Thursday, November 5, 2009

Afghanistan: Newz & Viewz from the Front

UN to withdraw 600 staff from Afghanistan after Kabul attack

The United Nations has announced that it will temporarily remove 600 of its foreign workers from Afghanistan. The decision comes as a result of last week's deadly attack against the international organization that killed five UN employees and three Afghans.

Despite reassurances that the UN is not pulling out of Afghanistan, the Geneva Lunch, an online newspaper for the international community, reports that the UN special representative in Kabul, Kai Eide, has offered a stern warning to the Hamid Karzai government amid ailing security conditions in Afghanistan.
There is a belief among some, that the international community [presence] will continue whatever happens because of the strategic importance of Afghanistan. I would like to emphasize that that's not true.
In other words, the fig-leaf facade of legitimacy for Western presence in Afghanistan - elections - has completely eroded.


  1. I don't get it. What's Afghanistan's strategic importance? And I'm not buying the argument that we don't want to provide a safe haven for Al Queda. Al Queda already has safe havens! Give another argument plaease

  2. I think their strategic importance may well be overstated, however the relationship between the Taliban and al Qaeda is not overstated. While they appear to have a safe haven in Pakistan it is not safe enough for them to get quite comfortable as they are continually being harassed and forced to change locations regularly [by allied forces]. Unfortunately Pakistan doesn't do much to expel them, due no doubt to the protective relationship between local tribes and the terrorist organization.

    Secondly the presence of the Western world in Afghanistan may help keep a lid on troubled Pakistan and its many negative, anti-Western influences. If they didn't have nuclear weapons I don't think it would be that important, and I am not sure that we can prevent their use regardless of where we are.

    That being said I do think we should get the hell out. I suspect America is tired of war, despite somewhat puzzling poll numbers that show a small margin of support for increasing the troop base. Bring our troops home and if al Qaeda reestablishes itself blow them straight to hell.

  3. Mike, is it worth the lives of Americans to continue to present an ineffective presence there? We accomplish nothing. We spend precious lives and untold $ for what? Like MacDaddy suggests; give another arguement... and what one will stand up? I really don't buy that we deflect any troubles in Pakistan and our presence is only feeding anti-Western sentiment. Yeah, we should leave it... it's already deja vu -ed into Vietnam.

    ah, nice pic! Vig. and good vid :-)...

  4. Gwen it is nothing at all like Vietnam and I don't see it ever becoming a Vietnam. In 'Nam 58K American lives were lost and the war has few if any similarities to Afghanistan.

    Secondly, as I said I don't think Afghanistan is worth our presence. If al Qaeda acts up we bomb them once again into almost oblivion. Because of their many alliances in the region I doubt we will ever be able to complete destroy them but we can keep them nervous. If the leadership remains intact they are still capable of committing acts of terror the world over, given that they have thousands of cells located all over the globe.

  5. VIG; We do not agree on pipelineistan. No need to rehash that here. LOL

    MAC; As you say A/Q can have safe havens anywhere. They had them in Hamburg, San Diego, and many other cities. BUT, we did not bomb those cities. They can move their operations any where in the world. Even our own military says there are only 100 A/Q in Afghanistan.

    MM [THE PROFESSOR]. LOL. We do not agree on the NAM analogy. No reason to rehash that now. Our presence in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq, is making things worst. We are seen as invaders and occupiers. [The enemy of my enemy is my enemy]. Holds true in this case. A/Q is mostly Sunni Arab. Afghans do not want their presence, and neither do the Paks. The Pak/Tal are different than the AF/Tal. The longer the West stays the more chance of balkanizing the region. Which is what the West wants. Then all hell will breaks out.

    GHB; Hat Tip.


    Reuters photographer embedded with the Canadian Army. 2;53 minutes long.

  7. Yes, this is in the zone of reality, Reality Zone. The Canadians have given blood. Given, given, and given.

    Ms Barry, sorry, Mike just is not going to get it. Vietnam = expensive effort in futility. Vietnam should = lessons learned. But we can't say that, can we?

  8. Wrong Vigil! I agree that Vietnam=Lessons learned and that is the extent of the comparison. Finally I think I am tired of this subject but I can't stop beating myself up by writing about it:-)

    RZ: you make some good points and I don't disagree with you. I suspect, however, the 100 or so estimated al Qaeda is a military intelligence assessment. My problem with it, aside from having served in military intelligence, is if they don't even know where they are how can they count them? Secondly, assuming their assessment is correct [for a change] I suspect that 100 represents the leadership which may or may not be a good thing.

    Gwen: Sorry if I sounded harsh. I meant my comments with all due respect.

  9. MM; Exactly [military intelligence] the oxymoron of the ages. lol imho; the one main factor that everyone keeps forgetting about Aq =Iraq-/Af/Pak/Iran=An. Aq/Af/Pak/An is ISLAM. Check my new post. I was thinking of you, when i ran across this. Please read the link.

  10. Bring our troops home and if al Qaeda reestablishes itself blow them straight to hell.

    Mike had it right.

  11. I think Vigilante and regained his footing and found his new mission.

  12. Tomcat is 100% right. I'd almost RATHER have Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. This, in that it's a hell of a lot easier to dispense with them there.

  13. I will check out the link RZ. Will: Great point! Our missiles are already targeted.

  14. just got back by here... an Mike, no problem! YOU SHOULD BE STATING YOUR OPINION!!! :-) It's a forum and I know the rules. All due respect is always there for me, too.