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The Gendering of Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

The Gendering of Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan Keally McBride and Annick T. R. Wibben In February 2009, a team of women Marines first set out to meet with Afghan women in Farah province to find out what their concerns and needs might be. A number of so-called female engagement teams (FETs), haphazardly drawn together from those few women Marines already in Afghanistan (and generally assigned to other jobs which they continued to carry out), started operating in Afghanistan in subsequent months. The teams were poorly trained but highly motivated and were attached to male units mainly in the southern and eastern provinces that are known to be particularly dangerous. They began conversations with Afghan women wherever possible but were rarely part of any coordinated effort. They were often confronted with problems they had no capability to address and repeatedly failed to deliver on promises made to residents, as their mission was not the primary concern of military commanders. It was not until March 2010 that forty Marine Corps women formally began to train for duty on FETs and subsequently deployed to Helmand province in April 2010.1 The effort to deploy FETs is a recent consequence of the adoption of counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine in Afghanistan.2 David http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development University of Pennsylvania Press

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Pennsylvania Press
ISSN
2151-4372
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Abstract

Keally McBride and Annick T. R. Wibben In February 2009, a team of women Marines first set out to meet with Afghan women in Farah province to find out what their concerns and needs might be. A number of so-called female engagement teams (FETs), haphazardly drawn together from those few women Marines already in Afghanistan (and generally assigned to other jobs which they continued to carry out), started operating in Afghanistan in subsequent months. The teams were poorly trained but highly motivated and were attached to male units mainly in the southern and eastern provinces that are known to be particularly dangerous. They began conversations with Afghan women wherever possible but were rarely part of any coordinated effort. They were often confronted with problems they had no capability to address and repeatedly failed to deliver on promises made to residents, as their mission was not the primary concern of military commanders. It was not until March 2010 that forty Marine Corps women formally began to train for duty on FETs and subsequently deployed to Helmand province in April 2010.1 The effort to deploy FETs is a recent consequence of the adoption of counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine in Afghanistan.2 David

Journal

Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and DevelopmentUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: May 26, 2012

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