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Why U.s -failing In Afghanistan?

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# Washington's refusal to take state building in Afghanistan seriously after 2001 and instead waging a fruitless war in Iraq, created a major international distraction which the Taleban took advantage of to slowly rebuild their forces.

 

# US-led coalition forces were never deployed in southern Afghanistan in sufficient numbers, even though this was the Taleban heartland and needed to be secured. Apart from a US base for 3,000 troops in Kandahar and a couple of fire bases, for four years there was virtually no military presence in three of the four provinces. US forces failed to secure even the major cities and highways in the south. The growing security vacuum in the south was steadily filled by the Taleban.

 

British troops in Afghanistan

The rise in attacks come as Nato boosts its troops in the country

# Afghanistan has received far less funds for reconstruction than almost all recent nation building efforts such as the former Yugoslavia, Haiti or East Timor. The lack of security in the south meant that UN development agencies and western and Afghan aid organisations could not provide sufficient aid and reconstruction. Nor was there ever adequate funding by western donors, especially for rebuilding the vital agricultural sector. The West's refusal to invest in agriculture on which 70% of the population depend, led to a massive return to poppy production by destitute farmers in the south, which quickly spread to the rest of the country.

 

# Drug smugglers and cartels now offer much greater incentives to Pashtun farmers than aid agencies. The best functioning extension programmes for farmers are operated by opium traffickers who provide improved varieties of poppy seeds, fertilizer, improved methods of cultivation, banking and loan facilities and organised large scale employment during the poppy harvest. Compared to 2001 when poppy cultivation was at a minimum, southern Afghanistan now needs to develop an entire alternative economy costing billions of dollars in order to replace the drugs economy.

 

# The drugs economy has fuelled massive corruption among government officials, undermined the authority of the government and funded the Taleban. The failure to reconstruct the south has led to widespread public disillusionment, increasing sympathy for the Taleban and anger at the Afghan government. Drugs money has allowed the Taleban to acquire new weapons, provide salaries to fighters and larger sums to suicide bombers.

 

Corruption

 

# For the past five years President Hamid Karzai has tolerated Pashtun warlords as governors, police chiefs and administrators in the south. Most of these warlords were discredited and defeated by the Taleban in the 1990s, but were resuscitated by US forces to help defeat the Taleban in 2001. Unlike Northern Alliance warlords who tended to defy President Karzai's authority, these Pashtun warlords were friends of the government and helped secure the Pashtun vote for Karzai in two Loya Jirgas and two elections in 2004 and 2005. Despite pledging loyalty to President Karzai these warlord-governors became visibly corrupt, by their open involvement in the drugs trade, cutting deals with criminal gangs and the Taleban and showing supreme incompetence in dealing with development issues. For the majority of southern Pashtuns, the corruption of these warlord-governors unfortunately symbolised the intentions of the Kabul government.

 

There have been a spate of suicide car attacks

# Kabul refused to change these warlord-governors, until forced to do so by Nato countries, who refused to deploy their troops until they were removed. Thus Canada, Britain and the Netherlands played a major role in forcing the resignation of the governors of Kandahar, Helmand and Uruzgan - the provinces in which their troops are now being deployed.

 

# Kabul's offer of an amnesty and safe passage home in 2003 to non-belligerent Taleban living in Pakistan was a sensible attempt at reconciliation, but it was badly handled. The Northern Alliance leaders refused to accept any reconciliation with the Taleban. Overtures to the Taleban were handled secretly by the American and Afghan intelligence, instead of being done openly with international support and guarantees of protection for returning Taleban and a separate aid programme to rehabilitate them. Pakistan refused to help persuade the Taleban to return home, while Washington refused to put any pressure on Islamabad to do so. The reconciliation drive has been a failure.

 

# After being routed in 2001 the Taleban found a safe sanctuary in Balochistan and the North West Frontier province of Pakistan. They have been able to set up a major logistics hub, training camps, carry out fund raising and have been free to recruit fighters from madrassas and refugee camps. The Taleban have received help from Pakistan's two provincial governments, the MMA, Islamic extremist groups, the drugs mafia and criminal gangs - while the military regime has looked the other way. Al-Qaeda has helped the Taleban reorganise and forge alliances with other Afghan and Central Asian rebel groups.

 

 

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