Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Monday, December 03, 2007

Afghanistan: The Bad News is Just Beginning

From Abu Muqawama blog in response to his post "Slipping In Afghanistan" comes the quote of the month:

Afghanistan currently has two exports; opium and denial!
U.S. Soldier said...

I'm in Afghanistan right now working with the Afghan National Police. (ANP) They have lots of problems and issues, but they know what they are doing. The support they receive from the Ministry of Interior,(MOI) and the communication they do not recieve from the other ministry's; effectively neuters them. In my daily experience; U.S. and NATO forces here are not funded, resourced or manned at a level necessary to either respond effectively to the MOI's limitations or to negate it's largely negative impact. Ergo; 61 dead school children in my Baglhan Province two weeks ago. Keep your hanky handy, the bad news is just beginning. Afghanistan currently has two exports; opium and denial!


Afghanistan Falling Into The Hands of the Taliban

"It is a sad indictment of the current state of Afghanistan that the question now appears to be not if the Taliban will return to Kabul, but when ... and in what form. The oft-stated aim of reaching the city in 2008 appears more viable than ever and it is incumbent upon the international community to implement a new strategic paradigm before time runs out."

Stumbling into Chaos: Afghanistan on the Brink

(...) the security situation has reached crisis proportions. The Taliban has proven itself to be a truly resurgent force. Its ability to establish a presence throughout the country is now proven beyond doubt; research undertaken by Senlis Afghanistan indicates that 54 per cent of Afghanistan’s landmass hosts a permanent Taliban presence, primarily in southern Afghanistan, and is subject to frequent hostile activity by the insurgency.

The insurgency now controls vast swaths of unchallenged territory including rural areas, some district centres, and important road arteries. The Taliban are the de facto governing authority in significant portions of territory in the south, and are starting to control parts of the local economy and key infrastructure such as roads and energy supply. The insurgency also exercises a significant amount of psychological control, gaining more and more political legitimacy in the minds of the Afghan people who have a long history of shifting alliances and regime change.

The depressing conclusion is that, despite the vast injections of international capital flowing into the country, and a universal desire to ‘succeed’ in Afghanistan, the state is once again in serious danger of falling into the hands of the Taliban. Where implemented, international development and reconstruction efforts have been underfunded and failed to have a significant impact on local communities’ living conditions, or improve attitudes towards the Afghan Government and the international community.

Afghanistan at the Brink
Gates on Surprise Visit to Afghanistan
The "clear concern is that for two or three years there has been an increase of overall level of violence (in Afghanistan)," Gates told reporters during a short stopover in Djibouti en route to Kabul.

Afghanistan: The Bad News: Redux


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