The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A link

Ahmed Rashid, writing for al Jazeera, provides a good overview of the current state of the Afghan insurgency. As I have noted many times, the so-called "Islamic State" in Afghanistan is really a breakaway faction of Taliban that has adopted the brand name. Afghan islamists have absolutely no interest in pledging allegiance to Arab leaders. And the dispute is not really ideological in any case, it's a struggle over resources such as the heroin trade. Another faction is the reconstituted al Qaeda, again more of a brand name than representing any particular ideological faction or association with leadership in the Middle East.

While these rivalries might be seen as weakening the insurgency, they also make any prospect for a negotiated end to the conflict far more difficult. But the important thing for us to remember is that the Taliban have no ambitions beyond Afghanistan. They aren't interested in global jihad or a restored caliphate or any of that. They want an Islamic regime in Afghanistan.


Jojomina said...