Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Ten French soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan yesterday. Yet the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kourchner says today that France is committed to send and keep its troops to fight there.

There must be a better way. After all, what is the purpose of having NATO troops in Afghanistan?

  • to capture Osama bin Laden? Not very likely. Bin Laden is probably safely ensconced in the tribal territories in northwest Pakistan.
  • to defeat and kill the Taliban? Again, not much chance of this. The Taliban consists of local and mostly uneducated Afghanis who believe in fundamentalist Islam and who also resent the presence of foreign soldiers in their county. No foreign army will ever defeat the movement.
  • to protect the rights of women? Laudable, but it will never happen in Afghanistan, an Islamic country that does not believe in rights except for men.
  • to prop up Karzai? If Karzai has not by this time secured the loyalty of Afghanis, nothing will protect him, not George Bush himself with thousands of Army Rangers.

So what should be done vis-a-vis Afghanistan?

  • withdraw all foreign troops.
  • start negotiations with leaders of the Taliban and allow them representation in the Afghani government.
  • make the search for bin Laden and other members of Al Qaeda a police operation. Dropping bombs on villagers and sending in the army with tanks has never convinced the locals that they are wrong and the army is right.

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