Afghanistan’s Future

by Sekundar on 10/1/2012 · 3 comments

To concur with Foust’s most recent post, the outlook for Afghanistan is grim. The surge, unfortunately, did not work as it was supposed to, and partnership efforts are a bloody mess. According to Gilles Dorronsoro’s recent paper, Waiting for the Taliban in Afghanistan (well worth a read), “The Afghanistan regime will most probably collapse in a few years.” It does not get much clearer than that. Former General Barno’s comments in Foreign Policy recently indicate that the American administration might be considering Afghanistan lost as well; if the government in Kabul will not be able to secure the country in any meaningful way past 2014, and the voters won’t consider a larger troop presence or a mission-extension, why not push for an accelerated withdrawal? Most of the major ISAF troop-contributing nations have talked openly of early withdrawal, and the American (voting) public isn’t keen on prolonging their troop presence in Afghanistan, either.

As Dorronsoro states, “Resolving security challenges [in Afghanistan] will require a coherent regional policy that involves harmonizing the U.S. approach to the three main players— Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.” Simply put, that is the job of diplomats and politicians, not combat forces. Unless or until that approach, and U.S. and ISAF goals in Afghanistan, can be deconflicted and clearly articulated, perhaps it is best to consider an accelerated withdrawal. Thoughts?


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Sekundar works in national security, and has worked and studied in Central and South Asia.

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{ 3 comments }

Brennan Kraxberger October 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Most assessments of Afghanistan’s future casually assume that ordinary Afghans desire a centralized state. Though that may be a safe assumption in most territories of the world, it is not in Afghanistan. The question of federal versus unitary state aside, the overarching question is modern territorial state or not. This issue is mystifying to most outside observers, but that does not alter its relevance on the ground.

FreedomFighter October 5, 2012 at 7:19 am

Stupid American! Half of the world is burning American flags and they even don’t know why.
Afghanistan is causing the decline and final collapse of American empire just as it did to the collapse of Russian empire more than 20 years ago.

Don Bacon October 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm

. . .harmonizing the U.S. approach to the three main players— Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Simply put, that is the job of diplomats and politicians, not combat forces.

Of course. The warmongers should have learned that long ago. But hey, there’s so much money in it.

The sainted Richard Holbrooke was denied the India portfolio so what could even he do.

Obama, March 27, 2009:

Together with the United Nations, we will forge a new Contact Group for Afghanistan and Pakistan that brings together all who should have a stake in the security of the region — our NATO allies and other partners, but also the Central Asian states, the Gulf nations and Iran; Russia, India and China.

It was never done, of course, and all the eggs were wrongly put into the military basket.

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