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Top Ten things that Could Derail Obama's Afghanistan Plan

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 10:41 PM
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Top Ten things that Could Derail Obama's Afghanistan Plan
Source: Informed Comment

by Juan Cole

1. Obama's plan depends heavily on training 100,000 new soldiers and 100,000 new policemen over the next three years. It has taken 8 years to train the first 100,000 soldiers fairly well, and the same period for the Europeans to train a similar number of police badly. Can the pace really be more than doubled and quality results still obtained?

2. Obama's plan assumes that there can be a truly national Afghan army. But the current one is disproportionately Tajik and signally lacks troops from the troubled Helmand and Qandahar provinces. Unless the ethnic tensions are eased, training a big army could well provoke an anti-Tajik backlash in Pashtun regions that feel occupied.

3. Obama's goal to "break the Taliban's momentum" may well fail. Only 20 percent of insurgencies in modern times are defeated in a decisive military manner.

4. The US counter-insurgency plan assumes that Pashtun villagers dislike and fear the Taliban, and just need to be protected from them so as to stop the politics of intimidation. But what if the villagers are cousins of the Taliban and would rather support their clansmen than white Christian foreigners?

5. Obama is demanding that Pakistan help destroy the Taliban movement, a historical ally of Pakistan in Afghanistan. While Pakistan now has good reason to attempt to wipe out the Pakistani Taliban Movement, which has committed a good deal of terrorism against the country, Islamabad has no reason to attack the Afghan guerrilla groups fighting Karzai....

6. Obama asserts that although the Afghan presidential election was marked by fraud, the results (the victory of Hamid Karzai) are legitimate within the constitutional framework....

7. Obama is demanding accountability from cabinet members in Afghanistan and offering agricultural and economic aid. But 15 present and former cabinet members are under investigation for massive embezzlement, and 7 key ministries were only able to spend 40% of their budget allocation last year.....

8. Obama assumes that the US is not fighting a broadbased insurgency in Afghanistan. ...

9. Obama maintains that the "Taliban" have in recent years made common cause with "al-Qaeda" in seeking to overturn the Karzai government. But although the Taliban control 10-15% of Afghanistan, there are no al-Qaeda operatives to speak of in Afghanistan....

10. The biggest threat of derailment comes from an American public facing 17 percent true unemployment and a collapsing economy who are being told we need to spend an extra $30 billion to fight less than 100 al-Qaeda guys in the mountains of Afghanistan, even after the National Security Adviser admitted that they are not a security threat to the US.

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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 10:58 PM
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1. K&R
Meet Hamid Karzai
or as Obama calls him, "The Government of Afghanistan".

He was appointed by Bush the Lesser to run Afghanistan.
He was one of the most despicable criminals in The World,
But NOW we like him so much
that our children will be dying to keep him in power.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 12:25 AM
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2. The Taliban will be joining the Afghan army
by the hundreds. They're already doing it. We're going to make an Afghan army that is unreliable at the core. The growing Taliban influence in the country will be reflected in the military. We won't be able to turn our backs on them. We won't be able to trust them to serve any ends but their own when we try to leave.
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