Monday, May 10, 2010

Afpak: The Eternal War

Here we are, almost 10 years on and the Afghanistan War drags on and on. No wonder it is known as the 'Graveyard of Empires'. So how's the war against the Taliban going? Not good, Not well:
"[The Taliban's] abilities are expanding and its operations are increasing in sophistication, despite recent major offensives by U.S. forces in the militants' heartland. The report… portrays an insurgency with deep roots and broad reach, able to withstand repeated U.S. onslaughts and to re-establish its influence, while discrediting and undermining the country's western-backed government."

In such circumstances there is little point in the Taliban negotiating - but also little point in fighting too hard. In fact the right thing to do from the movement’s standpoint is to avoid most conflict with Isaf troops, and remain ready to escalate their efforts and influence when the time comes. For that reason alone, there may actually be very little fighting in Kandahar later in 2010, after the initial spurt of combat. This might in turn fuel a politically convenient presumption of success in Washington that makes the military withdrawal even more palatable; but the realities on the ground would favour a later resurgence of Taliban power.

Classic insurgent stuff: they don't need to win, all they need to do is not loose. A draw is a win for the insurgent - especially when the cost of each occupation solider from the US in country is a staggering $1 Million per year. Yup - for a single solider.

And the fallout of the war is hitting Pakistan and the US too.

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