The long awaited "surge" has finally happened. In another 3 weeks 30,000 US servicemen and women will head toward Afghanistan. Unfortunately, President Obama has set a deadline for the troops to meet: July 2011. This unrealistic deadline already spelt out by the President and admitted as such to be unrealistic by both the Secretary of Defence and the Secretary of State will make things easier for the terrorists holed up in the mountains of AFGHANISTAN. They have only to wait out the "surge" anf the land will be theirs. Very unwisely, Preident Obama has set a deadline and herein lies the root of the policy failure.
The General on the ground McCrystal will not be quite happy with the troop level of nearly 100,000 soldiers and with the NATO allies the total will go up to 130,000 men. Hardly enough for the battle ahead. It is estimated that the Taliban have nearly 60,000 men and in any counterinsurgency the ratio between insurgents and the defenders must be 1: 5. Here the troop level is wholly inadequate, even though the US soldier is a much better fighter than the Taliban by any stretch of the imagination. To create erosion and division in the ranks of the Taliban the Obama Admisistration has decided to give money for defection. This is a dangerous tactic and could well backfire.
Tha Government of Karzai has absolutely no legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghan people and backing his regime will prove costly as the US and NATO will have to bear the cost of the unpopularity of Karzai. His ministers and minions are not only corrupt but have developed extensive links with the Opium and poppy lobby which controls the economy of Afghanistan.
The "surge" in troop levels is not nmatched by any political initiative to bring ppeace in the war ravaged country. For example the Hazaras, the decendants of the Mongol hordes of Gengis Khan, are an ethnic group that is both hated and despised by the Pustuns, as any reader of the novel The Kiterunner would know. There is no attempt to bring about a break in the social coalition that that developed around the Pastun dominated, taliban.
The pressure that is now being put on Pakistan will not do as Pakistan has become the second line of defence of the TALIBAN. For all practical purposes, the offensive afgainst the Taliban launched by the Pakistni Army has spluttered to a halt and the Pakistani leadership is not keen on taking the war in Waziristan to the logical end. The Kerry-Lugar Bill not withstanding, the Pakistani Army will find a way out of the restricting provisions of the bill. The nuclear weapons of Pakistan have been transferred to the control of Geelani, the Prime Minister who is known tobe close to the Army which itself is only a front for the Taluban. It is said that in most contries, the State has an Army, in Pakistan the Army has a State.
The increse in troop levels by 30,000 will not alter the ground rerality. In the short run there will be some maked and notable successes, but in the long run the Taliban will just sit out the "surge". The only real solution is the creation of a Paktun Republic amalgamating the territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and once the Taliban rule tis emirate of theirs there will be peace.