a Someone should care, maybe not you....: Afghanistan again .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

17 June 2008

Afghanistan again

Back in the day when he read my blog OPIT (Old Phart In Training) once said I should quit doing political posts and such and concentrate on the more personal ones. From a readership point of view that actually makes pretty good sense. I get more comments and response from cooking posts than I ever do from politics or international affairs. Unfortunately though, I really like writing the international affairs posts. And some of the political ones. So here we are, back in Afghanistan.

This past week the President of Afghanistan declared that he had the right to send Afghan soldiers across the boarder into Pakistan to kill the leaders of those people who are coming into Afghanistan to kill people. This came after a very large, well organized Taliban raid on the Afghan prison near Kandahar freed nine hundred prisoners of which more than three hundred were captured Taliban fighters. So yes, he was provoked. Needless to say the Pakistanis are somewhat less than thrilled about this. They constantly declare that they are doing all that they can to control the border. Musharraf actually began to crack down on the Taliban and Islamic elements that support them towards the end of his “dictatorial” rule. The new government there is “negotiating” with those elements. (read that as appeasement. It is an ugly word in politics but it applies here.) They deny that their settlements with Islamic forces in Pakistan have any relation to things that go on in Afghanistan, but every time they make a new deal more fighters cross into Afghanistan. Their spokesman asked the rhetorical question “What would we gain by destabilizing a brother country?” Well, to start with you would get all those Islamic fundamentalists to go fight over there instead of fighting you in Pakistan. That is a pretty big thing. Also, you keep Afghanistan weak and divided which puts to rest that question of “Greater Pashtunistan” that has been simmering ever since Brittan drew the Durrand line and declared it a border in total defiance of ethnicity, culture, and local politics. Those are pretty big things.

I am amused by the naiveté of the international press though. They keep repeating lines similar to “this threat of course carries no weight because the Karzai government is weak and can’t even keep control in the majority of their own country.” Now, I am sure that the press has been told this by "anonymous spokespersons” representing Nato and the US forces in Afghanistan. In truth, that fact that the Karzai government can’t maintain security in a lot of their country, (a fact that has a whole lot to do with the Taliban having a safe haven in Pakistan incidentally) shouldn’t comfort us, it should scare us silly. Think about it. What is it easier to do? Develop an Army and a Police force large enough and capable enough to control a long mountainous and wild border while at the same time build up from scratch a civil infrastructure sufficient to bring economic growth and stability to the country while fighting an ongoing insurgency operating out of a neighboring country? Or, take a few hundred picked troops, put them in civilian clothes and send them over to the border to kill a few well know, openly operating, leaders of that insurgency? Think about it for a minute. If Karzai could whack Baitullah Mehsud every non Taliban in Afghanistan would celebrate. And, if they fail, it would not be his fault but the would be because the national enemy of Afghanistan, Pakistan, had failed to support them and help in the simple task. And yes, when I say national enemy I mean it. I know I am operating from a limited pool of sources but I interrogated a lot of people in Afghanistan. Some of them were Taliban, some were HIG, some were criminals, and others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They ranged from former governors of provinces to goat herders, from intelligence officers in the Taliban government to Afghan police commanders. I used to ask all of them one question. “Who is the enemy of Afghanistan?” And the answer wasn’t the US, or the Russians, or the Taliban, al Queda, or any of the groups I would have suspected. It was, almost universally, Pakistan. With that level of distrust and dislike, an action like sending troops across the border would strengthen Karzai’s position.

So we should be worried. Very worried.

6 Comments:

Blogger Jenn said...

Honestly, and this will be one of the first times I admit it, I don't do politics because they scare me. And this is a perfect example of why! And yes, I know pretending it's not there can make me somewhat ignorant, but it seriously makes me crazy when I pay attention!

Great post though. I'm feeling enlightened.

2:48 AM  
Blogger opit said...

Slander ! You said you were discouraged because everything you thought you needed to say had been said already !
Heck, if that stupid bit about Washington Monthly getting the benefit of your input on interrogation, still a current topic - or BlueGirl's constant admiration - didn't make the point: your view is critical to understanding.
If you're ready to political blog - have at it!
http://my.opera.com/oldephartte/blog/
Opit's Linkfest

9:35 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Well, what do you know. I drug him back up.

As is usual for me, political blogging will be freely intermixed with food, philosophy, the wanderings of dogs, and just interesting things that I see.

And welcome back Jenn.

8:47 AM  
Blogger opit said...

So you did. Frankly, I had been thinking you found me more annoyance than cordial - so why do it ?
One bit about Afghanistan is also that border, where the French drew a boundary for Pakistan which included territory where Afghans traditionally roamed freely : not kept out by foreign fiction. A thought has been that Pakistan wouldn't welcome competent Afghan governance from the point of risking loss of this territory.

6:02 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Indeed Opit, that is the Durrand line I referred too. I made a previous post in Sept 2005 referring to it too. And it was The Brits, not the French who created it.

As for why I am glad to see you aback? Because it gives me someone to debate in a civil manner. I pretty much gave up on blue Girl's blog after reading one too many hate filled, libelous, invective drenched rants by Pale Rider. I don't mind disagreement, I do mind people who can't argue or discuss in a rational civilized manner.

feel free to keep coming by and commenting.

7:52 PM  
Blogger opit said...

I found that out the last few days. I think I got the wrong impression from Afghanistan's website.
Pale Rider is 'a bit much' - and not there ! Warren Street is doing some dynamite blogging. Tammy - 'under the weather' literally ! ( storms, floods; life's little inconveniences )

12:14 AM  

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