Friday, September 04, 2009

Afghanistan: how to lose a war and blame someone else

I do hope that someone in this dysfunctional administration listens to Max Boot:

Until now international forces and their Afghan partners have lacked the will and resources to implement a classic counterinsurgency plan designed to secure the populace. But that is precisely what Gen. Stanley McChrystal will undertake—assuming he gets the resources he needs from Washington. To pull the plug on our operations now, when our troops are only beginning to fight in earnest, would be even more foolish than it would have been to short-circuit the surge in Iraq in 2007—as so many who are freely offering advice on Afghanistan today once advocated.

However, I have my doubts; four main mistakes were made by Obama and his ideological cronies:

1)      Spreading the word that they wanted to talk to “moderate” Taliban (there is not such a thing and it has – rightly – been interpreted as a sign of extreme weakness)

2)      Hoping stupidly that the perceived European ill will against Bush (itself a fabrication of the Dems) would miraculously transform itself in love and military support for Obama’s endevours

3)      Afghanistan, like Iraq and all the rest of it, is a regional problem and no amount of appeasement towards Syria or Iran will reduce their desire to do harm to US/Western interests in the region; on the contrary, it will only encourage them

4)      First thing to do to protect the population is to eliminate corruption (which was the main reason of the Taliban’s’ first success); to do this allies must destroy completely poppy fields and opium cultivations which only benefit and fund the Taliban’s’ murderous activities (farmers and villagers get very little out of it anyway; they would be better off planting grains)

Of course, when you have people like Dennis Ross advising a young and inexperienced President that protecting the poppy fields must be the first objective of the counterinsurgency (a “no brainer” he calls it) you can only despair…let’s hope McCrystal, with his love of napalm, will use it where it is now needed most.

Posted via email from captainmarlow's posterous

1 comment:

rush said...

Harmid Karzai is recognized by the US as being the democratically elected President of Afganistan. It was Karzai who began talking about including Taliban 'moderates' in the government. This created a huge problem for the US (first with Bush) in that the goal of the US was to eliminate a group that the democratically elected President of Afganistan said he wanted to negotiate with. Many in the Bush administration believed this was an attempt by Karzai to hold onto power at a time when he was loosing popular support. It wasn't Obama's idea,it was the position of the democratically elected President.