009, 08:23 PM

I studied the history of Germany in college, so the book looks pretty interesting from what I could see on line.

I wonder how the contrasting force of mass out-migration from Europe in that period, plus the need to create safe and habitable cities (for business/prosperity) played a role. The push for greater productivity vs. the fear of losing more and more residents and competitive advantage.

In Iraq,from about 1980 to 2006, so many of the people with the skills to operate and maintain public water, water treatment, and disposal systems just disappeared (migration, attacks on technocrats, engineers), and many that could have made a difference were disabled either by internal Iraqi agency politics or US involvement, that I remain confused as to whether they can rebuild the kinds of functional systems needed to live safely in an urbanized framework, as before. (Note: According to Pheobe Marr, there were several major waves of Iraqi Exodus...not just US problem).

I've always been intrigued by the relationship between technology and society, and I guess we will, in Iraq, have a laboratory, over the next decade, to understand what happens next.


09-19-2009, 11:51 PM

I studied the history of Germany in college, so the book looks pretty interesting from what I could see on line.

Steve, college German classes were some good times…after my third year, they started talking about 08:00 classes and so I stopped…I had a policy back then…nothing good comes of anything before 11:00 am ;) Engineering came later, and almost all of my engineering professors fought to have their classes start at 08:00…. different culture, different parts of campus.

I wonder how the contrasting force of mass out-migration from Europe in that period, plus the need to create safe and habitable cities (for business/prosperity) played a role. The push for greater productivity vs. the fear of losing more and more residents and competitive advantage.

Your questions and observations are interesting to think about. Let’s see if I can tie Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, migration, water, and agriculture together. Dr. Kurt Reinhardt (http://www.amazon.com/Germany-2000-Years-Vol-Empire/dp/0804466920) provides a thorough coverage of the German Volkerwanderung (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_Period) which kicked off around A.D 375, involved millions, and may have contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. Dr. Blackbourn (http://www.amazon.com/Conquest-Nature-Landscape-Making-Germany/dp/0393062120) examines migration, water, and agriculture over an approximately 250-year time span. He covers the 1770’s Prussian gamble, Peuplierungspolitik, which resulted in the establishment approximately 1,200 planned new villages for an inflow of approximately 300,000 immigrants during the reign of Frederick the Great. Immigrants were recruited and received travel costs, customs exemptions, exemption from military service and free wood, while in return Prussia received needed human capital and agricultural capital and was able to develop important geography which eventually included a north sea port, Wilhemshaven (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelmshaven), in East Friesland in 1873. I have come to chapter five (of six) in which he examines the intersection of Lebensraum, the Pripet Marshes, approximately 400,000 settlers, and a planned takeover and settlement of existing villages during the 1940's. Tragic and heartbreaking.

In Iraq,from about 1980 to 2006, so many of the people with the skills to operate and maintain public water, water treatment, and disposal systems just disappeared (migration, attacks on technocrats, engineers), and many that could have made a difference were disabled either by internal Iraqi agency politics or US involvement, that I remain confused as to whether they can rebuild the kinds of functional systems needed to live safely in an urbanized framework, as before. (Note: According to Pheobe Marr, there were several major waves of Iraqi Exodus...not just US problem).

I've always been intrigued by the relationship between technology and society, and I guess we will, in Iraq, have a laboratory, over the next decade, to understand what happens next.

The internet seems to indicate that Iraqi (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,507444,00.html) and Afghan immigrants are a reality for Germany which appears to have approximately 100,000 registered Afghan immigrants (http://www2.gtz.de/migration-and-development/konferenz-2/english/afghans.htm) of varying demographics. My current read concerning Iraq is Charles Tripp’s A History of Iraq (http://www.amazon.com/History-Iraq-Charles-Tripp/dp/052152900X), however I am going to pick up Pheobe Marr’s (http://www.amazon.com/Modern-History-Iraq-Phebe-Marr/dp/0813336155/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253405661&sr=1-1-spell) book as well. My boots on the ground experience was that during the summer of 2003 those Iraqi technocrats who had not already left were making serious plans to leave Iraq. Things thinned out as the year went on. With respect to unfolding events in the utility realm ArabianBusiness (http://www.arabianbusiness.com/) has the following August 2009 story by Khalid al-Ansary: Iraq scraps $3bn bond sale (http://www.arabianbusiness.com/564264-iraq-scraps-3bn-bond-sale-)

Earlier this month, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki berated lawmakers for failing to ratify a bill for the bond sale before parliament broke for summer recess, saying Iraq needed the money to pay General Electric.

In 2008, Iraq signed multi-billion dollar deals with GE and Siemens to add nearly 9,000 megawatts of capacity over the next few years.

"The issue of the bonds has ended," said senior central bank advisor Mudher Kasim. About $2.4 billion of the $3 billion bond sale was destined for electricity projects.

Iraq has scrapped a plan to sell $3 billion of treasury bonds, mostly to pay for electricity projects, and instead plans to raise the money through domestic banks, a central bank advisor said on Sunday.

Iraq would instead raise $2.4 billion by allowing banks to lend the Finance Ministry cash from their reserve requirements, at a rate of two percent for a term of one year.

Iraq had to slash its 2009 budget three times due to a sharp fall in oil prices from last year. Almost all of Iraq's income is derived from oil sales from its vast reserves, the world's third largest.

I have been following Iraqi business benchmarks at SWJ here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=4634). The ISX (http://www.isx-iq.com/) website appears to be down today.

09-20-2009, 11:18 AM
From Surfer Bettle:
The internet seems to indicate that Iraqi and Afghan immigrants are a reality for Germany which appears to have approximately 100,000 registered Afghan immigrants of varying demographics.

You have touched upon an issue that I suspect is debated elsewhere in development sphres - the exodus of trained manpower from developing countries to the developed world. In the UK this is particularly prominient in the health profession.

Back to the agricultral theme. What has happened to the skilled manpower which has returned to Afghanistan, including businessmen from the USA as reported a few years ago?

That would be an interesting metric for the success of COIN.


09-20-2009, 07:43 PM
Back to the agricultral theme. What has happened to the skilled manpower which has returned to Afghanistan, including businessmen from the USA as reported a few years ago?

That would be an interesting metric for the success of COIN.


Appreciate your post, it led to a lazy and informative Sunday stroll through the ‘interweb’ which turned up some concepts from an armchair view of things with respect to some of the social implications of migration.

Factors of Production (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factors_of_production)

In economics, factors of production (or productive inputs) are the resources employed to produce goods and services. They facilitate production but do not become part of the product (as with raw materials) or are significantly transformed by the production process (as with fuel used to power machinery). To 19th century economists, the factors of production were land (natural resources, gifts from nature), labor (the ability to work), and capital goods (human-made tools and equipment). Recent textbooks have added entrepreneurship and "human capital" (labor's education and skills). [1] "Land" can include ecosystems while sometimes the overall state of technology is seen as a factor of production.[2] In any event, it is the scarcity of the factors of production which poses humanity's economic problem, often forcing us to choose between competing goals. The number and definition of factors varies, depending on theoretical purpose, empirical emphasis, or school of economics.[3]

Georg Simmel (http://www.cf.ac.uk/socsi/undergraduate/introsoc/simmper.html)

Georg Simmel was born on March 1, 1858, in the very heart of Berlin, the corner of Leipzigerstrasse and Friedrichstrasse. This was a curious birthplace--it would correspond to Times Square in New York--but it seems symbolically fitting for a man who throughout his life lived in the intersection of many movements, intensely affected by the cross-currents of intellectual traffic and by a multiplicity of moral directions. Simmel was a modern urban man, without roots in traditional folk culture. Upon reading Simmel's first book, F. Toennies wrote to a friend: "The book is shrewd but it has the flavor of the metropolis." Like "the stranger" he described in his brilliant essay of the same name, he was near and far at the same time, a "potential wanderer; although he [had] not moved on, he [had] not quite overcome the freedom of coming and going." One of the major theorists to emerge in German philosophy and social science around the turn of the century, he remains atypical, a perturbing and fascinating figure to his more organically rooted contemporaries.

A lecture via podcast (http://richmedia.lse.ac.uk/publicLecturesAndEvents/20090507_1800_theTycoonAndTheToughTowardsAcomparat iveAnthropologyOfUrbanMarginality.mp3) from the London School of Economics by Dr Joshua Barker (http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~barkerj/): The Tycoon and the Tough: towards a comparative anthropology of urban marginality (http://www2.lse.ac.uk/PublicEvents/events/2009/20090311t1852z001.aspx)

Anthropologists often use key figures, such as the street tough, the child witch, and the flâneur, as a means to elucidate, personify, and critique underlying dynamics of social and cultural transformation. It is a method that is widely used, but seldom scrutinised. In this lecture Joshua Barker uses examples from his research in the slums of Bandung, Indonesia, to argue that this method can make a powerful contribution to a comparative anthropology of urban marginality.

A lecture via podcast (http://richmedia.lse.ac.uk/publicLecturesAndEvents/20090505_1830_reflectionsOnTheRevolutionInEuropeCa nEuropeBeTheSameWithDifferentPeopleInIt.mp3) from the London School of Economics by Christopher Caldwell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Caldwell): Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: can Europe be the same with different people in it?

After a half-century of mass immigration, has Europe overestimated the need for immigrant labour and underestimated the culture shaping potential of religion? Christopher Caldwell is a senior editor at the Weekly Standard, and a regular contributor to the Financial Times. His new book is entitled Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Islam, immigration and the west

10-25-2009, 10:37 PM
If interested Gretchen Peters is speaking at The Frontline Club, London evening 3rd November 2009. For details see: http://frontlineclub.com/events/2009...spectives.html and costs ten UK pounds if booked early.


10-30-2009, 06:56 PM
Found via a Canadian e-list of think tank products; Paul Robinson compares the two different approaches, not just in agriculture and makes some key points: http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/aug/01/00030/


11-10-2009, 03:41 PM
Ag surge is coming. Don't worry.

USDA is supposed to have up to 64 people in Afghanistan. I'm comfortable right now traveling with our USDA rep going around on the ground and doing assessments and actual extension classes if needed.

My only issue is why is there 11 agri-business development teams (ADTs)going to RC(E) and only 1 going to RC(S)?

That doesn't really make too much sense to me...

Kind of like COMISAF's "Spend 95% of the time with 95% of the population"

It sounds really good...but do we even have the logistical capacity to do so?

How long does it take to build a company sized combat outpost? Some experts tell me 4 months to do it properly...some people say 2 weeks just to get "something" up. I haven't heard a standardized answer yet.

Yet we are expanding Kandahar Airfield even more and more, why not relocate those assets for COP construction?...kick all the people out of the big FOBs so they can know what "real Afghanistan" is like. "Real Afghanistan" isn't an Iced cappucino at the French Deli...although I do enjoy it once in a while

Why not give us more engineering assets in RC(S) beyond the 30th NCR and USACE?

11-11-2009, 06:21 AM
From today's Washington Post: Agriculture expert picked to lead struggling USAID (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111017483.html)

President Obama on Tuesday named a 36-year-old doctor and agriculture expert to head the U.S. Agency for International Development, filling what lawmakers and aid experts had called a glaring vacancy on a key foreign-policy front.

Shah, whose family emigrated from India, holds an MD and a master's in health economics....

Pol-Mil FSO
11-11-2009, 09:15 PM
During my year at the Kandahar PRT, the PRT Commander declined to approve several water projects proposed by the PRT CIMIC (Civil Affairs) Section. He pointed out that the PRT did not have hydrology experts to determine the ecological consequences of these projects, nor did we have an sufficiently adequate understanding of the demographic layout of the relevant watersheds that would allow us to determine potential conflicts between clans, villages, etc. that could be caused by changes to the current water situation.

Water is one of the most vital issues in southern Afghanistan and one that provides big potential payoffs if the coalition can help the Afghan Government improve it, but both hydrology experts and ethnic anthropology experts need to provide advice before starting a project that affects current water arrangements.

11-12-2009, 01:30 AM
From the 22nd of October edition of The Economist: California's water wars:
Of farms, folks and fish (http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14699639)

IN 2007 Oliver Wanger, a federal judge in California, ordered the huge pumping stations of the Sacramento Delta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento_Delta), the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas, to reduce by a third the water they delivered to two aqueducts that run south to the farms of the San Joaquin Valley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Joaquin_Valley) and onward to the vast conurbations of southern California. His reason was the delta smelt, a translucent fish less than eight centimetres (three inches) long that lives only in the delta and is considered endangered under federal law. The pumping plants were sucking in the fish and grinding them up. The next year, a “biological opinion” by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service reinforced Judge Wanger’s order. Pumping from the delta remains restricted.

The consequences of these restrictions, which coincided with a drought that is now in its third year, reach far beyond one small population of fish. About two-thirds of Californians get at least some of their water from the delta, so with the stroke of a judicial pen the entire state, the world’s eighth-largest economy and America’s “fruit basket”, entered an economic and political crisis.

The pumping restrictions were a huge victory for environmentalists, who fill the ranks of one of the three armies in California’s perennial water wars. With increasing success since the 1970s, greens have argued that the delta in particular, and California’s dammed rivers and wetlands in general, are on the verge of ecological collapse and must be saved.

For the other two armies, the restrictions amounted to a stinging defeat. One army consists of urban consumers in the dry south, represented by the Metropolitan Water District, which supplies water to about 19m people, over half the state’s population, and gets 30% of its supply from one of the two delta aqueducts. The authority has had to pay farmers in the Central Valley to give up their allocations and let their fields lie fallow, says Jeffrey Kightlinger, its boss. This year it also had to impose mandatory conservation measures.

The pain has been far worse, however, for the third force: agriculture. The farmers and farm workers who have been hardest hit live in the western San Joaquin Valley, which is supplied by the Westlands Water District, America’s largest irrigation authority. Westlands has contracts to draw water from the other (federally financed) aqueduct. Tom Birmingham, its boss, says that, because of the drought and the pumping restrictions, it is receiving only 10% of its entitlement this year.

Steve the Planner
11-12-2009, 02:10 AM

Thanks for the key points on water---study first, drill well second.

As a September 2, 2009 US News & World Reports article indicates:

"KATMANDU, Nepal—Effects of climate change including the melting of Himalayan glaciers threaten water and food security for more than 1.6 billion people living in South Asia, according to a study released Wednesday.
Click here to find out more!

India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal will be most vulnerable to falling crop yields caused by glacier retreat, floods, droughts and erratic rainfall, said the study financed by the Asian Development Bank."


The background glacial, climatic, AND Demographic issues all play against the idea that agricultural sustainability, let alone, expansion, is a viable option. It is a Zero Sum Game (if one wins, it is at the expense of another), but with a pervasive background decline rate (30 years of, in general, greatly decreasing rainfall, high rate of population growth, etc...).

Pop growth alone is expected to double in about 20 years. Against that reality, crop and ag failures, and subsequent farm abandonments (rural to urban flight) are givens. Any policy or efforts that don;t recognize that are short-sighted.

From my recent demographic, geographic research, the more I find, the more it points to the fact that the "old" rural afghan way life is, independent of politics and war, under great pressure (an endangered species). Without serious resolution of ag sustainability and water politics, the current conflict between urban/rural has just begun, and I wouldn't be betting on the rurals (history is against them).

Opium, of course, is a crop of last resort for some local farmers, anyway. Too many successive crop failures got them there in the first place.

In the meantime, the sooner we avoid short-term fixes like well-drilling until we understand the bigger system implications, the sooner we do less harm.


11-12-2009, 03:19 AM
Sistan Basin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistan_Basin)

The Sistan Basin is an inland endorheic basin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorheic_basin) encompassing large parts of south-western Afghanistan and south-eastern Iran, one of the driest regions in the world and an area subjected to prolonged droughts. Its watershed is a system of rivers flowing from the highlands of Afghanistan into freshwater lakes and marshes and then to its ultimate destination: Afghanistan's saline Godzareh depression, part of the extensive Sistan terminal basin. The Helmand River drains the basin's largest watershed, fed mainly by snowmelt from the mountains of Hindu Kush, but other rivers contribute also.

For more than 5,000 years the Sistan basin has been inhabited by sophisticated cultures and thus contains some key archaeological sites. The Shahr-i Sokhta, or "Burnt City", in Iran, built in 3100 B.C. near a currently dried-up branch of the Helmand River, was abandoned one thousand years later, most likely due climate changes that altered the river course. Kang and Zaranj (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IA27Df04.html) in Afghanistan were major medieval cultural hubs, now covered by sand. Here, signs of historical irrigation systems, including canals, are still visible in the Dasht-e-Margo and Chakhansur areas while elsewhere canals are filled with silt and agricultural fields buried by shifting sand. Today the area is sparsely populated.

From the UNEP: History of Environmental Change in the Sistan Basin (http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/sistan.pdf)

The annual precipitation in the lower Sistan basin is about 50 mm (WAPCOS 1975).

Prolonged droughts - when the rivers fail to bring sufficient water to fill up the lakes and wetlands, and hence supply the irrigation-based agriculture - have occurred in the late 1960s, mid-1980s, and between 1999 and 2005. The last drought was exceptionally long, transforming the lakebeds into barren desert. The summers in the region are characterized by the infamous '120-day wind': by the end of the season, windblown sand originating from the lakebeds covers the surrounding villages

From Explorations in Turkestan: with an account of the basin of eastern Persia (http://books.google.com/books?id=hckNAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA276&ots=y8wPXG8OCc&dq=Sistan%20Basin&pg=PA276#v=onepage&q=&f=false) by Raphael Pumpelly, William Morris Davis, Ellsworth Hunting

Steve the Planner
11-12-2009, 03:52 AM

Now, you are getting into desertification---a real exercise in trying to hold back the tide...


All these nice, well-meaning civilian ag folks....


11-12-2009, 07:30 PM
Hat tip to Abu M, the link contains a short TV clip on an agricultural team of Missouri NG advisers; note the last project on building dams gets a mention and nothing on what happened: http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawama/2009/11/agricultural-development-teams.html


11-20-2009, 11:37 PM
Water issues have featured here and this is a neat summary, with links for those who delve further:http://defenceoftherealm.blogspot.com/2009/11/development-blues.html

As always the "sting" is at the end and rightly challenges the belief development aids COIN / FID etc:
In can be no coincidence that this and the other areas in the Helmand Valley which have had the most expensive and prolonged "development" in the whole of Afghanistan are now the major poppy-growing areas in Helmand, and the seat of the Taliban power.

11-22-2009, 11:04 PM
From The Spectator: http://www.spectator.co.uk/business/5530573/alternatives-to-poppyfarming-and-gunslinging.thtml

Includes a marble factory, ice factories and more. Plus as ever criticism of the ANP for bribery and violence.

12-04-2009, 08:16 AM
From the Telegraph by Sally Williams: Charity appeal: bringing water to Kenya’s drought-ridden valleys (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/telegraphchristmasappeal/6720175/Charity-appeal-bringing-water-to-Kenyas-drought-ridden-valleys.html)

A sand dam is a reinforced-concrete wall built across seasonal river beds, 2-4m high and up to 90m across. A pipe is built into the dam, and over one to three seasons the dam fills with water and then sand, which filters the water through the pipe. The sand behind the dam sucks up the water like a sponge, acting like a water tank on a grand scale, storing, filtering and protecting the water from evaporation. People can then dig for water in the sand (just as you dig a hole on the beach) or collect it from the pipe in the dam wall. Without a dam, rainwater in this part of Kenya cascades downstream and washes away into the Indian Ocean.

Maddrell says sand dams, which have been around for 2,000 years, are a simple and cheap way to conserve water – each dam costs about £8,000 to build, providing fresh water for a community for up to 50 years for roughly £7 a head. In this part of Kenya, 65 per cent of people do not have an adequate supply of clean water. Since 2002 Maddrell’s charity has built 200 dams over 15,000 sq km, from the hills of Machakos, a district near Nairobi, to the flatter, more arid lands of Makueni and Kibwezi to the south.

Steve the Planner
12-04-2009, 01:17 PM

This article is a little tough going (English as second language compounded by academic archeo-jargon) but it ultimately tells a great tale about old Sistan Lakes and Helmand River Valley---back to Alexander, and before that, Gotama (The Buddha). Puts him there and in Iran, and paints interesting potential connections between Indian culture, Iran and Iraq. Very interesting.



12-20-2009, 03:44 AM
From Leah Farrall's Blog All Things Counter Terrorism (http://allthingsct.wordpress.com/about/) Abu Waild's Second Response

In the same session the subject of the need for the Emarah to obtain money to rebuild Afghanistan was discussed because the rejection of the American oil offer which Pakistan passed meant that the Emarah would not have the most important source available (and that was 15 million dollars the Emarah can get once only and that is forever!!!).

One of the hawks at that session (and he was al Masri) told the Emarah delegate sent by Mullah Omar: you should build your country using opium revenues. And compared it to countries like India which sells opium by the billions to world pharmaceutical companies. The Emarah did not adopt the suggestion despite Mrs Farrall saying that “the Egyptian” had the ear of Mullah Omar.

From the USMA's CTC Abu'l Waild (http://www.ctc.usma.edu/harmony/profile_pdf/Abu%27l-Walid.pdf)

Steve the Planner
12-20-2009, 03:55 AM

The latest on Iraq:


Same stuff as Afghanistan's bigger patterns go to later.


12-20-2009, 04:14 AM

Appreciate the link, it's an interesting article.

Martin Chulov: Jounalisted profile (http://www.journalisted.com/martin-chulov), Guardian profile (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/martin-chulov)

12-30-2009, 05:09 AM
From WaterWiki.net (http://waterwiki.net/index.php/Salinity_control)

Salinity control entails a combination of measures aiming at the prevention of soil salinization, or aiming at the reclamation (also called improvement, rehabilitation, remediation, recuperation, amelioration) of salty (saline) soils to ascertain sustained crop yields unaffected by salinity problems and an excessive salt content of the soil.

Salty (saline) soils are a common feature in irrigated lands of the (semi)arid regions and have poor to no crop production. The problems are often associated with the occurrence of high water tables, indicating a lack of natural subsurface drainage to the underground owing to: (1) insufficient transport capacity of the aquifer or (2) lack of free outflow conditions of the aquifer because, for example, the waterlogged area is situated in a topographical depression.

The prime cause of salinization is the fact that irrigation water brought in from the rivers contains salts. All irrigation water, however "sweet", bring salts that remain behind in the soil after evaporation.

The governing principle of salinity control is to establish a drainage system in the affected or to be affected parts of the land (see also Land drainage). The system should permit a small fraction of the irrigation water (about 10 to 20 percent, the drainage or leaching fraction) to be drained and discharged out of the irrigation project.

01-20-2011, 04:33 PM
USAWC, 17 Mar 10: Agricultural Development Teams and the Counterinsurgency Effort in Afghanistan (http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA521790&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf)

This paper will explore how the Agricultural Development Teams (ADTs) are contributing to the counter-insurgency and nation-building efforts in Afghanistan by helping to synthesize all elements of national power in those efforts. Agriculture development teams can and should be used to assist and develop counterinsurgency doctrinal concepts. This paper briefly examines the fundamental systemic and operational dilemmas the United States Military faces when attempting to engage in counterinsurgency and nation-building, then proposes the increased utilization of ADTs to better synchronize and synergize all elements of power in Afghanistan....
CALL, Nov 09: Agribusiness Development Teams in Afghanistan (http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/call/docs/10-10/10-10.pdf)

This handbook is a product of the National Guard Agribusiness Development Team Coordination Office with input from current and previously deployed ADTs. It contains information and lessons to assist ADTs preparing for deployment and those already deployed.

Key points covered in the handbook include:

• Unity of effort
• Establishing relationships
• Language
• Cultural influences
• Project selection and implementation