martes, 9 de septiembre de 2008

War Strategists Can't Solve Afghanistan

I just read a lengthy article on Truthout, taken from Le Monde, about how to win the war in Afghanistan. I'm just amazed at how people can claim to be experts on a subject without even looking at it realistically. The war CAN'T BE WON, it must simply be ended! Go read the article. My comment is below the link (and in the article, of course).

This is one hodgepodge analysis which only succeeds in contradicting itself. It recommends more troops be sent for longer durations in order to build lasting commitments and relationships in the country, yet recognizes that eventually, as every Afghan knows, the western troops will leave, and people will be left to deal with the problems on their own. So sending more troops is not the answer.

In addition, this analysis suffers from a highly theoretical approach. On the ground, NATO soldiers generally have no idea what they are doing over there, and they don't give a damn about the country. Afghans know that. That's why real relationships between the Afghans and NATO do not happen.

Also, there's no mention of the real underlying reason for the occupation -- Jaffrelot says the U.S. wants to get bin Laden but that's not true, as even Bush admits we are not focused on that. Then he says we want to make sure the Taliban doesn't re-emerge as a threat to us. Again, the Taliban never was a threat to us. The only threat was their strict policy against opium which we said we agreed on, but in fact obviously didn't, as every country we invade ends up sending us huge quantities of drugs, Afghanistan included. And of course there is the UNOCAL pipeline which Jaffrelot seems to know nothing about.

The problem is that NATO is trying to impose democracy on a country when neither the EU nor the U.S. seem to actually practice democracy. We all wish we had the moral authority to reshape the world, but moral authority has to be earned. Until then, let's just stop sending men with guns to other countries and telling people what to do.

If we want to make a difference for the people, we can send them OLPCs and help them with irrigation and whatever they need to do sustainable agriculture.

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