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Thread: Did we get on the wrong road from the outset?

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    Registered User Rick Bennett's Avatar
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    Default Did we get on the wrong road from the outset?

    "The biggest failure of the Bonn Conference was to leave out the discussion on the nature of the state in Afghanistan. The post-Bonn state came in the form of rebuilding what had already been there, a strong unitary state. Despite the fact that historically the structure of the Afghan state had proved to be ineffective against, what Saikal (2005) calls, “micro-societal forces”. In fact, as noted by Goodson (2005), the main immediate failure of the Bonn was to “codify de facto power-sharing” that could resolve elite conflict, which previous four political settlements (Riwalpindi Accord 1989; Peshawar Accord 1992; Macca Accord 1993) had failed to resolve.15 This was a step back to the old highly personalised, where factional leaders dominate through their patronage networks. Consequently, this set into motion fierce internal competition between different elites within the government. As shown by Sharan and Heathershaw (2010: Forthcoming), the post-Bonn peacebuilding has become a contest between the Western educated Karzai network and the Former NA network. The consequence of this has been a further exacerbation of ethnic and patronage linkages in the Afghan polity.

    15 Although, there was some serious discussion on the nature state in the constitutional Loye Jirga (on the structure of the state-unitary versus federalism), these discussions were immediately overruled by the UN and US delegates and Karzai team (Suhrke, 2004)."

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    http://www.atlantic-community.org/ap...fghanistan.pdf
    Richard (Rick) Bennett
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    Registered User Rick Bennett's Avatar
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    The Bonn agreement, insofar as it excluded the Taliban and included a new leader (Karzai) who was chosen by the United States, was not a good foundation for stabilizing Afghanistan.

    http://www.carnegieendowment.org/fil..._agreement.pdf

    (Of course I only forward articles that agree with my opinions!)
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    The entire foundation of Afghan government is flawed.
    A strong central government with appointed provincial governers is a disaster.
    We wish to find external sources of failure in Afghanistan when you can look at the AWK Sherzai goat rope and find the beginning of the deteriorating AFghanistan situation.
    Kharzai is many things. Good for the US isn't one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvan View Post
    The entire foundation of Afghan government is flawed.
    A strong central government with appointed provincial governers is a disaster.
    We wish to find external sources of failure in Afghanistan when you can look at the AWK Sherzai goat rope and find the beginning of the deteriorating AFghanistan situation.
    Kharzai is many things. Good for the US isn't one of them.
    How did it ever get to this?

    The idea was to prevent Afghanistan from being used as a springboard or training base for attacks against the US and the West. The Taliban government was taken out to supposedly achieve this. How it got to where it is today where the US and the West are supporting a illegitimate corrupt government at a massive cost is quite amazing.

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    Registered User Rick Bennett's Avatar
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    Indeed, how ever did it get to this?
    Where in the UN and in our government is the examination of whether it was ignorance or lobbying (or indeed, what degrees of each) that allowed the particular political elite to take the lead? Nor have we asked why we went "all in" on the first hand; it sounds as if we learned nothing since the days when we backed Fidel and reaped that bitter harvest.
    Richard (Rick) Bennett
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bennett View Post
    Indeed, how ever did it get to this?
    Where in the UN and in our government is the examination of whether it was ignorance or lobbying (or indeed, what degrees of each) that allowed the particular political elite to take the lead? Nor have we asked why we went "all in" on the first hand; it sounds as if we learned nothing since the days when we backed Fidel and reaped that bitter harvest.
    Clue me in on the Fidel connection please.

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    Registered User Rick Bennett's Avatar
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    An earlier instance where the US picked a counterpoint to an undesireable regime and learned later, much to our chagrin, that the alternative came with baggage.
    I think our own history is illustrative - the articles of confederation were politically acceptable to the new states until evidence showed their flaws, and even then the new constitution was a palatable surrender of power only because of the assumption who would be the new executive. The world has many more Aaron Burrs than it has George Washingtons; despite this we don't seem to use a hedging strategy but rather plunge in to the strong central model with strong executive powers. While it might appear to be the quickest way to sew up the involvement it too often ends up as a oozing sore.
    Richard (Rick) Bennett
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    Default A sort of update?

    I'm not his greatest admirer, but Ralph Peter's pithy comments here are fitting:
    It's high time to ask ourselves the basic question about Afghanistan that we've avoided since we made the decision to stay: What do we get out of it?
    Read more:http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion...wAV52bVvjhKgjN
    davidbfpo

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