President Obama sends 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan

.. and what are they going to achieve that the existing 70,000 foreign troops did not ? President Obama is giving into the hawks within the US armed forces. The promise of withdrawal in 2011 is merely a way of softening the blow by a man that is about to get a Nobel Price for peace, and one of the most promising Messiah’s of international politics in recent times, who is in affect ramping up the war levels in a foreign country.
Problem with fighting in Afghanistan is that there are no goal posts that could define either victory or achievement. Over two centuries of warfare and imperialists games in Afghanistan has left a people unable to create a comprehensive and consolidated Nation state. To impose a centralized government where both loyalties and power actually lie with Tribal leaders is bound to lead to what looks like a corrupt government to us. Government by who’s authority ? For without the support of the tribal leaders no government in Afghanistan can function, and their support has to bought or fought for.
Al Qaeda (if there is a central organizations by that name any more) would actually welcome the additional force. For their target is not Afghanistan but Pakistan. They see both countries as one territory for them to control. And the greater the number of US forces in Afghanistan, the greater their ’cause’ and the ability to recruit in Pakistan.
It’s Pakistan that needs to be protected now. Their army has ambivalent attitudes, many privately supporting the fundamentalist. And the greater the number of US troops, the greater their support. The fall of Pakistan to fundamental forces has huge implications for India, yes. But also to the whole world. A Pakistan with a democratic state and a healthy economy is the biggest bulwark against fundamentalist threats both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.
As I have said often in this blog. Pakistan could be turning into President Obama’s Vietnam. And e should take a leaf from the post war history of Vietnam. What ultimately led to conflict resolution is trade and economic growth.

14 Responses to “President Obama sends 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan”

  1. sharath says:

    Good Analysis. I completely agree with you. This seems like doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  2. K.G.Jawarlal says:

    Shekarji,
    First time I am browsing through your blog. The interest came because I am also a Dec-6’th born creature. I am proud to be a Dec-6’th born after seeing your broad and versatile knowledge!!
    I very much want to invite you to my blog @ http://kgjawarlal.wordpress.com, but it is a Tamil blog!!
    K.G.Jawarlal
    http://kgjawarlal.wordpress.com

  3. zillionbig says:

    but, from india’s point of view, if Obama withdraws Troops wont we get jacked with much more terrorist activities???. As such with thousands of troops, Afganistan is breeding ground for Alqaida and sister outfits. I wonder what will happen once American soldiers leave Afghanistan.
    We all know how lawless Pakistan and Afghanistan is. I think it makes sense to keep troops. perhaps Obama Knows the consequences of withdrawing the US Army from Afghanistan.

  4. zillionbig says:

    and i feel this war cannot be compared to Vietnam. This war is boundaryless and stateless. Its for a much greater cause. Its in the name of GOD.

  5. AJ says:

    vowwwwwwwwwwwww
    Sure you have seen Patton and understood …
    The opening scene summarises it all …
    Watch the movie to learn, what Patton said to start the events, which followed to be the history, after the speech …
    Here for understanding, what I found …
    Anyone who has ever viewed the motion picture PATTON will never forget the opening. George Campbell Scott, portraying Patton, standing in front of an immensely huge American flag, delivers his version of Patton’s “Speech to the Third Army” on June 5th, 1944, the eve of the Allied invasion of France, code-named “Overlord”.
    … here is the end of that speech …
    Patton said with pride, “There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well,
    your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!”

  6. brahmastra says:

    This is probably going to get more black and white, and primeval as time goes by. For far too long, Pakistan and the fundamentalists in that region had camouflaged themselves diplomatically etc. Please do not victimize the Taliban and their ilk. They are looking for the slightest excuse to bomb and oppress the broad range of kafirs, and if they don’t find one, they’ll create some God and fight for him..it is a psychological problem.
    Had the US not attacked Afghanistan, what do you think would have happened to it under the Taliban and Paki rule? Have you any idea of how many locals of different tribes and philosophies were wiped out by the Taliban?
    This is a great decision by Obama, except that he cannot pull out so soon. It has to be a sustained effort in bringing civility and infrastructure into that region..probably get more Indians involved.

  7. Deepak R says:

    Or..as Shashi Tharoor notes use the Indian ‘soft’ approach..air ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi’ 24/7. Afghanistan will be reborn ;-).
    http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector#p/u/1/EiTrl0W1QrM

  8. Horst Vollmann says:

    Dear Shekhar:
    Barack Obama has been between a rock and a hard place when making his decision. The left is screaming at him to withdraw from Afghanistan altogether and the right is maligning him for being a weak commander in chief. The American public is vacillating between the two schools of thinking while at the same time his approval rating is going south. Under the Bush reign American templates of their sociopolitical and democratic concepts were superimposed upon a complex pattern of an Iraq society that was utterly unwilling to accept what it perceived as an imperialistic dictate.
    I was hoping that Obama would not follow this rather crude example of nation building and conflict resolution and apply greater scrutiny to the idiosyncrasies of tribal rules in Afghanistan. I believe he is doing that to a certain degree and there is no doubt that he knows about the rampant corruption within their government. What I do not understand is the fact that nobody in the Obama administration saw fit to consult a man like Rory Stewart, a Scotsman who had immersed himself in the culture and language of Afghanistan and who infinitely better understands the tribal concept and its consequences. This man who has walked across Afghanistan is a treasure trove of experience and deep knowledge of a culture so completely alien to the Western mind. He has written a masterpiece of a book. ( See the New York Times book review http://travel.nytimes.com/2006/06/11/books/review/11cover_bissel.html ).
    There is something dreadfully wrong when people increasingly choose the Taliban as being the better of 2 evils, the U.S. being the other one. This does not bode well to expect 30,000 more troops to make a meaningful difference. There is a collective tone deafness of America that lets it ignore the shout that they are unwelcome to meddle in the affairs of Afghanistan. There is no question that the Taliban are being perceived as a scourge but it is equally clear that this perception weakens among those who reside on the lower rungs of the social ladder. It is imperative to win them over by improving their lives. When Barack Obama moved into the White House there was this great expectation that America would again justify a global assessment about itself that was so eloquently evoked by Bill Clinton when giving his convention speech last year: “People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.” Much needs to be done to justify this lofty narrative. I am still hopeful that this American President will turn the corner and justify all the advance accolades the world over has afforded him.
    With kind regards.
    Horst

  9. Mee says:

    So what gives America the right go sit in any country they wish? And then decide when to bomb where to bomb – becos they are seeing and chasing invisible demons?! Do they understand what could become of the local Afghanis? Thr definitely is a larger plan and a devious one at play that motivates the new prez of usa to keep his troops thr! I only hope for the sake of war ravaged country Afghanistan doesnt become another Nam!

  10. Chakra says:

    Shekharji, you are absolutely and positively wrong when you say Afpak will turn into Obama’s vietnam. You are trying to compare Nixon and Obama???!!!
    Nixon invaded vietnam to stop russia from xpanding communism on this planet; it was predominantly a helicopter war due to the omnipresence of rice and paddy wetlands; and had Nixon not quit early due to watergate scandal he wud have also succeeded.
    Afghan was russia’s vietnam largely due to a steady supply of anti-tank and anti-chopper stinger missiles and also plenty of ammunition and some tanks from the US and also partly due to three men controlling the whole landscape: Burhanuddin Rabbani, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Paki watchdog Najibullah. Who is going to supply taliban and al-qaeda with arms today? Their major sources of strength were xport of poppy opium and influx of dollars, pounds, riyals and dinars. Both these routes are blocked permanently as all those bank accounts have been frozen and Poppy fields largely brunt down. Also Arafat is dead, Israeli influence is rising unabated and even Iran is not able to do much.
    Obama took almost a month to announce this decision and and it is a highly calculated move to retain his balance of power. A picture says a thousand words and I urge you to visit the photo galleries of Obama brainstorming with all of his staff and secretaries at http://www.whitehouse.gov
    For someone who survived the clintons, republican party and the racist print and cable media of the US; this is a cakewalk!
    You are 50% correct to say fall of pakistan has implications to india and the rest of the world. India, a bigtime yes; rest of the world, None at All! To completely eliminate the risk of this shit-storm, indian armed forces have to throw their weight behind the US and NATO forces instantaneously!

  11. bhavesh says:

    dear sir,
    sekhar kapoorji,
    i am film story plot writer, or 3, best world leval film story, or 1 hindi film story plot,
    please contact,
    bhavesh b, chavda
    (gujarat)
    e,mail, bhaveshchavda@yahoo.com

  12. raghuveer says:

    Clearly Shekhar you know nothing of American History, You compare Pakistan with Vietnam? Agreed vietnam was a big mistake from US point of view but you (indirectly) protecting pakistan? How dare you call yourself and Indian, As we all know that all the terrorist activities are being held in pakistan, they have their boot camps there for godsake ( I dont recall that being in vietnam) and you are saying to soften up the force against pakitan. I honestly admired your work and your filmmaking, but you are a horrible Indian if you are that at all, PLEASE move to pakistan we Indians do not want you India. Also, Hollywood has given you the name tht you have today and you time and again criticize American Politics? Well no wonder, cause If you can’t be Indian, we americans can’t expect anything less from you. Lost 1 fan buddy.

  13. Chakra says:

    Pakistan has perfected the Madman theory so completely that even the Americans have now been taken in. Islamabad says: “If you don’t give us billions of dollars and lots of arms and extract some concessions from India, then our country will self-destruct and you will have instability and Islamic extremism in the region.” And the US gives in.
    Within the Indian intelligentsia, Pakistan uses a variation of the same argument: if you don’t do as we say, then our country will self-destruct.
    So gullible Indian intellectuals say things like “It is our job to save Pakistan.” Or even, “A strong and stable Pakistan is in India’s best interests.” (Is it? Why? So it can send more terrorists here and keep shifting the blame? Would India really be worse off if Sindh seceded? If Baluchistan revolted?)
    If history has taught us anything, it is this: talking peace with Pakistan gets us nowhere. Every peace talk is followed by war or terror. About the only time in recent memory when we have had a degree of peace was between 1972 and 1989. And how did we achieve nearly two decades of peace? By winning the Bangladesh war.
    In this day and age, war may not be possible. But, let’s be realistic: peace is not possible either. It’s time to stop acting like statesmen when we are dealing with cunning madmen. There’s only one language that works in these situations. And that, sadly enough, is the language of strength.

  14. mehernosh tarapore says:

    shekar the conflict about afghanistan is to make sure there ia gas pipeline running thru from turkmenistan thru afghan pakistan and india. acronym TAPI. go to the real news realnews.com it is also about buliding permanent military bases in afghanistan to keep a watch on china russia and iran. washington an london objective is to have a gas pipeline bypassing iran russia or china. it is also about having a first nuclear stike on china and russia. the whole of central asia gas energy resource countries such as azberijian, turkmenistan kazhakstan, iran and uzbekistan have signed energy deals with russias gazprom and china energy companies. read ex indian ambassador mk bhardakumars articles on asiatimes or pepe escobar reports on the real news or go to f william engdahl for his perspective. united states and their british poodle are playing great game of energy gas pipeline politics with russi china and iran. Zbigniw brezkinki had released the book the grand strategic chessboard. read it. by the way mrs italia will be 90. (yours dad ex assistant)

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