Afghanistan: US Failed Strategy

Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2018 12:45 pm
US President Donald Trump's decision to reject talks with the Taliban will only trigger more attacks and will only aggravate the war, a former Taliban member has said.

Following a string of deadly assaults in the capital, Kabul, this month, Trump on Monday announced that Washington was not going to hold talks with the Taliban, which has been leading an armed rebellion since it was overthrown from power by US-led forces in 2001.

Responding to Trump's decision, the Taliban said war would "increase the human and financial losses of American troops".

Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, said that there would be no solution to the war in the country if there are no talks with the Taliban.

"US decision to put pressure on the Taliban by fighting them will only result in more bloodshed. This matter needs to be resolved through proper dialogue," Zaeef told Al Jazeera.

"We know that the Taliban will be fighting as they have been for the past decades, so what is important now is to listen more, talk more.

"Let this country decide for itself according to its own culture and religion. The US... will face failure if they decide to stay and fight more."

Trump has committed an additional 3,000 US troops to Afghanistan in recent weeks, bringing the total number of American troops in Afghanistan to about 14,000.

Hiding the truth
On Monday, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, said the Pentagon had restricted the release of information on the areas that are under the Taliban and the Afghan government.

John Sopko, who leads the independent watchdog, wrote in SIGAR's latest quarterly report that the request to classify more information was "troubling".

"The implication is that I think the average American who reads our reports or reads your press accounts of it, has no meaningful ability to analyse how his money or her money is being spent on Afghanistan," Sopko told Reuters news agency in an interview.

The BBC news network published a report on Tuesday showing that the Taliban are active in 70 percent of Afghanistan's districts, fully controlling four percent of the country and demonstrating an open physical presence in another 66 percent.

"Presumably the Taliban knows the territory that it has won, and the government knows the territory that it has lost," Peter Galbraith, a former United Nations' Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, told Al Jazeera.

"The only reason to suppress this information in the SIGAR report is to hide the truth from the American people."

The US military later defended the decision, saying a "human error in labeling" caused it to classify the report.

'US' failed strategy'
Former officials say the Afghan government and its ally, the US, are not capable of defeating the Taliban, and that in the case of Afghanistan, if victory is defined as one side defeating the other, it would only result in failure.

"The first step towards a solution is to recognise that the strategy pursued so far hasn't worked. The US and its NATO allies are reluctant to recognise the truth in part because they have invested so much in a failed strategy. So, rather than admit error, the best they can do is propose more of what hasn't worked," Galbraith said.

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, however, said on January 17 that the Trump administration's Afghanistan strategy was working.

Three days later, on January 20, Taliban orchestrated a bloody siege at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel that left at least 20 dead, including four Americans. A week later, more than 100 people were killed in a suicide attack in the heart of the capital, Kabul.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks, saying they were a message to the US that their strategy had failed and that the attacks will continue until they [US-led forces] leave the country.

"The Taliban don't want to talk until they prove that they've defeated the US. And when they do, they will want to talk under their terms and conditions and would only be interested in how they are accommodated," Marvin G Weinbaum, who served as analyst for Pakistan and Afghanistan in the US Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, told Al Jazeera.

"The Taliban have a different vision of what Afghanistan should be, which is the Islamic emirate which has a very different set of rules and objectives."

While the Taliban and Trump refuse to engage in talks, the armed group's five-member Qatar-based delegation travelled to Islamabad, Pakistan, this month where representatives from other nations, including China, discussed a possible solution to the Afghan war. The US did not participate in the Islamabad talks.

"We submitted a report to our top leadership after the meeting in Islamabad. All the sides listened to each other on how to put an end to the war," a Taliban official told Al Jazeera, confirming the trip to Pakistan.

As part of the Trump administration's aggressive agenda to defeat the Taliban, Washington announced plans this month to suspend nearly $2bn in US security assistance to Pakistan.

The US and the Afghan government have asked Pakistan to stop providing safe havens for Taliban fighters and its affiliate Haqqani Network, a charge Islamabad denies.

Thousands of Afghan civilians have died in the civil war since 2001, when the Americans invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban.

"The more they (US) insist on staying in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, the more innocent people will die. This is recurring mistake, and something should be learned from it," Zaeef told Al Jazeera.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 3,165 • Replies: 9

Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2018 01:36 pm
What a mess that is!

We can blame that on Reagan. Of course Carter started the anti-russian campaign when they invaded Afghanistan. But Reagan is really the one that caused the problem. He gave money and weapons to the mujahadeem in their battle to drive the Russians out of the country. That was part of Reagan's anti-russian plan; I don't think he gave a damn about the Afghanis. After the Russians got sick of it and left the Afghanis had a civil war and the Taliban came out on top.
Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2018 03:59 pm
Eventually they will have to take Nixon's example, declare victory, and get the hell out.
Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2018 05:29 pm
Hardly a failure.

At current troop levels the US can easily continue to train Afghan soldiers and give them combat air support forever.
Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2018 05:31 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
Eventually they will have to take Nixon's example, declare victory, and get the hell out.

Have to??? Nonsense.

We can simply continue the dronestrikes and keep Afghanistan just as it is now, forever.

And we will.
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Reply Fri 2 Feb, 2018 10:41 am
problem is thatmany, like you, think you can CREATE History, not learn from it.
Reply Fri 2 Feb, 2018 10:51 am
Is there any particular reason why we can't maintain a small force there forever?
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Reply Mon 5 Feb, 2018 11:12 am
The invasion of Afghanistan was another of the myriad supreme war crimes the US has committed since WWII.

It was all based on lies. The US lied about OBL being involved in 911. He wasn't. The FBI says he wasn't.

Science, hard science says he wasn't involved. OBL had no access to the US military developed nanothermite that was found in WTC dust, along with the huge volume of iron microspheres, a major by product of thermitic reactions.

This US nanothermite, a recent US military development, can account for the molten and vaporized WTC steel, because it reaches temperatures of over 3500 degrees C/ 6,300F. There is nothing, zero, zilch to be found in the USG story that can account for this molten/vaporized steel.

OBL himself said, a number of times that he had no involvement.

The US government, Bush, Cheney, Colon Powell and others said they had evidence but they never were able to provide any. Same with the lying UK government of Blair.

The Taliban said they were willing to give up OBL if they were given evidence of his involvement. Nothing, ever, from the lying Bush government.

By March of 2002, Bush was saying he didn't care about OBL.


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Reply Mon 5 Feb, 2018 11:56 am
problem is thatmany, like you, think you can CREATE History, not learn from it.

Odd, not to mention, stunningly hypocritical, farmer, that is exactly what you have been trying to do - CREATE history and also, a false narrative about science and how it really works.
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Reply Mon 5 Feb, 2018 03:26 pm
It's nuts to even suggest the US had a strategy, Edgar. It was the neo cons advancing their totally phony 911 story using it as a new PH to illegally invade I & A.

It sure worked on the totally gullible folks of the USA. And they had a plan to invade 7 countries in five years.

Many of you still believe Dishonest Abe's 'government of the people, by the ... " bullshit.

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