Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Towards Afghan Autonomy

Whilst events in Japan and Libya continue to dominate the headlines, today’s announcement from President Hamid Karzai that Nato controlled areas, including Lashkar Gah, will be handed over to Afghan forces from July deserves equal attention. While the anti-war brigade may be celebrating, it is the counterinsurgency strategists that deserve the plaudits. The surge currently being led by General David Patraeus has helped ensure the Taliban fall firmly on the back-foot. 

Let’s be clear. This is not Vietnam redux. The withdrawal of foreign troops is not the negative drawdown akin to previous campaigns. The handover to domestic forces marks a positive and necessary step in any counterinsurgency operation as logic dictates that indigenous forces must be prepared to assume the military mantle. 

As Karzai himself has asserted, the people of Afghanistan don’t want foreigners taking responsibility for their national security indefinitely. The announcement today marks the first step on this tumultuous transitional road. Current Afghan forces numbering some 300,000 look set to increase to 378,000 in the coming months as the fledgling democracy aims to fortify its long-term defenses against violent extremists. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has pointed out that reasserting Afghan control over the country’s destiny marks a step on the journey, not the destination. A vital step.

Nearly a decade after the United States overthrew the Taliban, the reinstallation of domestic security forces across the country marks a major positive milestone as Afghanistan seeks a return to autonomous control.

by David Fairhurst

This blog was originally posted by The Henry Jackson Society, 22/03/11, accessed 

No comments:

Post a Comment