Monday, October 06, 2008

Shuffling the Deck in Afghanistan?

A very interesting development, perhaps:
The Afghan government believes the Taliban cannot be defeated militarily, and the Taliban believe that they can't win a war against the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, the Saudi source said.

The involvement of the Saudis is also seen as an expression of fear that Iran could take advantage of U.S. failings in Afghanistan, as it is seen to be doing in Iraq.

Several Afghan sources familiar with Iranian activities in Afghanistan have said Iranian officials and diplomats who are investing in business and building education facilities are lobbying politicians in Kabul.
Evidently Iran's growing influence doesn't just bother NATO. The fact the Taliban feels they cannot defeat us militarily (and have probably heard Obama say we need more troops there) could explain why they felt the time was right to sue for peace. Wonder what role the US was playing in this? Any?

It's worth noting that the Afghanis, Talibani, and Saudi Arabians are all Sunni Muslims, as are the Pakistanis and al Qaeda. Recently AQ launched a verbal attack on Pakistan via an American traitor.

Here's more insight from Cap'n Ed, and here's something ironic from the Jawas.

3 comments:

Dan said...

Since the Taliban want peace... and a contingent of Americans want peace... then what are we waiting for?
I know why war still prevails...
because crazy Chrisitan and Muslim fanatics still believe in the "End of Times" and in order to make the self-fulfilling prophecy of bringing about the End of Times, we need to keep fighting and escalating violence into a nuclear holocuast to bring about our human demise... that's why.
Religion rules everything on this planet... we are no longer in control... the Gods are.

Mustang said...

Our Middle Eastern strategy has been the twin of Hogan’s Goat since Bush invaded Iraq. We recall it was the second time the United States walked away, and no Afghan could help but discern the implications of pursuing that policy. Karzai may not be happy with our lack of attention, but he also realizes that the US must pursue its own objectives.

That said, even if we had never invaded Iraq, it is difficult to tie US interests to Afghanistan. Yes, it was in our interest to drive out the Taliban . . . but no one back then gave much thought to the costs of nation-building in that pre-Islamic conquest cesspit. The reasons for this are perfectly understandable: no foreign nation has ever pacified the Afghans, and even during the pinnacle of British influence, they at best controlled one city. We can observe that nothing has changed: Karzai is not the President of Afghanistan; he is the President of Kabul.

As the Soviets learned during their ten-year occupation, Afghanistan’s terrain and weather patterns do not allow success among conventional armies; any advantage belongs to the insurgent. And of course, this is complicated by an extremely porous border region with Pakistan . . . the staging center for guerilla resources. According to some sources, Taliban-Al Qaeda has re-infiltrated most of Afghanistan’s towns and cities, which is another repeat from the past, and it typical of the Afghan to use primarily Arab Al-Qaeda until they have served their purpose.

Two weeks ago, our senior commanders claimed they would need one-hundred-thousand combat troops to pacify Afghanistan, a prospect that does not create giddiness among any of the coalition partners. So when McCain/Obama wax eloquent about a surge strategy in Afghanistan, it becomes apparent to some of us that neither of them have a clue about the country or its people, and neither have identified a national objective beyond the ever-illusive pacification program. It is typical of the Saudis to encourage other people to see to their interests; it is wise of the Afghan government not to rely on Saudi troops for any protection. As for the Taliban suing for peace, sure . . . and this should last up to the point when they assassinate Karzai. If that happens, I’m not sure the Taliban would invite additional Saudis to muddle up their ice age.

A.C. McCloud said...

Dan,
Are you calling Obama a crazy Christian fanatic?


Mustang,
Well said as usual. We've got little choice but to either surge that place or get the heck outa dodge. The Taliban knows this and also probably thinks Obama is near election and are trying to set up a few things beforehand.

As to whether they're on the level, I'm as skeptical as you or anyone else and agree this is very bad news for Karzai.

And although it's certainly obvious they cannot defeat NATO militarily they certainly can continue to wear us down by playing the long war game. That's why it's suspicious they would be acting now, unless our latest actions along the border are actually having some affect.