Permissible Arms

If Batman had a newsletter

Posted in afghanistan by Karaka on 27 September 2009

I read John McCreary’s NightWatch (out of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association) just about every day, and I always find it to be an interesting perspective on events I mostly digest through the newspapers. I don’t always agree with the presentation, but I am always fascinated and I usually learn something.

The 9/9/25 issue has some in-depth analysis of political options in Afghanistan that I recommend for perspective.

What does power sharing mean? The Kabul government must be prepared to share power with the Pashtuns. That means it must be ready to recognize the Taliban or other designates as a legitimate Pashtun political and military force in Afghanistan. Heaven knows the Pashtuns, whether Taliban or just local nationalists, have earned that recognition. It is time to use that distinction against their rebellion to end it.

The Pashtuns must accept they cannot win and agree to work with the government. Every day, the message of their inability to win must be reinforced.

You know, I take McCreary’s point that the addition of troops, whether twenty or forty thousand of them, won’t fully affect change to the endgame of routing the Taliban in Afghanistan and on the Pakistani border. But it would be a pretty hard sell to get the existing government and the Taliban to agree to co-exist, and not only because of the internal violence. I sincerely doubt ISAF’s ability at this point to build, support, and enforce a political power-sharing arrangement. The Karzai government sure can’t do it on its own, and the ANSF and ANA couldn’t enforce it. Hell, they wouldn’t even endorse it. But it’s an interesting thought experiment, even if no one will buy it.


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