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Must Read on U.S. plans for Afghanistan: The Nation:

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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:10 AM
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Must Read on U.S. plans for Afghanistan: The Nation:
"But surging troops into Afghanistan would be akin to sending the fabled 600 into the valley of death. As in Vietnam, tens of thousands more troops will only provide the Taliban with many more targets, sparking Pashtun nationalist resistance and inspiring more recruits for the insurgency. Advocates of sending additional US forces into this maelstrom have yet to articulate exactly how another 25,000 can turn the tide.

Tariq Ali says that pacifying the country would require at least 200,000 more troops, beyond the 62,000 US and NATO forces there now, and that it would necessitate laying waste huge parts of Afghanistan. Many Afghan watchers consider the war unwinnable, and they point out that in the 1980s the Soviet Union, with far more troops, had engaged in a brutal nine-year counterinsurgency war--and lost.

British Ambassador to Afghanistan Sherard Cowper-Coles has warned against precisely the escalation that Obama and Petraeus advocate. Sending more troops, he says, "would have perverse effects: it would identify us even more strongly as an occupation force and would multiply the targets ." A top British general, Brig. Mark Carleton-Smith, says, "We're not going to win this war.... It's about reducing it to a manageable level of insurgency that's not a strategic threat."

<snip>

"Yet the fragile Pakistani state is being pushed to the breaking point by the Bush administration. Since August, nearly two dozen CIA Predator missile attacks in tribal areas have inflamed much of the country against the United States. Already, before the spate of attacks, public opinion polls showed that 86 percent of Pakistanis say the goal of the United States is to "weaken and divide the Islamic world," 84 percent say the United States is a greater threat than Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and 89 percent oppose Pakistan's cooperation with the US "war on terror."

Many Pakistanis blame the United States for its fifty-year record of propping up military dictators, which makes it hard for the United States to support even its allies, such as President Zardari. "Right now, we're kind of the kiss of death," says Marvin Weinbaum, a scholar at the Middle East Institute who was part of Obama's Pakistan task force. "

<http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081222/dreyfuss?rel=hp_p... >
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:50 AM
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1. One would think the current crop of military 'leaders' would think
about Vietnam. Or about the fact the last person who conquered Afghanistan was Alexander the Great.
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