To bring peace to the Afghans, talk to the Taleban
Adam Holloway says that Britain’s strategy in Afghanistan is misconceived. Nato’s military presence should be reduced and the battle for hearts and minds fought more imaginatively
They do not like the F-word in Whitehall, but failure stares us in the face in southern Afghanistan. For three years we have deluded ourselves that we can defeat the insurgency in the Pashtun tribal belt through our much talked-about plan for a ‘comprehensive approach’ — security, governance and development. But in Helmand province and across the Pashtun lands, violence is greatly increased, governance is distinctly patchy and development is barely noticeable.
The government tells us that we are there to stop it becoming a failed state in which our enemies can regroup. Around 50,000 Western soldiers would drive away the Taleban, al-Qa’eda and their friends. But there are other failed states in the world, other areas where extremists are organising against us. Apart from the experience of 11 September 2001, Afghanistan is no more special than the tribal areas of Pakistan or several other places. Surely we can keep tabs on al-Qa’eda without the deployment of tens of thousands of troops, hundreds of lives and billions of dollars? It is not a case of either this, or nothing.
From Michael Yon ... "The United Kingdom is a critical partner in the Afghan war. Mr.Holloway’s controversial article deserves serious consideration anddiscussion. Furthermore, this Member of Parliament is willing to open adirect line to citizen-voices from the United States, and so with his permission, Mr. Holloway’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org "