Ashraf Ghani: Afghanistan is a failing state.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by msr, Dec 29, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. msr

    msr LE

    The Obama Presidency provides a second chance to get Afghanistan right. The President-elect has made it clear a stable Afghanistan is his priority. That stability will only come when Afghanistan can govern itself. To reach that point, three key assets must be harnessed: first, American forces and resources; second, the instruments of national and international power; and third and most crucially, the Afghan people, who are as eager to see the restoration of order and justice.

  2. i think its already a failed state?
  3. If the Indy had put his former occupation (Afghan Finance minister) at the head of the article rather than foot I'd not have read it as he's not able to give an impartial view on it. Certainly experienced and knows what he's talking about as you'd expect a former minister to be but far too optimistic to the point of naivity.

    Sorry minister but your country is what it has been for hundreds of years: A lawless collection of tribes and warlords who don't want to be governed.
  4. A failing state is better than it was a few years ago.

    Then it was a Taliban/failed state.

    Unless your idea of blissful utopia is a bunch of religious zealots leading the country and making up barking laws.
  5. In what way?

    Poppy crops last summer broke records, Violence is increasing and forecast to get worse. It hasn't progressed from the Soviet occupation. Some rural Afghan's think we are Russians, it makes no difference to them.

    Prior to that (60's, 70's), the country used to get tourists, mountaineers and skiers. The Kabul slope was closed in the 90's.

    So the Taliban enforced some shocking discipline. By our standards perhaps. But then so do our Saudi friends.
  6. Well, then, let´s get it sorted and take it back to the 60´s and 70´s.
  7. Afghanistan cannot be a failing state, because it has never reached the condition of being a nation state to fail from. Sure, lots of people have visited Kabul in the past clutching the foreign aid chequebook and listened to what they wanted to hear from the Major of Kabul who tells them he runs the place but that's not the same thing. No wonder Karzai wants us in there, he gets us to spend our blood and treasure to expand his remit to places it's never been to.

    Yet another demonstration of why we're losing the only game in town that matters, the information war. Because we don't understand how the place works.

    The old school Taliban weren't universally unpopular after all - sure, in the cities where Westerners go they were reviled, but in the isolated valleys where the hard core old school b@stards live they weren't too far off message. Of course, we don't go there - or if we do it's just after we've bombed something local (force protection .... erm .. unfortunate error ...) and our right-on idiots in the aid organisations write them off as mysogynist throwbacks to the time of Alexander. Which of course they are.

    Oh, and going back to the 70s is out. We've killed that generation of Taliban off, now we've got the 21st Century version, more networked than we are, better at using disruptive technology than we are, the products of the Pakistani madrassas we thought were such a good idea back when the locals were fighting the USSR.
  8. It never has been a proper state for Centuries - with or without Brits or Yanks there, it has always engaged in tribal conflict and violence. This is the way of the Afghan.
  9. Bull. Afghanistan was quite free from civil rest from 1929-1973. The 1950-73 period was one of gradual progress, with increasing liberalization that urban Afghans in particular still hanker after (those who can remember, or whose parents told them stories).

    What destroyed that peace was not tribalism, but communism. Communism bred through a liberalization of the political climate that allowed parties like the PDPA to flourish. Things just went too far due to the geopolitical climate. The Daoud coup was the catalyst for Afghan society to regress into tribalism, not some "wild wog" theory that some still ascribe to. And considering our own history, I would be loath to argue that fractionalized tribalism is anyone's "way". People change. In Afghanistan's case, they see-sawed.

    I managed to get an Afghan friend of mine back to Kabul over the summer. He came back with the clear view that Karzai has given up. There's a massive change in attitude since 2005. The Afghan government has turned into a kleptocracy. My friend now dreams of a colonial administration.

    People just want peace. The Taliban offers rule of law. They might chop your hands off, but you know in advance what offenses warrant that. The Karzai government has dismally failed to provide security and hence we have the two prime combat indicators that the insurgency is winning:
    1. They own the night.
    2. They have established alternative courts.

    Ghani is a good man, but his book, Fixing Failed States, reinforces Cook_Assistant's argument about his over-optimism. He sounds like a management consultant at times. That said, he remains the darling of many expat Afghans and American elites, who pin their hopes on him. Better him than...who else is there?
  10. Agreed. For all their less salubrious attributes they commanded respect.
    We're hypocrites in this country for ranting about political correctness and how we'd like to see hard justice and this and that happen to criminals but when the Taliban dished it out it was considered brutal.

    Perhaps a milder Taliban leadership wouldn't be such a bad thing? It wouldn't make a difference to our (in)security at home.
  11. I never had a problem with their punishment of criminals.... of course who were or weren´t the criminals was a bit hit and miss.

    I´d love to see a bit of hand choppy action for theft in this country. Hard to steal a car with stumps :D
  12. The point is less the type of punishment than punishment itself. Rule of law means that you get punished if you break the law. The how isn't that important and not correlated - hence, Norway can be very lax and America can be quite harsh in its punishments, and yet the former arguably has better rule of law than the latter.

    Years of conflict and the pervasive message of Islamism (not necessarily acceptance thereof) may have inoculated many to the effects of harsh punishment, but that doesn't mean they believe harshness to be an ideal. Local courts run by elders tend to focus much more on restoring harmony and this is where the Taliban courts often fail. There is definitely room for a government justice system to move closer to that ideal. But here's the crux: there simply is no government judicial presence to speak of.

    As for making a deal with the New Taliban: it's possible, but it would probably take decades to overcome mutual misgivings. If the Taliban can consolidate its holdings, it might become less extremist. But that state of affairs requires us to lose and lose for quite some time without quitting altogether. I don't see us having the stomach for that. If you haven't already done so, I suggest reading the first few chapters of Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop to see what we're up against.
  13. If the TB are to make a comeback a name change would be in order to make them more stomachable.
    Dodgy companies shake reputations with name changes overnight so why not the Taliban?
    It would need to be islamic to keep them happy but not too islamic that it smacks of Jihadist overtones and antagonises the yanks.
    eg. 'The Islamic party of Afghanistan'

    Give them power and let them get on with it. We can leave saying we were never beaten by 'the Taliban'.