Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A flawed strategy and a failed war in Afghanistan - Katrina vanden Heuvel

As we pass this grim marker, the Obama administration's strategy in Afghanistan is foundering because it is fundamentally flawed. It lacks a clear, achievable mission, isn't in our national security interest and costs too much in treasure and lives.

The counterinsurgency strategy to win the hearts and minds of Afghans is failing -- a Pentagon report last month revealed that only 29 of 121 critical Afghan districts could be classified as "sympathetic to the government," compared with 48 "supportive of or sympathetic to" the Taliban. The number of Afghans who rated U.S. and NATO troops "good" or "very good" dropped from 38 percent in December to 29 percent in March -- perhaps as a result of the civilian casualties that are on the rise.

The continued occupation of a fiercely independent and tribal Afghanistan -- as well as the death of tens of thousands of civilians -- engenders anti-Americanism and fuels terrorist recruitment.

Flawed strategy, failed war - Katrina vanden Heuvel


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