A new report by the Senlis Council of Great Britain charges that over half of Afghanistan is now essentially under the de facto control of the Taliban which uses sale of opium to fund its operations. The Afghanistan government denies the figure claiming it is widely exaggerated and that the vast majority of their nation is under its control. Senlis argues there are too few NATO troops and the ones in the country are widely dispersed which makes for difficulty in establishing firm control. Senlis claims that while NATO troops can defeat the Taliban in many battles, once their troops withdraw from an area, Taliban forces return. The 40,000 NATO force must at least be doubled in size to become effective. Senlis also noted that while billions of dollars have been spent on Afghanistan reconstruction, “as in Iraq, too much aid is absorbed by profits of companies and subcontractors on non-Afghan resources and on high expatriate salaries and living costs.”
The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld strategy of a lightening operation by a small force and then withdrawal has been thoroughly discredited by virtually every military expert in the world. It was never a strategy to gain control of a large nation which is mainly rural in character. Afghanistan requires thousands more troops to do the job that could have been accomplished back in 2001 when Bush and his cronies withdrew them in order to prepare for the Iraq fiasco. In prior American wars, the military handled projects now being dealt with by private contractors, that’s why in the old days a dollar spent was a dollar spent on reconstruction, not on making civilians wealthy.