Saturday, September 20, 2008
Proof We Will Win in Afghanistan
And now? After the "unimaginable" progress in Iraq – I am quoting the fantasist who still occupies the White House – the Americans are going to hip-hop 8,000 soldiers out of Mesopotamia and dump another 4,700 into the hellfire of Afghanistan. Too few, too late, too slow, as one of my French colleagues commented acidly. It would need at least another 10,000 troops to hope to put an end to these Taliban devils who are now equipped with more sophisticated weapons, better trained and increasingly – sad to say – tolerated by the local civilian population. For Afghanistan, read Irakistan.
Oh no, not Iraqistan. Anything but that. (Is Fisk actually taken seriously in England?) I have to ask. And do we really need to take criticism of our successful war efforts from the French, who haven't triumphed in war without our help since very early in the 19th Century? 4,700 won't do it but 10,000 will? So if we add 5,300 troops who will fight, victory is assured? No, he tells us victory is impossible whatever we do. Nothing like careful analysis. Does anyone doubt that at one time in the past 5 years, Fisk wrote the same thing about Iraq? Which is why I am so optimistic. If Fisk says it's white, odds are it's at best a dark grey.
It would be helpful if the non English speaking nations in NATO with troops in Afghanistan actually ordered them to fire their weapons and if the Western nations that pledged money for rebuilding in Afghanistan actually paid what they pledged.
I, however, flat out reject the notion that finishing Gulf War 1 was a distraction to our efforts in Afghanistan. We have never let up in Afghanistan. When the whole of the Taliban decamped for Pakistan, there was, necessarily, little fighting of the Taliban in Afghanistan. We had to wait for them to return, which they are now, to their ultimate sorrow. I do, however, believe that the war in Iraq has been a huge distraction-- to the al Qaeda/Taliban efforts to reestablish control in Afghanistan. Only with the certain (but not yet completed) defeat of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has the bulk of Arabs willing to fight American soldiers been directed back to Afghanistan. Of course we will have to respond to changing conditions on the ground, but if Pakistan actually does what it says it will, the Taliban story is going to all end in tears, as if it hasn't, to a large degree, already done just that.
The photo is of our Aussie allies patrolling.