British forces in southern Afghanistan are looking into creating gated communities with biometric checkpoints for the citizens of the combat zone in an effort to keep the Taliban from gaining access to the villages, according to a Times Online article.
The idea for the checkpoints follows the studying of counterinsurgency methods utilized during the Boer and Iraq wars wherein they determined the better course of action was not to defeat the enemy as much as win over the people of the region.
The U.S.’s General McChrystal is also leading his troops in measures similar to with the ideas and actions of British forces’ Brigadier James Cowan. This is nothing new to McChrystal, however, as he learned first-hand the benefits of combining biometric checkpoints with physical access control in an area cleared of insurgents to increase security and allow for community growth in Falluja, Iraq.
While having its roots in good intentions, the fingerprinting and setting up of barriers may still prove difficult for the forces as they also need to gain the confidence of the local Afghani people that they are merely helping to distinguish between guilty and innocent. Other difficulties that are being dealt with include the physical barriers where the idea of utilizing existent canals is a prevailing option.
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