Military experts propose scaling back Afghanistan War
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is the world’s leading think tank for military affairs, representing the top echelon of defense experts, retired officers and senior military men from countries including the United States, Britain, China, Russia and India.
And the IISS’s latest findings will certainly convince skeptics that the real reason for occupation of Afghanistan has to do with oil, excluding China from the region, and keeping watch on nuclear-armed Pakistan.
Taliban leader Mullah Omar last week proclaimed the western occupiers were rapidly losing the war. He may well be correct. Even the much-ballyhooed US offensive at Marjah, designed to smash Taliban resistance, was an embarrassing fiasco.
The IISS report proposes an exit strategy from the Afghan War. Western occupation troops, IISS proposes, should be sharply reduced and confined to Kabul and northern Afghanistan, which is mostly ethnic Tajik and Uzbek. Southern Afghanistan – Taliban country – should be vacated by Western forces and left alone. Taliban would be allowed to govern its own half of the nation until some sort of loose, decentralized federal system can be implemented.
Pro-government Afghan forces are increasingly demoralized. Only the Tajik and Uzbek militias, and Afghan Communist Party, both supported by India, Russia and Iran, want to keep fighting the Pashtun Taliban.
Europeans are fed up with the Afghan war. Polls report 60% of Americans think the war not worth fighting.
MI-6 Secret Intelligence Service deputy chief, Nigel Inskster, also finds little Al Qaeda threat in Somalia and Yemen, where Washington is beefing up its attacks on both turbulent nations.
[Excerpt of article by Eric S. Margolis, veteran Mideast correspondent]