Afghanistan: 2014 and beyond



By Jim Emerson, staff writer

 In an interview with The New York Times  Gen. John R. Allen suggested that American Troops may possibly remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 despite a previous pledge from President Obama that the bulk of troops would be withdrawn before then. The general’s remarks were the first official statement that the United States military intends to maintain a presence in Afghanistan for years.

 The general expects that NATO military advisors will take over the current mission in Afghanistan to train Afghan troops starting in 2012. Still more would arrive in 2013 as the Afghan security forces were asked to do more. Gradually the security of the country will be the responsibility of the Afghan military. He emphasized the need for long-term support military and civilian commitment to the Afghan government to prevent what is currently happening in Iraq and what happened in Vietnam.

Popular Support

Fighting insurgents in a foreign land requires the trust and support of the native population. The General referred to radio intercepts of the Taliban in Pakistan complaining about losing popular support in Afghanistan. Southern Afghanistan was once their stronghold and now they are losing it. Once the Taliban lose the support of the Afghan tribes they will lose the war. The only thing the insurgents can count on is their safe-haven in Pakistan. Their ally al Qaeda probably left them for Libya.

 The Taliban still have some support inside of Afghanistan, suggesting that the Karzai government still has work to do to garner the support of the tribes and the people on his own country. Until the Afghanistan government or security gets the popular support the people the Taliban will not be defeated.


U.S. relationship with Pakistan is a mess, and any future military relationship will be tenuous at best. Allen says he is focused on repairing the damage to the relationship between the United States and Pakistan caused by airstrikes on Pakistani border posts that closed the boarder to NATO supply trucks. Since the killing of bin Laden inside a Pakistani safe house there has been an element of mistrust of the militaries along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

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2 thoughts on “Afghanistan: 2014 and beyond”

  1. Jim….I'm not sure what your personal attitudes are regarding the importance of any American troops remaining in Afghanistan; but I, for one, am dead set against it.
    I believe that this tribal country is a consummate and dismal lost cause which America must abandon now. We should have "bailed" a long time ago if, for no other reason than the fact that this country is so time-warped and stuck in the Stone Age that it would take hundreds of more years simply to bring them into the Middle Ages !
    To risk any further losses of Americans lives to this asinine Obama foreign policy enterprise would be foreign policy at its' worst.
    With the bulk of American forces being withdrawn, the lives of the remaining troops are placed at greater risk simply because they no longer will have the benefit of an American support presence.
    This represents gross tactical stupidity, as well as disrespect for the lives of our fighting forces by Obama, his administration (or lack thereof), and the State Department..
    We cannot penetrate the nearly cro-magnon tribalism; the leadership of the country, the tribes and the Taliban are corrupt beyond measure; the opium trade is still booming because the fools there won't grow other crops to replace the economic losses of NOT trafficking world-wide. Even if some tribes did consider raising other crops, the financial benefits are nowhere near the monies which can be raised through opium harvests.
    Bring ALL American troops home or put them back into Iraq where there was at least some small hope, with the passing of the years, of obtaining a more decent detente between the Sunnis and Shias from the constant religious in-fighting. Or, if not, at the very least there would be an American Mid-East presence there to tame down the saber-rattling if Iran….we could also, with a different occupant in the Oval Office , potentially have an opportunity to work with Israel in keeping Iran from fomenting more terror in the region….there are a few good reasons to maintain an occupying status there with a military air wing or two stationed at the airport near Bagdad…while so few arguments make sense for keeping a single American in Afghanistan.
    Personally speaking, I think it would be a great idea to turn that country into an inland sea.

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