Intimately backed

Afghanistan: the big lie

Guardian editorial,

Joseph Goebbels said that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The big lie told repeatedly about the war in Afghanistan is that the international security assistance force (Isaf) and the Afghan national security forces are pushing the Taliban back. This is Hillary Clinton‘s line. It is, heavily caveated, the line of the monthly progress report issued by the Foreign Office. It notes that recorded levels of violence fell significantly in the UK’s area of operations last year but that those gains were tempered by an increase in incidents in the east of the country. The insurgency remains resilient, but is under “significant and sustained” pressure in areas where Isaf and the Afghan national security forces are focusing their efforts.

Contrast that with what the US military privately think: “Though the Taliban suffered severely in 2011, its strength, motivation, funding and tactical proficiency remains intact … Many Afghans are already bracing themselves for an eventual return of the Taliban.” So says a report drawn up on the basis of 27,000 interrogations of 4,000 suspected Taliban and al-Qaida detainees leaked to the Times and the BBC. The sourcing is significant. True, the Taliban, a Pashtun nationalist force, would be hard put to recapture Kabul after a foreign withdrawal. But each salient detail of this report undermines the notion that a national security structure which will outlast the withdrawal of foreign troops is being built by Isaf.

That is not to say it will not work in some areas. But the holes in this sieve are significant enough, and they have all to do with identity and legitimacy rather than military tactics: the Taliban’s continuing ability to connect with the local population – they even run their own version of a Crimestoppers phoneline; the harassment, corruption and abuse pushing clients into their arms; the local deals done with Afghan government forces – and all this in the 11th year of this conflict. Attacks in the east of Afghanistan have gone up 800%, so that the British focus on three districts out of 14 in Helmand gives little clue about the displacement going on. The US report belies the notion that the policy of assassinating mid-level Taliban commanders (night raids are often little more than death squads) is having any lasting effect on an organisation which retains the ability to selectively moderate its violence in order to encourage Nato forces to leave faster.

The Taliban is heavily backed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence – “intimately backed” are the words used – but even if the ISI withdrew its support, the Taliban would continue. It is showing no signs of being bombed to the peace table. The insurgents believe their will is stronger than that of the foreigners fighting on their soil. At some point this truth must be acknowledged.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/01/afghanistan-the-big-lie-editorial or http://bit.ly/yIYkbj

Photograph:  http://fachanwalt-fuer-it-recht.blogspot.com/2011/08/wollt-ihr-den-totalen-krieg.html

Related Posts

Hazardous, illusory, and sadly unchallenged America’s Virulent, Extremist Counterterrorism Ideology By Micah Zenko, May 21, 2015   Throughout the 13-plus years of the war on terroris...
Who of us has clean hands? Why torturers film their handiwork By Robert Fisk, Saturday 26 November 2011 ... When prisoners were brought to Saddam Hussein's intelligence s...
We are alive but not living Iraq: 'You didn't fall… we pushed you' By Alia Brahimi, 21 Mar 2013 11:06   "Are you here to work or… work?" a Basra airport security gu...
Love requires a response Reborn on the 4th of July By Logan Mehl-Laituri, 07/04/2012  8:18 am   Today marks my sixth rebirthday. In 2006, I was baptized and became...
Amnesty International @ 50 Amnesty International posters - in pictures The Observer, Sunday 3 April 2011 Amnesty has produced powerful posters over the past 50 years. Here are...
I protest! There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. ~ Elie Wiesel http://www.yo...
We cannot escape history George W. Bush: Still the worst By Robert Merry, Friday, Jun 29, 2012 06:30 AM CDT   In 2003, President Bush, then two years into his te...
None of this is new The Road to “All Muslims are Terrorists” By Gefilte, 07 July 2011 ... It’s been travelled before. Aside from the fact that real democracies ...
Funny things Dear editor, This is a letter about funny things. A random collection perhaps, but some readers may discern a veritable fountain of flummery, deep ...
Obey Your Conscience Bowe Bergdahl release: Email exchange reveals extent of US failure in Afghan war By Patrick Cockburn, Tuesday 03 June 2014   It is a bit...

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2012/02/01/intimately-backed/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.