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Afghanistan: a civil war « Previous | |Next »
November 21, 2009

The incompetent and corrupt Afghan Karzai government would probably fall within weeks to the insurgent Taliban, if Nato pulled out troops now.

BellSKarzai.jpg Steve Bell

The Karzai government in Kabul is a puppet regime beholden to the warlords in the context of an Afghan civil war. So the Taliban are able to present themselves as fair administrators and the scourge of bandits and warlords after decades of war and lawlessness. They now control and govern on third the country---they pretty much control the southern provinces of Afghanistan.

What then is the rationale for being involved in a civil war?

The US does seem to building bases that indicate a long stay. Presumably, the purpose of this intervention is to prevent second coercive Taliban revolution in Afghanistan---the restoration of the Afghan state they presided over during the 1990s.

That requires counter-insurgency warfare, yet the US has no substantive and credible local partner for the centralized, "state-building" approach that remains at the heart of U.S. strategy that is being articulated by General McChrystal. So the US is engaged in a war that it won't win. Hence their limited options. The two options being considered by the Obama adminitration are:

sending in as many as 40,000 more troops to wage a full-blown counterinsurgency war (COIN in Army parlance), as General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has recommended, or keeping the number of troops at the current level of about 68,000 to wage a more limited, counterterrorist effort aimed at al Qaeda and, to a lesser degree, the Taliban.

A third option ---ending the military occupation and leave Afghanistan to the Afghans and let them deal with al-Qaeda and the Taliban is not being considered.

Ye the point of being in Afghanistan remains unclear as this is no fight for democratic universal values and women's rights and the terrorists threat from Afghanistan is pretty low. The argument that one has to stay in Afghanistan to stop terrorist attacks at home is not persuasive, given that recent terrorist incidents in both the United States and Europe have been traced to extremists who did their training and operated out of America and the Continent.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:01 PM | | Comments (2)


Over at another site I use the following as a signature.
"History's most important lesson . . . is that man [sic] has not learned much at all from history."
The actions and policies of the US, and allies [now who does that include?],in Afghanistan is a classic example of that theme.

Stay the course!!!

The excuse for continuing the military intervention is the continuing military intervention. It's never been about the well-being of the Afghan people. Zbigniew Brezinski made that very clear.