from The Simple Truth? Securing the Population as a Recent Invention by Sergio Miller in the Small Wars Journal.
The most successful region has been the Italian-Spanish Regional Command West (measured by incidence of violent acts, civilian and security force deaths, and reconstruction). Why have the Italians and Spanish succeeded where the rest are floundering? ... Neither contingent has attempted to ‘secure the population’ (or start gun fights with local fighters, as the British did so disastrously in 2006). The opposite has been the case. The last time the British were in Herat they became embroiled with the locals and destroyed a number of the city’s historic towers, an act of cultural vandalism that has not been forgotten. The Italians and Spanish were never going to follow that route. Instead, both have deliberately maintained a low profile, away from Afghan civilian centres, and both have focused on training and reconstruction. It has paid off.