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Henry Kissinger: How to exit Afghanistan without creating wider conflict
WaPo ^ | 6/8/2011 | Henry Kissinger

Posted on 06/08/2011 11:46:39 AM PDT by mojito

The American role in Afghanistan is drawing to a close in a manner paralleling the pattern of three other inconclusive wars since the Allied victory in World War II: a wide consensus in entering them, and growing disillusionment as the war drags on, shading into an intense national search for an exit strategy with the emphasis on exit rather than strategy.

We entered Afghanistan to punish the Taliban for harboring al-Qaeda, which, under Osama bin Laden’s leadership, had carried out the Sept. 11 attacks. After a rapid victory, U.S. forces remained to assist the construction of a post-Taliban state. But nation-building ran up against the irony that the Afghan nation comes into being primarily in opposition to occupying forces. When foreign forces are withdrawn, Afghan politics revert to a contest over territory and population by various essentially tribal groups.

[....]

The stated goal of creating a government and domestic security structure to which responsibility for the defense of Afghanistan can be turned over is widely recognized as unreachable by 2014, the time most NATO nations have set as the outer limit of the common effort. Polls show that more than 70 percent of Americans believe that the United States should withdraw from Afghanistan.

The quest for an alternative has taken the form — it is widely reported — of negotiations under German sponsorship between representatives of Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban, and American officials. Most observers will treat this as the beginning of an inexorable withdrawal. The death of bin Laden, while not operationally relevant to current fighting, is a symbolic dividing line. Still, the challenge remains of how to conclude our effort without laying the groundwork for a wider conflict.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aghanistan; kissinger; obama
A glimpse of future US policy.

Expect Obama to run in 2012 on a campaign promise to end US involvement in Afghanistan; as proof, expect him to announce major troop withdrawals sometime later this year.

1 posted on 06/08/2011 11:46:45 AM PDT by mojito
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To: mojito

who gives a flip what that one worlder thinks anyway


2 posted on 06/08/2011 11:49:26 AM PDT by SF_Redux (Sarah stands for accountablility and personal responsiblity, democrats can't live with that)
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To: SF_Redux

Because something similar to what is outlined here will be official US policy within six months or less.


3 posted on 06/08/2011 11:54:33 AM PDT by mojito
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To: mojito
But nation-building ran up against the irony that the Afghan nation comes into being primarily in opposition to occupying forces. When foreign forces are withdrawn, Afghan politics revert to a contest over territory and population by various essentially tribal groups.
4 posted on 06/08/2011 11:55:35 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: mojito
We'll see. I'm not sure Petraeus will back that completely.

I'm not sure there's a plan. think what's going on is that Obama has been running on the fumes of Bush's policies. Now that OBL is dead it's time to change strategy. And Obama is lost because he can function only on the coattails of someone else's plan. He is no executive. He's simply a follower whose only real strength (if you can call it that) is a gilded tongue.

5 posted on 06/08/2011 12:10:30 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming
I fully agree that 0 has no strategy as far as Afghanistan goes; he could care less.

But he does have a reelection strategy. And with the economy tanking, he's going to have to look to somewhere as a source of accomplishment, of which there has been so little.

An Afghan withdrawal is going to start being sold as 0’s big foreign policy triumph.

6 posted on 06/08/2011 12:22:16 PM PDT by mojito
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To: mojito

Remember what happened in 1975 in ‘Nam after the U.S. completely pulled out? The NVA rolled over the ARVNs in a matter of weeks (or maybe it was days) and the war ended and they were victorious.

We were supporting a corrupt govt. then and we’re supporting one now. As soon as we leave, the Afghan army will fold like a house of cards.

So we might as well get out now, and save a lot of U.S. (and allied) lives.


7 posted on 06/08/2011 12:25:04 PM PDT by Signalman
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To: Signalman

Leave and then nuke the frontier from outer space.


8 posted on 06/08/2011 12:31:00 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Sarah Palin - She’s living rent-free inside the MSM’s heads. Credited to Lurk)
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To: Signalman
As long as there is a renegade nation in iran, we will justify a presence in afghan
9 posted on 06/08/2011 12:41:42 PM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

I’m inclined to agree. We should withdraw from that area altogether making it clear that should US interests be threatened again we’ll respond with nuclear force rather than nation building.


10 posted on 06/08/2011 12:43:42 PM PDT by utherdoul
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To: mojito
Maybe Henry the K knows Obambi could get another peace prize, book ends, by abandoning allies to butchers like he did.
11 posted on 06/08/2011 12:51:24 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: Signalman
actually in Vietnam the South held decisively every front line for nearly two years. The KGB told the Viet Cong they should work out a treaty they had no chance to win. It wasn't until Ted Kennedy passed a bill to pull all funds to help the South.

Actually the next morning after passage of the bill South Vietnam's army dispersed from the news alone leaving only one division that held for a few more months.

12 posted on 06/08/2011 1:17:43 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* 'I love you guys')
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To: kbennkc

Maybe Henery the K. don’t know the russkis fired a northbound missle, not the usual northest shot during the crisis in Oct. 1962. I ‘saw’ it on radar. Never heard a word about it offically. How bout it Henry.


13 posted on 06/08/2011 1:36:29 PM PDT by Waco (Nominate Palin or forget 2012 you lost)
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To: mojito

The attempt to build a (new, ‘democratic’ or ‘enlightend’) nation in Afghanistan is akin to the attempt of building a permanent sand castle on the beach: futile. The next high tide will wash it away.

No matter how much treasure is spent there, the moment the West pulls out it will revert to the stone-age tribal structure. So what. Let them handle their own land as they will.


14 posted on 06/08/2011 2:47:16 PM PDT by Moltke (Always retaliate first.)
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