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mission creep in Afghanistan « Previous | |Next »
September 15, 2006

The plan was for Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) to take over from the Americans in Afghanistan in order to stablise the country. Stablisation means countering a resurgent Taliban in order to prosecute the 'war on terror'. Afghanistan is becoming the frontline in the "war on terror." Consequently, Nato is shifting from peacekeeping to conflict operations. So we have mission creep to protect President Karzai's government as disaster looms in Afghanistan.

BellAfghanistan.jpg
Steve Bell

The western strategy is to pursue Islamist terrorists into their breeding and training grounds instead of fighting them in their own country. The reason that the international force [has been in] in Afghanistan for the last five years is to make sure that Afghanistan will never again be a safe haven for international terrorists.

However, the Pakistan government has acknowledged defeat in Waziristan, and its consequent military withdrawal from the province, represents a grave blow to stabilising Afghanistan. The Taliban are now drawing increasing support from the Afghan population and these additional numbers have allowed them for the first time to conduct their own large-scale search operations against NATO troops in the south. Paul Rogers says that there are already 36,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan. 19,000 Americans are supported by special forces from Britain, France and several other countries in their long-lasting counter-insurgency campaign in the east of the country, and 17,000 NATO troops of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) are elsewhere in the country, including large contingents in the south. He says that solated garrisons face near-constant attacks and may well have to be withdrawn to secure bases. The British, Canadian, Dutch and other forces are forced repeatedly to call in air power to counter the determined and repeated assaults, not from small groups of paramilitaries but frequently from formations more than a hundred strong.

What is happening in Afghanistan has happened before, against the British many years ago and against the Soviets more recently. This latest battle against a foreign invader is being fought as a classic Afghan war. It appears that the Taliban have regained control over the southern half of Afghanistan and their front line is advancing daily. Disaster looms for the western forces.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:49 PM | | Comments (0)
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