Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sorry General But It's Not Our Civil War.

The commander of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Brit General James Bucknall wants Western nations to promise not to abandon the country after 2014.

Bucknall argues that we're making progress and abandoning Afghanistan will mean handing the country to an emboldened Taliban.   I've yet to hear Bucknall or his predecessors explain what they've screwed up for the past decade that has left us mired in this mess.  They've had ten years to train and equip an Afghan army to take over the job - and they've failed, miserably.   This country, perhaps the most warlike on the planet, and they can't train an army capable of fighting a few thousand insurgents?

.As reported in The Guardian, the clock is running out for Afghanistan:

One diplomatic source, who asked not to be named, said:  "Afghanistan has been the centre of the world for the past 10 years. It isn't anymore and the purse strings from donors will soon tighten. The international military drawdown will begin. There will then be a limited period where there is some money available for non-military efforts.

"After this, many Afghans fear they will then be abandoned again. The international community will say 'job done' and it will be case of presenting it as "Afghan-good enough. " 

Sorry to say it but we abandoned the Afghan people years ago, almost from the start, when we couldn't be bothered tackling the cancers of warlordism and tribalism.  We actually embraced warlordism and are now arming their militias.  Leaving Afghanistan won't be abandoning the country.  It will be the mere bringing to fruition of  our self-fulfilling prophesy.


Uncommoner said...

I think the best that can be done for Afghanistan is leaving and waiting for a decade. Offer refugee status to people who actively want to escape the chaos, but for those who want to remain I don't think there is a lot that can be done.

The west came in, following the USA on their wings of vengeance, kicked the Taliban out of power (more or less) and then... muddled.

Democracy doesn't just magically appear, especially if you're also fighting a civil war AND an insurgency. The problems with raising and training local, disciplined troops are well documented. Many of the issues are cultural and based around family structure and divided loyalties. The end result is that there is no well trained force ready to take over if the occupying force leaves.

There is nothing we can do about that. There might have been, once, but the USA and Nato installed a man who has proven to be absurdly corrupt. Not one to inspire loyalty, anyways.

We've bled enough. If they ask for help, we can help them, but staying only helps perpetuate the image of Americans and their Allies as invaders.

It was time to leave years ago, it's past time now. Bring our troops home, we don't need to keep playing neocolonialism anymore.

Beijing York said...

This was a propaganda war from the get go. What a shameful waste of human lives.