Afghanistan: New U.S. Administration, New Directions (International Crisis Group)

Wanneer men alle, op zich zinnige, aanbevelingen van de ICG leest, dan moet men zich afvragen of de VS en zijn bondgenoten deze kunnen uitvoeren qua beschikbare tijd en middelen.
De ICG is tegen het terugtrekken van de troepen: Withdrawing international troops with the threat that any regrouping of jihadis or al-Qaeda can be countered by air power and special forces would simply return the country to the control of jihadis. Air power has not proven successful against insurgents or terrorist bases. Neglect would allow the region to descend into further chaos, as it did in the 1990s.
Andere visies vallen te lezen via de links onderaan.

OVERVIEW

Seven years after the U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan the country is still at war against extremists and has developed few resilient institutions. A policy review by the Obama administration has reopened debate about how to defeat the forces of violent global jihadism – al-Qaeda and its Taliban protectors – in Afghanistan and in neighbouring Pakistan. In most cases, the ideas on offer – from declaring victory and pulling out, to negotiating with the insurgents, to organising regional conferences, to prioritising relationships with favoured individuals and allies over the development of strong democratic institutions – have been tried at least once in the past two decades, with no success: we know now what not to do.

Knowing what to do, and how to do it, is harder. What is needed in Afghanistan is the creation of a resilient state, which will only emerge if moderate forces and democratic norms are strengthened and robust institutions are built that can uphold and are accountable to the rule of law. Only when citizens perceive the state as legitimate and capable of delivering security, good governance and rule of law will Afghans be able to resist jihadi pressures and overtures. The Afghanistan crisis is the outcome of decades of internal conflict. No short-term solution will resolve the crisis overnight. Time and patience are needed to build the infrastructure and institutions to stabilise the Afghan state and root out the jihadi networks.

While it has made military gains, the Taliban today enjoys little support among an Afghan public tired of war. Its leadership does not command a significant standing army; indeed the Taliban is a disparate network of groups using the name as they pursue different agendas. Disillusionment with both the international community and the state has grown but the vast majority of people remain far more fearful of what would happen if foreign troops were to leave rather than stay. Strengthening popular support and goodwill should be the heart of the counter-insurgency and the creation of a resilient state.

It will be impossible to root out al-Qaeda and other extremist networks without tackling not only the local but also the regional conditions that nurture and sustain them. The Taliban and other jihadis like the Hizb-e Islami and the Haqqani network do not have deep local and popular roots. They are the outgrowth of years of civil war and the Pakistani military’s support to Islamist militant groups, dating back to the U.S.-led anti-Soviet jihad during the 1980s. Militant networks in neighbouring Pakistan today spawn new groups that are increasingly focused not only on undermining the new civilian government there, but also on carrying out attacks in neighbouring Afghanistan and India.

The narrow focus on confronting al-Qaeda through counter-terrorism measures often characterised by aggressive military action, arbitrary detentions, indiscriminate raids and house searches in the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan has not only failed to reduce religious extremism, but fuelled local discontent and violence.

What Should Be Done.. Afghanistan: New U.S. Administration, New Directions (International Crisis Group)

Het opleggen van een rechtmatige oplossing voor het Palestijns probleem, terugtrekking van alle Amerikaanse troepen uit Irak, radicale vermindering van de afhankelijkheid van olie en gas uit het Midden-Oosten, geen militaire versterkingen in Afghanistan en geen uitbreiding van die oorlog tot in Pakistan, dat zijn de belangrijkste concrete adviezen van prof. Paul Rogers aan de regering-Obama. Hij beseft dat dit moeilijk uitvoerbare zaken zijn gezien de gevestigde belangen – en de lobby-groepen daarvan [incl. de zionistische ‘Israel lobby’ en het militair-industrieel-congres-complex]. Maar als deze voorgestelde acties niet worden uitgevoerd, dan voorziet Paul Rogers: If however you do not take the advice in this current report, then we anticipate an exceptionally difficult period in office for what is likely to become a one-term presidency. In light of the promise you embody as you prepare to begin your period in office, that would be a double tragedy: for your country, and for the wider global community.

Independent advice on United States strategy towards al-Qaida ( The SWISH Report 13, Paul Rogers)

Amerikaanse aanvallen van bewapende onbemande vliegtuigen (‘drones’) op Al Qaida en Taliban in Pakistan zijn militair succesvol, maar politiek in toenemende mate controversieel. Tegenover het uitschakelen van vijandelijke kopstukken staan burgerslachtoffers, het verspreiden van islamisten over het land en inbreuk op de souvereiniteit van Pakistan – tezamen leidend tot groeiend anti-Amerikanisme en radicalisering van moslims. De inzet van onbemande vliegtuigen boven Afghanistan en Pakistan heeft de laatste jaren een grote vlucht genomen. Voor verkenningen zijn zij onontbeerlijk geworden, terwijl hun ondersteuning van landoperaties in Afghanistan, groeit. Voor aanvallen in Pakistan zijn zij (voorlopig?) de enige middelen die de Amerikanen blijven gebruiken – ook in de ‘nieuwe’ strategie van Obama voor Af-Pak.
Men verwacht dat zij binnen tien jaar ook luchtgevechten kunnen uitvoeren. [Terzijde: dit zou het aanschaffen van de veel duurdere, bemande, JSF’s overbodig – of zelfs ongewenst – kunnen maken].

Do US Drones Kill More Pakistani Extremists Than They Recruit Them?

President Barack Obama and other top officials in his administration have made it clear that there can be no military solution in Afghanistan, and that the non-military efforts to win over the Afghan population will be central to its chances of success.

The reality, however, is that U.S. military and civilian agencies lack the skills and training as well as the institutional framework necessary to carry out culturally and politically sensitive socio-economic programmes at the local level in Afghanistan, or even to avoid further alienation of the population…

POLITICS: U.S. Lacks Capacity to Win Over Afghans (by Gareth Porter, IPSNews)

Eurasian "Diplomacy": Russia and China confront the US and NATO over Afghanistan (by Eric Walberg in GlobalResearch.ca)

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