On indecision and the international intervention in Afghanistan.
Last week’s renewed debate between President Barack Obama and Republicans in the Senate, reminds us how murky and poorly defined the goals and strategies of the so-called war on terror remain as it enters its fifteenth year. Nowhere is this ambiguity more apparent than in Afghanistan, the place where most of the Guantanamo detainees were first apprehended.
Beginning in 2006, I spent a year and a half working with a small group of potters in a picturesque town in the mountains north of Kabul. Even while the insurgency spread in the south and the east of the country, the town, which had been leveled by the Taliban, remained staunchly in favor of the international presence. Over the course of the next nine years, however, corrupt elections, an ineffective government and a sense that a small group of former warlords had largely taken over all the key resources, led to the growing sense that the international intervention had failed to fulfill its initial promises. Returning last spring, I was stopped in the grape fields below town by a roadblock set up by the Afghan Army. The soldiers lounging on their armored personnel carriers, gifts from the US Department of Defense, said that there was an ongoing operation in the villages above, to clear it of the Taliban.
The recent news coming out of Afghanistan has not been good. The UN recently reported that 2015 had the highest number of civilian casualties since they began tracking the number.
The recent news coming out of Afghanistan has not been good. The UN recently reported that 2015 had the highest number of civilian casualties since they began tracking the number, Afghans make up the second highest number of refugees after Syrians in the current wave of asylum-seekers, and the Taliban have retaken key districts in the south of the country.
Who is to blame for the situation?