President Obama’s decision on a new strategy for Afghanistan will come after Thanksgiving Day, i.e., early next week. There is fear that it will be merely about 10’000, 20’000, or 40’000 additional troops. Some would rather advice the Nobel Peace Price winner of 2009 to fire his generals, first and foremost Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus. New troops will not solve the problems of the country which is constantly at war for 30 years.
What had begun eight years ago as a retaliation operation towards caves in Tora Bora from where Osama bin Laden supposedly had orchestrated the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon has lost its justification for a long time. Aims and scopes of the war have vanished as well. The Taliban, insurgents without face or name, have become the adversaries in an asymmetric war with increasing numbers of civilian casualties and a high death toll among U.S. troops and allies.
Getting out of Afghanistan as soon as possible will be the only way of bringing it to an end. That is what Obama had promised, nothing else. After Vietnam, the U.S. has to learn a second time that defeat is inevitable.
What will come afterwards? We don’t know. But we should admit: It’s not really our business. That new terror attacks are plotted in Afghanistan is unlikely. Pakistan is the greater risk. We have to wait and see whether the Afghan people can prevent the re-emergence of a cruel Taliban dictatorship. At last, it is their country. Sure, democratic structures (if there are any) are different. But the uncritical support for the corrupt “Mayor of Kabul” Hamid Karzai was counterproductive anyway. The promised “change” would have looked different.
It is hoped that, after an orderly retreat of all troops, finally peace (!) will gradually gear the necessary beneficial developments.
See also on this blog: Ramadan in Afghanistan