Sunday, February 7, 2010

Success in Afghanistan?

The success of a planned major U.S.-Afghan offensive in the south depends on how quickly troops and civilian development workers can get public services up and running once the Taliban have been driven away, the top U.S. and NATO commander said Sunday.

The military has widely publicized the upcoming offensive in Marjah — the biggest Taliban-held community in the south — although the precise date for the attack in Helmand province remains classified.

. . . Establishing functioning government has been messy even in the relatively safe parts of Afghanistan. NATO forces and international diplomats have to balance the need to increase security with the desire to build up Afghan institutions that have too-often been corrupt or ineffective.

If our success in medieval backwards balkanized tribal warlord controlled Afghanistan is dependent upon our establishment of modern civil government, then our effort is doomed.

P.S. - I'm no military genius, but I don't think you're supposed to tell the guerrilla army when you're coming, months in advance. No wonder our troops keep getting it from land mines and unmanned devices.

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