Afghanistan

Sherzad

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http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/robin-lustig/iraq-sunni-jihadi_b_5490829.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

What folly. What crass, indescribable, unbelievable folly it was to invade Iraq in 2003. I wonder what George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Tony Blair think now as they read of the latest disasters to befall that wretched land.

Do they still say that Iraq is better off than it was under Saddam Hussein? Do they? Really? As half a million terrified people flee from their homes to escape a jihadi group so extreme that even al-Qaeda has withdrawn its backing?

Guess, by the way, who said this, referring to their support for the invasion in 2003: "I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple."

It wasn't Bush, Rumsfeld, or Blair - but you knew that. It was Hillary Clinton, in her just published memoirs, clearing the decks for a run at the US presidency in 2016. Even if it is carefully-calibrated political positioning, I can't help wishing more leaders would say something similar.

The invasion of Iraq may well turn out to have been the most disastrous military adventure since the German army marched into Poland in 1939 and triggered the Second World War. Did Hitler still believe, as he prepared to die in his bunker in 1945, that invading Poland had been a good idea? Was he as crazily delusional as Bush, Rumsfeld and Blair?

Perhaps, despite the lightning advance of the Sunni jihadi fighters over the past week, Iraq will somehow survive. Perhaps not. Perhaps it's about to join such unhappy nations as Somalia, Syria and Libya as yet another failed state, ruled by a nightmare patchwork of brutal militias, loyal to no one but their own commanders and with no interests other than those that are narrow, sectarian and tribal.

In 2003, there was no al-Qaeda presence in Iraq. Now one of its nastiest off-shoots controls vast swathes of the north and west of the country, extending across the border into Syria as it starts to build its trans-national Caliphate. It's not exactly what the US-led invasion was designed to achieve.

In the pantheon of those to blame for all this we must include Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister whose incompetence, corruption and Shia sectarianism has encouraged the country's Sunni minority to join, or at least acquiesce in, the jihadi insurgency. It seems even Saddam loyalists from the former Ba'ath party have joined them - how's that for irony? With a different man at the helm as the US pulled out the last of its troops, it's just possible that disaster could have been averted. But it was not to be.

What has happened has happened. The Kurds in the north are buttressing their defences; their forces are ready to fight back if the Sunni Arab insurgents dare to threaten their hard-won autonomy. The Iraqi army appears to be disintegrating - so much for the countless billions of dollars spent on training a new national force.

In its place, various Shia militia groups are forming, or re-forming, to defend what they regard as essential Shia interests, including the Shia shrine in the mainy Sunni city of Samarra. The shadow of a renewed civil war looms frighteningly large.

In the words of the US Republican senator Lindsey Graham, after having been briefed by the Pentagon on Thursday: "What I heard today scared the hell out of me. The briefing was chilling ... Iraq is falling apart."

And it's not only the fate of Iraq that is at stake: the regional ramifications are seriously worrying. To the west and to the east, in Syria and Iran, the latest developments will be causing deep anxiety. President Assad will be watching with alarm as the insurgents snatch arms and ammunition from abandoned Iraqi army armouries and start shipping them across the border into Syria. And in Tehran, they'll be less than thrilled to see their Shia allies in Baghdad under threat.

So there's a strong possibility of even more bad-neighbourly intervention, never forgetting Turkey's nervousness at any sign that the Kurds may be consolidating their claim to statehood. (Strange, isn't it, how the US and Iran find themselves on the same side as the main backers of al-Maliki?)

This is a deeply uncertain time, but there is one certainty: neither the US nor the UK, which did so much to unleash the forces that are now destroying Iraq, will send their own troops back in again. Good thing, too: Western military intervention would simply make an already terrible situation even worse. And that includes the drone strikes that president Obama is reported to be contemplating - they haven't exactly done wonders for pacifying either Pakistan or Yemen, have they?

What the West can do - should do - is arrange urgent help for the civilians whose lives are being destroyed. And once the picture is a little bit clearer, they might try to encourage neutral mediators like Norway or Sweden to start a talks process aimed at turning the clock back to post-invasion 2003 and charting a new constitutional course for Iraq.

I fear it may already be too late. I've just looked at the diary I kept during the 2003 invasion; the last entry, written after the fall of Baghdad, reads: "I think Iraq is going to be a violent, messy, angry place for a long time ... I'll probably be talking about Iraq until I retire."

I should have added one more line: "And beyond."
Brilliant!
 

Sherzad

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Are you a Pashtun?

I have a feeling Afghanistan will go the same way once the final troops are out of the country.
Yes, I am Pashtun from Muhammad zai tribe. I agree with you, Afghanistan is like a ticking time bomb - I have no idea what Americans have achieved so far.? Civilian deaths,terrorism, corrupt government,tribes conflicts - they still exist as before invasion. The only thing they have done is build few schools and roads or women go to work and school. Positive propaganda, nothing else!
 

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Yes, I am Pashtun from Muhammad zai tribe. I agree with you, Afghanistan is like a ticking time bomb - I have no idea what Americans have achieved so far.? Civilian deaths,terrorism, corrupt government,tribes conflicts - they still exist as before invasion. The only thing they have done is build few schools and roads or women go to work and school. Positive propaganda, nothing else!
Having a decent President will be a good thing for Afghanistan. Both Ghani and Abdullah are well qualified and certainly better than Karzai.
 

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Having a decent President will be a good thing for Afghanistan. Both Ghani and Abdullah are well qualified and certainly better than Karzai.
Abdullah is one of the most hated figures amongst Pashtuns/Taliban. He'll be a massive target. Karzai had some leeway having belonged to the Pashtun tribe.
 

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Abdullah is one of the most hated figures amongst Pashtuns/Taliban. He'll be a massive target. Karzai had some leeway having belonged to the Pashtun tribe.
Abdullah is actually half Pashtun and scored a respectable amount of votes in Kandahar during the first round. If he wins, it will be because he managed to squeeze enough Pashtun votes away from Ghani (who himself is seen as flattering to deceive on his Pashtun credentials).
 

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Abdullah is actually half Pashtun and scored a respectable amount of votes in Kandahar during the first round. If he wins, it will be because he managed to squeeze enough Pashtun votes away from Ghani (who himself is seen as flattering to deceive on his Pashtun credentials).
He's still a hated figure. I met him in Dubai some years back, and wasn't impressed. Very divisive.
 

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He's still a hated figure. I met him in Dubai some years back, and wasn't impressed. Very divisive.
Well I suppose it depends who you are in the grand scheme of things. He's very popular among Hazaras and Tajiks, and chose the correct first and second VPs this year to cut into Ghani and Rasoul's voting bases. He is viewed with significant suspicion among pro-Ghani voters due to his affiliation with Massoud (many Pashtuns don't particularly care for Massoud's work). Ghani is probably the best qualified candidate based on his technocratic background, but certainly either of them would be a substantial improvement over Karzai.
 

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@Raoul I know you have been to Afghanistan and you sound pretty clued up about the whole situation. What do you think about the role off ISI in current elections.? OR CIA.?

Do you think these two organisation will just turn saints and let people off Afghanistan decide their next democratic government. I very much doubt it!

I am sure you know about influence/involvement off ISI in Afghanistan's politics/war. Dr. Abdullah is a murderer and should be charged for war crimes, he was the brains behind Ahmed shah masood's regime. I very much doubt it that he will have any Pashtun votes, unless bribed or forced.

It all comes down to the fact that who ISI and CIA wants in power. Karzai is from Pashtun tribe, I doubt it that the next head off government will be Pashtun. Maybe a coalition government?
 

Raoul

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@Raoul I know you have been to Afghanistan and you sound pretty clued up about the whole situation. What do you think about the role off ISI in current elections.? OR CIA.?

Do you think these two organisation will just turn saints and let people off Afghanistan decide their next democratic government. I very much doubt it!

I am sure you know about influence/involvement off ISI in Afghanistan's politics/war. Dr. Abdullah is a murderer and should be charged for war crimes, he was the brains behind Ahmed shah masood's regime. I very much doubt it that he will have any Pashtun votes, unless bribed or forced.

It all comes down to the fact that who ISI and CIA wants in power. Karzai is from Pashtun tribe, I doubt it that the next head off government will be Pashtun. Maybe a coalition government?
This latest round of Afghan elections has been the most transparent in history. There were polling centers set up virtually all across the country, so there can't really be any criticism of fraud like there was 4-5 years ago. There's an electoral commision set up in Kabul to make sure everything goes smoothly as well as an electoral complaints commision to adjudicate complaints of fraud or malfeasance. So far it looks like Afghanistan is on the verge of its first democratic and peaceful handover of power in its several thousand year history.

I'm not going to get into a debate about Abdullah in this thread. He is obviously not liked among large swaths of Pashtuns, but is very well liked among Tajiks and Hazaras (as well as other groups). I just left Kabul in April and fully expect either of the two remaining candidates to be a massive improvement in terms of less patronage and corruption, and more modernization and security.
 

Sherzad

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Abdullah is one of the most hated figures amongst Pashtuns/Taliban. He'll be a massive target. Karzai had some leeway having belonged to the Pashtun tribe.
Karzai is still alive not because he is Pashtun but because he is a "yes man" to foreign intelligence services. Karzai's brother was assassinated because he was more popular amongst Pashtun. He was more like a honest leader, so much like a hope for all Pashtun tribes. Ghani is a well educated clever man more like a modern politician, nothing more. He will obey his masters and work for their agendas.

It's all just a circus show.. The end result will be the same, more civil war and foreign troops will prolong their stay. Nobody went to Afghanistan to liberate us afghans from war or terrorism, they have their on agendas and they will stay or influence Afghanistan politics for decades to come.
 

Sherzad

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This latest round of Afghan elections has been the most transparent in history. There were polling centers set up virtually all across the country, so there can't really be any criticism of fraud like there was 4-5 years ago. There's an electoral commision set up in Kabul to make sure everything goes smoothly as well as an electoral complaints commision to adjudicate complaints of fraud or malfeasance. So far it looks like Afghanistan is on the verge of its first democratic and peaceful handover of power in its several thousand year history.

I'm not going to get into a debate about Abdullah in this thread. He is obviously not liked among large swaths of Pashtuns, but is very well liked among Tajiks and Hazaras (as well as other groups). I just left Kabul in April and fully expect either of the two remaining candidates to be a massive improvement in terms of less patronage and corruption, and more modernization and security.
Yesterday civilians were killed in our village for chanting, for Ghani's support. That happened next to my farm back home.!

Let's just hope that you are rite, I hope we will have a peaceful and secure structure now in our country.
 

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Well I suppose it depends who you are in the grand scheme of things. He's very popular among Hazaras and Tajiks, and chose the correct first and second VPs this year to cut into Ghani and Rasoul's voting bases. He is viewed with significant suspicion among pro-Ghani voters due to his affiliation with Massoud (many Pashtuns don't particularly care for Massoud's work). Ghani is probably the best qualified candidate based on his technocratic background, but certainly either of them would be a substantial improvement over Karzai.
Just out of curiosity, where are you from?
 

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Events in Iraq don't bode well for the region as a whole.
 
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2cents

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So what's the verdict now that NATO military operations have officially ended? Can we expect the Taliban to have retaken most of the country within the next two or three years? Or will the Kabul government somehow prevail, or maybe reach a deal with the Taliban? I'm not particularly clued up with events there in the last couple of years (used to follow it very closely), is there anyone who still thinks the whole affair has been worth it?
 

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It will turn into another Iraq.

To think they were forced to hold an event in secret location for the fear of Taliban's attack sums up the whole situation.
 

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Brilliant!
Sorry, but I really don't get the brilliance of this article. The below especially doesn't sit well with me at all.

Do they still say that Iraq is better off than it was under Saddam Hussein? Do they? Really?
Western military intervention would simply make an already terrible situation even worse.
It looks as if they are creating a excuse of not eradicating evil "because something worse might happen". Saddam deserves to be rid off. The fact that the country was not able to capitalize on that and ended up worse is not an excuse for letting a dictator wreck havoc. Why is there an implied support of lesser evil to avoid potential greater evil? So Iraq would be better off with Saddam alive and no western intervention? :rolleyes:

This is a no win situation. No one can predict each and every outcome over actions/inactions.
 

Sherzad

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So what's the verdict now that NATO military operations have officially ended? Can we expect the Taliban to have retaken most of the country within the next two or three years? Or will the Kabul government somehow prevail, or maybe reach a deal with the Taliban? I'm not particularly clued up with events there in the last couple of years (used to follow it very closely), is there anyone who still thinks the whole affair has been worth it?
I don't think that taliban will regain power again in afghsnistan. They were successfull last time because they had the backing of civilians. Every town they went to ppl welcomed them and supported them thinking they will bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. I remember when they entered jilallabad (next to the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan) we all welcomed them, there were celebrations in city. As soon as they marched towards kabul and captured Kabul, things changed. First thing they did after capturing kabul was to hang our former president Dr.najibullah and after that it went from one extrem to another. Majority in Afghanistan are against Taliban and there is no way they can regain power, unless "powers to be" wants them to.
civilian casualties and terror in central and other part of Afghanistan still exist, the Americans or NATO can do thier usual propaganda with buillding new schools or women going to work/school. The reality is its a former jihadist/murderer Dr.Abdullah in power and control. Ghani is a democrat but he is fighting against his own cabinet, the difference is its not about the votes but his cabinet members response by sucide bombs, if they don't get what they want.
 
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berbatrick

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Sorry, but I really don't get the brilliance of this article. The below especially doesn't sit well with me at all.




It looks as if they are creating a excuse of not eradicating evil "because something worse might happen". Saddam deserves to be rid off. The fact that the country was not able to capitalize on that and ended up worse is not an excuse for letting a dictator wreck havoc. Why is there an implied support of lesser evil to avoid potential greater evil? So Iraq would be better off with Saddam alive and no western intervention? :rolleyes:

This is a no win situation. No one can predict each and every outcome over actions/inactions.

More than a lakh (100,000) Iraqi civilians were killed, with one estimate putting it at half a million. These deaths helped achieve the transition from a brutal dictator to an unpopular elected government to a vacuum occupied by people worse than al-Qaeda. Next time maybe the world should think about its zeal to 'eradicate evil'?

Also, the bolded bit is just incredibly insensitive.
 

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More than a lakh (100,000) Iraqi civilians were killed, with one estimate putting it at half a million. These deaths helped achieve the transition from a brutal dictator to an unpopular elected government to a vacuum occupied by people worse than al-Qaeda. Next time maybe the world should think about its zeal to 'eradicate evil'?

Also, the bolded bit is just incredibly insensitive.
It was not meant to be insensitive. But the same time, some truths are harsh and must not e swept over just for politeness sake. There has been other war torn regions like Japan, Germany etc who have moved away and developed economically. It would be incredibly short sighted to put the biggest blame on invading forces and push aside the vileness of Saddam and inefficiency of infighting that came after. These are the real causes for current situation and not the war on it's own.

I presume the purpose of war was not to put in a unpopular government or make the situation worse. It was just elimination of Saddam with hope of things becoming better. A better situation was a realistic outcome of the war. If that does not happen and things turn to worse, then rather than acknowledging the reasons that made a favourable outcome impossible, but just blaming the ear itself as be all and end all is just nonsense.
 

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It was not meant to be insensitive. But the same time, some truths are harsh and must not e swept over just for politeness sake. There has been other war torn regions like Japan, Germany etc who have moved away and developed economically. It would be incredibly short sighted to put the biggest blame on invading forces and push aside the vileness of Saddam and inefficiency of infighting that came after. These are the real causes for current situation and not the war on it's own.

I presume the purpose of war was not to put in a unpopular government or make the situation worse. It was just elimination of Saddam with hope of things becoming better. A better situation was a realistic outcome of the war. If that does not happen and things turn to worse, then rather than acknowledging the reasons that made a favourable outcome impossible, but just blaming the ear itself as be all and end all is just nonsense.
The situations are hardly comparable. You have to realize the political and ethnic dynamics of middle east is very volatile and this outcome, as was predicted by the author in the write up himself, was a very possible outcome. Not going into the political economy of the war, the region's destabilization was a real possibility. It is far too simplistic to say that people in the region should do better. If they could have done better, they would have done it by themselves, it wouldn't need any foreign intervention. Comparing the situation with that of Japan or Germany, two nations which already had a strong unified governance structure almost a century before the war too place is too simplistic.
 

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The situations are hardly comparable. You have to realize the political and ethnic dynamics of middle east is very volatile and this outcome, as was predicted by the author in the write up himself, was a very possible outcome. Not going into the political economy of the war, the region's destabilization was a real possibility. It is far too simplistic to say that people in the region should do better. If they could have done better, they would have done it by themselves, it wouldn't need any foreign intervention. Comparing the situation with that of Japan or Germany, two nations which already had a strong unified governance structure almost a century before the war too place is too simplistic.
Both success and failure are 'possible outcomes'. It could have as well been otherwise. My point was that, they could not get rid of Saddam on their own, so there was a war. Nothing improved even after the war. I don't see any point in the articles unless the author is arguing that Iraq would have been better off without the war (and as you said, if they could have they would have...which did not happen).

As for comparability, you'll never get a direct match. You can only link similar ones at a very macro level. In fact I would go on to say that both Germany and Japan were hit harder at end of war than Iraq. Their ethnic and political dynamics led to Saddam in first place and they could not fix the same issues even after the war. So blaming the war for current situation is just easy way out, imo.
 

berbatrick

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As for comparability, you'll never get a direct match. You can only link similar ones at a very macro level. In fact I would go on to say that both Germany and Japan were hit harder at end of war than Iraq. Their ethnic and political dynamics led to Saddam in first place and they could not fix the same issues even after the war. So blaming the war for current situation is just easy way out, imo.
Iraq's borders were drawn by the British, just like Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Tibet, Bangladesh and half a dozen African countries I don't know about.
ALL of them are locked in perpetual conflict because of the way the borders were drawn. Some like Tibet have been 'pacified' by strong governments. A war has been fought over that border. Others like Bangladesh lurch between democracy and dictatorship. A genocidal massacre and a big war were needed to create the country. There's a 25 year long militancy in Kashmir apart from 4 big wars which have been fought over it. I don't need to talk about Israel-Palestine.

Perhaps rather than blaming the people of these regions, most of them in dire poverty and scarred by years of conflict, you should blame their leaders and more importantly, the one common factor through all these countries- arbitrary drawing of borders by a colonial power. I'm genuinely struggling to think of a big de-colonised country which is conflict free without being a dictatorship, and especially any that has transitioned from a conflict region to democracy. You can include post-Soviet Europe in this... Japan and Germany had been a single country for many years before WWII, and the situations were nothing like these. Who would be the internal enemy in postwar Germany? Which Japanese would the people of Japan hate after being atom-bombed, twice? Another factor in those 2 countries was that they were crucial for the West vs the Soviet Union, which explains the levels of funding and aid they received after WWII from the very countries that had blown them to pieces.

Millions of people aren't a commodity you can go and 'rescue' and discuss 'possible outcomes' for, it leads to situations like Iraq, Vietnam, Korea...
 

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Both success and failure are 'possible outcomes'. It could have as well been otherwise. My point was that, they could not get rid of Saddam on their own, so there was a war. Nothing improved even after the war. I don't see any point in the articles unless the author is arguing that Iraq would have been better off without the war (and as you said, if they could have they would have...which did not happen).

As for comparability, you'll never get a direct match. You can only link similar ones at a very macro level. In fact I would go on to say that both Germany and Japan were hit harder at end of war than Iraq. Their ethnic and political dynamics led to Saddam in first place and they could not fix the same issues even after the war. So blaming the war for current situation is just easy way out, imo.
US and allies went to Iraq because they thought he had WMD's (that was the excuse anyway). The author does have a point because it's a fact that Iraq is far worse off now than it was before the invasion, there is no way you can dispute that.
 

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US and allies went to Iraq because they thought he had WMD's (that was the excuse anyway). The author does have a point because it's a fact that Iraq is far worse off now than it was before the invasion, there is no way you can dispute that.
No, I'm not disputing that. Just the implication that Iraq would be better off without the war. With Saddam in charge or permitting them to invade Kuwait would have been equally disastrous imo. With or without the war, that region was on it's way to getting worse.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Iraq's borders were drawn by the British, just like Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Tibet, Bangladesh and half a dozen African countries I don't know about.
ALL of them are locked in perpetual conflict because of the way the borders were drawn. Some like Tibet have been 'pacified' by strong governments. A war has been fought over that border. Others like Bangladesh lurch between democracy and dictatorship. A genocidal massacre and a big war were needed to create the country. There's a 25 year long militancy in Kashmir apart from 4 big wars which have been fought over it. I don't need to talk about Israel-Palestine.

Perhaps rather than blaming the people of these regions, most of them in dire poverty and scarred by years of conflict, you should blame their leaders and more importantly, the one common factor through all these countries- arbitrary drawing of borders by a colonial power. I'm genuinely struggling to think of a big de-colonised country which is conflict free without being a dictatorship, and especially any that has transitioned from a conflict region to democracy. You can include post-Soviet Europe in this... Japan and Germany had been a single country for many years before WWII, and the situations were nothing like these. Who would be the internal enemy in postwar Germany? Which Japanese would the people of Japan hate after being atom-bombed, twice? Another factor in those 2 countries was that they were crucial for the West vs the Soviet Union, which explains the levels of funding and aid they received after WWII from the very countries that had blown them to pieces.

Millions of people aren't a commodity you can go and 'rescue' and discuss 'possible outcomes' for, it leads to situations like Iraq, Vietnam, Korea...
Whats your point here? Do you think the world should have let Saddam in power and permitted his invasion of Kuwait?
 

berbatrick

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He invaded Kuwait in 1990???
What should 'the world' do about Guantanamo? About China's prisons? The Saudi monarchy?

My point was about your statement that the war was a 'great opportunity' for Iraq. And about how postwar Iraq is not comparable to postwar Germany or Japan.

Also, if you're not disputing that Iraq is worse off after the war, then how can you dispute the "implication that Iraq would be better off without the war"? That's literally the same thing.
 

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So what's the verdict now that NATO military operations have officially ended? Can we expect the Taliban to have retaken most of the country within the next two or three years? Or will the Kabul government somehow prevail, or maybe reach a deal with the Taliban? I'm not particularly clued up with events there in the last couple of years (used to follow it very closely), is there anyone who still thinks the whole affair has been worth it?
It will initially get worse before it gets better - mainly down to the Taliban testing the new government with a new campaign to see what their response will be. So far its gone down like this and now the ball is in Ashraf Ghani's court. He will do well imo, as he is western educated, technocratic, and less prone to corruption and political grandstanding as his predecessor. He's already sacked several top government officials over the recent attacks, which is good in accountability terms.
 

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My point was about your statement that the war was a 'great opportunity' for Iraq. And about how postwar Iraq is not comparable to postwar Germany or Japan.

Also, if you're not disputing that Iraq is worse off after the war, then how can you dispute the "implication that Iraq would be better off without the war"? That's literally the same thing.
You got me wrong. My point was that post war, Iraq had equal opportunity to develop as much as it had going worse. Sadly, the later happened.

On the 2nd line, with or without the war, that region would have become worse. If you are looking at the war to blame for current situation, you are wrong. Even without it, it would have ended up similar.
 

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Yes, I am Pashtun from Muhammad zai tribe. I agree with you, Afghanistan is like a ticking time bomb - I have no idea what Americans have achieved so far.? Civilian deaths,terrorism, corrupt government,tribes conflicts - they still exist as before invasion. The only thing they have done is build few schools and roads or women go to work and school. Positive propaganda, nothing else!
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/afghanistan-the-making-of-a-narco-state-20141204

Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State

After 13 years of war, we haven't defeated the Taliban, but we have managed to create a nation ruled by drug lords

By Matthieu Aikins | December 4, 2014
 

Eyepopper

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I'm no expert but one quick scan of Afghan history would suggest to most people with an ounce of common sense that invading isn't a very good idea.

I seriously doubt Rumsfeld, Bush or Blair give it a second thought these days either... ship their kids over there for a tour and they might.
 

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There was a no option to not invade with a group actively plotting further 9/11 style attacks being given free reign to continue hatching their plots.
 

Raoul

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Yes, I am Pashtun from Muhammad zai tribe. I agree with you, Afghanistan is like a ticking time bomb - I have no idea what Americans have achieved so far.? Civilian deaths,terrorism, corrupt government,tribes conflicts - they still exist as before invasion. The only thing they have done is build few schools and roads or women go to work and school. Positive propaganda, nothing else!
Have you been there recently to compare it to the Taliban days ? Its a completely different place. The amount of construction taking place in Kabul and other big cities is night and day compared with what things looked like pre-9/11. Girls can go to school, there is a growing civil society community, and the country just held internationally recognized democratic elections; the first time in its history that power has been democratically transferred between two political actors. I was there in 2002/03 and again from 2012/14, and can safely say the doom and gloom reports are grossly exaggerated (usually for political purposes). There's still a lot of work to do in terms of security, so lets see how things pan out after a few years with a proper technocratic President.
 

LeChuck

CE Specialist
Iraq's borders were drawn by the British, just like Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Tibet, Bangladesh and half a dozen African countries I don't know about.
ALL of them are locked in perpetual conflict because of the way the borders were drawn. Some like Tibet have been 'pacified' by strong governments. A war has been fought over that border. Others like Bangladesh lurch between democracy and dictatorship. A genocidal massacre and a big war were needed to create the country. There's a 25 year long militancy in Kashmir apart from 4 big wars which have been fought over it. I don't need to talk about Israel-Palestine.

Perhaps rather than blaming the people of these regions, most of them in dire poverty and scarred by years of conflict, you should blame their leaders and more importantly, the one common factor through all these countries- arbitrary drawing of borders by a colonial power. I'm genuinely struggling to think of a big de-colonised country which is conflict free without being a dictatorship, and especially any that has transitioned from a conflict region to democracy. You can include post-Soviet Europe in this... Japan and Germany had been a single country for many years before WWII, and the situations were nothing like these. Who would be the internal enemy in postwar Germany? Which Japanese would the people of Japan hate after being atom-bombed, twice? Another factor in those 2 countries was that they were crucial for the West vs the Soviet Union, which explains the levels of funding and aid they received after WWII from the very countries that had blown them to pieces.

Millions of people aren't a commodity you can go and 'rescue' and discuss 'possible outcomes' for, it leads to situations like Iraq, Vietnam, Korea...
This is a really good post.

If you extrapolate what you're saying to Sykes Picot, the Levant, Hejaz region (even maybe the Maghreb) etc and you see how it's culminated in factions such as AQ, ISIS, Wahhabis, Hezbollah and the like. They all have a common denominator.
 

Stanzin Lama

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Mystic Mountains
Iraq's borders were drawn by the British, just like Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Tibet, Bangladesh and half a dozen African countries I don't know about.
ALL of them are locked in perpetual conflict because of the way the borders were drawn. Some like Tibet have been 'pacified' by strong governments. A war has been fought over that border. Others like Bangladesh lurch between democracy and dictatorship. A genocidal massacre and a big war were needed to create the country. There's a 25 year long militancy in Kashmir apart from 4 big wars which have been fought over it. I don't need to talk about Israel-Palestine.

Perhaps rather than blaming the people of these regions, most of them in dire poverty and scarred by years of conflict, you should blame their leaders and more importantly, the one common factor through all these countries- arbitrary drawing of borders by a colonial power. I'm genuinely struggling to think of a big de-colonised country which is conflict free without being a dictatorship, and especially any that has transitioned from a conflict region to democracy. You can include post-Soviet Europe in this... Japan and Germany had been a single country for many years before WWII, and the situations were nothing like these. Who would be the internal enemy in postwar Germany? Which Japanese would the people of Japan hate after being atom-bombed, twice? Another factor in those 2 countries was that they were crucial for the West vs the Soviet Union, which explains the levels of funding and aid they received after WWII from the very countries that had blown them to pieces.

Millions of people aren't a commodity you can go and 'rescue' and discuss 'possible outcomes' for, it leads to situations like Iraq, Vietnam, Korea...
I absolutely agree with what you said. But perhaps you could count Korea as one of the success stories.
 

Distracted Steward

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Mar 16, 2014
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Yesterday civilians were killed in our village for chanting, for Ghani's support. That happened next to my farm back home.!

Let's just hope that you are rite, I hope we will have a peaceful and secure structure now in our country.
What province and district are you from, Sherzad?