5 Ways to Win the War in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by A.V., Dec 21, 2010.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Moscow, russia
    As President Barack Obama delivers an assessment of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, and an update on his own year-old strategy for winning the war, the strategic outlook in the country remains bleak. Although the United States and its allies have scored important tactical gains over the past 12 months -- decimating insurgent networks and securing once-violent districts in southern Afghanistan -- they have no clear plan to either defeat insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan or address the corruption and predatory behavior of Afghanistan's political class, which threatens to undermine U.S. and allied military successes.


    I fought in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2004 and returned to serve on Gen. Stanley McChrystal's initial assessment team in 2009. Over the past two weeks, I have been traveling around Afghanistan interviewing U.S., NATO and Afghan commanders, Afghan police and politicians, NGO workers and journalists, and local Afghans.

    While the daily tactical battles in Afghanistan might seem distant, and the strategic challenges daunting, policymakers in Washington are not helpless. In fact, they can support the efforts of Gen. David Petraeus and his troops in Afghanistan in five key ways.

    1. Cut Funding for the War

    This may seem a bit counterintuitive, to say the least. But right now, the massive amount of money flowing into Kabul is fueling the conflict. In a bizarre way, both the Taliban and the Afghan government currently have an interest in perpetuating this conflict: Both parties are making millions of dollars from the aid and development money saturating the country. These funds are distorting incentives and presenting ample opportunities for kickbacks, bribes, and other forms of corruption. It is little wonder Transparency International rates Afghanistan the world's third most corrupt nation.

    The United States and its allies should only spend the money in Afghanistan they can properly manage and oversee. They should also focus on developing ways to spend resources more wisely in Afghanistan. One way to do so -- and here any congressional aides reading this should grab a notebook and pen -- would be to allow aid and development funds not spent in one fiscal year to roll over to the next. Well-constructed aid programs, such as Afghanistan's National Solidarity Program, have trusts established that allow funds not spend in one year to be spent later. But within the U.S. government, that's not the case: Money not spent is lost from year to year.

    Military officers, for example, are familiar with the concept of the "SPENDEX," where all ammunition not used in the course of the year is fired -- sometimes wildly -- at the end of a fiscal year, so ammunition allotted for the next year is not cut. The same principle applies to aid -- but instead of wasting bullets, the organizations waste dollars. Rather than face the prospect of reduced development funds in the future, development and military officers are under pressure to spend every penny they are given. But doing so simply feeds the Afghanistan's distorted economy, which only benefits the insurgency and corrupt Afghan officials. We must first fix the perverse incentives in our own system in order to fix those in Afghanistan
  3. shaka

    shaka Regular Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    ^^^ Winning a war equals achieving your list of objectives, examples include killing your enemy and/or destroying their infra and/or slaving them physically or/and mentally and/or exploiting their resources and/or etc. etc. etc.

    Now either United States + Nato + Extras. (US+N+E) dont have a clearly defined objectives or they do have clearly defined objectives but are clueless about how to achieve them.

    If US+N+E wants to defeat Taliban in Afghanistan, then they need much large no. of troops on ground ~ 500,000+, Cut Afghan Taliban's supply lines from Pakistan and elsewhere. Seal the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Fence it all if possible, place minefields, put large no. of troops on border with eyes in the sky eg drones, helicopter gunships, satellites searching for any heat signatures. Prepare for a stay in Afghanistan for 20-30 more years. Open western oriented education schools on industrial scale and out law religious education in Afghanistan. Force all Afghan children (entire generation) to go to western oriented schools where "benefits of atheism", civics, science and "manipulated" history should be taught. If they cant do these things then they are fighting an illogical war and they will loose in the end.

    If US+N+E want to kill the enemy then they need to know who the enemy is first and from their actions you can tell they don't have a clue.

    From their actions it looks like they want maximum bang for the buck, please Pakistan as well, oppose Iran as well, play their local politics as well (setting time lines etc.), All the jokers in NATO etc. (expect US, I don't consider them jokers, serious and very capable country indeed) are unsure what they want. If US withdraws tomorrow, all the other fan boys don't have the guts or capability to take on Taliban, will be out of Afghanistan with their entire bandwagon of democracy etc.
  4. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

    Mar 31, 2010
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    Bangalore, India
    Not a bad assessment coming from a guy who has served his time in Afghanistan. But he forgot Pakistan. To win the war in Afghanistan, US needs to fix Pakistan first. This should be the sole initiative, as and when Pakistan is fixed, 99% of the world's problems will be done away with.

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