Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A losing war

Anthony Cordesman is a senior analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. The Independent quotes him:

"The US is now losing the war against the Taliban. Pakistan may officially be an ally but much of its conduct has made it a major threat to US strategic interests." ... (link)
Pakistan's presidential hopeful Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, echoes this assessment. He says the Taliban have "the upper hand". A Russian statesman has similar comments:
NATO will be defeated in Afghanistan without Russia's help - Rogozin

MOSCOW, Aug 26 - The NATO operation in Afghanistan will not be successful without Russia's assistance, said Russia's ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin.

"Without our help the whole campaign will fail. It will be another Vietnam," he told a press conference at the Interfax head office on Tuesday.

Moscow "did everything it could to keep this cooperation going," he said.

"It would be madness if NATO further deteriorates its relations with Russia," the Russian official said.

Currently, all NATO cargoes are going through Pakistan, which has certain risks, and up to 40% is being either lost or stolen on the way, he said.

"And after the resignation of Pervez Musharraf we expect this situation to get much worse," Rogozin said... (link)
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that militants in Karachi, Pakistan set fire to two armored personnel carriers (APCs) destined for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, according to police.


Salvador said...

Yes, absolutely a losing war. Cordesman's ideas inform the bankrupt, failing position of Barack Obama on Afghanistan as I've written about in a widely circulated recent article, see
Herold, Marc W., “More of the Same Packaged as Change. Barack Obama and Afghanistan," Counterpunch (August 6, 2008) at http://www.counterpunch.org/herold08062008.html.

Strange that this website did not reproduce that article.
Marc W. Herold

Dave Markland said...

Not so strange at all. Due to the volume of information that gets relayed, I rarely run info on potentialities. One won't see much on plans for an Afghan 'surge', or Japanese wavering on sending troops, etc.
That said, it is noteworthy that Obama's Afghan strategy echoes Cordesman, who is a McCain advisor.
Dave M