NATO facing defeat in AFGHANISTAN

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Oct 31, 2007.

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  1. The guardian
    Facing defeat in Afghanistan
    As the allies squabble about burden-sharing, the situation on the ground is becoming increasingly grim.
    Simon Tisdal
    October 31, 2007

    Nato troops plunged into a vicious new round of fighting with the Taliban yesterday as hundreds of Afghan civilians fled their homes in villages around Kandahar. The violence, in which about 50 militants reportedly died, again underscored how insecure and ungovernable large tracts of the south and east remain six years after "victory in Kabul".

    The impact of the continuing bloodshed, said to be the worst since 2001, is being felt far beyond the battlefields of Kandahar, Helmand and Uruzgan. Simmering tensions between Nato members over "burden-sharing" are bubbling to the surface in Berlin, Washington and London. All agree the alliance's mission is under-resourced and under-funded; none has a ready answer to the problem.

    Despite a steady escalation of force levels from about 5,000 in 2003 to more than 40,000 today, the fight grows ever more desperate. The possibility of military failure, previously unthinkable, is now openly discussed. Few deny that Nato's first and biggest operation outside Europe is in trouble. According to a senior European diplomat, the alliance's cohesion and credibility is increasingly on the line.

    "We are now in the most difficult phase in Afghanistan," said Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Nato secretary-general, in a recent interview with the International Herald Tribune. "If we do not prevail, the consequences ... will be dire." Not only was Afghanistan's future as a democratic, unified state in the balance; so, too, was Europe's security in the face of reviving terrorist threats emanating from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

    Speaking after meeting Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, in London last week, Gordon Brown vowed Afghanistan would "never again" become the failed state used by al-Qaida to plot the 9/11 attacks. But other Nato members seem less certain.

    Germany's parliament recently debated pulling out its 3,700 troops; public opinion supports withdrawal. Despite urgent US appeals for Germany, France, Italy and Spain to drop their "caveats" and switch troops from peacekeeping and training to combat duties, there is no sign they will comply. Even Canada, on the Afghan front line from the first, is reviewing its role.

    According to the US Council on Foreign Relations, insurgency-related deaths, military and civilian, have topped 5,000 so far this year, up 1,000 on 2006. Suicide bombings and kidnappings targeting civilians are also on the rise. A report by thinktank Chatham House concluded meanwhile that the conflict is becoming "regionalised", involving tribal areas of Pakistan and alleged arms supplies from Iran.

    Adding to the gloom, US research suggests the number of Afghans supporting a return to Taliban rule has doubled, to 15%.

    Nato's difficulties extend far beyond the Taliban resurgence and burden-sharing disputes. Senior commanders stress military might alone cannot prevail in Afghanistan. But diplomats say the long-term strategy and the inter-agency coordination required to deliver political stability, economic recovery and reliable services are lacking. Nor, despite billions already disbursed, is there nearly enough money.

    UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon recently advocated stronger local leadership, increased international engagement and tighter regional partnerships to help find a way forward. But in a sign of how bad matters have become, the UN was forced this week to plead with the Taliban to stop attacking its food convoys.

    The deepening Afghan crisis is encouraging talk of peace, notwithstanding Taliban demands for the unconditional withdrawal of all foreign forces. But according to Professor William Maley, writing in World Today magazine, Mr Karzai's recent offer to negotiate, and reported British-backed efforts to win over "moderate" insurgents, could backfire by inviting greater resistance. Such moves might also encourage rearmament among the Taliban's tribal foes.

    Winter will bring a lull in the fighting. But the spring thaw will see the whole bloody cycle begin anew. Unless something drastic happens to break the pattern, this year's Nato fissures may become next year's all-out ruptures. The death toll will mount. And Mr Brown, with 7,700 British troops in the firing line, may find himself trapped between US-dictated strategic imperatives and a growing desire to bring the boys home.
  2. For those who are interested Frank Gardener will be heading up the Analysis programme on Radio 4 tonight at 830pm. The trailer this morning indicated it will be well worth listening to especially for those who are interested in the Afghanistan Pakistan and Bangladesh areas the latter which is causing increasing concern.
  3. Has anyone ever conquered Afghanistan ?
  4. The Afghan's?

    Or were they just born there?
  5. Alexander the Great, Darius the Great (I think), Genghis Khans sons, The British twice (but 'our remit was only as far as our guns would reach').

    Afghans still brag about how hard Alexander was, he left a real impression.

    Oh and Islam did, they used to be Buddist/Hindi etc.
  6. I'm glad that was written by the Guardian, otherwise Sven would be on blaming the Tories and their lacky press for undermining morale
  7. I would be surprised if there were a 'growing desire to bring the boys home'. There seems to be very little interest in what is being done in AFG, we're not sending unwilling conscripts to their deaths, and our Regiments are still quite local, so their return doesn't fill the national news. I think that Britain as a country could go on like this for ages; the impact on the Army is something else.
  8. The muslims conquered Afghanistan in the 10th and 11th centuries, they did it by the wholesale slaughter of the male population, rape and slavery of the women and children and destruction of all the native sites and influences of the Hindus and Buddhists, Christians and Zoroastrians.

    As for Nato, its time to ditch the useless Europeans and form a new organisation based solely on the English speaking nations of Great Britain, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealaland. Id maybe let the Poles and Scando countries have a role, but the rest of them can't be trusted and should be given the boot.
  9. Whatever happens they have got.
    AK 47 and we have not.
  10. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    They also dont have people at home wanting itto end, not just yet anyway!
  11. The AK 47 is not all it is cracked up to be. Trust me.
  12. No, perhaps not, but there are over 100,000,000 of them in circulation!

    With regards to the, 'has anyone ever won in Afghanistan?', question, I've just read Paddy Doherty's The Khyber Pass, (LINK). The number of times that the land North and East of the pass has changed hands in the last three thousand years is staggering.

    It also bears out the potential of the area as a land of plenty. Prior to the destruction of the civilisation in the area by the Mongols, Northern Afghanistan, at least was the fount of a number of empires on the basis that the well developed, irrigated, agricultural system allowed for the creation of the wealth neccessary for the development of large scale military forces.
    Which begs the question, apart from, 'The Great Game', what has stopped indiginous development in the ensuing millenium?

    Is this about to become the, 'Son of The Latest Fighting in Afghanistan Thread', thread?
  13. Islam?
  14. First of all, what would be considered victory in Afghanistan? Defeat of the Taliban? What does that mean? Killing all that belong to the Taliban movement wouldn't be enough, sice there would always be new ones ready to take the place of those that died. A strong Afghan central government wouldn't be a solution either, as that would quickly turn into a dictatorship. Afghanistan sits at a crossroads and is made up of a mix of populations that do not like each other, and have always fought for power. I say leave them alone, and if it then turns into a terrorist state, who cares? The only important thing is not to allow any terrorists into western countries. An islamist controlled Afghanistan would expand the islamist revolution into the neighbouring states of Pakistan and Tadjikistan, but let Pakistan take care of that, and if not India will; as for Tadjikistan, the Russians will see that the islamists stop there, as they have done in the 1990's. I really don't see what the West's interest of being in Afghanistan is.
  15. AK-47 or L85A2 whats greater?
    Doesn't matter cos terrys in a smoking crater.

    Paveway III.....when you absolutely have to kill every motherfcuker in the building. :D