Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Partitioning Afghanistan is Obama's best alternative to 'strategic defeat' ..."

"... De facto partition offers the Obama administration the best available alternative to strategic defeat. The administration should stop setting deadlines for withdrawal and instead commit the United States to a long-term combat role in Afghanistan of 35,000-50,000 troops for the next 7-10 years.
Concurrently, Washington should accept that the Taliban will inevitably control most of the Pashtun south and east and that the price of forestalling that outcome is far too high for Americans to continue paying. The United States and its partners should stop fighting and dying in the Pashtun homeland and let the local correlation of forces take its course - while deploying US air power and Special Forces to ensure that the north and west of Afghanistan do not succumb to the Taliban. The United States would make clear that it would strike al-Qaida targets anywhere, Taliban encroachments across the de facto partition line, and sanctuaries along the Pakistani border using weapons systems that were unavailable before 9/11.
Accepting a de facto partition of Afghanistan makes sense only if the other options available are worse. They are.
One alternative is to stay the current course in Afghanistan. The United States deploys about 1,00,000 troops in Afghanistan, yet there are now only 50-100 al-Qaida fighters there. That is 1,000-2,000 soldiers per al-Qaida terrorist at $100 billion a year - far beyond any reasonable expenditure of American resources given the stakes involved. And even if many of the roughly 300 al-Qaida fighters now in Pakistan did move a few score miles north across the border, it would not make much of a practical difference - surely not enough to justify an indefinite major ground war..."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Typical imperial rant. Every empire in History has partitioned parts of a country that they can't fully occupy.

Look at the Northern Ireland partition, or North-South Korea or Joe Biden's plan to divide Iraq into 3 ministates.

If the US was really interested in sorting out Afghanistan they would do a number of things:

1) Make Peace with Iran. Since any developmentalist programme for Afghanistan will need Iranian assistance.

2) Follow the European Senilis Council Think Tanks recommendations which are to convert the opium grown in Afghanistan into medical opiates which would allow a sustainable and profitable and legal crop to grow.

3) Move all troops out of the country since you cannot rebuild a country while you still have troops blowing it up.

Dr Gonzo