Afghanistan: Muddying the WatersMaybe those

by Nathan Hamm on 9/7/2003

Afghanistan: Muddying the WatersMaybe those early reports of the
new strategies in Afghanistan was just a way of testing the waters. If
so, they must not have gone over too well. Ambassador William Taylor,
coordinator of Afghan Policy at the State Department had this to say to RFE/RL:

We’re going to put additional resources into building
schools and additional resources into the ongoing project of building
clinics. We’re going to add additional resources into the ongoing
project of training the Afghan National Army. We’re going to put
additional resources into the training that’s already begun, on
training the national police, as well as highway patrol and border
police,

It’s the same, but more of the same I guess. Here’s the reaction to comparing the new plan to Iraq:

This business of a comparison between any American in
Afghanistan and Ambassador Bremer in Iraq makes no sense, is crazy,
because of a major and important, critical difference between
Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan, there’s a government. There’s an
Afghan government duly elected, perfectly legitimate, sovereign
government that we fully support. That is not the case in Iraq,” Taylor
says.
Likewise, Taylor also denies reports that Washington is preparing to
duplicate its Iraq model by placing scores of American experts in key
roles in Afghan ministries. He says that, as they do now, U.S. experts
will offer advice and technical assistance to Afghan ministers, who are
in full charge of a sovereign government.

The biggest change then appears to be doubling the number
of Provincial Reconstruction Teams to 8 and “not tolerating” provincial
leaders who don’t support the government.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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