| Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's grim assessment of the Afghanistan war has opened a divide between the military, which is pushing for an early decision to send more troops, and civilian policymakers who are increasingly doubtful of an escalating nation-building effort. |
Senior military officials emphasized Monday that McChrystal's conclusion that the U.S. effort in Afghanistan "will likely result in failure" without an urgent infusion of troops has been endorsed by the uniformed leadership. That includes Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command and architect of the troop "surge" strategy widely seen as helping U.S. forces turn the corner in Iraq.
But before any decision is made, some of President Obama's civilian advisers have proposed looking at other, less costly options to address his primary goal of preventing al-Qaeda from reestablishing itself in Afghanistan. Those options include a redirection of U.S. efforts -- away from protecting the Afghan population and building the Afghan state and toward persuading the Taliban to stop fighting -- as well as an escalation of targeted attacks against al-Qaeda itself in Pakistan and elsewhere.
....This military official and others cautioned that any strategy revision that resulted in a pullback by U.S. and NATO forces would leave Taliban forces in uncontested control of territory and could lead to a return of civil war in Afghanistan, opening the door to reestablishment of al-Qaeda sanctuaries there.
But some civilian officials believe that such a scenario is based on possibly faulty assumptions about who the Taliban insurgents are, what their aims may be, and whether some can be co-opted. If Obama's core objective is to prevent al-Qaeda from returning to Afghanistan, this reasoning goes, it may not depend on defeating the Taliban. An equally viable policy, they argue, could include stepped-up, targeted attacks on al-Qaeda's sanctuaries in Pakistan and convincing amenable Taliban fighters that it is in their best interests to keep al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan.
Anyone remember that Al-Qaeda were honored guests in Afghanistan when the Taliban were in full power? The only reason for any Taliban or radical faction fights Al Qaeda is when Al Qaeda overstep their guest priviliges and try to dominant an area.
Any Taliban faction leader who turns to our side will be killed along with anyone following him since the mass majority of Taliban fighters will not turn. How are you going to find "amenable" Taliban?
That idea is just a rehash of Obama's lame idea back in April that was ridicule.
|President Barack Obama's proposal to reach out to moderate Taliban will fail to end the Afghan insurgency as it is inflexible Taliban leaders who are orchestrating the war, not moderates, analysts said.|
Obama, in an interview with the New York Times newspaper published on its website on Saturday, expressed an openness to adapting tactics in Afghanistan that had been used in Iraq to reach out to moderate elements there.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed Obama's proposal but analysts were doubtful.
"Obama's comment resemble a dream more than reality," said Waheed Mozhdah, an analyst who has written a book on the Taliban.
"Where are the so-called moderate Taliban? Who are the moderate Taliban?" asked Mozhdah, who was an official in both the Taliban and the Karzai governments.
Karzai's pro-Western administration and the growing number of foreign forces in Afghanistan have increasingly come under attack from a resurgent Taliban, with Obama now describing Afghanistan as a top foreign policy priority for his new administration.
"'Moderate Taliban' is like 'moderate killer'. Is there such a thing?," asked writer and analyst Qaseem Akhgar.