From Vice.com: Some of the daily challenges our soldiers have faced in being asked to do so many things in Afghanistan.
From Walter Russell Mead: ‘Hastily Leaving Afghanistan Won’t Encourage Taliban To Make Concessions:’
‘And there are still lots of countries in the region that don’t want Afghanistan to fall under Taliban rule again: Iran, Russia, China, and India all think this would be a terrible outcome. We shouldn’t assume that Mullah Omar is going to get everything he wants’
Maybe only Pakistan might want Afghanistan to fall under Taliban rule again, but the fundamental poverty, decades of war, illiteracy, ethnic, linguistic and geographical barriers make any stable government in Afghanistan a long-shot at best. Meanwhile, what we really don’t want are large groups of people trained only in war, in and out of Islamist ideology only emboldened and reverting the region back to what it was before we entered: A haven for Islamist and terror planning.
This blog remains highly skeptical of the current administrations’ withdrawal plan and lack of strategic planning on Syria and Iran, but also remains aware of the deeper budgetary issues and divisions at home.
From Michael Yon: ‘Afghanistan: A Bigger Monster‘
‘If we execute a zero option, this is my basic worst-case prediction, which is not far from my most likely scenario prediction:’
Yon envisions a dark future with a direct withdrawal, suggesting it might even be get worse than what it was before we went in.
From Stephen Biddle: ‘Ending The War In Afghanistan‘.
Biddle pushes for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban:
‘The international coalition fighting in Afghanistan has long planned on handing over responsibility for security there to local Afghan forces. But the original idea was that before doing so, a troop surge would clear the Taliban from strategically critical terrain and weaken the insurgency so much that the war would be close to a finish by the time the Afghans took over. That never happened. The surge made important progress, but the tight deadlines for a U.S. withdrawal and the Taliban’s resilience have left insurgents in control of enough territory to remain militarily viable well after 2014. Afghan government forces will thus inherit a more demanding job than expected.’
I still don’t think we’ve met our objective if we just pull-out, and this looks like trying to make the best of a pull-out.
Addition: How do we meet our objective?
Related On This Site: From March 27th, 2009 At WhiteHouse.Gov: Remarks By The President On A New Strategy For Afghanistan And Pakistan…Stephen Biddle At Foreign Affairs: ‘Running Out Of Time For Afghan Governance Reform’
Repost-From Michael Yon: ‘The Battle For Kandahar’…Dexter Filkins Book On Afghanistan And Iraq: “The Forever War”…Monday Quotations-Henry Kissinger…Tom Ricks Via Foreign Policy: ‘American General Dies In Afghanistan; An American Lt. Col. Goes Off The Reservation