AFGHANISTAN: WHAT NEXT? September 25, 2012Posted by wmmbb in CENTRAL ASIA, Terrorism Issues.
For all intents and purposes the war in Afghanistan is now lost to the invading armies sponsored by the United States .
Does the situation revert to situation following the expulsion of the Soviet army and the rise of the Taliban, and the civil war fought against the Northern Alliance a motif below the hearing of much Western reporting, or can peace be somehow constructed? What are the effects, including the long term implications, of the savage terrorism represented by the Drone missile attacks? (Drones do have their supporters.)
Retired Major General John Cantwell is in no doubt the cause has been lost in Afghanistan. Speaking on ABC radio he said:
“I think it’s a very noble and brave and courageous experiment, but I think it’s also not going to end well,” Mr Cantwell told ABC Radio National.
“Afghanistan is a deeply divided country in so many ways; it’s riven by tribal enmities and hatreds, it’s divided geographically, it’s divided by economy, it’s divided by politics, it is a mess and it’s a mess which will be in the same terrible condition for decades to come.
“We are deluding ourselves if we think we’re going to turn Afghanistan into some little democracy, some gleaming bastion of Westernised ideas in that part of the world.
“It’s just not going to happen.”
Mr Cantwell has described Australia’s mission in Afghanistan as “elastic”, given that troops are now involved in a “nation-building” program which is not what they were originally sent there for.
And despite the wonderful work being done by the troops, Mr Cantwell says their role and success has been overstated by politicians back home.
“It is a little over-egging the pie, the politicians – our minister and others – talking about what we’re doing in Afghanistan,” Mr Cantwell said.
The response from both major Australian political parties was reaffirm their commitment to the war, even though they will be withdrawing troops in 2014. This commitment beggars belief.
“Humble blog columnist,Justin Raimondo weighs in, as you do, with his two bobs worth at AntiWar.com:
While no one was looking, the US lost the war in Afghanistan. The announcement that joint operations involving US/NATO forces and Afghan military and police personnel will cease — “temporarily” — went down with a whimper, not a bang. Since the whole purpose of our continued presence in that country is supposedly to train the forces of Afghan “President” Hamid Karzai, the entire rationale for the war just fell apart, and isn’t it funny — as in funny-weird, rather than funny-ha-ha — that nobody noticed?
Well, not really: we’re in campaign mode, and neither major party presidential candidate is much interested in the subject of a war we’ve been fighting for over a decade, at a cost measured in the trillions (aside from the incalculable human misery). Mitt Romney is mum, and the President has more important matters to consider. Since Romney’s foreign policy team favors a policy rejected by the overwhelming majority of the American people, it’s no wonder their candidate has little to say about it. As for Obama: remember when he and his platoon of “national security Democrats” were telling us Afghanistan was the “good war”? Now that its goodness seems to have dissipated with voters, the administration would rather not remind Americans how much Obama deepened that particular quagmire.[I have included most of Justin Raimondo's links]
He then goes on to anticipate further wars into the future, and wonder why the US has been so unsuccessful in the war winning business since the glories of the Second World War.
There are more questions that should be asked, but one that requires consideration, and it is particularly relevant to Afghanistan, where is seems that the rationale for staying is in part to avoid the immediate consequences of withdrawing, which is now on the timetable, is: What can be done to create a sustainable and justice peace without the use of military violence and murder? The notion is that military violence will prevail, albeit that murder and destruction are not likely to create peace.
These Afghan children provide interesting answers (which I take to be genuine):
- Medea Benjamin talks drones and civilian casualties with Phillip Adams on Late Night Live (ABC Radio National)
- Clive Stafford Smith, Drones: the west’s new terror weapon (The Guardian).
- The air force men who fly drones in Afghanistan by remote control (telegraph.co.uk)
- Afghanistan remains a massively outsourced war (antonyloewenstein.com)
- Politicians reassert Afghan commitment (bigpondnews.com)
- NZ families welcome Taliban man captured (bigpondnews.com)
- Drone warfare’s deadly civilian toll: a very personal view | James Jeffrey (guardian.co.uk)
- The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan (foreignaffairs.com)
- The Hollow Empire (webabuser.blogspot.com)
- General slams Aust’s Afghan involvement (bigpondnews.com)