Saturday, November 28, 2009
'An insider confirming outside critics dispels the myth that classified information redeems a failed policy'
Roger Morris and George Kenney:
Matthew Hoh Speaks Grim Truth To Power
He said everything in the Northwest Frontier Province could be understood in terms of "Zar, Zan, aur Zameen". That is Gold, Land, and Women.
Politics,religion,economics,social science, or what ever, these three things were always at the core of the motivations and decisions. He said always put these first in your analysis of this part of the world.
I don't see these in our foreign policy. The are central to the motivations and corruption of the governments there. They drive the Taliban Warlords. They drive the military of the region.
Zar, Zan, aur Zameen.
Want to win, then base a policy on these.
DON'T SPEND WHAT YA AINT GOT!
Sadly, as was predicted years ago, mission creep has occurred in Afghanistan. The entire reason for going in was get rid of al Qaeda. Ridding the country of their Taliban overlords was a bonus to be sure, but hardly part of the equation.
Extricating ourselves from this morass will be difficult, but not impossible. The first step as always is honesty. One hopes that Pres. Obama provides a little honesty as he announces our Afghanistan policy.
Of course, since I doubt they will do either, this is probably the kind of thing that will only keep our young men and women there in perpetuity. On the other hand, maybe Obama will just say, regardless of the reality, that Karzai is doing his bit and bring them home at some point. I'm not happy about this, but it is the policy with which we're stuck.