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AFGHANISTAN: SO NOW WE KNOW

03-12-2009

Obama and Bush

President Obama's announcement this week that the United States is committing 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan has ended months of uncertainty. But Andy Goff reckons it will solve nothing.

So now we know.

President Obama has decided what to do about Afghanistan: "I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan."

But…. "After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home."

What messages does this send?

  • First to the Taliban: Keep your heads down, work away with quiet threats to the local population about what will happen to them after NATO pulls out if they don’t behave. Minimise losses of arms and fighters and look forward to regaining power sometime in 2011/12.
  • Second to the NATO troops in place and about to be deployed: The losses of life and limb you may suffer will be pointless as, in a couple of years, we will have pulled out and left the place no better off than it was when we went in originally. Therefore, keep your heads down and minimise losses of arms and fighters. Whatever good that may be done will be undone post NATO’s departure.
  • Third to the members of Hamid Karzai’s corrupt regime: Ensure that your bank accounts in tax havens are stuffed full to the gunnels and your escape method is on standby as you will surely need them in 2011 or before. Oh! And watch your back. Remember President Diệm.
  • Fourth to the member states of NATO: Better to keep your troops well away from the activities of the US Military. They shoot first and ask questions later. Friendly Fire incidents will increase and they don’t play well with the folks back home.
  • Fifth to the good people of Afghanistan: You are stuffed. Get out now while you can. Do deals, in writing, with the Americans and you could end up with a nice place in Florida. Remember how those South Vietnamese did so well when they got the timing right.

Going into Afghanistan originally, post September 11th, was understandable given the attitude of the Bush Administration, but did nothing to address the reasons why the USA and then other countries were being targeted by Islamo-fascists. Doing nothing was not an option but doing war was the easy option for those in power.

Sending more invading troops to Afghanistan will not cause the downfall of the Taliban or make us any ‘safer’ in the West – in fact probably the reverse. It will alienate more of the population and waste more lives of our servicemen and woman in addition to those innocent civilians who invariably suffer the most in conflict.

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