Using lessons from Afghanistan in Iraq ?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by blackfox, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #1
    from NYT

    Another positive development...

    Reading this alongside much of the recent news coming out of Iraq, I contrast it with the developments in Afghanistan.

    While Afghanistan is hardly the success the US was publicly hoping for, I feel comparatively, the US pursued a much more pragmatic course, either by design or necessity.

    Although the "democracy" in Afghanistan is hardly so, it does seem to reflect the nature of the country and as so seems quite a success. There is considerable complaints about the results of the Elections, with Karzai winning by a considerable margin, but those complaints by and large follow ethnic lines. The vast majority of Pashtuns voted for Karzai, a descendent of Pashtun Royalty, while the Northern part of the country, populated by Tajiks voted towards opposition candidates. Karzai included on his VP ticket the brother of the famous Tajik mujahadin commander Massoud, although it was not as successful an appeal to voters as hoped.

    The point is, although there is considerable wrangling and complaining, very little seems focused on the US. It seems merely an internal affair, with the populace divided by ethnicity, which is how it has always been. The fact that the central government is weak, seems more a reflection of the preferences of the Afghan people than any inherent flaw in the Central government itself.

    From the US standpoint, it got much of what it wanted, from securing a pipeline, to a US friendly central government, however inneffectual. I believe the US has been doing what it does best, influencing politics and power by appealing or promoting various individuals prone to power by an influx of cash or weapons. If we are talking about US interests here, divorced from moral platitudes, this is a good strategy. It reflects the position of trying to effect the systems already in place to maximum personal benefit, which seems a lot more practical than the imposition of a foreign system by force.

    So with regards to Iraq. It should seem obvious that the insurgency is gaining in strength both numerically and logistically, and much of that is focused on anti-occupation sentiments. Although some advocate keeping the faith and resolve and "outlasting" the insurgents will to fight, that is impossible, as they are the "home team" and will fight indefinitely.

    As morally reprehensible as it might seem, at this point, both for US and Iraqis, would it not be preferable to just leave? Of course, Iraq would be chaotic, but it is now. There are no shortage of self-styled leaders to fill the power vaccuum and the US could, as in Afghanistan, financially or logistically support those it preferred.

    Once the focus of Iraqis was off repelling the US occupation, and focused on the rebuilding of their country, it would seem that those competent to gain power would, without the distortion of merely appealing to anti-americanism. The US and other countries could then inject aid and perhaps Peacekeeping forces would be allowed in, if it was the Iraqis asking, and not the US telling.

    I am kinda rambling, but I just see our stubborn policy in Iraq as helping no-one, except perhaps Islamic fundamentalists.

    FWIW
     
  2. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #2
    Maybe we should do to Iraq what we did in Afganistan. Leave half way through, and invade some other country that has nothing to do with anything. Look out Canada.

    (Yeah, I know we still had troops in the *stans, but we did pull a lot of them out to go to Iraq, so my point stands)
     
  3. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #3
    well my point is best summed up by Kenny Rogers:
    "...you gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, know when to run..."
     

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