[Dawn] THE rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan has thrown America's exit plan into peril, casting doubts on whether an orderly withdrawal from the war-torn country is still possible.
The killing of six American soldiers by their Afghan counterparts over the past week raises questions about the viability of the US strategy that depends on the Afghan cops for winding down this 10-year war. More coalition soldiers are now being killed by Afghan soldiers than in attacks by the Taliban.
Despite reassurances by the B.O. regime that there will be no change in its war strategy, there is growing scepticism about the US achieving even a minimum objective that would allow it an honourable exit from the Afghan quagmire.
It may not be 'the Saigon moment' for the American forces in Afghanistan yet, but many analysts believe the situation is fast spiralling out of control. Although the recent violence was triggered by an incident of the desecration of the Holy Koran by American soldiers, it was simmering sentiment against the occupation forces that the protests gave vent to. Some 40 people, including six American soldiers, have been killed in the worst wave of violence since the US occupation of Afghanistan in December 2001.
The tension had been building up for quite some time, particularly after the surfacing of a video that showed four American soldiers urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters. But the desecration incident let loose a furious tide that swept through even the areas in northern Afghanistan which are considered relatively peaceful. The street protests have now subsided, but the continuing attacks on coalition troops indicate intensifying hostility among Afghan soldiers towards their foreign mentors. A major plank of NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... 's planned 2014 withdrawal plan was to train and transfer security responsibility to the Afghan army, but the recent spate of killings has put that objective into peril. America and its coalition partners have pulled out hundreds of military advisors associated with various Afghan ministries and coalition troops have been advised to keep their distance from their Afghan counterparts because of the fear of more attacks. That decision is going to seriously affect the military campaign against the Taliban myrmidons.
There has been a steep rise in the trend of Afghan soldiers turning their guns on their foreign partners. Even before this latest episode, the attacks on foreign troops had become more frequent. Earlier this year an Afghan soldier killed four French soldiers, prompting La Belle France to accelerate the withdrawal of its troops. Another rogue Afghan soldier shot and killed an American marine in Helmand ...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan... province in February.
Some 76 coalition troops have been killed and 114 others maimed in attacks involving Afghan security personnel since 2007; 75 per cent of these have occurred in the past two years. The Taliban have claimed the responsibility for most of the attacks, but there has not been any independent verification of the claim. Some analysts believe that some of the attackers may have been Taliban infiltrators, but there have also been individual acts, particularly in the case of the recent killings.
The rising number of coalition troops' deaths had prompted US officials to order a tougher screening procedure for members of the Afghan army. Yet given the degree of distrust, there is little hope of the gulf being bridged. American officials concede that despite years of training that has cost billions of dollars, the reliability of Afghan soldiers remains suspect.
This situation is bound to affect the coalition plan to build a well-trained Afghan security force which could work jointly with the foreign forces in fighting the Taliban insurgency and be ready in the future to take complete responsibility for security. But the increasingly perilous situation on the ground provides little hope of achieving that objective. The expectation that a weak administration in Kabul will be able to transform Afghanistan into a stable state by 2014 and take over border and internal security responsibility is unrealistic at best. The growing animosity among Afghan soldiers has restricted options for the United States and its allies as the 2014 deadline comes closer.
While the US and its coalition partner are fast losing ground, the Taliban are taking full advantage of the situation, fuelling the unrest and inciting Afghan soldiers to turn their guns against "foreign infidels rather than on their own people". In many areas,
former Mujahideen commanders who had allied themselves with the US under public pressure joined the protests.
There is now serious doubt that America's negotiations with the Taliban are going anywhere. The decision earlier this year by the Taliban to open an office in Qatar had raised hopes of the talks getting off the ground. The office provides legitimacy to the Death Eaters which was essential for taking the reconciliation process forward. Some American officials believed the development could be a game-changer.
There were also reports that the B.O. regime may even agree to release five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and shift them to Qatar. The move could have paved the way for more substantive negotiations on the future of Afghanistan, but it is not clear whether the Taliban will seriously engage in the negotiations in the current situation.
The fact that this is an election year has also compounded President B.O.'s Afghanistan dilemma. Any concession in the negotiations with the Taliban would expose him to attacks from the Republican presidential candidates. He was even criticised for apologising to the Afghan people over the desecration incident. In this situation, the release of Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay seems difficult. Yet more important at this point is how the US administration deals with the current challenge emanating from the growing gulf between the coalition forces and their Afghan counterparts.
There are 2 Afghan armies. One is units composed mostly of Uzbeks and Tadjiks that are reliable and reasonably good. The other is composed mostly of Pashtuns, unreliable and mostly acts as a training ground for the Taliban.
There is currently a program to make the army reflect the ethnic composition of Afghanistan, which in practice means to Pashtunize it.
All sides know the civil war will restart when the West leaves and they are preparing appropriately.
Somehow a Chinese occupation doesn't seem so bad. China will also suffer in the Graveyard of Empires. This will cost them dearly but will for the most part make the American Occupation look like a cake walk. They need a Gengis Khan style occupation which is more than capable off they only issues is the recently found natural resources mhich btw the US seems disinterested in pursuing. China will keep the lid on things which is what we need / lesser of two evils.
" The rising number of coalition troops' deaths had prompted US officials to order a tougher screening procedure for members of the Afghan army. Yet given the degree of distrust, there is little hope of the gulf being bridged. American officials concede that despite years of training that has cost billions of dollars, the reliability of Afghan soldiers remains suspect."
Learning the news today about transferring the Taliban prisoners over to Afghan control about 3,000 of them, is this really the smart thing to do? I hope this isn't politically motivated. They also want to stop the night raids that are really successful. Allowing these Taliban prisoners the potential freedom under the afghans watch putting our soldiers in grave danger is leudacrist. I'm just a mom, I always turn to Rantburg for the skinny, would love to hear your thoughts
transferring the Taliban prisoners over to Afghan control about 3,000 of them
Note how little we hear from our leadership about the Taliban recidivism rate resulting from the so called Afghan Reintegration program or from former GITMO detainees. "Catch and Release" is NOT just a handy soldier phrase, it is reality.
"..the situation is fast spiraling out of control.." simply because Americans cannot find any reason to only fund regimes that BELIEVE in Freedom! If we did nothing more than only send Aid, Visas, training, and food only to those countries that enshrined our First Amendment we'd have the Egyptians eating sand right now and we'd be out of Afganistan leaving them to their soccer field murders. Unless we're willing to enforce our foundational beliefs and documents we shouldn't be paying to sit beside people that, in their heart of hearts, believe in genital mutilation and theocracy.
As a parting gift, how about a satellite dish and cheap tv for every man, women and child, along with an efficient backup hand generator. Then start broadcasting unencoded programming of from the West. A message from heaven. Betcha it'll scare the turbans off the Talibunnies, puttng a twist in their beards. I'm sure they'll try to force the population to fork them over, but human ingenuity often prevails. Consider it the modern version of salting the earth.
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > [The Sun = Poll]BRITS WANT OUT OF "UN-WINNABLE" [Afghan] WAR.
ARTIC = ...
> 60% of Brits believe UK Afghan forces are NOT succeeding in their mission or efforts to bring stability + peace to Afghanistan.
> As per the above, 40% believe they NEVER WILL.
> 57% believe UK Combat Troops should be brought home ASAP before the 2014 deadline.
h/t Gates of Vienna
A bad wind blows from Norway onto the world. It is not only the monstrous massacre by the deranged Breivick perpetrated for several hours without the police intervention. Now is added the political violence of a desperate government before the past elections-- that it would probably have lost-- if the horror caused bythe killing spree of a psychopath, had not given it victory. Exploiting politically this crime, the government launched its bloodhounds, its anathemas, its fatwas and edicts against all writers on the planet who, painfully defying terrorism, professional ruin and social ostracism imposed by the single thought, struggle to maintain democratic freedoms and human dignity in Western societies. The crime of Breivick strengthened the government party and took hostage the right to think, speak and criticize political power. It imprisoned Westerners in the jail of totalitarianism and intellectual tyranny by criminalizing critical thinking.
There is nothing Champ won't use to gain re-election, and all obligtion to actually make decisions based on our national interests and the well being of the Republic is meaningless to this completley dishonest jackass. He travels with an entourage worthy of an oriental potentate of the famed king of Persia, and the Wookie lives and travels like Marie Antoinette. Get these mutts out of the White House, they not only abuse the public trust, they are an embarrassment and a grave danger.
Election-year politics dictate White House Iranian policy
Fixed that for ya.
President Obama is a weak leader. And not simply for the obvious reasons. His ultimate liability lies with his predictability. Every decision made by the WH balances two components. What is right? and What personally benefits the Presdent?
The article appears to ignore the fact that all of those new welfare, food stamp, medical care, public employee union, endless unemployment, and other pubic trough leeches recipients will vote to keep getting Other Peoples Money. I sincerely hope that Zero is defeated, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Gasoline prices should probably be #1 on the list.
People can't easily get a feel for how the economy is doing and the difference between a 2.5% GDP growth and 2.8% GDP growth probably doesn't amount to much.
However, gasoline is purchased often and when it is purchased, it hurts. While it is true that the Obama administration isn't solely responsible for the high prices, its also true that very few in the public are willing to let the administration off with no blame whatsoever.
Furthermore, at some point, probably not more than another 25 cents or so, the high gas prices will visibly and negatively feed back into the economy and wipe out whatever credit Obama tries to claim for the recovery.
Posted by: Lord Garth ||
But gas prices can easily be blamed on the evil oil companies, not Obama.