Analysis by Gareth Porter*
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=46122 WASHINGTON, Mar 16 (IPS) – Advanced reports on the Barack Obama administration’s strategy to “peel off” a majority of insurgent commanders from the “hard core” of Taliban suggest that it will be presented as a political route to victory in Afghanistan that would not require U.S. and NATO troops to win militarily.
But experts warn that the strategy is unlikely to work. And by appearing to provide a political route to victory, the strategy is luring the administration into a renewed commitment to war in Afghanistan and diverting it away from a deal with the Taliban leadership aimed at keeping al Qaeda from having a presence there.
By MUNIR AKRAM | From today’s Wall Street Journal Asia
Whoever is elected president of the United States this week will face imposing challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan that require a new and comprehensive foreign policy strategy. Such a strategy will, by necessity, break away from the current political misperceptions and military missteps, and embrace a deeper understanding of the culture, traditions, needs and political motivations of both nations. Conducting business as usual will be a recipe for disaster. From my perspective as a long-time Pakistani diplomat, here are 10 elements for a new, realistic and successful regional strategy for the candidates to consider:
1. Understand the difference between the Taliban and al Qaeda, then focus on eliminating al Qaeda. We need a realistic approach to the Taliban. It is al Qaeda, not the Taliban, that threatens the U.S. homeland. Separating al Qaeda from the Taliban will make it easier for the U.S., Pakistan and allied intelligence, police and military operations to disrupt the group’s operational system. Continue reading
Published: October 14, 2008
KABUL, Afghanistan — American military successes in Iraq have prompted growing numbers of well-trained “foreign fighters” to join the insurgency in Afghanistan instead, the Afghan defense minister said on Tuesday. Continue reading