Het is heel verstandig dat de Europese bondgenoten zich niet laten verleiden om (nog) meer troepen naar Afghanistan te sturen, vindt de gerenomeerde Amerikaanse columnist William Pfaff. Waarom zouden Afghaanse islamitische fundamentalisten Europa willen aanvallen?
Europa is niet immuun voor terroristische aanvallen. Maar deze zijn ‘homegrown’ of juist het gevolg van het steunen van contra-productief Amerikaans beleid.
De regering-Obama heeft de term ‘Global War on Terror’ weliswaar laten vallen, maar dreigt langdurig verstrikt te raken in haar zgn. ‘overseas contingency operations’
When President Barack Obama was in Strasbourg, France, for the NATO summit at the beginning of April, he made a plea for more European soldiers for Afghanistan.
He hasnt had much of a reply65 men with two F-16s promised by Belgium; 12 trainers and a small troop contingent (probably from the gendarmerie) for the elections in Afghanistan next month, with a larger French contribution to the new, combined European Gendarmerie Force that has already dispatched 300 to 400 men and women, all to improve Afghanistans own national police, so far without conspicuous success.
This suggests that the Europeans think the Afghan adventure a waste, or of little importance to Europe, if not a danger, but that the Americans have to be humored. Certainly, few took it seriously when Obama told his NATO audience that Europe is more menaced than ever by al-Qaida. Why? He recalled to them their geography: Europe is closer to Afghanistan than is the United States, hence easier for the al-Qaida terrorists and the waves of bearded Afghan militants to reach.
But why? That is always the question. Why should Afghan Muslim fundamentalists want to attack Europeans? The British feel threatened, but it nearly always turns out that the people arrested for plotting against Britain are disgruntled British citizens of Pakistani descent, born in London or Manchester immigrant housing estates, usually unemployed and embittered…
In short, Europe certainly is not immune to terrorist attacks, what with these bombings; the Red Brigades in Germany and Italy; and the assassinations of foreign military attaches in Greece, carried out in revenge for the Western-supported Colonels dictatorship three decades ago. But these all seem to be native growths, none with proven connection to al-Qaida. They all have to do with European or American official relationships with the Saudi Arabian, Pakistani, Algerian and Greek governments, or with European support for U.S. policies.
If Barack Obama had wanted to give the NATO allies prudent advice about how to avoid terrorist attacks, he should have told them to have nothing to do with the American war on terror, even if it is now under Obama management and renamed overseas contingency operations...
President Obama moet een fundamenteel ander beleid voeren t.a.v. Pakistan dan zijn voorganger Bush, anders vervalt dat land in chaos – met desastreuze gevolgen ook voor Obama’s ‘Af-Pak’-strategie. En verschuilt het leiderschap van Al Qaida zich wel in Pakistan? Uit welke groeperingen bestaat de Taliban?
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. Tegengestelde visies vallen te lezen via de links onderaan.