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Buzzwords can't mask Afghan failure. What is meant by a "new" or "integrated" strategy?

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laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:32 PM
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Buzzwords can't mask Afghan failure. What is meant by a "new" or "integrated" strategy?

Buzzwords can't mask Afghan failure

Talk of a 'new strategy' doesn't disguise the fact that we have been wasting time, billions of dollars and lives in Afghanistan
Richard Norton-Taylor, Tuesday 22 September 2009

A "new strategy", an "integrated strategy" for Afghanistan these are the buzz phrases coming from politicians in Washington and London, and Nato commanders.

They are used to disguise a situation where Nato-led forces, in the first joint ground operation by the most powerful alliance in the history of the world, is in danger of losing a counter-insurgency operation against a brutal enemy driving around in pick-up trucks or on motorbikes firing grenades and planting roadside bombs.

Such phrases are used to convince an increasingly sceptical public opinion that governments and commanders have seen the light and are preparing a fresh start. London and Washington know they are fast losing credibility, at home and amid increasingly impatient Afghans.

"The situation in Afghanistan is serious, and we are being seriously challenged", Ivo Daalder, the US ambassador to Nato told an audience at the Chatham House thinktank in London the other day. "We will need to make adjustments, acknowledge mistakes, maintain support at home, and use the resources at our disposal sop that we can make the progress that our citizens demand".

What is meant by a "new" or "integrated" strategy is to promote good governance and economic development, as well as providing security for ordinary Afghans, and talking to reconcilable Talibans, not just killing them.

One might ask what Nato forces and their governments have been doing over the past eight years? The short, indeed only, answer is that they have been wasting time, billions of dollars, and dare one say it, lives.

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