Tuesday, April 17, 2012

American Plans Unravelling in Afghanistan

Over the past few weeks the news from Afghanistan has been grim.

Videos showing American soldiers urinating on the corpses of Taliban insurgents; Afghan cleaners discovering at Bagram airbase that American soldiers were burning copies of the Holy Quran; subsequent demonstrations and even riots in Afghan cities in which 30 Afghans died and 200 were injured; a security cleared Afghan official killing two high ranking American military officials in the most secure part of the Afghan Interior Ministry; all NATO officials then withdrawing from Afghan offices, bringing much of the training and development work to a standstill; a lone American soldier, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales entrusted with the task of training the Afghan Local Police in a Kandahar village, engages in that very village in a shooting rampage killing 16 people, 9 of them women and children.

This series of events, each important in itself, but having catastrophic consequences in the totality of their impact have exacerbated almost to breaking point the tension between the Karzai and Obama administration, between the Afghan national Security Forces and NATO forces and perhaps most importantly between the Afghan populace and the NATO forces particularly in the insurgency ridden South and East of the country.

Perhaps in terms of the plans for a continuing American presence after the withdrawal of NATO forces the principal problem that will arise is the increase in “green on blue” incidents-the killing of NATO personnel by the Afghans whom they are supposed to be training and mentoring or by those Afghans who are employed by the NATO forces. Read More