Western leaders panic at their plight in Afghanistan

Original article, by Simon Assaf, via www.socialistworker.org.uk:

The occupation of Afghanistan has entered a new and deeper crisis. A rising number of sophisticated attacks on foreign troops, combined with a growing rebellion in Pakistan and Russia’s crushing of Nato ally Georgia, have raised the prospect that the occupation is heading for defeat.

Things sound like they’re going swimmingly in Afghanistan, don’t they?

Now Afghan insurgents are tightening their grip on the capital of Kabul. The recent attack on French troops in the Uzbin Valley east of the city has sent shockwaves through the Western military alliance that runs the occupation.

I’ve seen this described as such in several different web outlets, and their not all leftist sites.  It seems like too few troops, a disliked government and non-Afghan happenings are having a bad effect upon the Afghan war effort.  I’m sure winter can’t get here quickly enough for NATO and her Afghan allies.

Nato admits that Afghan insurgents now control the routes around Kabul, leaving it isolated and under siege.

How to break the siege would be the question.  Actually, the question is whether it’s worth breaking the seige.

Last week rebels struck the city’s airport with rockets, raising fears that the Taliban and its allies were poised to launch a full-scale assault on the city.

And if it falls, then we retake it (should we be able to do so), do we reinstall Karzai?

As Afghanistan is landlocked, Nato relies on supply routes from Pakistan that run through troubled tribal areas on the border.

The kicker:

Attacks on convoys passing through the strategically vital Khyber Pass forced Nato to beg countries allied to Russia, which are to the north of Afghanistan, to open new supply routes.

Oops.  I wonder if whoever approved Georgia’s ill-fated incursion into South Ossetia had any idea about this fact.  Don’t expect things to change should the Democratic nominee become President – he’s been bellicose toward the Russians, and his VP nominee has been equally reckless.

Assaf then goes through a list of the leaders ofNATO countries which are rushing about to try to set things write (mostly by spin).  Gordon Brown, the beleaguered leader of Britan’s Labor government is ‘utterly resolute’ in support of the Afghan mis-adventure.  Sarcozy of France, our new BFF, is wanting to send more troops in, even against the backdrop of increasing opposition to the war at home.

In addition, the attacks which have been going on in Pakistan have complicated the issue as well.

Of course, the military is spinning this as a sign that the NATO forces are actually winning:

Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, the British commander in the Helmand province, claims, “One of the characteristics of counter-insurgency, unlike conventional war, is the more successful you are in the short term, the more troops you require.

“The more ground and the more people you become responsible for, the more troops you need.” He expects the number of British troops in Afghanistan to rise to 12,000.

I wonder how American troops having to rely on local medical treatment would go over if reported in the MSM (hell, even if it were reported on blogs such as Big Orange or Big Ariana)?

Meanwhile, general James Conway, the top US Marine commander, told Newsweek magazine that a small detachment of US Marines in the western province of Herat have to rely on villagers for medical aid.

The troops, who are supposed to patrol an area of 16,000 square miles, are even growing beards to try to blend in with locals.

Assaf then writes what must be one of the most frightening things that could be written for the two winged (Dem and Rep) militarist party:

The Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies summed up the new US mood of despondency. Its latest report concludes, “The US is now losing the war against the Taliban.”

There are three ways you can win a war in Afghanistan: Depopulate, buy the warlords off (but they, of course, can be bought off again), or marry into the tribes.  I wonder which, if any, our current and near future leaders will choose.

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  1. The great king did it by a combination of depopulation, buying off and marriage, plus leaving permanent garrisons in the region to mix into the population.

  2. Their arrogance needed to meet some on-the-ground reality. They still don’t understand how the human factor enters the equation in their quest for world hegemony by the use of military force. You can’t bomb wedding parties and shoot up villages and expect the people to love you. 90 people dead in this latest village bombing. It’s too late now. Sooner or later we will leave. In the meantime the people, not just the Taliban or al-Qaeda, will continue to resist.

    The Al Queda presence in Afghanistan was never a great number of people. “Instead of letting the fire burn itself out we have poured gasoline on it.”

    Sorry about the pipeline deal. It looks like the Russians won out on the deal to market the oil and gas and it was done without the use of military force.

    Blowback can be a mofo.

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