Page 7 of 11 FirstFirst ... 56789 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 70 of 107

Thread: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

  1. #61
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    dimensionally transcendental
    Last Seen
    08-15-11 @ 04:31 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    7,153

    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    It's the best interests of the Afghan people, as well as international security, that must take top priority, not the wishes of Mr. Karzai,
    If he is the recognized leader of the country & government, and their government wants us out, we would become invaders instead of liberators if we ignored their wishes and remained. We'd also further alienate the general population, possibly shifting their sympathies to the Taliban... or worse.

  2. #62
    Global Moderator
    Bodhidarma approves bigly
    Andalublue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Granada, España
    Last Seen
    11-29-17 @ 01:21 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian - Left
    Posts
    26,111

    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Notice, I have repeatedly premised by statements with "if."
    Yes, I had noted that.

    Key issues that would have to be resolved would be:

    1) Would Iran exploit a post-withdrawal power vacuum in Afghanistan to project its growing regional power and further destablize the region?
    Is there any reason to believe they would? Between 1989 and 2001 Iran's 'meddling' in Afghanistan was fairly low level, much less so than that of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Of course things might be different, but I fail to see what they might hope to gain.

    2) Would a power vacuum in Afghanistan lead to increased risk in neighboring Pakistan that could heighten risks associated with Pakistan's nuclear arsenal?
    Increased risk of what in Pakistan? Increased risk of the regime falling in favour of a more extreme Islamist regime? I would say that that risk is increasing under the current situation.

    3) Would a U.S. withdrawal significantly reduce the United States' ability to project power in the region?
    Well, that's not an issue anyone but Americans need to worry about. Many of us would suggest that such a reduction may not be entirely unwelcome.

    4) Would a power vacuum in Afghanistan exacerbate long-running geopolitical rivalries between India, Pakistan, China, etc.?
    It's possible, but unlikely. China would only be interested if it had any knock-on consequences for the Uighur insurrection in Xinjiang. The Indians might actually welcome it as anything which served to weaken the Pakistani regime and turn its attention from its eastern to western borders could benefit them.

    5) Would a power vacuum in Afghanistan lead to various radical groups gaining a safe-haven from which they could export violence to destabilize the broader Central Asia region?
    This may happen in any case. The Allies have failed to eliminate AQ or the Taliban despite overwhelming military superiority. I don't think that this situation could only arise if NATO withdrew.
    Depending on the answers to those questions, would viable alternatives exist so as to mitigate those potential problems?
    You mean alternative sources of authority to NATO troops?
    At the same time, the U.S. would have to balance those issues with whether the mission in place can reasonably achieve U.S. goals. If not, could the strategy be restructured?
    Well, it looks as if I'll have to suggest what US goals might be, as no one seems to wish to state them:
    1. Eliminate the potential for terrorist groups to use Afghanistan as a logistical and training base.
    2. Maintain a strong military presence on Iran's eastern border for intimidation purposes.
    3. Maintain a strong military presence on Pakistan's western border to ensure they remain nominally Western-friendly.


    As noted previously and well today's events, I've noted that I believe the Karzai regime is part of the problem, not the solution. It has been corrupt, inept, and unreliable. It has often put Karzai family members and cronies ahead of Afghanistan's people. Not surprisingly, it has only very limited ability to exercise jurisdiction and it is widely perceived among Afghans to be illegitimate. In part, the violence directed against it is from the Taliban. At the same time, there is a dynamic of home-grown rejection of it arising from various tribes.
    This is all true, yet where was the pro-active involvement of the Allies when Karzai committed widespread electoral fraud? The Allies are inextricably linked in the minds of the world, not just Afghans, with the policies of Karzai who is seen as the puppet of the West. He seems to be attempting to distance himself from the Allies now, but the Allies cannot undermine his regime and at the same time ensure its survival.

    Making a strategic correction away from a Kabul-centric orientation would be more compatible with the country's historic experience, structure, and dynamics. Hence, if the issue concerns maintaining the status quo approach vs. withdrawal, the answer might differ from the choice of pursuing a corrected course (non-Kabul-centric approach) vs.withdrawal.
    Well that would presuppose an entirely new policy shift, one that will require the creation of an entirely new political and administrative infrastructure built under the hostile gaze of the current regime. It is a project of many years. Are you sure NATO has the political will to remain there another decade? Or longer?

    Finally, geopolitical significance matters. With Somalia's having collapsed into failed state status, piracy poses the current threat to U.S. interests. The impact of the pirates is, in the whole scheme of things, insignficant to U.S. interests. Access to a narrow strip of water through which most oil shipments pass, not the larger body of water proximate to Somalia is critical to the U.S. Were Afghanistan to fall into failed state status, the geopolitical fallout would potentially be magnitudes of order greater than that of Somalia (regional destabilization, opportunity for Iran, increased risk to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, diminished U.S. ability to project regional power, etc.). I would also suggest that the geopolitical impact from a collapse of Afghanistan would be far greater than that associated with whatever the outcome in Libya would be. In short, there are enough variables of importance that suggest that the U.S. could have sufficiently critical interests in the evolution of Afghanistan to reject any formal call by Mr. Karzai to withdraw. If, in fact, that's the case, then the U.S. should reject Mr. Karzai's call, especially as Mr. Karzai lacks sufficient power to compel such a move.
    Afghanistan between 1992 and 2001 WAS a failed state, one that the Taliban brought some order to, albeit barbaric, mediaeval order at the point of a gun. The implications of that for the region were minimal, but for the Afghans horrific. They would have remained in control were it not for their strategic blunder of inviting AQ to stay for a while.

    In the light of my previous comments about your new regionalist strategy, it seems to me that there is no exit plan. NATO will remain for the forseeable future unable to extricate itself from its perceived role as backers of Karzai and yet certain that the Karzai regime will never be able to survive without their foreign backers. Your new, "Devolved Afghanistan" is a policy diametrically opposed to current policy, threatening to all current players in the regime and the two policies - current and new - cannot be conducted simultaneously. How do you think it could work?
    Last edited by Andalublue; 03-14-11 at 04:49 PM.
    "The crisis will end when fear changes sides" - Pablo Iglesias Turrión

    "Austerity is used as a cover to reconfigure society and increase inequality and injustice." - Jeremy Corbyn

  3. #63
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Canada, Costa Rica
    Last Seen
    05-16-16 @ 09:45 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    31,645

    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Whovian View Post
    If he is the recognized leader of the country & government, and their government wants us out, we would become invaders instead of liberators if we ignored their wishes and remained. We'd also further alienate the general population, possibly shifting their sympathies to the Taliban... or worse.
    Karzai is the the head of the Afghan government but there is no indication that the people or the rest of the government wants us out. To have sacrificed so much and then leave because one questionable man says so would not make much sense. There is, so far, no "their wishes".

    And if the people do decide to go with the Taliban, which is very unlikely, and there are more terrorist attacks generated from Afghanistan, then it would be an act of war. It is best, over the long term, to be sure the country is secure before anyone leaves.

  4. #64
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    dimensionally transcendental
    Last Seen
    08-15-11 @ 04:31 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    7,153

    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Whovian
    If he is the recognized leader of the country & government, and their government wants us out, we would become invaders instead of liberators if we ignored their wishes and remained. We'd also further alienate the general population, possibly shifting their sympathies to the Taliban... or worse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Karzai is the the head of the Afghan government but there is no indication that the people or the rest of the government wants us out. To have sacrificed so much and then leave because one questionable man says so would not make much sense. There is, so far, no "their wishes".

    And if the people do decide to go with the Taliban, which is very unlikely, and there are more terrorist attacks generated from Afghanistan, then it would be an act of war. It is best, over the long term, to be sure the country is secure before anyone leaves.
    I wasn't saying the people agree with him, or that we should go now.

    I was simply stating that if all involved parties who matter... the government, leaders and people wanted us out, and we refused to leave, we would then become invaders.

  5. #65
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Canada, Costa Rica
    Last Seen
    05-16-16 @ 09:45 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    31,645

    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Whovian View Post
    I wasn't saying the people agree with him, or that we should go now.

    I was simply stating that if all involved parties who matter... the government, leaders and people wanted us out, and we refused to leave, we would then become invaders.
    Oh, ok. It seems i misunderstood, Sorry about that.

  6. #66
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    11-28-17 @ 04:47 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,690

    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Is there any reason to believe they would? Between 1989 and 2001 Iran's 'meddling' in Afghanistan was fairly low level, much less so than that of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Of course things might be different, but I fail to see what they might hope to gain.
    If one examines past historical documents (primary or secondary sources), there is no credible evidence that the U.S. pursued a meaningful economic reconstruction/political development strategy in post-Soviet Afghanistan. Such an approach might have reduced the risk that the nation would have slid into a full-fledged failed state.

    Increased risk of what in Pakistan? Increased risk of the regime falling in favour of a more extreme Islamist regime? I would say that that risk is increasing under the current situation.
    In Pakistan, the U.S. erred in pushing the Musharraf government aside in favor of a regime that is no less legitimate, is probably at least as corrupt, and is far more inept. A better approach would have entailed the Musharraf government's pursuing a gradual but steady shift toward a more representative government. Once the political institutions necessary to support representative government were in place, then an elected government could have been chosen. But that's not what happened. As a consequence, anti-Western forces gained influence and Pakistan's military was demoralized to the extent that the military is now much less willing to run risks on behalf of U.S. interests. The country is now sliding toward failed state status.

    Afghanistan's collapse into failed state status would only accelerate and intensify the trends now under way in nuclear-armed Pakistan. Such a development in Pakistan could be geopolitically more significant than the Iranian Revolution was.

    Well, that's not an issue anyone but Americans need to worry about. Many of us would suggest that such a reduction may not be entirely unwelcome.
    I strongly disagree. The lack of an effective response by the UN to events in Libya, not to mention past cases in Rwanda and Darfur, highlight the very real limits of attempting to rely on world organization for major international peace and security objectives. That approach is flawed. Given the widely-varying interests of the UN's member states, such impotence is to be expected. Not coincidentally, it was the difference of interests that previously led the League of Nations to suffer from similar impotence. Hence, if the U.S. seeks to safeguard its critical interests--and Central Asian stability is one of them--it needs to have the capacity to project power.

    It's possible, but unlikely. China would only be interested if it had any knock-on consequences for the Uighur insurrection in Xinjiang.
    That would be a real danger for China. Arms trafficking could dramatically increase to the Xinjiang Province.

    The Indians might actually welcome it as anything which served to weaken the Pakistani regime and turn its attention from its eastern to western borders could benefit them.
    But not if the price were ramped up instability in parts of Kashmir, not to mention along the lengthy Indo-Pakistan border. In addition, if nuclear arms fell into the hands of hostile elements willing to proliferate such weapons, it would also destabilize the region and undermine India's interests.

    This may happen in any case. The Allies have failed to eliminate AQ or the Taliban despite overwhelming military superiority. I don't think that this situation could only arise if NATO withdrew.
    An immediate withdrawal of NATO forces at a time when Afghanistan lacks the institutions for self-governance and security capabilities to maintain order would greatly increase the risks of such an outcome.

    You mean alternative sources of authority to NATO troops?
    Alternatives to the current approach. What could be done to mitigate the risks if NATO troops withdrew? Would such measures be effective? That's a necessary exercise that should be repeated on a regular basis.

    Well, it looks as if I'll have to suggest what US goals might be, as no one seems to wish to state them:
    1. Eliminate the potential for terrorist groups to use Afghanistan as a logistical and training base.
    2. Maintain a strong military presence on Iran's eastern border for intimidation purposes.
    3. Maintain a strong military presence on Pakistan's western border to ensure they remain nominally Western-friendly.
    IMO, the strong military presence should be part of maintaining a balance of power that reduces Iran's ability to project power into the region and allows for a capability to address developments in Pakistan were the country to slide further toward failed state status to the extent that its nuclear arms were at risk of being compromised.

    This is all true, yet where was the pro-active involvement of the Allies when Karzai committed widespread electoral fraud? The Allies are inextricably linked in the minds of the world, not just Afghans, with the policies of Karzai who is seen as the puppet of the West. He seems to be attempting to distance himself from the Allies now, but the Allies cannot undermine his regime and at the same time ensure its survival.
    That the NATO states ignored the massive fraud and suspect outcome of the election is in the past. The countries need to worry about today and tomorrow. If their interests are sufficiently important and alternatives for securing those interests are lacking, then they need to be willing to ignore Mr. Karzai's demands. In other words, they need to put their interests ahead of Mr. Karzai's wishes. Initially, there might be some public relations fallout, but in the end, if a better outcome is secured, that fallout will fade from memory.

    Well that would presuppose an entirely new policy shift, one that will require the creation of an entirely new political and administrative infrastructure built under the hostile gaze of the current regime. It is a project of many years. Are you sure NATO has the political will to remain there another decade? Or longer?
    I'm not wed to either the sunk cost or escalation of commitment falacies. If a strategic adjustment is needed, it should be pursued. IMO, it is needed. The Karzai regime is more part of the problem, than the solution. Moreover, my guess is that if the U.S./NATO continue to rely on the Karzai regime, prospects for a stay of another decade or longer are higher than they would be if the U.S./NATO de-emphasized Kabul.

    Under a new approach, I believe Afghanistan’s tribal leaders should be charged with allocating resources that would be furnished for reconstruction, economic development, education, within their jurisdictions. Security operations should be coordinated with the tribal leaders. Local security forces would be developed and trained. Those forces should be charged with maintaining security in areas under the jurisdiction of each tribal leader. They should be developed with attention to maintaining a careful balance of power so that no local area would be in a position to try to gain preeminence at the expense of others. Only truly national issues--those that impact the entire country--should be financed through and coordinated with Kabul. Those efforts should immediately be focused on developing an adequate legal and constitutional framework, financial system, central army that would complement local security forces when needed (including a "balancing" role), but not serve as a substitute for them, and ultimately culminate in an election that would create a government that Afgans would widely view as legitimate.

    In fact, in a welcome development, the U.S. has taken the first small steps in that direction. On December 17, 2010, Business Week reported:

    The Obama administration will rely more heavily on Pakistan and local power-brokers in Afghanistan as the U.S. seeks to turn “significant progress” in the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban into long-term gains...

    Karzai in the past has objected to U.S. ties with local leaders as an attempt to undermine his authority. The resulting emphasis by the U.S. on working with and through Karzai has worsened corruption, said Robert L. Grenier, CIA station chief in Islamabad from 1999 until 2002, at a Council on Foreign Relations forum in Washington yesterday.


    In the light of my previous comments about your new regionalist strategy, it seems to me that there is no exit plan. NATO will remain for the forseeable future unable to extricate itself from its perceived role as backers of Karzai and yet certain that the Karzai regime will never be able to survive without their foreign backers. Your new, "Devolved Afghanistan" is a policy diametrically opposed to current policy, threatening to all current players in the regime and the two policies - current and new - cannot be conducted simultaneously. How do you think it could work?
    It's threatening to the corrupt and, much more important to U.S. interests, inept and unreliable Karzai regime, only. However, a strategic shift would have a better chance to lead to a legtimate government that could enjoy broad-based support. Not surprisingly, the U.S. has finally taken the first tentative steps in that direction.

    Mr. Karzai has been propped up for nearly a decade now. He remains viewed widely as illegitimate by Afghans. He is capable of exercising jurisdiction without NATO assistance over only a small part of the country. As a consequence, the current "exit strategy" is little more than a mirage.

    Sound policy cannot rest on sentimentality alone. Just because the U.S./NATO states have invested in Mr. Karzai's regime is not sufficient grounds to continue an approach that quite frankly has generated insignificant returns based on the resources already deployed and enormous amount of time given to the regime to evolve into a competent government. Continued "investment" in the Karzai regime is little more than a de facto rationalization of the earlier experiment that has generated such minimal returns.

    Instead, sentimentalities should be put aside--and Karzai's latest impulsive outburst makes it easier to justify doing just that--and the changes necessary to increase prospects for a better outcome should be pursued.

    Finally, given Afghanistan's tribal structures, it makes eminent sense to build from the ground up starting with its tribal leaders. Moreover, unlike the Karzai regime, the tribal leaders are perceived broadly within their communities as legitimate and trustworthy. The greater trust and credibility these leaders command would offer a fresh starting point for the political strategy, and an effective political strategy would contribute to a better security environment. Now that the U.S. has moved modestly in that direction, it has developed working relationships that would enable it to move fairly quickly away from a Kabul-centric approach.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 03-14-11 at 05:42 PM.

  7. #67
    Sage

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Last Seen
    05-16-15 @ 02:32 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    12,537

  8. #68
    Sage
    VanceMack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Last Seen
    Today @ 10:35 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    54,662

    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    I would suggest that is because 99% of the country doesnt have a clear idea of what exactly is going on and what the war currently entails and what the goal and end-game is even expected to be. We arent 'at war' against Afghanistan. We are fighting taliban insurgents that are trying to reclaim the country. I think if people understood what our presence and mission was there people might see things differently. Maybe not...but...they might. There are some that will blindly support it because Obama says we shjould be there. There are some that will blindly oppose it because Obama says we need to be there. Write those idiots off and I wonder what the percentages would look like.

  9. #69
    Sage

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Last Seen
    05-16-15 @ 02:32 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    12,537

    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    I would suggest that is because 99% of the country doesnt have a clear idea of what exactly is going on and what the war currently entails and what the goal and end-game is even expected to be.
    if so, then the president has failed in his primary mission

    in my opinion, increasing numbers of americans are coming to see that we simply cannot succeed over there

    personally, i believe we have no chance of military success anywhere so long as this incompetent crew is in the white house

    war is difficult, war is serious, war requires mobilizing a nation

    obama's not even personally committed to the effort, i think it's obvious

    so does BOB WOODWARD, by the way

  10. #70
    Sage
    VanceMack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Last Seen
    Today @ 10:35 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    54,662

    Re: End Operations in Afghanistan, Karzai Tells NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    if so, then the president has failed in his primary mission

    in my opinion, increasing numbers of americans are coming to see that we simply cannot succeed over there

    personally, i believe we have no chance of military success anywhere so long as this incompetent crew is in the white house

    war is difficult, war is serious, war requires mobilizing a nation

    obama's not even personally committed to the effort, i think it's obvious

    so does BOB WOODWARD, by the way
    I disagree about the 'winning'. It comes with the definition. The war against Afghanistan ended damn near a decade ago. Winning should have involved
    -helping their people form a new government-check
    -provide a reasonably stable platform and help train a police and military-nope
    -Set a specific deadline for departure....ummm...nope.

    And Obama doesnt shoulder the blame for that part. Bush mismanged the post war operation. Obama owns his portion and I agree...he is doing a dismal job.

Page 7 of 11 FirstFirst ... 56789 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •