US backs Ashdown for Afghanistan role

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Rumpelstiltskin, Dec 4, 2007.

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    I know it's been hinted on here before, but here we go again:

    I think I'd rather he had the Palestine gig, but there you go.
  2. Sod that, Palestine's a nightmare and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. If he can grip AFG the way he did Bos, that's something worth doing. Where would it leave Karzai, though?
  3. That's the problem, Afghan politics, both tribal and national, is based on consensus, debate and deal-making. In Bos (the local Serbs would argue) he ruled by diktat, riding roughshod over the demands of one community- who nevertheless have resisted integration into the Bosnian state. I can imagine him getting a lot of Pashtun backs up very quickly.
  4. But his main success in Bos was in getting shot of any individuals who were dicking around. I doubt the Afghans would be all that worried about getting people who could actually do stuff into positions of power, rather than placemen and on-message types.

    Besides, perhaps shaking the tree is what's needed - in the Afghan government certainly.
  5. Agreed.
  6. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Horses for courses. He's not daft, he's got loads of experience, and I'm absolutely certain he'll modify his methods to suit the local situation. If he has to be a deal-maker rather than an enforcer to get things done in Afghan, I'm sure he will, and I'm sure he'll do it well, with the respect of the localised warlords.

    I can't think of anyone better suited to the job.
  7. Just like he is now, a puppet whose strings are pulled by Washington. Difference is that maybe Washington is going to emply a puppeteer too!

    So what do you think happened to this individuals once they were dismissed or ejected from political power? Did they just quietly disappear and crawl under a rock? No Sir! They are pretty much alive and kicking and causing all sorts of problems in BiH even today - just not as elected officials.

    Try to analyse the substance and not the glossy rhetoric.

    Now what will happen if he tries the same in Afghanistan, those ejected will up-sticks and return to being warlords like they did pre-2001. So, more men with guns and determination for Tom to face down!
  8. Those awkward Balkan types may not have gone away, but they did cease being part of the government they were trying to disrupt. If you can't stop someone pissing on your dossbag, better to get him outside the tent. Ashdown has his faults, but he's in most ways I can think of a better candidate for the job than any I've heard of.

    Don't forget that pre-2001, a lot of the warlords were fighting against the Taliban - they're also not all Pashtun. Those that are kicked out of Governement would have their grievances, but also realistically a greater threat to their power comes from domination by the Taliban.
  9. Paddy is quite adept at the Softlee Softlee approach. He has, after all, had much dealing with the Chinese and knows all about saving face.

    I cannot think of a better person to carry out this task - but would He wish to take up the baton?
  10. Isn't that the role Blair went off to do?

  11. I take it all back, I would wish it... :D

  12. Don't talk to me about "awkward Balkan types"! Grrrrr!!!

    Paddy's success was to remove democratically elected RS Govt officials when they refused to rubber stamp policies and reforms he demanded. In the short term, he got his policies through with the help of more compliant officials who then lost all credibility with their people. Those ejected then started causing problems from outside the system. What's better, someone on the inside pi$$ing out, or someone on the outside pi$$ing in?

    In the medium term, those ejected, still with broad support from their public, have spent the best part of the last decade stymieing further reform and progress. Out of office, they operate with completele unaccountability.

    Paddy proved that democracy was not what the intl comm wanted. Paddy proved to the Bosnian Serbs that Dayton was a set up.

    Afghanistan was lost, is being lost, because of a failure of policy. Policymakers have already tried fiddling with day-to-day operations to make a success, and failed. Now they want to fiddle by making somebody responsible for an overall strategy, and it will again fail. Policy must change, not strategy, not operations, for any chance of success to occur.

    If Paddy gets the opportunity to influence real changes in policy, then he could do some good. However, I suspect that he is merely being touted to a position of non-influence over policy and thus will be simple be a scapegoat for future failures.

    Not sure where you're going with this. So I'll refrain from responding.
  13. For a given definition of democracy. They might have had mandates from the Serb bits of the electorate, but they were trying, quite deliberately, to chuck sand in the gears of the tri-partite state. So they got removed. Big boy’s games, big boy’s rules.

    Which was a damned sight better than anyone else had achieved. Perfect democracy it wasn’t, but that was at least as much the fault of the locals as it was Paddy’s.

    That was always going to be the case, and the people concerned were never interested in pissing out of the tent. They’d have been pissing inwards regardless of where they stood.

    And their public reap the rewards of supporting them – no chance whatsoever of unity with the motherland and no chance of EU membership. They’ve well and truly cut their own noses off to spite their face. That’s their problem. Afghanistan is a different proposition because there is far more common ground between the factions.

    Very true. What the IC wanted was the war to stop. That the Serbs got a raw deal compared to the others is pretty much a matter of viewpoint, but that’s not really relevant. Paddy didn’t negotiate that one.

    No argument there. The political level has always been the west’s weak point in this one.

    Could be right. As the man said, the worst thing about being a cynic is how often the world surpasses your worst expectations.

    Just that the factions won’t automatically line up against ISAF and if they do, we aren’t necessarily going to be their only, or even main, concern. Most of the former Northern Alliance warlords are likely to keep on fighting Terry even if they're thrown out of government, because at least there’s a chance of getting back into power while dealing with the government. Not so the Taliban.
  14. Indeed. And thus was created Dayton - an agreement that was doomed to longterm failure. In fact, hardly any time had gone by before the IC were reneging on what they had signed. It's no wonder the locals got their backs up.
    Aha! If the NA (former) warlords are stripped of power, they're more likely to take up arms against those that have decided to step into their shoes rather than swan off to Pashtun lands and do battle.

    Well, that's something.