Afghanistan: Will NATO face the Same Fate as the Soviet Union?

Ten years, billions of dollars and precious blood have been investetd in Afghanistan.  Now, in it’s 11th year, the United States and NATO are second guessing themselves of what has actually accomplished.   France’s President Sarkozy has given notice that France will withdraw a year earlier than planned and Hamid Karzai is set to hold peace talks with the Taliban.   Women in Afghanistan are concerned that their liberties will be bargained away.

President Obama, during his State of the Union Address last week touted his promise of ending the war in Iraq had been kept, despite the fact

that the country is in upheaval.  Obama also made a lot of hay on the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the fact that the Al Qaeda leadership had been largely

eliminated.  In a secret report, however, the U.S. military said that the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, is set to take back Afghanistan upon the exit of NATO, which is to be completed in 2014.  ISAF has confirmed the existence of the report, but noted that it was not a “strategic document.”

This would be a major set back for the policies of the North Atlantic Alliance, which was so proud for suppressing Gaddafi’s forces in a rinky dink country.   The defeated a disgruntled army with overwhelming firepower and modern technology, but the politics of war were unable to put a permanent stamp on Afghanistan.   The Alliance operated in Afghanistan,  with most countries using caveats to keep their troops out of combat.   The US, UK and Canada did the lions share of combat.   This raises the question,  “To what end?”

The Alliance’s strategy was wrong from the start.  Instead of installing a puppet like Hamid Karzai, work should have been done at the local and provincial level to build a governing body from the ground up.  Tribal societies cannot be build from the top down.  Afghanistan is living proof of that.   Karzai will do whatever he can to survive in the power struggle that will follow NATO’s departure.

It is almost certain that the Western Alliance will be settled with the same fate as the Soviet Union.  No doubt there will be spin to tout of NATO’s success.   The evidence seems clear though that the Taliban will play a major role in post war Afghanistan.

KABUL — The U.S. military said in a secret report that the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control of Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw, raising the prospect of a major failure of Western policy after a costly war.

Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, confirmed the existence of the document, reported on Wednesday by Britain’s Times newspaper and the BBC.

But he said it was not a strategic study.

“The classified document in question is a compilation of Taliban detainee opinions,” he said. “It’s not an analysis, nor is it meant to be considered an analysis.”  National Post

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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