Saturday, August 18, 2012

Afghanistan: "Mission Not Accomplished"

Dexter Filkins' New Yorker article, "After America," asks, "Will civil war hit Afghanistan when the U.S. leaves?" The country remains fractured among militias representing the ethnic minorities from the north–Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks–and the Pashtuns from the south, who dominate the government and the Taliban. That is one among many troubling prospects following a war that has cost so much in blood and treasure–and whose supposed purposes have fallen away. Consider the following:

After eleven years, nearly two thousand Americans killed, sixteen thousand Americans wounded, nearly four hundred billion dollars spent, and more than twelve thousand Afghan civilians dead since 2007, the war in Afghanistan has come to this: the United States is leaving, mission not accomplished. Objectives once deemed indispensable, such as nation-building and counterinsurgency, have been abandoned or downgraded, either because they haven’t worked or because there’s no longer enough time to achieve them. Even the education of girls, a signal achievement of the NATO presence in Afghanistan, is at risk. By the end of 2014, when the last Americans are due to stop fighting, the Taliban will not be defeated. A Western-style democracy will not be in place. The economy will not be self-sustaining. No senior Afghan official will likely be imprisoned for any crime, no matter how egregious. And it’s a good bet that, in some remote mountain valley, even Al Qaeda, which brought the United States to Afghanistan in the first place, will be carrying on.

...many of the most prominent leaders of Afghanistan’s minority groups appear to be preparing for civil war.


Michael The Molar Maven said...

"...oh when will they ever learn..."?

Jeff Tone said...

Good question from PP&M.