21 October 2008

Germany Flying the White Flag in Afghanistan

After a particularly nasty suicide attack in the normally quiet province of Kunduz in Afghanistan, a German editorialist advocates throwing in the towel with the piece "An Unwinnable War in Afghanistan" [Deutshe Welle in English]:

The growing threat is having the effect that soldiers are sticking close to their base camps and avoiding any contact to the civilian population, which then only shows increasing animosity towards the soldiers. Clearly, such a "spiral of alienation" is no help to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The majority of Afghans in the relatively peaceful north are still amiable to the Germans, say the generals. But if even this support starts to dwindle, there will be consequences for the entire NATO mission. It may even be that the fight for a stable, peaceful Afghanistan can no longer be won.
While Germany is the workhorse EU's economy, their weak-kneed political will to finish the fight in Afghanistan leaves much to be desired. The fact that one suicide attack could inspire an editorial like this from a NATO ally shows that terrorism as a tactic has a strong political effect (a disturbing truth). As the commitment from our NATO allies wanes, it appears Afghanistan will be fought by the Anglosphere (U.S., Canada, Britain, and Australia) and, of course, the Afghan Security Forces. But Wired has an article today citing serious problems with Operation Enduring Freedom, and our troops and whoever remains of our allies deserve a much improved strategy.

Tired of Doom and Gloom in Afghanistan: Bouhammer talks about the necessity of Embedded Tactical Teams from a first-hand perspective, and The Captain's Journal discusses measured success with the Marines in the Helmand province.