As “D-Day approaches, the $60 billion Think Tank industry in America is in full gear. Policy decisions are important during an election year, so whatever happens in November will have a colossal impact on the future of the war in West Asia.
The BBC is now reporting that the Kabul government will collapse as soon as NATO, ISAF and the US withdraws. “The International Crisis Group (ICG) says the Afghan police and army are unprepared for security responsibility.” According to the report ”from the Brussels-based group is stark in its prediction that the Western-backed government in Afghanistan could be on course for what it calls a devastating political crisis after 2014.?
Foreign Policy Magazine, an ultra-conservative Neocon magazine is recommending that the US should not abandon Afghan peace talks and should include Pakistan as the mediator. Amazingly Matt Waldman does not mention Bharat or any of the other neighbors in Afghanistan
Waldman says “The search for a mediator is long overdue. But who should be it? The simple answer is: any individual, organization, or state that has the confidence of the parties and is up to the task. Because the strength of any dialogue depends on buy-in from each of the major parties to the conflict, the participation of Pakistan, the Taliban’s longtime host and supporter, is essential. But the nature and scope of Pakistan’s involvement requires consideration. Many would argue it should be limited to regional and security issues. But to exclude Pakistan completely would be to encourage it to act as a spoiler.”
What is amazing about the FP article is that it comes on the heels of the NY Times article which describes that fact that current US policy is not concerned about peace-making in Afghanistan.
Richard Weitz is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a World Politics Review senior editor. Writing for the World Politics Report and discussing the ICG report Weitz says “According to the ICG, “Afghanistan is hurtling toward a devastating political crisis as the government prepares to take full control of security in 2014.” The group’s senior Afghanistan analyst, Candace Rondeaux, details how the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) are “overwhelmed and underprepared for the transition,” even as Afghan President Hamid Karzai “seems more interested in perpetuating his own power by any means rather than ensuring credibility of the political system and long-term stability.”
The WPR says “Moving forward, NATO plans to reduce the 352,000-man ANSF to a more sustainable level of around 230,000 men, a process that will release thousands of armed men into the ranks of the unemployed, some of whom are likely to sell their skills to the Taliban. Even maintaining a smaller ANSF will require that the United States and its allies make greater progress in developing Afghanistan’s economic potential to wean Afghans off narcotics trafficking and generate the increased government revenue needed to sustain the ANSF..”
Next we will see Blackwill propose a partition of Afghanistan, Bruce Reidel propose teaching Pakistan a lesson, the CIA chief Patreus provoke Pakistan with more drones, and Ahmed Rashid write a useless book that has no meaning. Karzai will be making his usual grunts. Delhi will reiterate its economic aid. All of the above in the previous sentence is actually full of sound and theory signifying nothing”.
The Talibs on the other hand have also reiterated their position–withdraw from Afghanistan without any conditions and we will give you safe passage to leave. The Russians took it and withdrew quietly. If NATO doesn’t take the offer, there will be bloodshed while the army retreats. There is no reason for us to believe that the US and NATO wont take the sane route.