Monday, September 21, 2009


The Generals are saying that without more troops war effort in Afghanistan will be lost. What they cannot visualize is that with more troops, failure will come sooner.. Many military and independent observers admit that 80% of Afghanistan is already lost to Taliban and this, after eight years of military effort!

Those of us old enough to remember early days of Vietnam war, remember well that troop levels were around 50,000 at first, then 100,000, then 250,000 and still the Generals wanted more, saying that we can only defeat the enemy if we have more troops. President Johnson listened to them and increased troop levels to over 400,000. United Sates still lost the war and to this day, hasty retreat of U.S. troops from Vietnam haunts many a mind.

Afghanistan is no different, same scenario will be played out again if troops are increased, only more American young men and women will die, more Afghans will be bombed and the resultant hatred against the U.S. will last for another 20 to 30 years. It is time to learn a lesson from history. "Nations who do not learn from past mistakes are bound to repeat them".

It is no fault of the Generals that they ask for more troops. This is what they know - have strength to fight the enemy. Generals are no politicians and it is not in their purview to think politically, that is the job of the politicians and the President.

It is still not too late to achieve a reconciliation in Afghanistan. Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders have hinted more than once that they are willing to talk. U.S. has the means and the motive to accomplish a reconciliation. What is needed is an immediate ceasefire and a conference of all Afghan players, Northern Alliance, Hazaras, Pashtuns, Taliban and all others. U.S. and NATO should tell them that if you want foreign troops to leave, they have to reconcile and get along with each other.

Annul the Presidential elections and hold fresh elections after a peace conference so all parties can freely participate and if the people of Afghanistan want an Islamic Government, let them have one, only do not isolate them like before, so they go to bed with terrorists. Bring the new Afghan Government into the fold of international community and let them realize their responsibilities to the international community.

Afghanistan and its people have suffered a great deal in the super power rivalry. It is time this country was at peace and started rebuilding its infrastructure, an education system and created job opportunities for its young so they don't follow religious extremists. A Marshall style reconstruction plan for Afghanistan and Western part of Pakistan could change the political landscape of that part of the world and yet, it would cost a great deal less than extending the war.

President Obama, do not send more troops to Afghanistan. Start a reconciliation process in that country and bring all American troops home from Afghanistan within a year.


Mike's Common Sense said...

I agree that more troops will not resolve the problem. As you said, there are too many tribes involved and too many agendas.
I am not sure a real peace conference can be achieved among the principal Afghan players, Northern Alliance, Hazaras, Pashtuns, Taliban and all others.
I think one of the signs of a spirit of unity and reconciliation would ne for the taliban to turn over bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda to the USA & allies.
The USA & NATO would no longer need to be in Afghanistan and Pakistan and such a gesture would easily open the doors for the kind of Marshall Plan you propose.
Let the Taliban show their sincerity and everything else can fall into place.

Ajaz Haque said...

What an excellent point, have Taliban turn over Osama bin Laden (if he is still alive, many in the region believe he may be long dead) and other Al-Qaeda leaders. But for that to happen a dialogue has to take place either openly or behind the scenes. Taliban think of Al-Qaeda leaders as martyrs standing up against a super power, they have to be won over first. The bullet does not seem to be doing that job, may be dialogue will.

Kvatch said...


What...and waste the opportunity to throw another $500,000,000,000 down the toilet? I don't think so!