New strategy for Afghanistan?

31 08 2009

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.




3 responses

5 09 2009
James Gundun

If you honestly believe General McChrystal opposes more US troops then you’ve been manipulated by the American media. Both the White House and Pentagon want more troops but are doing everything possible to make it look otherwise. The Afghan army and police appear to be the solution, but their training still leaves a temporary vacuum that must be filled with US troops. I don’t agree with the war, but I also don’t believe in quick solutions in counterinsurgency. Afghan forces are years away from viability. As for hot-pursuit, a good idea in theory but likely to backfire in reality. American officials are putting all the pressure they can on Pakistan and they’re only increasing anti-American sentiment.

6 09 2009

Well James, that is the real confusion about Afghanistan. Americans have stopped supporting the Afghan war — at least a majority of them — so the government is facing a tough challenge. As for Pakistan, they already have a strong anti-American sentiment for eight years so a little addition to that will not damage America’s reputation. Taliban and Al-Qaeda are in Pakistan and they need to be rooted out with full force.

25 10 2009

The issue with an American effort in Pakistan, as we’ve seen in with drone activities is that a.) it has a Talibanizing effect because American is unpopular there and it becomes a way in which recruitment is aided for the TTP et al b.) it will weaken the popularity of the Pakistani military if they are taken to be in league with the Americans.

As an aside, McChrystal asked for an additional 40,000 combat troops.

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