Monday, August 2, 2010

Wise words on Afghanistan

from Leslie Gelb, originally posted at Daily Beast, reposted to Council on Foreign Relations site.  Obama may be in the same fix that LBJ was in about Vietnam: can't win, can't get out. Obama needs to stick to his plan to start withdrawing US troops next summer - if not sooner.

Also note this excellent piece from Stephen Gray at Le Monde Diplomatique.  Money quotes:

from an unnamed NATO commander:
 Sadly for the US, almost everyone supports the Taliban rebels. Even Nato commanders. A senior officer said: “If I was a young man, I’d be fighting with the Taliban.”

From tribal elders meeting with Hamid Karzai in Kandahar:

 “If we told you what’s really happening here, we would not last the night,”

 “It’s too easy to blame the Taliban.” Shahida Hussein, a human rights activist, said the government and Nato are in league with the bad guys: “If someone kills someone, the government itself says don’t touch him, don’t bother him, he’s our friend, he’s our relative, he has a connection with us. There is no real government here. Kandahar is run by people in the drugs trade, armed with weapons and backed by foreign countries.”

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