Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Biden: Afghanistan Situation 'Deteriorating'

During a visit to NATO at Brussels on Tuesday, March 10 US vice-president Joe Biden appealed to NATO allies to help the United States tackle worsening security in Afghanistan. According to Biden "The deteriorating situation in the region poses a security threat not just to the United States but to every single nation round this table (...) It was from that remote area of the world that al-Qaida plotted 9/11 and subsequent attacks". Biden also said "we need to look at Afghanistan and Pakistan together because success in one requires progress in the other."

Biden solicited ideas to reverse a losing military strategy in Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama's policy to bring more European allies on board to fight the Taliban-led insurgency. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called on NATO to boost efforts before August 20 Afghan elections.

On Sunday, March 8 CBS news reported Obama Seeks New Taliban Strategy President Barack Obama says he hopes U.S. troops can identify moderate elements of the Taliban and move them toward reconciliation.

The Obama administration has ordered 17,000 more U.S. troops to the country to bolster the 38,000 already there as a way to turn the tide. NATO has about 25,000 non-American troops in Afghanistan. Washington's allies have been reluctant to increase their troops levels.


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For more information about this subject in the Peace Palace Library catalogue see for example:

Combination Afghanistan and AlQaeda

Keyword Taliban

Combination Afghanistan and NATO

Combination USA and Afghanistan

3 comments:

Niels said...

A good question is to ask what the strategy is going to be;

In the aftermath of the invasion of Afghanistan, many factions rallied behind the US-led forces.

In the past 7 years, much has been done to combat the Taleban, but a singular strategy has not yet been devised. Most measures are stop-gap measures.

The real problem is the porous border with Pakistan ; many Talibani recruits are actually from Pakistan and are largely supplied from there.

"seeking moderate Taleban Elements" is a strategy destined to fail. What exactly are you going to offer them? Money? Power? Weapons?

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The strategy for Afghanistan should be;

- Train the Afghani Police and Army to be reasonably efficient.

- Crush the Taleban forces on the border of Pakistan.

- Demand that Pakistan intervenes and destroy the Taleban infrastructure on their side of the border.

With the Pakistan-Afghanistan border cleared, the Taleban will weaken considerably due to lack of supplies and recruits.

After this, the foreign troops should leave; foreign forces only breed resistance and ideas of occupation.

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The remarks for more personnel is quite pathetic; throwing more people at a problem in order to make it go away, does not work.

The idea to seek "moderate talebani" is destined to fail due to a lack of incentives and controll.

While mr Biden's request is very understandable, there should be no further commitments without a clear strategy.

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