What Next in Afghanistan? - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-06-2008, 03:03 PM   #1
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 06:19 AM
What Next in Afghanistan?

Quote:
Rice Tries to Convince Europe on Afghanistan

By HELENE COOPER and NICHOLAS KULISH
New York Times, February 7, 2008


LONDON — With criticism of the war in Afghanistan increasing on both sides of the Atlantic, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that European governments needed to convince their people that sending troops to Afghanistan—and keeping them there—should remain a priority for NATO. “I do think the alliance is facing a test here,” Ms. Rice said during a visit to London. “Populations have to understand that this is not just a peacekeeping fight.”

But underscoring the challenge for the United States, which wants Europe to significantly increase its troop strength in Afghanistan, Germany announced Wednesday that it would send only enough additional troops to replace a Norwegian contingent of about 250, a number that United States diplomats consider paltry. The German defense minister, Franz Josef Jung, rejected a sharply worded letter last week from his United States counterpart, Robert M. Gates, asking that Germany send soldiers and helicopters to southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban insurgency has increased in ferocity and the heaviest fighting has taken place. Instead, Mr. Jung said on Wednesday that it would deploy only a rapid reaction force in northern Afghanistan in the summer to replace a Norwegian contingent. “An expansion into the south is out of the question,” Reinhold Robbe, defense commissioner for the Bundestag, said on German television. “That is the consensus in all of the parties.”

As the Taliban insurgency has gathered steam, Bush administration officials have been trying to prod reluctant European allies to send more troops to bolster the United States contingent of almost 30,000. The Pentagon recently announced that it is sending an additional 3200 marines to Afghanistan.

Germany has come under perhaps the greatest pressure to increase its commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization force in Afghanistan. It has roughly 3300 troops there, making it the third-largest contributor after the United States and Great Britain. “Partners in an alliance have to also understand the domestic debates in a partner country like Germany,” said Peter Schmidt, a security analyst at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. “The Americans quite often show up in Europe and the president tells us, ‘Look I’ll never get that through Congress.’ Something similar is happening here.”

Bush administration officials have been on the defensive about Afghanistan since a critical report released last week by a group whose co-chairman was Gen. James L. Jones, a former NATO supreme commander. The report concluded: “The U.S. and the international community have tried to win the struggle in Afghanistan with too few military forces and insufficient economic aid, and without a clear and consistent comprehensive strategy to fill the power vacuum outside Kabul and to counter the combined challenges of reconstituted Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan.” A United Nations report this week said that opium production, which officials believe has helped to finance the Taliban and Al Qaeda, has increased. And on Tuesday, the director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, told a Senate panel that Al Qaeda is gaining in strength from its refuge in Pakistan and is steadily improving its abilities to recruit, train and position operatives capable of launching attacks...
My impression from our non-US posters here in FYM is that Mr. Schmidt is right; public support for continued engagement in Afghanistan is running extremely low outside the US, while meanwhile few of us here seem to be thinking or talking much about it. Not a good situation, as it's extremely unlikely that the US can bring about much improvement there on our own.

Regrets and fuming about past mismanagement of the situation aside--what should we do now?
__________________

__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Vincent Vega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6,615
Local Time: 06:19 AM
Mr Schmidt's assessment is pretty accurate. Sending fighting troops to the south would require a majority in the Bundestag to vote for such a mission, and additionally, so far the maximum for troops allowed to be sent is 3,500. So they would have to get a majority for lifting the limit.
However, the Left, the Greens and the Liberals, i.e. the opposition won't be in favor of that. Although CDU and SPD have a majority considerable parts of both parties would be against it as well, hence a majority would be highly unlikely.

Even though there is still quite support for being in Afghanistan, and most see the need that we have committed ourselves to being there and to eastablishing a stable country, I don't think sending troops into the south would bode well with most of the population.
Additionally, although the north is relatively peaceful compared to the south it is far from being secured, and I think it is vital to have some troops there. Otherwise, we could at some point see that suddenly the attacks aren't coming from the south anymore, but also from the north.
And, quite frankly, our Ministry of Defense is handling the task pretty sloppy, and often relativating the situation in Afghanistan ridiculously.

Another problem what soliders and officers in Afghanistan often complain about, is that the managment and distribution of supplies and reinforcements still is far from optimal, and the troops there often are lacking vital resources. As long as we don't get these problems fixed I think sending in troops to the south would be ridiculous.

From what I know how German training looks like you would fare better with other troops anyway.

The problem with the opium production, especially as it is financing the Taliban to a great extent, should be one thing that is dealt with. However, just cutting down the fields and leaving the farmers with nothing won't do it. We will need some working solutions in order to get those farmers growing other plants which will get the sufficient income, and need to somehow stop them supporting the Taliban.

An article I've read recently about the killing of the top Taliban fighter in Pakistan (forgot his name) also dealt with the question of how to fight the Taliban in Pakistan. On the one hand, carrying out such missions, i.e. sending in drones and killing top Taliban fighters within Pakistan, weakens the position of Musharraf considerably, since the Pakistani will question his authority and power. Doing nothing will help the Taliban recruiting and reinforcing within Pakistan, especially since the half-hearted actions by Musharraf's army are not doing anything, which is, dare I say it, in a way similar to the dilemma Johnson had when he decided not to go after the Vietcong in Cambodia in order to not weaken the sovereignty of Cambodia.

Despite the difficulties politically and the weak support by the German public I guess that in the long run we will have to send in more troops, and I'm also not sure as to how long our Minister of Defense will be able to resist the request upon sending troops to the south.

I also remember anitram saying that the Canadians are dead set about withdrawing in 2009, and that would be a huge gap required to be filled.
__________________

__________________
Vincent Vega is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2008, 06:29 PM   #3
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
the iron horse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: in a glass of CheerWine
Posts: 3,251
Local Time: 12:19 AM
My hope is that the US will elect a President who understands and follows the U.S. Constitution.

It does not say to police the world or try to spread our idea of goverment to other countries.
__________________
the iron horse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2008, 06:32 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,294
Local Time: 12:19 AM
To be honest, I think that so long as this administration is in power, this particular ship has sailed. Just the notion of sending Condoleezza Rice abroad to places that she along with the rest of Bushco insulted and denigrated for years is silliness and a complete lack of understanding how democracy works.

In Canada, the problem is similar to that of Germany with respect to a refusal to provide ongoing help. Our minority parties have said they will bring down the government if it attempts to extend the mission. The whole thing has very little public support. I think generally the world feels like the Americans fucked this up royally, then they treated the rest of us like dirt and now they want money and bodies and it's no go.

It is possible that a new administration (provided it is not a "bomb bomb bomb Iran!!" one) could finagle some kind of diplomatic win here with a few foreign governments. But before then? Kind of a lost cause.
__________________
anitram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2008, 06:40 PM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Vincent Vega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6,615
Local Time: 06:19 AM
That's right, you don't insult a country and then ask it to provide some people that give their life.
And this is really a pity for Afghanistan, and I would be sorry for them if they got screwed because the US put their allies off and that translated into less support for the whole mission. In the end, it's not the US government harmed but the people of Afghanistan.

A president that wanted our support, and that of many other countries, had better not going to plan any war with Iran.
__________________
Vincent Vega is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2008, 06:48 PM   #6
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,493
Local Time: 12:19 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
To be honest, I think that so long as this administration is in power, this particular ship has sailed. Just the notion of sending Condoleezza Rice abroad to places that she along with the rest of Bushco insulted and denigrated for years is silliness and a complete lack of understanding how democracy works.

In Canada, the problem is similar to that of Germany with respect to a refusal to provide ongoing help. Our minority parties have said they will bring down the government if it attempts to extend the mission. The whole thing has very little public support. I think generally the world feels like the Americans fucked this up royally, then they treated the rest of us like dirt and now they want money and bodies and it's no go.

It is possible that a new administration (provided it is not a "bomb bomb bomb Iran!!" one) could finagle some kind of diplomatic win here with a few foreign governments. But before then? Kind of a lost cause.


this is pretty much what i was going to say.

i know that some will say that it doesn't matter if the US is loved or hated, we can still get other people to do what they want and will then point to all those "coalitions" in Iraq and Afghanistan. but it certainly makes it easier to succeed when you have countries eager to help you out rather than resenting their leaders for acquiescing to the demands of a deranged administration.

so we drag it out for another year, and then hopefully Hillary or Obama will be able to spin this in a way that's acceptable to the Europeans and Canadians, and we move forward from there.
__________________
Irvine511 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2008, 06:50 PM   #7
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 30,343
Local Time: 12:19 AM
Haven't we lost the credibility to ask for help like this?
__________________
phillyfan26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2008, 07:37 PM   #8
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
ntalwar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,900
Local Time: 12:19 AM
Maybe they are realizing some conflicts are just unwinnable?
They may not see a clear benefit from adding more troops.
__________________
ntalwar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 02:35 PM   #9
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,493
Local Time: 12:19 AM
[q]Gates Says Anger Over Iraq Hurts Afghan Effort
By THOM SHANKER

MUNICH — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Friday that many Europeans are confused about NATO’s security mission in Afghanistan, and that they do not support the alliance effort because they opposed the American-led invasion of Iraq.

“I worry that for many Europeans the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are confused,” Mr. Gates said as he flew here to deliver an address at an international security conference.

“I think that they combine the two,” Mr. Gates added. “Many of them, I think, have a problem with our involvement in Iraq, and project that to Afghanistan, and do not understand the very different — for them — the very different kind of threat.”

The comments were the first time Mr. Gates had explicitly linked European antipathy to American policy in Iraq with why large segments of the public here do not support the NATO security and reconstruction operation in Afghanistan.

Even more, Mr. Gates’ assessment was an unusually candid acknowledgment from a senior member of President Bush’s cabinet that the war in Iraq has exacted a direct, and significant, political cost, even among Washington’s closest allies.

Over recent weeks, Mr. Gates has made a public and private effort to persuade NATO governments to offer up more combat troops as well as military and police trainers for the Afghan mission. At the conclusion of a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers in Lithuania Friday morning, Mr. Gates expressed confidence that “a number of the allies are considering what more they might be able to do.”

Mr. Gates said that his recent public comments, as well as his keynote speech here on Sunday, are to “focus on why Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and failure in Afghanistan would be a security problem for Europe.”

He said that Al Qaeda leaders hiding in and near Afghanistan, and terrorist foot soldiers linked to the organization, already were responsible for violent attacks in Europe.

In a public diplomacy strategy somewhat unusual for an American defense secretary, Mr. Gates said he will attempt to speak directly to the people of Europe, and not their governments, “in an effort to try and explain why their security is tied to the success in Afghanistan and how success in Afghanistan impacts the future of the alliance.”

Mr. Gates acknowledged there is a risk in making a personal appeal to Europeans for support in stabilizing and rebuilding Afghanistan if their own governments have not been able to make the case with complete success already.

There is no need to rethink the NATO strategy in Afghanistan nor to reshape the mission, Mr. Gates said. But while he is pressing immediately for increased commitments from NATO nations and other allies for combat troops, trainers and transport aircraft, he also stressed that rebuilding Afghanistan “is a long-term project.”

“Afghanistan is going to need significant international help and support for a long time,” he said. The goal should be to move toward civil reconstruction as insurgents are defeated, he said. Yet 2007 was a violent year for the mission, and a series of recent studies by respected policy institutes have said the international mission in Afghanistan is at risk of failure.[/q]
__________________
Irvine511 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 04:35 PM   #10
Resident Photo Buff
Forum Moderator
 
Diemen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Somewhere in middle America
Posts: 13,238
Local Time: 11:19 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
“I worry that for many Europeans the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are confused,” Mr. Gates said as he flew here to deliver an address at an international security conference.

“I think that they combine the two,” Mr. Gates added.
Maybe they were just listening to Sting.

Quote:
“Many of them ... do not understand the very different — for them — the very different kind of threat.”
I'm so torn! Who do I believe? The Secretary of Defense or Sting?
__________________
Diemen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 05:03 PM   #11
Refugee
 
Infinity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,188
Local Time: 10:19 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse
My hope is that the US will elect a President who understands and follows the U.S. Constitution.

It does not say to police the world or try to spread our idea of goverment to other countries.
My hope too.
__________________
Infinity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 11:00 PM   #12
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 06:19 AM
Amid Taliban violence, key players differ on containment strategy
Divergent approaches of US, Pakistan and Afghanistan highlight complexity of developing a unified front on terrorism.



By David Montero
Christian Science Monitor roundup, October 2



As Taliban violence surges, American, Pakistani, and Afghan leaders pursued clearly divergent approaches this week, underscoring the complexities of devising a coherent strategy to contain the problem. While Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been trying to negotiate for peace with the Taliban, US drones fired once again on Taliban targets in Pakistan. And while the US Army prepares to change its military commander in Afghanistan, Pakistan has announced a new head of its troubled intelligence wing.

President Karzai disclosed on Monday that he has been trying to broker a peace accord with the Taliban. "The negotiations...are increasingly seen as the only solution to the violent insurgency gripping Afghanistan," the Financial Times reports.

Karzai said he had sought help in negotiations from Saudi Arabia, to no avail, the New York Times adds:
Quote:
As the Afghan war intensifies and American commanders call for increased troop levels, President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday that he had repeatedly sought the intervention of the Saudi royal family to bring the resurgent Taliban to peace negotiations. But Mr. Karzai said his appeals had failed to yield any talks, and his tone suggested a degree of frustration with the Saudi government for not having acted more decisively. Nor was there any indication that senior Taliban leaders were ready for talks on any grounds that the Karzai government and its Western backers would be likely to accept. On the contrary, the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, issued a new call on Monday for Afghans to continue their "holy war" against American and other Western troops, and promised that those heeding his call would be rewarded with a collapse of American power in the world, just as the former Soviet Union collapsed after its 10-year occupation of Afghanistan.
As Karzai held out an olive branch, the US military took a different approach, continuing to pound targets in Pakistan, Britain's Guardian newspaper reports.
Quote:
A suspected US drone killed at least six people in a missile strike in a Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan near the Afghan border, officials said today...Two missiles were fired at a house in the Khushali Torikhel area near Mir Ali town at around midnight, according to local media reports. Pakistani intelligence officials said the missiles struck the home of a local Taliban commander. The officials said a US drone aircraft--not Pakistani forces--fired the missiles. Pakistani media reported that among the dead were a number of foreign militants.
Pakistan took its own tack today to revise its counterterrorism strategy, replacing the chief of the InterServices Intelligence, or ISI, Pakistan's clandestine service, the Associated Press reports.
Quote:
Pakistan named a new head of its main intelligence service, a change sure to be scrutinized by American officials who have questioned the powerful spy agency's loyalties in the war on terror. Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shujaa Pasha, the new chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, oversaw military offensives against militants in Pakistan's restive northwest tribal areas in his most recent job as director general of military operations.

Pakistani intelligence helped create the Taliban. U.S. intelligence agencies suspect rogue ISI elements may still be giving the Taliban sensitive information to aid militants in their growing insurgency in Afghanistan, even though officially, Pakistan is a U.S. ally in fighting terrorism.
An editorial in Pakistan's Daily Times called the new appointment a welcome move.
Quote:
...[T]he new [director general of] ISI is handpicked by...General Ashfaq Kayani, and not by [Prime Minister Yousaf Raza] Gilani. He was...in charge of the anti-terrorist operations in [the Federally Administered Tribal Areas] and directly responsible for implementing the policy of the [Chief of Army Staff] there, first under General Musharraf and then under General Kayani...Significantly, neither the [prime minister] nor President Asif Zardari has tried to influence General Kayani's choice, indicating a welcome degree of trust between the new military and new political leadership...Clearly, under Gen Pasha, the ISI will be retooled to deal with the internal threat to the state from terrorism in FATA. This is great news.
General Pasha's appointment comes as the US military is changing its command in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gen. David Petraeus, credited with turning around Iraq's crippling security scenario, is expected to take command "of all American forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan on Oct. 31," reports the New York Times. In an interview with the paper, he says the battle with the Taliban is likely to worsen.
Quote:
As he prepares to take up his post as head of Central Command, Gen. David H. Petraeus said in an interview this week that he expected the fight against the insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan to get worse before it got better.

...General Petraeus's experience in Iraq has allowed him to develop a comprehensive approach to fighting the counterinsurgency. But the general was careful not to take any lessons from Iraq too hastily, and said he would not be directing things in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a "several-thousand-mile screwdriver" from Central Command. "People often ask, 'What did you learn from Iraq that might be transferable to Afghanistan?' " he said. "The first lesson, the first caution really, is that every situation like this is truly and absolutely unique, and has its own context and specifics and its own texture," he said.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 11:07 PM   #13
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Vincent Vega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6,615
Local Time: 06:19 AM
I started to read the first post again. This sentence stuck with me this time especially:
Quote:
“Populations have to understand that this is not just a peacekeeping fight.”
The great irony with this sentence is, and that's no offense to Rice since she most probably isn't aware, in Germany the politicians try to sell the commitment as a peacekeeping, humanitarian action, calling the soldiers "humanitarians in uniform, and go out of their way to admit that indeed the troops are fighting down there, and that it is a military commitment. The soldiers and other high ranking staff, when interviewed, always complain about the politicians not being honest about what is going on, and even the generals are calling the politicians out and demand to split the tasks into humanitarian work done by humanitarians and military work done by the military.
__________________
Vincent Vega is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 08:54 PM   #14
Refugee
 
Slipstream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 1,474
Local Time: 10:19 PM
I just wanted to point out that the current plan is for Canada to withdraw from Afghanistan sometime in 2011 after what will be 9 years of fighting. This was announced earlier in the year after a unanimous parliamentary vote. As of last year, Canadian Forces had the highest amount of soldiers killed per capita of foreign troops in Afghanistan.
__________________
Slipstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2008, 06:52 PM   #15
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 06:19 AM
Some Afghans live under Taliban rule -- and prefer it

By Anand Gopal
Christian Science Monitor, October 15



PORAK, Afghanistan -- After a gang of thieves had continually terrorized an Afghan neighborhood near here months ago, locals decided they'd had enough. "We complained several times to the government and even showed them where the thieves lived," says Ahmad, who goes by one name.

But the bandits continued to operate freely. So the villagers turned to the Taliban. The militants' parallel government here in Logar Province--less than 40 miles from Kabul, the capital--tried and convicted the men, tarred their faces, paraded them around, and threatened to chop off their hands if they were caught stealing in the future. The thieves never bothered the locals again.

In several provinces close to Kabul, the government's presence is vanishing or already nonexistent, residents say. In its place, a more effective--and brutal--Taliban shadow government is spreading and winning local support. "The police are just for show," one local says. "The Taliban are the real power here."

Widespread disillusionment with rampant crime, corrupt government, and lack of jobs has fueled the Taliban's rise to de facto power--though mainly in areas dominated by fellow ethnic Pashtuns. Still, the existence of Taliban power structures so close to Kabul shows the extent to which the Afghan government has lost control of the country.
"This is a major problem for them," says Habibullah Rafeh, a political analyst with the Afghanistan Academy of Sciences. "Even though the Taliban can't capture Kabul militarily because of the strength of the international forces there, the government can't stop them from operating freely just outside of the city."

When President Hamid Karzai's government first took power in 2001, "authorities gave every family in Logar two kilos of food," says a local resident who works with an international nongovernmental organization and identifies himself as Abdel Qabir. "When that ran out each family received $200 assistance. But that, too, ran out, and people had no money and there were criminals everywhere. So people turned to the Taliban," Mr. Qabir continues. "They may not provide jobs, but at least they share the same culture and brought security."

Villagers say that almost every household in Logar Province has Taliban fighters. By day the area is quiet--most people stay indoors behind large mud walls or tend to their fields. A tiny roadside market sells dried fruits and soft drinks, and the shops often go unattended for hours. As nightfall approaches, Taliban fighters slowly emerge from the houses and surrounding hillsides, some lugging rocket-propelled grenade launchers over their shoulders, ready to begin a night's work. The guerrillas set up checkpoints along Logar Province's central highway, stopping trucks and taxis to check IDs.

A few miles away sits a police checkpoint, but the police say they don't dare enter the Taliban-controlled areas. Yet many villagers say they don't need the police, since crime has almost vanished. The foreign troop presence in Logar and neighboring provinces remains limited, too. NATO forces tend to only patrol some areas and focus their efforts on specific operations, usually at night. The Taliban now have a strong presence in all seven of Logar's districts, including outright control of four of them, locals say. "In these districts the Taliban patrol openly in the daytime and there is no government presence at all," says Qabir.

In neighboring Ghazni Province, the Taliban is in full control of 13 of the 18 districts, according to locals. Similarly, in Wardak, which neighbors Kabul, the insurgents have control of six of eight districts. None of the six districts in either province dominated by ethnic Hazaras, however, are run by the Taliban.

In areas under their control, the Taliban has set up their own government, complete with police chiefs, judges, and even education committees. An Islamic scholar heads the judicial committee of each district under Taliban control and usually appoints two judges to try cases using a strict interpretation of sharia law, according to locals and Taliban members. "We prefer these courts to the government courts," says Fazel Wali of Ghazni city, an NGO worker. Taliban courts have a reputation of working much faster than government ones, which often take months to decide cases and are saddled with corruption, he says.

The Taliban's parallel government is also involved in local education. Employees with Coordination for Afghan Relief, an Afghan NGO that works in Ghazni city and trains teachers, say Taliban authorities recently gave them a letter detailing the "allowed curriculum" in local schools. Abdul Hakim, a Taliban "Emir of Education and Culture" in Ghazni Province, says his group checks all schoolbooks to ensure that they adhere to their version of sharia law. "We want to ensure that our youth are trained in Islamic education," he explains. "First, they should learn sharia law and religious studies. Then comes science and other subjects...But we don't burn or close down schools if they are in accord with Islam." However, locals say that the number of schools in Taliban-controlled territory is dwindling fast. Of the 1100 schools operating three years ago in Ghazni, only 100 are left, according to the Ministry of Education. Almost no girls' schools remain, except nearly a dozen in the government-controlled provincial center.

The group also brings its austere interpretation of Islam to the areas they control, banning nonreligious music and flashy wedding parties. In Logar, guards at Taliban checkpoints regularly stop vehicles and beat drivers playing music.

The government police often refuse to enter Taliban territory. In Logar Province, when the Taliban set ablaze the homes of suspected government sympathizers during the middle of the night a few months ago, the locals called the police, desperate. "But the police actually told us to wait until morning, since they don't like to come out at night," recalls one resident. The houses burned to the ground. Mozafaradeen Wardak, chief of police in Wardak Province, denies the allegations and says that, while the insurgents may have control in places like Logar and Ghazni, the police still regularly patrol.

Independent political analyst Waheed Muzhda says the Taliban's advance from the south toward Kabul resembles their progression when they first took power 12 years ago. In both cases, he says, they won support by bringing law and order. "We have no TV. We can't listen to music. We don't have parties," says Abdul Halim of Ghazni Province, who, like others in the area, is a Taliban supporter. "But at least we have security and justice."
__________________

__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com