Afghanistan: America prepares to surrender

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Queensman, Jan 25, 2010.

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  1. IMO the solution has been a civil one, not a military one for some time. If we carry on as we are we could still be there in a generations time.
    Someone said a while ago 'ISAF have the watches, but the taliban have the time'.
  2. Planning to go on the offensive against the Taliban and weaken them militarily so that they come to the negotiating table with the Afghan Government / NATO holding all the aces is hardly surrendering. It has always been acknowledged that any solution in Afghanistan will have to be primarily political. Calling this 'preparing to surrender' makes me wonder whether you actually read the article...
  3. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Co-opting the enemy was a favoured tactic by the British throughout our imperial history and after (see Ulster). As Yitzak Rabin once said about talking to the enemy, "Who else do you hold peace talks with? Your friends?"
  4. This isn't based on the same idea some UN negotiators had a couple of years ago and the US booted them out?
  5. I think the difference is that the US considers it necessary to fight the Taliban to a standstill prior to starting negotiations. Something the OP appears to have missed in the article...
  6. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    It wasn't the US who booted them out - it was the afghans - i.e. Pres Karzai. He didn't want outsiders interfering in an area that he takes a very personal interest in.
  7. You missed a word out!
  8. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Edited for double post, due to DII-F being arrse.
  9. There has recently been a shift in Taliban strategy reported. It appears that some their more lunatic, and civilian slaughtering tactics and members have been reined in, and a new, more careful appraoch has been adopted.

    The core Taliban are still ethnic Pashtuns, and however disagreeable to us, do represent a legitaimate strand of public opinion. (This excludes the Pakistanis, Uzbeks and so on who are just there for the ruck)

    Both Karzai and the US have offered to engage with the Taliban recently, and I would not be surprised if they decide to start to come in from the cold. It makes them look like a legitimate power bloc, it allows them to portray the Americans as seeking a peace, and not them, (even if both sides want one) and, more importantly, it allows them to avoid getting caught up in the horrible mess in Pakistan, which is not the safe haven it once was.

    It might be noted that of late, most of the Predator drones strikes in Pakistan have been knocking off Uzbeks and Pakistanis, and not Afghans.
    I suspect that this is deliberate. The US wants to leave a functional Taliban Chain of command to negotiate with, but doesn't care about decapitating Pakistani groups. (in fact, it's probably doing this as a favour to the Pakistani government. It solves their problems, and the US can take the blame.)
  10. Whilist jihadist from outside Afgahnistan still flock to defend their 'faith' there (as they'ed get well mullahed anywehre else, if you pardon the pun) there'll never be 'peace' in the country.

    I think the best the world can ecpect is a reduction in casualtie and troop numbers there.
  11. There comes a time when a foreign occupying force has to negotiate with the locals before departure. It makes sense to discuss with all local parties and especially those which clearly have a substantial following.

    The Taleban may not be to our liking. They may not uphold or aspire to the standards of governance that 'we' do. But we cannot deny that they have political support and it is their own country.

    The only reason we find the notion of discussions with the Taleban so vile is because of the narrative about them presented by 'our' political leadership who have 'bigged-up' their 'badness' to make 'our goodness' seem supreme.
  12. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    For those that don't remember, conflicts are all, ultimately settled by politicians and not by the warfighters. Were we "defeated" in NI? Don't think so.

    As I've already said to a Pakistani friend, I'm just glad that this US administration can think in this fashion. Says a good deal about the intellectual differences between the previous and current inhabitants of the White House, I'd suggest.
  13. Interesting comments hector. I have been reading for some time that spec ops in Afg had become so efficient there wasn't much of a hierarchy left to negotiate with. If true, this could indicate that a compromise solution acceptable to the West has been hammered out in smokeless rooms.
  14. If we are unable or unwilling to sustain casualties and take the fight to the Taliban, they will have the upper hand in any discussions and our bargaining power will be none. For that reason, fighting the Taliban to a standstill is necessary to set the conditions for successful peace talks.

    Talking to the various enemy factions in Afghanistan is also a necessary part of drawing to a conclusion the war there. The footsoldiers may be in it for their 'faith' and to 'repel the invaders', but make no mistake - many of their leaders have simple ambitions of money and power.

    We can either continue to fight a war that will never end, no matter how powerful our military - or we can play the smart game.