What Are We Going to Do in Afghanistan? (Slate en Newsweek)

Waarvoor stuurt Obama drie extra brigades (30.000 pers.) naar Afghanistan? Een reden voor dat aantal is dat de VS niet meer beschikbaar hebben. Maar voor welke operationele taken zij – tezamen met de andere al aanwezige Amerikaanse en NAVO-troepen – worden ingezet, wordt nog bestudeerd. Zeker lijkt dat, als Obama en de NAVO voluit gaan om de veiligheid van de bevolking te garanderen en stabiliteit te bereiken, het een lange en dure onderneming wordt.
Robert Kagan in Slate en (vooral) meerdere auteurs in Newsweek stellen goede vragen en geven heel nuttige adviezen.

Not long ago, Afghanistan was known as "the good war." Now some are calling it "Obama’s Vietnam." Both tags exaggerate. Across hundreds of years of sorrowful history, no war in Afghanistan has ever been good. And Vietnam was different in so many ways that parallels with the war against the Taliban tend to muddy more than clarify. (Ho Chi Minh was the legitimate leader of a unified polity, the United States violated international law by blocking countrywide elections, U.S. troop levels grew to 500,000 at their peak, etc.)

But the specter of Vietnam does, or should, haunt us in one compelling sense: the reasonable fear that we are about to step into a bigger, thicker pile of mud—a more all-enveloping quagmire, if you will—than the first step of escalation might suggest…

..Obama and Gates have said that their "strategic objective" is to keep Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorists who threaten the United States or destabilize the region. However, military commanders need to translate that strategic objective into an "operational goal," and there are many, very different ways to do that—each requiring different levels of troops performing very different missions…

How expensive and how necessary? This is where President Obama will have to make the decision—and then make the case before the public. If, in the spirit of open government, he goes on television and says, in line with Kilcullen’s estimate, "We need to spend tens of billions of dollars a year for the next decade or two to keep Afghanistan stable," he’d better be able to make the case that we have some chance of succeeding—and that we’ll face serious dangers if we don’t. If he can’t make that case at the outset, he shouldn’t jump in.

What Are We Doing in Afghanistan? – We’re still figuring that out (By Fred Kaplan in Slate)

In hoeverre lijkt de situatie in Afghanistan op die destijds in Vietnam, en wat moet worden gedaan om te voorkomen dat de uitkomst van de oorlog in Afghanistan dezelfde wordt als in Vietnam? Newsweek geeft uitstekende antwoorden op deze cruciale vragen – die ook van belang zijn voor de Nederlandse ISAF-missie.

Will Afghanistan become Obama’s Vietnam? (Newsweek)

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One thought on “What Are We Going to Do in Afghanistan? (Slate en Newsweek)

  1. Het is merkwaardig dat zich ‘progressief’ noemende mensen zo gemakkelijk het idee aanvaarden dat oorlog noodzakelijk is. Daarom hier een citaat uit een artikel van een echte progressief – DAVID LINDORFF:
    Obama should recognize that the Afghanistan War is an unwinnable disaster that long ago morphed from a police action attempting to capture and destroy Al Qaeda’s organization in that country into a war against the country’s indigenous political/military force, the Taliban, which was never a threat to the US, and which cannot be defeated, no matter how many resources the US throws into the fight. He should call a halt to this fiasco before he owns it, order UN-sponsored regional peace talks among the conflicting parties within and around Afghanistan, and pull all US forces out of that nation as fast as the planes can carry them.Uit http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/?q=node/266

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