Baroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 60 Posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 899 times:
Australia has a new Minister for Defence and he does not seem happy with what he finds in relation to what was thought to be the more successful of Australian troop deployments. This follows on arguments over the deployment of some NATO contingents.
THE Defence Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, has denounced the handling of the war in Afghanistan and says the allies are disunited, lack a clear plan and have failed to deal with the drug trade.
In a scathing assessment of the progress of the war, Mr Fitzgibbon yesterday laid out a string of failures and warned that a new strategy was required to ensure the Australian contribution was not "for nil".
"No coherent strategy, confused chains of command and blurred lines of responsibility, a failing counter-narcotics strategy, the absence of benchmarks for progress, a crisis in burden sharing, with a number of NATO countries failing to meet or live up to their side of the bargain - and poor progress in advancing Afghan security forces towards the critical mass in skill required for them to be able to hold our military gains."
He referred to recent comments by the British politician and diplomat Paddy Ashdown, who this week said the NATO-led forces were in disarray and "defeat is now a real possibility".
"What an ominous development it would be for global security and for the Afghan people. What a tragedy it would be if all the good work done so far in the end were to count for nought.""
After the debacle over the proposed Ashdown appointment this is perhaps not surprising. There is a considerable amount in the article about the heroin production. The whole Afghanistan venture seems to be in danger of collapse as more parties complain of a lack of planning.
With Pakistan looking to be more unstable every day, Afghanistan is not going to get any easier in the near future.
Baroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 60 Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 819 times:
Quoting Klaus (Reply 1): Exactly my point for a long time now: A properly working strategy is necessary first and foremost.
It looks as if the new eyes of the Rudd government are not so happy with the existing strategy as the old eyes of the Howard government - which in effect could have meant Downer moderated by Howard passing on the instructions from the White House.
Some of our military were supposed to be helping "plan" post invasion Iraq (if that is not a contradiction in terms). It will be interesting to see if our new government thinks there was a plan there and if we knew about it. And that will be even more interesting in relation to who knew what about the AWB payments to the Saddam government.
There is just no knowing what might happen if electorates go electing new governments.
Baroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 60 Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 799 times:
Quoting Scbriml (Reply 3): The drugs business is booming and the whole place is going down the drain.
I was going to answer to your first sentence, "obviously you are not in the drugs business"! I presume that if you ARE in that business, the news just gets better and better.
It is one of those situations that was a great deal easier to get into than to get out of.
With the US record on drugs world wide, the Blairs and Howards should have been ensuring a strategy was in place to prevent what is now happening. The Afghanistan drug situation, apart from flooding the west, is corrupting Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, together with a whole bunch of other Stans on the old silk road west.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21346 posts, RR: 54 Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 785 times:
Quoting Baroque (Reply 2): There is just no knowing what might happen if electorates go electing new governments.
Quoting Scbriml (Reply 3): The Taliban is gaining strength and is close to pre-war levels of control in many parts of the country. The drugs business is booming and the whole place is going down the drain.
Not the whole place, though. Northern Afghanistan has developed relatively well under a different approach.
Contrary to many of my compatriots I would not be automatically opposed to a broader deployment of german troops in Afghanistan within their capabilities if a major overhaul of the strategy would be done.
It was exceedingly stupid of the (entire!) western strategy to first drive the afghan farmers out of business by flooding the market with imported "aid" supplies, then coddling the warlords who promptly resurrected the drug industry and made an offer to the starving farmers those simply could not afford to refuse and to top it off then more or less indiscriminately bombing out villages in the south.
At the same time Pakistan has been grossly neglected and is still hosting most of the taliban infrastructure.
Now several years on it will be a lot harder to clean up the mess; Goes to show that there is just one first try and it pays to get things right on the first go.
My expectation would be that the changed government in Australia will add its own impetus to reconsider the Afghanistan approach; The british Brown administration has already chimed in and the US DoD also seems ready for change, even before the impending change of the presidency (either way). German foreign and military policies have been in more or less constant development for the past two decades, so I don't think the last word has been spoken here either.
It is probably not so much a question whether there will be a major change in the Afghanistan missions but merely when it will happen.