13 October 2012

Looking Inside the Uphill Climb in Afghanistan

Time Magazine has a hard look at why the Afghan Police killed a US Special Operations Captain
Excerpts from an interview with a major that returned from Afghanistan, which does not paint a rosy picture, even though he is personally optimistic.
[This is a tough one, a tough issue. It doesn't sound as if you have a lot of optimism about our operations in Afghanistan right now.]

Not on the border, absolutely not…

Well, at some point, I could see us being successful there, but until the Afghan government can positively affect the people there, we’re wasting our time. We’re buying time for the Afghan government, and until that happens — which I think will probably be at least another 10 to 15 years before the Afghan government can even build roads and significantly help the people in the area — nothing we do is going to help…

The people in the area don’t believe they’re in Afghanistan…They speak multiple different languages…There’s no national pride…

In that area, it was Waziri. The country that they would be, if any, is Waziristan, which is not recognized by either Pakistan or Afghanistan, or anybody in the world.

[These are huge geopolitical issues that they're asking an Army major to deal with. What are you going to be able to do?]

I can’t affect that. The best I can do is make sure that Afghan units have enough ammunition, have enough fuel, have enough vehicles to patrol, if the leadership was willing to get on the side of the mission. For the most part the thing that they’re interested in is preserving their lives so that they can provide for their families, wherever they are inside the country…

We have been extremely successful along the border killing terrorists, and I think we can continue being successful doing that. I think it would take a significant amount of time to train a capable force to continue doing that mission in that area, at least on the Afghan side. I think it’s doable.

By: Brant

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