General Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan has called for a ‘tweaking’ in the Afghan policy. The General does not want any new troops as he thinks that the current policy is flawed. Instead, he thinks that the strengthening of Afghan Army and Police would be sufficent to counter Taliban threat.
Mr. McChrystal is apparently right in his approach. A surge in American forces is not a solution to the Afghan problem. They need to be trained and equipped with all the modern weaponry to combat Taliban. Additionally, spending on infrastructure building and schools might win some hearts.
There is another approach to this issue that is generally overlooked — or ignored due to diplomatic reasons. That solution is a hot pursuit in the Pakistani tribal areas. Everyone knows that Talibans and Al-Qaeda militants are hiding in that region. They also have some covert support from certain quarters of Pakistani military establishment. U.S has started conducting drone attacks but they are not enough to fight Taliban. A more dedicated approach with surgical strikes is necessary to root out these terrorists.
Unfortunately, there are hardly any chances that the Obama administration will follow that strategy. Intricate diplomatic rules and other factors hamper the execution of this approach. But, they can put some real pressure on Pakistani authorities to pursue Taliban, instead of making lame efforts and begging for more dollars.