Afghanistan could be a success or it could be the mess it is now –
I thought of a couple things –
1. Invite Russia to the party. – and China – These are members of the international community and why should any of us put up with the extremist terror campaigns of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. They could send troops if the United States asked them to join the NATO efforts. (or maybe they already have.) The Taliban and Al Qaeda need to understand that they have not won – that they did not run off the great powers in the world but rather that they have only one choice which is to moderate their behaviors and actions to fit into a greater picture, as we all are doing.
2. The Taliban are often using little two-stroke motorcycles which can be identified over great distances by their signature. I know if they can identify that sound on a CSI show by some computer software that already exists, then it sure as hell can be done by the military in the middle of a war.
3. I don’t know the extent to which other Arab nations are participating in securing and stabilizing Afghanistan, but it seems they are also the ones who need to add greater efforts including more troops on the ground since it is in their best interest to do so.
4. Either all the women and children could be taken out of Afghanistan by C-130 caravans temporarily or permanently – or all of these non-combatant civilians, particularly women and children could be taken to Kabul or a secured part of Afghanistan and protected. That way the military missions are far less complicated and the Taliban can be more effectively located. After that, let those stupid men have it with all hell and guns blazing. That way the military missions are far less complicated and the Taliban can be more effectively located, arrested or whatever is necessary.
5. It is absolutely true that these weapons are not coming out of nowhere and even the remaining Soviet era weapons they may still be using are not now being filled with ammunition from that time. The ammunition and spare parts and other chemicals that would be needed to do the things they are doing, have to be bought from somewhere else. Find that somewhere else and cut off that supply. Then, half the problem will be solved.
6. There has to come a time that the competition for applied intelligence fills the minds of the Taliban with something beyond what they already know. They are obviously teachable and capable of learning quickly. They obviously don’t mind learning new things about weapons or how to create an effective IED – they can also take in other new things as well. Pakistan’s secret service / intel groups could be helping with some of that because they would benefit most from a less terroristic and more reasonable Taliban, tribal groups and previously terroristic minded populations.
7. If the only real goal of the efforts in Afghanistan and in the region is to develop the petroleum and natural gas resources, (among other natural resources) – then, it is time that the international community clearly state that as the case and simply pursue that more effectively and precisely, maybe by co-opting the Taliban into the process, along with all of the tribal groups and regional players.
If the real goal is to stabilize the region and make it safe for the people of Afghanistan to have their own elected government and go about their lives in safety and relative peace, productivity and quality of life – then get on with it and do that. (Even if it takes humbly asking for the help of Russia and China, Latin America and most of the Middle East to do it.)
– cricketdiane, 10-07-09