Taliban "may be unbeatable within 12 months"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by nigegilb, Sep 21, 2009.

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  1. It is even worse than I thought, forget 2-3 years, looks like 12 months is all that we have, then negotiate from a position of weakness. The Times;

    Top US general Stanley McChrystal: we need a new plan to win in Afghanistan

    General McChrystal: made his warning in a leaked report
    Jenny Booth

    America and Nato's top military commander in Afghanistan has warned in a secret report that he needs more troops and a new strategy or his mission will probably end in failure.

    General Stanley McChrystal admits that the Taleban insurgents have made advances in the last year, and that unless the tide is turned back they may be unbeatable within 12 months.

    "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months)... risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible," writes General McChrystal.

    The 66-page report was presented to Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, on August 30 and leaked to the Washington Post.

    As foreign forces experience their most deadly year since the 2001 invasion, with more than 350 deaths so far, the general warns of an increasing price to be paid in human lives, saying it "is realistic to expect that Afghan and coalition casualties will increase".

    General McChrystal is expected to follow up his assessment shortly with a detailed request to President Obama for more resources and thousands more troops, on top of the 21,000 surge troops sent earlier this year.

    Officials estimate that he may ask for as many as 30,000 more combat forces and military trainers - a demand that Mr Obama will have difficulty in persuading his Democratic party colleagues who control Congress to agree, although Republicans favour the plan.

    Some reports this weekend suggested that the General has already drawn up his list of requirements but has been asked by the White House not to submit it yet because of the tricky political situation at home.

    In television interviews yesterday Mr Obama denied asking the general to sit on his resource request, but refused to say when he would make a decision on whether to send more Americans to fight an unpopular war.

    In his gloomy assessment, General McChrystal estimates that America is already losing in Afghanistan.

    "Although considerable effort and sacrifice have resulted in some progress, many indicators suggest the overall effort is deteriorating," he writes.

    He speaks of the "urgent need for a significant change to our strategy", calling for US forces to work more harmoniously with their Nato allies and to concentrate far more on winning hearts and minds among the Afghan people.

    International forces "have operated in a manner that distances us, physically and psychologically, from the people we seek to protect", he continues, in a reference to the high civilian death toll in US and NATO air strikes that has infuriated ordinary Afghans.

    "The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily, but we can defeat ourselves," he admits.

    "Inadequate resources will likely result in failure. However, without a new strategy, the mission should not be resourced...

    "Our objective must be the population. The objective is the will of the people, our conventional warfare culture is part of the problem, the Afghans must ultimately defeat the insurgency."

    And he lambasts the corruption of President Karzai's government and the fledgling Afghan state for helping to alienate the Afghan people, blaming "the weakness of state institutions, malign actions of power brokers, widespread corruption and abuse of power by various officials".

    Afghanistan's bloated prisons system had been allowed to become a hotbed of the insurgency, a place for rebels to plan and launch terrorist operations against the US and International Security Assistance Force troops, he said.

    Senator Carl Levin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, has told Mr Obama that he wants no new troop request at least until US forces had made stronger efforts to expand and train the Afghan National Army.

    But Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate's Republican leader, said that Mr Obama should follow the advice of his military and send the manpower.

    In the course of five television interviews yesterday, the president made plain he wanted to wait and re-evaluate whether extra troops would do any good.

    "We're going to test whatever resources we have against our strategy, which is if by sending young men and women into harm's way we are defeating al-Qaeda," said Mr Obama.

    "If that can be shown to a sceptical audience - namely me, somebody who is always asking hard questions about deploying troops - then we will do what's required to keep the American people safe."

    Fifty-eight per cent of Americans now oppose the Afghan war while 39 per cent support it, according to a recent CNN/Opinion Research poll.
  2. It must be true if a General says so. They know everything.
  3. Especially a septic one. :wink:
  4. opposition growing rapidly here too. About time the public woke up.
  5. The Septics never learn. They fcuked it up in Korea, then made the same mistakes in Vietnam and, not wanting to upset their losing streak, they completely buggered up Iraq. Now in Afghanistan they're continuing their proud history of incompetence. What pisses me off is that as a 'favoured friend' we always get dragged in!

    The Russians tried to subdue the Taliban (who had weapons supplied by the CIA) for years without success. Will they ever learn?
  6. Kind of difficult since the Taliban didn't invade Afghanistan until 1996 . Seven years after the Soviets left :roll:
  7. Short of killing pretty much the entire male population of the region, we can't 'beat' the Taliban.

    At some point in the not too distant future, 'we' will broker a deal with the Talibs, declare 'victory' and pull out.

    Empires come, empires go, but the Afghans always win.
  8. I think if victory includes the re-imposition of an extreme form of sharia law, then "victory" might be a hard sell to anyone with half a brain. A NATO defeat will embolden ALQ, (Pakistan?) etc etc. And who is to say the Taliban will negotiate? They represent an ideology, they might press on for some kind of military victory. Would they accept a form of democracy as part of a settlement? Would they abide by any settlement? Things could get very bloody if we decide to stick around. This is the starkest assessment yet, there are no easy options.
  9. Korea was a draw. At least they pushed back the NKA.

    Vietnam was really a success compared to Iraq and Afghanistan. (Vietnam was not invaded by the NVA until 1975. American troops left in 1971, when it was (nearly) all quiet and they thought ARVN would mop up the remaining VC. They thought it was over. Wrong!!)

    Even the Russians got there arses handed to them by the Mujihadeen, despite fighting a very dirty war, with the gloves off. They didn't give a fcuk about collateral damage! What hope have the PC Western govt's got in winning?

    Quit now. It's not worth the loss of life anymore, because no matter how much we shore up Karzai's regime, the Taliban will win the long game.
  10. An emboldened Taliban taking charge in Afghanistan and then starting a new front to take control of Pakistan is really not something the west can afford to let happen. What would follow? An Islamic alliance with Iran?

    Unfortunately, this prospect doesn't seem to have made anyone look up from watching X-Factor.
  11. And there is the problem in a nutshell. In 1979 the Aghan civpop was numbered at 18m. Now it is believed to be 35m. It's in the world's top three fastest growing populations. Given the tribal nature of the rural society, when an insurgent is killed, his brother will take his place. Now its going to be his brothers and cousins too. Add to that, these people have nearly 30 years of war experience and survival to draw on. It is not daunting for them at all, because many of them know no other life. We can't kill them all. So why kid ourselves any longer?

    We know it. They know it. And there are enough Western politicians waiting in the wings for the opportunity to do that. But if we pull out now and be done with it, we will look like cnuts with no determination. If we wait for this deal and pyrrhic victory we'll look like cnuts who wasted lives and money on a forlorn hope. It's the difference between shit and shite!

    He wins a pile of rubble and his kids with limbs missing. Nobody wins. They just survive.

  12. Taliban are the idological enemies of the Shiites Mullahs in Iran, they hate each other with a vengence and Iran nearly went to war with the Taliban in the late 90's after a bunch of Iranian diplomatic staff were murdered by the Taliban in Herat. Taliban Wahabbists regard Shiites as heretics.
  13. The Taliban didn't invade Afghanistan at all. They are Afghans and most of their leadership cut their insurgency teeth while on the US payroll.
  14. No they're not . They're literally " Students of God " founded in madrasah schools in Pakistan , trained , financed and equipped by Pakistan . You'll do well to remember the Mujahideen ( Those blokes who were fighting the Soviets ) went on to become the Northern Alliance who spent 1996-2001 fighting against the Taliban . Their leader Ahmed Shah Massoud was murdered by Al Qaeda terrorists in Sept 2001
  15. an emboldened Brum, Bradford & Luton going up in flames? Good thing the troops will be at home where they're needed!