On handing Afghanistan over to the Taliban

…and holding them to account by threatening to bomb them from the air

Bill and Bob’s Excellent Afghan Adventure rips apart Anatol Lieven’s op-ed in the Financial Times advocating a US pullout (linkthanks Joshua Foust). Among others, Dr Lieven recommends that “the aim should be a radically decentralised Afghanistan in which the Taliban can be permitted to take over much of the country in return for a guarantee—under threat of aerial bombardment—not to give shelter to terrorists.” And this is what the former infantryman says in response:

Notwithstanding some of ridiculous recommendations made earlier in his article, this is where Mr. Lieven goes clean ’round the bend….This man is a PhD, for Pete’s sake, and he’s advocating ceding a large area of Afghanistan to the Taliban? Has this man been smoking the Taliban flowers [BBEAA]

You should just read the whole post instead of these sanitised excerpts. But before you do, just look at the perspicaciousness in the following:

You see, short-sighted educated people like Anatol Lieven threaten my sons’ lives. I want for my sons to go to Afghanistan… as tourists, not as Soldiers. Mark my words, if we abandon Afghanistan because it is too hard right now, we will consign ourselves to at least another generation of warfare in what will definitely become known as “The Long War” instead of the GWOT. We will be back in Afghanistan with the stain of two abandonments on our faces instead of just one, and the Afghans will most assuredly not be any happier to see us the next time. [BBEAA]

6 thoughts on “On handing Afghanistan over to the Taliban”

  1. The Taliban are an important element of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Without the Taliban, Kabul will show independence in its dealings with Islamabad, which means a dangerous border issue over the Durand line will be opened up.

    Historically, USA being a supporter of Pakistan means there will be significant lobbying groups for Pakistan’s interests.

    India should support all the anti-Taliban forces from the earners : through both overt and covert support. This means it has to become a major supporter of the Afghan government.

  2. Anatole Lieven is clearly an Atlanticist, who is much more concerned about getting the West to focus on fighting wars for European borders and territory. So naturally, he will try to go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to rationalize a pullout from those silly wars in inconsequential Asia, so that everything can be diverted to Europe’s defense.

    An America that does not fight wars in Europe is “isolationist”, you see. But an America that fights wars in Asia is “adventurist”.

  3. Sanjay – “An America that does not fight wars in Europe is “isolationist”, ”

    fight wars with whom?

  4. I dont see why his sons have to have the entitlement to go to Afghanistan as tourists, or as soldiers. Of course, I am taking his line out of context, but I do so because it seems to reflect the underlying strand of aggressive foreign policy of America and its allies – the feeling of ownership to a ‘right’ to freely trade, travel, and propagate ideas across the rest of the world.

  5. The Indispensable Ally by Mr. Royalty (link)

    Mind you this was written immediately after the Mumbai attacks and no he isn’t talking about India.

    He goes out of his way to be an apologist for Pakistan and its history and reality. He seems still have this romantic attachment to the country and its horsechit since he was a correspondent over there.

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