Thursday, 28 January 2010

Afghanistan Conference

President Karzia set out his stall prior to today's Afghanistan conference. More money and more support for at least 15 years.

Speaking to the BBC before the talks got under way, Mr Karzai said: "With regard to training and equipping the Afghan security forces, five to 10 years will be enough," Mr Karzai said.

"With regard to sustaining them until Afghanistan is financially able to provide for our forces, the time may be extended to 10 to 15 years."

Now the conference has started the BBC has now taken the Gordon Brown line ' mid-2011 should be the deadline for turning the tide in the fight against resurgents in Afghanistan'.

Donor countries are expected to set up a fund to help lure Taliban members back into Afghan society. Another fund.

But I shouldn't be cynical. British troops now have a new strategy dubbed "courageous restraint". This new restraint means dropping fewer bombs, using fewer munitions and - when fighting - using more brain-power than fire-power. Use of high-explosive artillery shells by British troops is down more than 60%, while use of smoke shells to mask movement is up nearly 70%.

Sir Rodric Braithwaite, former British ambassador to Moscow who is writing a book on the Soviet role in Afghanistan, said:

"The Americans, and therefore we, are redefining our goals.

"Instead of demonising the Taliban, we now contemplate the possibility that some of them could become part of the solution, an Afghanistan run by the Afghans themselves. That is welcome, the beginning of strategy.

"But it takes two to tango, and the Taliban may believe that they have less to gain by talking to President Karzai and his foreign supporters than by sitting it out until we leave anyhow.

"The path to the exit door is still likely to be protracted, tortuous, and bloody."

Many would agree with him. All Gordon Brown's talk about our troop withdrawal starting later this year was just fantasy. We knew that though, didn't we?


Oldrightie said...

Snotty Brown and Labours' solution to everything, throw other peoples' money at it.

subrosa said...

When's it going to stop though OR? It seems as if nobody will be able to halt these constant agreements to other countries to hand them our cash.

John Pickworth said...

Gormless Brown can't even run this this relatively peaceful country, never mind sort out the problems of an unstable one.

Witness the witless fool flee to Northern Ireland on an unnecessary mission purely to absent himself from facing Cameron at PMQs just as the 0.1% of greenish shoot is announced.

I'm sick to death of hearing about the prudent one writing cheques for every bleeding heart sob story. We can't afford it.

Clarinda said...

I've been reading Selig Harrison and Rory Stewart with their direct and considered experiences in the Afghan-Pakistan morass. They are both of the opinion that the Taiban do not necessarily hold ultimate sway as the traditional ethnic groupings( jointly in Afghanistan and Pakistan) still do not recognise borders and remain immensely powerful and influential over huge areas that have never recognised democratic central government. It makes one wonder if peace(?) would be more likely with the national and international recognition of these ethnic clans in a federal collection of ethnic states rather than the ham-fisted attempt to bring about political stability in an area that rejects a blanket form of democracy? I have no idea what's right or wrong but we continue to ignore ethnic divides fuelled by sections of Islamic fanaticism at our continued peril. What's still going on in Northern Ireland afterall?

subrosa said...

He writes the cheques to assure his place in the New World Order John. This country's well being doesn't enter into it.

subrosa said...

I've not read much of Harrison Clarinda but Rory Stewart yes.

Many other think in a similar vein that a federal system would be far better, but I think the problem is the overlap with Pakistan. Pakistan made an error in giving the Swat area to the Taliban without considering the effect over the Afghan border plus the unrest it would cause throughout the country. It seems to have settled at the moment but perhaps we're just not receiving much info.

Northern Ireland will never be resolved. Too many now have too much to lose both financially and politically.

Strathturret said...

I would have though Northern Ireland is a lot better.

A lot less violence, economy doing better even a tourist industry.

JRB said...

Mmmm …

15 years of generous financing from the gullible west = a very nice pension fund for Mr Karzai and a few others

… or am I just old and cynical?

Strathturret said...

Good bit on BBC News by John Simpson. Basically saying London Conference was about conning population in USA and UK that we'll be out of Afghanistan soon. All of a sudden Karsai is okay guy when he was an election fraud a couple of months ago.

subrosa said...

Not in the least John, you're spot on as far as I'm concerned.

I've just heard an Afghan say the giving of the money will cause far more problems than even the conflict. Will see if there's further information on TV somewhere.

subrosa said...

Of course it is and when I was following the BBC this morning (while watching Andy Murray) I noticed they were quick to take off the article about Karzia saying he wanted money and help for 15 years.

Someone said he was feted round the conference and with the military. An utter disgrace.

subrosa said...

My Irish friends say it is better but killings still continue. The government don't want them publicised Strathturret.

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