There have been killings of Red Cross, UN and other NGO aid workers in Afghanistan in the last several months. In relation to the killing of a French aid worker, the BBC reports that some Taleban officials have claimed responsibility for the murder, while others have denied it. That’s not quite the point.
Why is there still a Taleban, openly issuing press statements? Does the United States think that the risks posed by jehadi groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan would end with the establishment of a moderate (Karzai) government in Kabul and continued promises of good behavior by Musharraf? The greatest danger to the region comes from leaving the business in Afghanistan/Pakistan unfinished. The Taleban must not be allowed back into the mainstream even if they pose as the voice of Pashtun nationalism. Musharraf is trying hard to position them as the Pashtun response to a Northern Alliance dominated Kabul government. Allowing this untruthful construct to gain currency would be the most stupid and most dangerous thing the United States could do.
Afghanistan and Iraq are two theatres in the global war on terrorism. For the sake of our values and for our own security, we must have the patience and the determination to stay the course and pay the price in the certain knowledge that we are doing the right thing. Colin Powell.
The danger lies in bundling Afghanistan with Iraq. These are two very different problems, and require two very different approaches. There is no major country in the world which would oppose more US forces and anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan. Iraq is a different matter.
It will be tragic if the War on Terror (in Afghanistan) becomes the biggest casualty of the War in Iraq.
- Zalmay Khalilzad maintains his complaint, asks Pakistan to do more