British troops are propping up a corrupt government...

#1
...in Afghanistan
By Patrick McAuslan
Published: 1:34PM BST 18 Jul 2009

One of the stated reasons for our troops fighting, and dying, in Afghanistan is to provide support for the Afghan government so that it can provide governance and services to its people. Troop numbers have been increased specifically to facilitate Presidential elections in August, so as to bolster the democratic credentials of the government. The assumption behind this policy is that there is a reasonably democratic, efficient and effective government in place and we must play our part in defending it against ‘insurgents’.

But what kind of government does in fact exist in Afghanistan? When I worked there for the UN and the World Bank in 2005 and 2007 on land reform, I met with many government officials and Ministers. They could talk the talk about reform, justice, fair and efficient systems of land management in a very convincing manner, but little action followed the talk. The same lack of effort to grapple with the corrupt system of justice was also apparent. This was for one overwhelming reason. There was then, and there is now, no commitment and no interest at the top of government to undertake any meaningful reform of any aspect of governance which might in any way interfere with its ability to siphon off government resources for their own ends.
Continues here
 
#3
Historians have long attributed the final fall of South Vietnam to the withdrawal of troops followed by a decline in aid but many say the real tipping point was years before with the South Vietnamese people being wholly p1ssed off by the rampant corruption and incompetence of both the South Vietnam Government and ARVN.

Nothing really changes and those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

In some respects we are in the same position as the Aussies were then, so if the pattern is followed will start pulling out by a phased withdrawal before the US finally pulls the plug.
 
#4
EX_STAB said:
I thought you were meaning the Labour Government.
There isn't much difference.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
Yeah, but would the Armed Forces actually prop up a Labour government?

No. One good turn deserves another, and I'm sure we'd hang them out to dry at the first opportunity . . . . . . . . . .








by the neck :twisted:
 
#8
Whilst the Karzai government is corrupt, it is a major improvement on the Taliban one. The campaignm isn't about propping up the government (though that is a process towards the end aim). It's about esablishing a security situation for the Afghans where they can establish their own governmental processes at all levels. We have seen very definite improvements in the ANA and the ANP, a long way to go admittedly, but this is the primary medium term goal
 
#10
MikeMcc said:
Whilst the Karzai government is corrupt, it is a major improvement on the Taliban one. The campaignm isn't about propping up the government (though that is a process towards the end aim). It's about esablishing a security situation for the Afghans where they can establish their own governmental processes at all levels. We have seen very definite improvements in the ANA and the ANP, a long way to go admittedly, but this is the primary medium term goal
UK troops are engaged on one side of a vicious civil war. The UK is trying to ensure that one element of the Afghan political scene doesn't muster enough support to 'win' a 'democratic' election, whilst providing untold electoral advantages to the other element.

That's how 'liberal democracy' works in the 'New World': election 'winners' are selected in advance by foreign powers and the veil of legitimacy is provided by one-sided elections.

In the 'Old World', we considered that abhorent and of generally of a Communist flavour - although we did indulge ourselves too.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
I don't think we really care how ghastly the Afghan Govt is as long as it can hold the ring against the Taliban creeping back and providing safe haven for Al-Q. This mission is being sold to the soft and fluffy as some sort of humanitarian thing for the poor Afs but I HOPE it is really about snuffing out the Taliban and curtailing the heroin trade. If we waste time and resources trying to be nice it will all just take longer.
 
#13
seaweed said:
I don't think we really care how ghastly the Afghan Govt is as long as it can hold the ring against the Taliban creeping back and providing safe haven for Al-Q. This mission is being sold to the soft and fluffy as some sort of humanitarian thing for the poor Afs but I HOPE it is really about snuffing out the Taliban and curtailing the heroin trade. If we waste time and resources trying to be nice it will all just take longer.
Surely the Taliban is one of the political parties in the democratic race. Snuffing it out is taking sides and perverting the course of democracy. Are 'we' frightened they might win?
 
#14
MikeMcc said:
Whilst the Karzai government is corrupt, it is a major improvement on the Taliban one. The campaignm isn't about propping up the government (though that is a process towards the end aim). It's about esablishing a security situation for the Afghans where they can establish their own governmental processes at all levels. We have seen very definite improvements in the ANA and the ANP, a long way to go admittedly, but this is the primary medium term goal

North Vietnam was worse than Saigon, brainwashing hundreds of thousands into human wave tactics....

I think its easier for those who are worse to hold power, North Vietnam could be totalitarian while South Vietnam, though corrupt, was somewhat free.
The Taliban are totalitarian and wont allow anyone to step out of line and thus they have control.

You can see it when the IRA controlled estates. Compare the tight grip they had over communities to policing in a "normal" location in Dublin or London and national police forces dont have that control...

See what Im gettin at!!
 
#15
The Karzai government might be corrupt, but it is a government voted for by its people. This didn't happen when the Taleban ruled the roost.
 
#16
Now wasn't Karzi an ex Haliburton employee.
One of Dicks Boys.
I understand that many of his family are high placed and even IF Hamid is not corrupt
THEY certainly are.
john
 
#17
jonwilly said:
Now wasn't Karzi an ex Haliburton employee.
One of Dicks Boys.
I understand that many of his family are high placed and even IF Hamid is not corrupt
THEY certainly are.
john
They may well be corrupt, but they were voted in fair & square in 2004.
 

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