Afghanistan: winning, losing or treading water?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by whitecity, Mar 9, 2009.

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  1. There appears to be a far more realistic assessment of the situation in Afghanistan now that the Bush Administration has departed Washington.

  2. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Gen David McKiernan told the BBC that coalition strategy had so far been clear, but under-resourced.

    'Clear but under-resourced'? I agree with under-resourced, but perhaps someone can enlighten me as regards the S word?
  3. Maybe you'll find something here to clear up your confusion:
  4. "Afghanistan: winning, losing or treading water?"

    Bit of a rather open question there

    If you take winning, as the government of Karzai is the only agency that has a monopoly on force then no If You take winning, as your side isn't dieing in large numbers than, yes.

    Afghanistan needs a drastic change in strategy and it maybe that Obama is willing to make that change. It may be that by getting rid of Karzai he could do another Ngo Dinh Diem and escalate the situation or it maybe and I will be shocked if this is the case, he understands the geo-political situation.

    Obama needs to re-enfranchise the Pashtun and that maybe for now abandoning the mission civilatrice but without stability there is way that the life for ordinary Afghans can really improve in the long term. However given recent experiences though I am beginning to wonder if the only beneficial change has been for the expats.

    I know many find it disdainful that the Paks have sued in SWAT but if you look it at another way, the government has suzerainty on the area through agents who can use force to ensure some sort of stability. It may not be pretty but at least it is something.
  5. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer


    Thanks - but while the article talks a lot about embedding troops with the population, I am still confused. Let's make this as simple as possible:

    Strategy: WHAT you want to/aim to do
    Tactics: HOW you do it.

    WHAT is it that are we aiming to do in Afghan? What is the desired result?

    Defeat the Taliban (whoever they may be)?
    Build a functioning economy?
    Build a functioning democracy?
    Create a situation in which (2) and (3) above are feasible?
    Win the support of the population for (1), (2), (3) and/or (4) above?
    Keep Karzai and his boys in power?
    All of the above?
    Some of the above?
    None of the above?

    Feel free to englighten this poor ignoramus, cos I frankly don't get it.