Insight into Taliban Strategy

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jumpinjarhead, Sep 20, 2009.

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  1. Short but insightful piece suggesting Taliban are willing to trade local defeats (an lives) for time, confident that they can outlast the NATO coalition. This is not a new insurgent strategy and to some extent in inherent in most insurgencies where outside powers have troops engaged.

    http://www.strategypage.com/dls/articles/Mountain-Warfare-9-19-2009.asp
    [/quote]
     
  2. They know, we know they know, they know we kn.........

    ..... unfortunately western electorates don't.

    B
     
  3. Well, it has been going on now for 8 years, can't really blame the electorate for getting angry about the loss of british soldiers with very little to show for it.

    Taliban had a good strategy and have stuck to it. We don't appear to have had one til now. Problem is, we now have the right strategy, but not enough troops to put it into effect. Advantage Taliban. Not all is lost, cos not many Afghans want to see Talibs back in charge, the opportunity for success is there, but will it be grasped?

    A question for the politicians to deal with, but as you say, they probably have 2 to 3 years max to show significant progress, otherwise, negotiate from a position of weakness.

    I don't think anyone can say we are winning this war.
     
  4. When their grandfathers fought the Soviet Union they never expected to win. But they fought anyway, it being more important to live your life properly and die well than stretch out your days as a vassal of foreigners.

    Until we start to get our heads round that attitude we haven't got a clue.
     
  5. As I sit here for the third time and having traveled to over 20 provinces...the above comment should be engraved/printed on every document and policy the international comunity produce to remind ourselves why we should not be here.
     
  6. There is a very big opportunity to move away from centralized govt, in the aftermath of a fraudulent election. Will the west be tempted to leave their discredited puppet in power, or will they start to put right what was a poorly conceived idea of placing most of the power in Afg in Kabul?

    Big test coming up, get it wrong and chances of success in Afg will be appreciably slimmer.
     
  7. What serves as UK strategy (the scraps of coherence that can be extrapolated) is the desire to create, maintain and sustain a strong centralised government in Kabul. An authority that, allegedly, will be able to assume responsibility for security and development from the international community some time in the near future.

    It's not working. The elections have proven that what does exist has questionnable legitimacy, but nevertheless, the UK has to keep bashing the same path for reasons of credibility.

    Kharzai is part of the problem not the solution. And yet the entire international effort is centred around providing him the muscle to stay in power.
     
  8. If we go down the line of shoring up Karzai then I'd go as far as to say, the mission is probably doomed. Certainly if no more troops are forthcoming from the US, the game would appear to be up. Forget military defeat, the reputation of NATO is at stake with the handling of the election result and the way in which it was achieved.

    If NATO is eventually defeated, (negotiated settlement allowing Sharia Law), then what you hinted at the other week WC, a need for COIN in the UK, could be a real possibility; some time down the track. Dangerous times, pity we have a generation of self-serving inept MPs to try and see our way through.
     



  9. What he said. Beating a superpower neighbour in that bloody 'gloves off' conflict must make them believe, if not know, they can win against the limited effort the West is putting in today.

    It's a war of attrition and they are winning it now and will go on to win it in the future.

    The strategy in Afg makes the US involvement in Vietnam look rather splendid and succesful.

    The Western Governments should quit now, and see how long the ANA last.
     
  10. But this has been the Afghan mantra since he days of Alexander,they have lost many battles but never a war
     
  11. Would anybody here care to speculate as to what, exactly, would be the effects of a complete NATO/ISAF withdrawal from Afg.? I mean, I hear all these calls for it but no-one seems to think beyond the "Leave them to it and bring our boys home to defend our Borders" schtick. Which I personally find somewhat unrealistic and wholly unconvincing frankly. Do people seriously think it will all just go away and we can blithely carry on as normal? What in effect, would be the real result of the most powerful and sophisticated military and diplomatic alliance on the planet being seen to be defeated and demoralised by a few thousand uneducated peasants with AKs and home-made bombs? And what would happen to Pakistan and it's Nuclear arsenal? Should we care?

    Just asking.
     
  12. Read the history, we seem to have done it a few times before
     
  13. Also if we go back to first principles (something the political leaders of our 2 countries seem averse to do) and consider NATO's raison d'etre, what must Russia (and others on the world stage beyond Europe) be considering in view of our repeated shows (from their usual realpolitik view) of ineptness/weakness in recent years.

    Regardless of our own rationalizations as to why we act or fail to act, the message taken by the Russians (and others with similar world views) is lack of a coherent world view and attendant military/economic strategy and if nothing else, resolve in the face of adversity and threats (even if not very credible).

    Examples are regrettably easy to find: Spanish withdrawal from Iraq, Georgia/Ossetia, Polish/Czech missile program, Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Pakistan etc.
     
  14. Well, briefly,my reading of the history is that on the first two occasions having in due course defeated the Afghan armies, and after the constitutional requirement of a military disaster of course, we pulled out and things pretty well stayed quiet there for the next 40 years or so. On the final occasion it was Afghanistan who invaded us, or at least our territory, and after a third rather messy defeat, a final treaty was signed to Afghan advantage in fact. On none of these occasions were nuclear weapons a factor as I recall?
     
  15. When I ask educated Afghans what was the "best of times" they all talk of Russia and the occupation....the reason is that they built schools , housing, hospitals and a like...plus 5000 students were educated free in the soviet bloc per year, when I ask poor farmers what was the "best of times" they say the Taliban as there was no corruption, bandits or crime..........however they all agree the very best of times is when they can manage themselves without outside influence..........What would happen if NATO left... some blood letting and scores settled but in the main nothing....no more than we have now!