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Afghanistan: its present and future



 
 
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  #141  
Old January 14th, 2010, 10:09 am
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Much as I dislike some policies of the present Afghan government it is clear the Afghan people prefer it to the Taliban. The world isn't black and white and we usually have to choose between shades of grey. Given the horrors that nation has suffered we are obliged to do the best we can.


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  #142  
Old January 14th, 2010, 10:45 am
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Absolutely, unfortunately a big part of the mess is due to politicians meddling on the basis of black and white, good and evil.

As for the poll, it was of 1,534 people from a total of 28.396 million. And as it was conducted across all 34 provinces that means that, on average, fewer than 50 people in each province were polled.


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Last edited by Wab; January 14th, 2010 at 10:51 am.
  #143  
Old January 14th, 2010, 11:45 am
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

That may well be the case, but what would you do?

I find it quite diffcult to be for war under any circumstances, but Afghanistan was a fairly good cause (at least comparatively speaking). What's so horrific about it is that the allied forces went in, believed (surely stupidly) in a quick victory and then got distracted by a much less worthy (well, IMHO completely and despicably wrong) cause.

I think that given that background, it is an obligation to stay long enough to make sure that Afghanistan doesn't become another Somalia, and that, surely, is where it would be going pretty fast - if not all of it, then large parts of it. And it wouldn't be one country, either, but a number of regions run by war lords, mostly along the lines of what's going on in those Pakistani 'tribal areas', and presumably also fighting among them.

Even if we are inclined to say that we should leave the Afghan people to their fate (I am not, at this point were we are involvd already, of this opinion), a failed state, or a bunch of warring tribal areas in that part of the world would be catastrophic. How long would it take till Pakistan would finally be sestabilised by invigorated Talbian troops with unreachable hideouts far bigger than Waseeristan and Afghan drug money to fuel their ambitions?

It doesn't bear thinking. WHatever the politics in the variosu western countries involvd in this, Afghanistan will need to find a more stable future. I don't know exactly how, but the alternatives are unpalatable.


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  #144  
Old January 14th, 2010, 12:42 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

That war never should have started to begin with.Who are we to impose our ideas of what a government or society should be like in a country with a completely different culture.We should respct the fact that Afghanistan is not a Christian Western democracy.Bush put us in a mess and Obama has to clean it up which is a shame.In my views soldiers are incapable to make peace so perhaps its time to see how to establish some kind of workable situation with all parties concerned without any gun-sliniging.We no longer live in the stone-age.


  #145  
Old January 14th, 2010, 1:06 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nandi View Post
That war never should have started to begin with.Who are we to impose our ideas of what a government or society should be like in a country with a completely different culture.
As the UN agreed almost unanimously at the time we have a clear legal right to use force to ensure that the government in Afghanistan is not plotting (or allowing other to plot on its territory) acts of terrorism in other countries.

As for soldiers not being able to make peace most of my parents and grandparents generation who lived through WW2 would disagree

1500 is quite a large number for an opinion poll and whilst there are of course margins for error it is at least an indication of what the Afghan people think.


  #146  
Old January 14th, 2010, 2:31 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundungus Fletc View Post
1500 is quite a large number for an opinion poll and whilst there are of course margins for error it is at least an indication of what the Afghan people think.
Well, however bad it is in Afghanistan, it is, I think, rather difficult for us to judge what things might look like from a local perspective, and in that context.

The poll might merely reflect the fact that at some point in their lives (several points in many cases, I suspect), people have seen worse.

Still, if the poll is in any way representative, it's a good sign. The troops there will need a positive attitude from the population to get anything at all done.


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Last edited by Klio; January 14th, 2010 at 9:01 pm.
  #147  
Old January 14th, 2010, 6:49 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Aware of that not all posters were members yet when this thread was started I'd like to point out that the question whether the war should ever have been started or not is off topic per this part of the opening post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hes View Post
1. It's useless to discuss if there should ever been a war in Afghanistan, because we can't change the fact that it's there and we have to deal with it. But what has gone wrong in Afghanistan and dealing with the Taliban? Could different choices in the past have avoided the current situation?
What this thread is for is discussing what went wrong or maybe not and what can be done to stabilize the country.


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  #148  
Old January 28th, 2010, 5:02 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

In London there is currently a summit on the future of Afghanistan,

Quote:
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said mid-2011 should be the deadline for "turning the tide" in the fight against insurgents in Afghanistan.

"By the middle of next year, we have to turn the tide in the fight against the insurgency,"

"We will agree today that the Afghan National Army will number 134,000 by October 2010, and 171,600 by October 2011.

"And similarly today we will commit to supporting a police reform plan, with Afghan national police numbers reaching 109,000 by October this year, and 134,000 by October 2011."
Quote:
President Hamid Karzai said Afghanistan could need foreign support for its security forces for up to 15 years.

He later announced plans to reintegrate some Taliban fighters into society. "We must reach out to all our countrymen, especially our disenchanted brothers who are not part of al-Qaeda or other terrorist networks," Mr Karzai told the meeting.
bbc article

Is Brown too optimistic concerning "the turning of the tide"?

Is engaging in talks with moderate Taliban the right way to go?

How do you see the possible reintegration of former Taliban into society? Is it viable?

How do you see Afghanistans future?


  #149  
Old January 28th, 2010, 9:55 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

I didn't know there was such a thing as "moderate" Taliban.
I really don't see their integration in the near term. Deeply ingrained beliefs that one has grown up with don't change overnight, not even in a few mere years. It is part of their culture. Besides that, where extreme religious fundamentalism rules, as it does in their case, there is little room for rationality or willingness to "see the other side", or even "give it a try".

Regarding Brown, optimism can be a good thing as long as one doesn't totally blind oneself to reality. Pessimism will certainly serve no one any purpose.

I think, as the world progresses, and education improves in 3rd world countries, things like the Taliban will whither, though maybe not die. I hope Afghanistan can ultimately become an ally and a more productive country, but who knows. A lot of Afghanistan's future depends on Pakistan right now, it seems.


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  #150  
Old January 29th, 2010, 12:03 am
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Quote:
Is Brown too optimistic concerning "the turning of the tide"?
I don't think Labour's judgements about anything relating to the United Kingdom's military operations during the last 10 years can be taken seriously anymore.

Quote:
Is engaging in talks with moderate Taliban the right way to go?
What is a moderate Taliban?

Quote:
How do you see the possible reintegration of former Taliban into society? Is it viable?
It depends on what kind of society has been formed in Afghanistan since the initial invasion. We know what the Taliban are all about, but I'm not convinced that the post-Taliban regime is much of an improvement in the long-term.

Quote:
How do you see Afghanistans future?
More conflict, just like Afghanistan's past.


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  #151  
Old January 29th, 2010, 12:14 am
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grymmditch View Post
I didn't know there was such a thing as "moderate" Taliban.
A lot of people labelled as Taliban are "accidental geurilla" to use the term of counter-insurgency expert David Kilcullen.

"A lot of the people that are fighting us aren't fighting us because they're ideologically committed to al Qaeda or to the Taliban or any of the other extremist group, they're fighting us because we just turned up in their valley and sort of pushed them into the arms of a local enemy."

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2009/s2527359.htm

As Kilcullen points out that in a lot of areas in Afghanistan, services that should be conducted by the government are ebing carried out under the auspices of the Taliban. These are the people the Afghan government needs to get in the tent as they are effective and are known by the people.


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  #152  
Old March 4th, 2010, 10:35 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

I just wanted to thank reporter James Starkey for his February 25, 2010 article in 'The Scotsman' titled '8 weeks on, NATO admits 'terrorists' it killed were really innocent students', who delved into the US/NATO killing of 9 innocent children, ages 11-18 on December 26, 2009. No US news covered it and it was only brought to my attention from http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/04-2, a US based blog, today, March 4, 2010.

The reason I include this in this topic is that the future of Afghanistan lies not with a corrupt Karzai government propped up by the US or with any 'help' the US can give it. I've seen many polls whereby the significant fact is not whether the people prefer the Taliban or Karzai, but that all Afghans prefer any Afghan governor to outsiders, especially the US. And this will continue to be particularly true if civilians are continued to be killed and the US military, not only does nothing to punish those responsible, but hides it's 'mistakes'.

As I'm sure the people on this site are aware, the Taliban came to power after the Soviet-Afghan war and became powerful because they were the least bad of all the warlords who were bickering and killing and established some sense of order. Within weeks after 9/11, the Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden, but was rebuked by Bush because they did not meet his demands.

Karzai is aligned with India. Fearing being surrounded by 'India', the Pakistani Army will always align itself with the Taliban or anyone who opposes a pro-India Afghanistan. Removing the Taliban will just leave a hole that Pakistan will fill on it's own.

What is the solution for a stable Afghanistan? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said it best when talking about the tragedy known as the Vietnam War in his April 4, 1967 speech at the Riverside Church in New York City(http://www.informationclearinghouse....rticle2564.htm). To paraphrase Dr. King, first, stop the bombing, second, declare a unilateral cease fire and start negotiations, third, prevent further military buildup, fourth, accept the fact that the Taliban has support in Afghanistan from locals, and fifth, set a date for final removal of all US/NATO troops.

There can be no future for Afghanistan while fighting continues.


  #153  
Old March 5th, 2010, 10:10 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

I found the latest news regarding the terrorist Khalid Shiekh Mohammed very interesting and a bit ironic. After all the Obama bluster, it turns out that President Bush had the right read on this all along.

Administration Close to 9/11 Trial Reversal


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  #154  
Old March 6th, 2010, 2:23 am
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

No Bush was wrong and Obama once again demonstrates how weak he is. Do Americans have so little faith in rule of law, believing that a secret trials in a gulag with none of the protections one expects of a democracy is how they want their country to operate?


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  #155  
Old March 7th, 2010, 2:02 am
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wab View Post
No Bush was wrong and Obama once again demonstrates how weak he is. Do Americans have so little faith in rule of law, believing that a secret trials in a gulag with none of the protections one expects of a democracy is how they want their country to operate?
I can't address the opinions of other American's, but I do have faith in the rule of law. The issue, to me, however is whether KSM is entitled to a criminal trial in civilian court in the US. I'm not sure he is.

To me the issue of what type of court KSM is tried in hinges on whether the act(s) he claims he planned and orchestrated were acts of war or violations of civil law. To me the attacks of 9/11 were acts of war against civilians and, as such, he is not entitled to a civilian trial in a civil court and ought to be tried in a war crimes tribunal.


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  #156  
Old March 7th, 2010, 3:41 am
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
To me the issue of what type of court KSM is tried in hinges on whether the act(s) he claims he planned and orchestrated were acts of war or violations of civil law. To me the attacks of 9/11 were acts of war against civilians and, as such, he is not entitled to a civilian trial in a civil court and ought to be tried in a war crimes tribunal.
So were the acts committed by Timothy McVeigh, the first WTC attckers, the Unabomber, the Madrid bombers, the 7/7 bombers, the Bali bombers and countless other terrorists scuccessfully tried and convicted in civilian courts.

Military trials are also run directly counter to the official policy since the Reagan administration.

"Another important measure we have developed in our overall strategy is applying the rule of law to terrorists. Terrorists are criminals. They commit criminal actions like murder, kidnapping, and arson, and countries have laws to punish criminals. So a major element of our strategy has been to delegitimize terrorists, to get society to see them for what they are -- criminals -- and to use democracy’s most potent tool, the rule of law against them."

http://www.disam.dsca.mil/pubs/Vol%2010-2/Bremer.pdf


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  #157  
Old March 7th, 2010, 4:29 am
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Wrong thread, folks!

Nice try, but as usually we will not allow turning a thread about somewhere on the other side of the globe into just another Us politics thread.

Afghanistan, it's present and future anyone?


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Last edited by Alastor; March 7th, 2010 at 4:46 am.
  #158  
Old June 22nd, 2010, 4:27 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

I may be wrong but we have now been in Afghanistan longer than any other war. Now it looks like The White House and General McChrystal are no where near on the same page. With a draw down on the horizon for 2011 and on going troop levels still a contentious problem...2011 may not be soon enough imho. McChrystal as issued an apology for what his top aides said about the Adminastration in Rolling Stone Magazine. The White House PR official who set up the interviews with McChrystal's men was forced to resign. And McChrystal has been summoned in person to explain himself to the President.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSN

McChrystal has seized control of the war "by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House."
One aide called White House National Security Adviser Jim Jones, a retired four star general, a "clown" who was "stuck in 1985."
Obama agreed to dispatch an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan only after months of study that many in the military found frustrating. And the White House's troop commitment was coupled with a pledge to begin bringing them home in July 2011, in what counterinsurgency strategists advising McChrystal regarded as an arbitrary deadline.
The article portrayed McChrystal's team as disapproving of the Obama administration, with the exception of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who backed McCrystal's request for additional troops in Afghanistan.
PDF Rolling Stone Article


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  #159  
Old June 22nd, 2010, 5:04 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
I may be wrong but we have now been in Afghanistan longer than any other war.
Depends on definitions. The US was involved in Vietnam from 1950. With a steady escalation up to the start of the ground war in 1965. Although the USAF was bombing in 1962 and the CIA working with the Hmong before then.

The Australian War Memorial lists Australia's involvement in Vietnam from 1962-1975 -- from the deployment of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) to the final humanitarian flights and evacuation of embassy staff by the RAAF -- although it was effectively ended in 1972.

Quote:
Now it looks like The White House and General McChrystal are no where near on the same page. With a draw down on the horizon for 2011 and on going troop levels still a contentious problem...2011 may not be soon enough imho. McChrystal as issued an apology for what his top aides said about the Adminastration in Rolling Stone Magazine.
McChrystal wasn't called in to explain just his aides comments but more his own remarks in the article.

"An administration official said the commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, would meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House on Wednesday “to explain to the Pentagon and the commander in chief his quotes in the piece"."

and

"In a statement, General McChrystal apologized for his remarks."

NYT

"In the interview, McChrystal he said he felt betrayed by the man the White House chose to be his diplomatic partner, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry."

Salon

Depending on the degree of other statements, McChrystal's position may be in jeopardy. But these articles are, I'd say, based on a media release which would have enough to tease but not reveal the real good stuff.

However, until the issue hits the newsstands on Friday it will be impossible to make a true judgement as RS profiles usually run to many thousands of words.

ETA: "PDF Rolling Stone Article"

Well, there you go. Too late to read it all now.


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Last edited by Wab; June 22nd, 2010 at 5:07 pm.
  #160  
Old June 22nd, 2010, 11:30 pm
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Re: Afghanistan: its present and future

Now Newsweek seems to think that McChrystal should up and resign.

I don't agree wit this. Sometimes I feel like the admin just trips over it's own feet. The point of fact is that Obama already dismissed one commanding officer --- Gen. David McKeirnan. Is the White House going to put pressure on McChrystal to resign? Should McChrystal resign? Are his Rolling Stone words and previous assertations against Biden's plan for Afghanistan enough to merit insubordination?


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