In the old days of the Bush administration, it was a given that Afghan leader Hamid Karzai was the only one to be considered as the leader of Afghanistan, but President Obama is considering the possibility of identifying new leadership that will not be tainted by the corruption and incompetence that now prevails in that unfortunate land. A senior US analyst commented: “The Americans aren’t going to determined the outcome of the election, but they could suggest to people they put their differences aside and form a dream ticket” that would encompass individuals from the spectrum of Afghan politics. While in Afghanistan on his trip, Obama conferred with Governor Sherzai even before seeing Karzai.
American intelligence has already obtained information that Karzai’s brother Ahmed Wali, is engaged in drug trafficking and corruption is very widespread within the country. It is time to identify new leadership which can unite the people and offer them a viable alternative to the Taliban. Many American experts are suggesting focusing on developing local leadership as was done in Iraq with the Sunni Awakening Councils.
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Tagged Afghanistan, Karzai, Obama
It is now over seven years since American forces drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan and since that time, little, if anything, has been done to develop an effective army to defend the country. President Karzai is anxious to know about American strategic plans once an additional troops arrive in his country by this summer. He was told reinforcements would be sent to deal with regions lacking security, but it is doubtful if 30,000 or fifty thousand additional troops will actually be able to maintain control over areas in which they fight. It i one thing to defeat a Taliban group in battle, it is another to ensure the Taliban do not return to the area.
A major issue is the use of bombing operations which invariably result in the death of innocent civilians. Until Afghanistan has its own functional military force, there is little likelihood foreign troops will be able to handle the situation.
President Karzai is demanding an end to the bombing if his nation’s population by US and coalition forces in an effort to restore confidence in his government. He told the people of Afghanistan he had sent request to his allies regarding troop behavior in his nation. “Part of that list was they they shouldn’t on their own, enter the houses of our people and bombard our villages and detain our people.” The president has repeatedly urged his allies to avoid actions which backfire by persuading ordinary citizens to look more favorably on Taliban forces. His comments came on the same day, UN chief in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, called for Coalition forces to rethink their strategy of entering homes and bombing.
The behavior of Coalition and US forces in Afghanistan simply reflects an inability to learn from mistakes in Vietnam and Iraq the importance of winning over ordinary civilians if an insurgency is to be defeated. The use of military force in itself will not end the Taliban.