View Poll Results: Should NATO deploy additional military forces to Afghanistan?

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Thread: NATO in Afghanistan till 2015 (merged thread)

  1. #61
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    I suspect that Secretary Gates is largely right, but maybe not for the reasons that some might assume. The other NATO countries are not really engaged in true COIN operations, let alone adhering to a true COIN strategy. But the reason for this is twofold: 1. There simply are not anywhere near enough NATO troops in the south of Afghanistan to allow them to adopt a true COIN strategy, rather than just sallying out from their bases or outposts to destroy Taleban or AQ when and where they find them; and 2. There is no true unity of effort - Eden talked about that - amongst them. The Brits, Canadians, Danes, and Dutch all go about things more or less their own way - and the Dutch seem hardly to be fighting at all; whether that's a good approach or not, I can't say. They are all just left doing their own thing, more or less. The Americans in the East don't have anywhere near that problem, since so much of their forces are well, American, and there are not the same political issues there.

    So Mr. Gates is quite right about the other NATO countries not engaging in COIN; but the truth is, the reasons aren't because they're not properly trained in COIN - they certainly are - but COIN is simply impossible given the political obstacles to unity of effort and the gross lack of troops and resources required for a COIN strategy. They couldn't pursue a COIN strategy if they wanted to, so all they can do is hunt and kill, conventional-style, because that's all they have the means for at hand. Consequently, pretty much all they can do is search and destroy - a fist into water - and nothing else.
    Last edited by Norfolk; 01-17-2008 at 02:34 AM.

  2. #62
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    Excellent points on NATO in Afghanistan. Having worked in ISAF, I can confirm that the command structure is only slightly more functional than the French army at Agincourt. Why is that?

    1. Genuine professional differences of opinion. The Dutch, the British, the Canadians, the Americans, and others involved have different approaches to the mission. The Brits tend to be much more willing to compromise and negotiate with local bad guys, the Americans are much more kinetically-minded, the Dutch are committed to a soft-cap approach, etc. Each has its good points and its faults - but the point is that local commanders can and do refuse to modify their tactics to fit an overarching NATO operational concept.

    2. Poor troop-to-task fit. NATO countries want to participate in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the force generation process is so disordered and riven by politics that the troops who actually show up are sometimes not what the alliance truly needs. Every month we would be notified that a Polish engineer battalion or Romanian force protection company was on its way, when what we really needed was infantry, aviation, or civil affairs. As a result, our operations - and to a lesser extent our tactics - were severely constrained by the nearly random selection of forces at our disposal.

    3. Political nervousness. Many contingent commanders had to keep one eye firmly cocked over their shoulders. I know of at least one occasion when a national representative of the defense ministry sat in the operations center of an infantry battalion, satellite phone in hand, to report back on current ops in real time. Some commanders were under tremendous personal and professional pressure, which reduced their ability to operate according to a common NATO plan.

    4. Money. You need money to fight insurgents and rebuild countries. NATO doesn't have money. Many individual countries don't have money. Some had money but preferred to spend it on national (and therefore outside the NATO span of control) programs. Nobody had money like the Americans, and even they didn't have enough.

    5. Higher headquarters. Some may find this hard to believe, but NATO - as a military headquarters - contributes very little value added to the war in Afghanistan. ISAF is essentially a fiefdom, whose commander feels very little constrained by the NATO Supreme Commander. Thus, there is no higher headquarters - a la CENTCOM - providing continuity or guidance as the command of ISAF rotates. More importantly, there is no Eisenhower-figure, empowered by the alliance nations to impose discipline on subordinate national commanders.

    Enough. Things are getting better in some ways. NATO officers are not idiots or incompetent. The problems are recognized and some minor patches made, but I agree that the alliance is going to be weaker coming out of Afghanistan than it was going in.

    By the way, and a lot of us Americans forget this, but the US is in NATO also. We sinned as much as anyone in not fulfilling our troop committments, in refusing to modify our tactics, and in imposing caveats on the use of our troops. If NATO fails, we will have contributed to the problem.

  3. #63
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Gates: Afghan shortfalls remain, no more U.S. troops

    "The Pentagon chief said he reluctantly asked President George W. Bush to approve the 3,200 additional troops announced on Tuesday because it was clear European nations would not boost their force levels in Afghanistan."

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon does not plan to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan beyond the additional Marines promised this week despite a lingering shortfall in trainers for the Afghan forces...

    "I think it was pretty clear it was not going to come from NATO," Gates said in the interview, according to a text of his remarks. "And as much as I was reluctant to recommend to the president that we add additional forces there, I think it was important to build on the military successes that we had in 2007."

    "We certainly don't have any plans to send further troops to Afghanistan beyond what we've just announced."

    The additional Marines being sent to Afghanistan to counter rising Taliban violence, will raise the number of U.S. forces there by more than 10 percent.
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  4. #64
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    I first heard about this listening to Radio Netherlands on Sirius - World Radio news. The Dutch have had 14 KIA in Afghanistan ( a big number, given their population) and were, shall we say, miffed. I was looking forward to reading Gates' interview. Imagine my surprise that the LA Times hasn't actually published the interview.

    Here's what they have published:

    "I'm worried we're deploying [military advisors] that are not properly trained and I'm worried we have some military forces that don't know how to do counterinsurgency operations," Gates said in an interview. (What was the question? )

    "Most of the European forces, NATO forces, are not trained in counterinsurgency; they were trained for the Fulda Gap," Gates said ... (Again, what was the question?)

    "Our guys in the east, under Gen. Rodriguez, are doing a terrific job. They've got the [counterinsurgency] thing down pat," Gates said. "But I think our allies over there, this is not something they have any experience with." (Again, what was the question?)

    Huh. Damn short interview.

    Let me help the LA Times state the intro more accurately. "The LA Times accuses Sec Def Gates of insulting NATO allies in an unpublished interview."
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  5. #65
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Gates denies NATO discontent over Afghanistan

    WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday denied reports of discontent between Washington and NATO allies over Afghanistan, a day after a newspaper quoted him criticizing NATO's counterinsurgency skills.

    Gates projected an image of unity among Western nations involved in Afghanistan during a Pentagon news briefing, praising the "valor and sacrifice" of NATO forces battling Taliban militants in the country's volatile south.

    "Allied forces from the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and Denmark and other nations have stepped up to the plate and are playing a significant and powerful role in Afghanistan," the U.S. defense chief said in remarks that struck a conciliatory tone.

    CONCERN AMONG ALLIES

    NATO allies responded to the Times interview with concern.

    Britain insisted its troops had extensive counterinsurgency training, while the Netherlands summoned the U.S. ambassador for an explanation. Gates phoned his Canadian counterpart to say his quotes had been taken out of context.

    "I mention this because there have been several recent media reports of discontent in the United States and among other NATO members about operations in Afghanistan," he said. "This does not reflect reality or, I believe, the views of our governments."
    Anyone for the Tennessee two-step ?
    Last edited by Stan; 01-17-2008 at 08:06 PM.
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  6. #66
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    Threats Watch, 18 Jan 08: A Flip of the COIN
    ....But while Secretary Gates will publicly refer to ‘training’ and counterinsurgency ‘know how,’ the matter at hand is clearly one of will, not skill. Furthermore, it is a matter in the hands of our allies’ political leadership, not in the performance of their fielded forces who operate as directed. The commanders know it. Secretary Gates knows it. And the NATO political leaders retorting and taking offense to criticism of “training” and “tactics” know it all too well. They simply dare not say it. Instead, they respond safely within the public cover the US Secretary of Defense graciously provided by stopping short of addressing some of our allies’ flagging will.

    One thing is for certain. The recent decision to send in an additional 3,200 seasoned United States Marines, who decidedly “know how to do counterinsurgency operations,” is indicative of Washington’s lack of confidence that there will be any shift in our allies’ political will any time soon. Not even against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

  7. #67
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default U.S. lauds NATO allies’ efforts in Afghanistan

    Beth Gorham, The Canadian Press - U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates scrambled today to praise Canada and other NATO allies fighting in Afghanistan, saying reports that he’s unhappy with their efforts don’t “reflect reality” or the views of the American government.

    Countries like Canada that are committing combat troops are playing a significant and powerful role, Gates told a news conference called to quell an international furor after he told the Los Angeles Times this week he’s worried some allied forces weren’t trained in counterinsurgency operations.

    As a result of the valour and sacrifice of these allies, the Taliban has suffered significant losses and no longer holds real estate of any consequence, said Gates, who announced this week he’s sending 3,200 extra U.S. marines.

    He insisted he wasn’t singling out any country when he told the L.A. newspaper that U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan are doing a terrific job, but he’s concerned NATO allies in the violent south aren’t well trained in counterinsurgency.

    Asked whether he was talking about Canada, Gates said: “I do not include the Canadians in that respect.”

    Yet he repeated his concerns about NATO’s ability to conduct counterinsurgency campaigns against the militants.
    More at the link...
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  8. #68
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    Post Practical Solutions for NATO in Southern Afghanistan

    I'm looking for practical solutions to help NATO in southern Afghanistan with the planning assumption that we will not get any significant infusion of troops outside the currently planned Marine deployment. Initial thoughts:

    1. Move SEALs from Iraq to the south.
    2. Embed civil-affairs teams with NATO units to provide on-the-ground CERP capability, advice, limited fighting capacity
    3. Provide military liaisons who would be embedded with the Dutch, the British, the Canadians to improve coordination among the provinces and pass on accumulated expertise from U.S. forces with respect to fighting insurgencies.
    4. Approach "moderate" Muslim countries such as Turkey, UAE. Jordan, etc to provide troops, development and reconstruction capabilities, aid, etc...
    5. Undertake a determined training program among the NATO forces on basics of counter-insurgency with a particular focus on population protection approaches, civil-affairs, information operations, etc.
    6. Eliminate physical safehavens. Use as a planning assumption that each district needs one forward operating base or, at minimum, a reinforced rifle platoon house.
    7. Create robust civil affairs deliverables for each population center: power generation, agricultural programs, health, education, etc.
    8. Eliminate tribal safe havens by bolstering the Provincial Council, District Councils, and members of Parliament and working to make sure they are representative and efficacious.
    9. Hire civilians with key skills sets (e.g. water engineers, agricultural specialists, etc.) for each province (although my preference is each district) and give them a career path. Tactically harden them and ensure they have the same benefits as a person in uniform.
    10. Deploy and embed Human Terrain Team members with NATO forces.

    Some initial thoughts....I look forward to seeing your ideas.
    Last edited by DGreen; 01-31-2008 at 04:02 PM.

  9. #69
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    Default NATO support in Helmand

    The southern area is a disaster. When I was in A-stan (Afg-Pak) border, Paktika had just cooled off as the hot zone. A year before we got there it was "the most dangerous place on earth" according to the conventional guys that were there. US moved forces in, bad guys moved out and went south. Same thing will happen again as the #s just aren't there to maintain sustained presence in all of the hot spots across the problem areas (Kunar, border region and Helmand - let's not even mention Kabul).

    The CERP piece is interesting. Problem is there are not enough teams to implement CERP. My team had an AID guy attached to us with MUCH greater funding pools that helped us do some serious infrasturcture development - thereby helping to reduce the underlying causes of extremism and violent groups - poverty, education, unemployment, etc. We were able to build the trust of the locals, the shuras, the district, etc, plus we were teamed with Afg Army (ANA) to increase gov't provided security and ultimately provide some much needed legitimacy to GoA since not a single rep of GoA had been to the area in over 56 years!

    However, I think an even better tool would be for AID to bring in Development Contractors (not the big aerospace guys or security contractors that think they can run development work just because DOD is throwing money there) but actual devlopment companies, to run the CERP piece. They can respond much quicker, have a history of doing small grant programs as part of AID's OTI program in Iraq (managed ~ $500m over 3 years) and can implement much faster. The company can have numerous reps to allow AID to focus its people elsewhere (we all know how limited they are) and work directly with MNF, as well as US ODAs and CAT-A (CA teams).

    We are already doing this in a couple of areas in A-stan and it has been incredibly successful with big down turns in violence.

    Just my $.02.

  10. #70
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Some second thoughts:

    Quote Originally Posted by DGreen View Post
    ...
    1. Move SEALs from Iraq to the south.
    2. Embed civil-affairs teams with NATO units to provide on-the-ground CERP capability, advice, limited fighting capacity
    3. Provide military liaisons who would be embedded with the Dutch, the British, the Canadians to improve coordination among the provinces and pass on accumulated expertise from U.S. forces with respect to fighting insurgencies.
    4. Approach "moderate" Muslim countries such as Turkey, UAE. Jordan, etc to provide troops, development and reconstruction capabilities, aid, etc...
    5. Undertake a determined training program among the NATO forces on basics of counter-insurgency with a particular focus on population protection approaches, civil-affairs, information operations, etc.
    6. Eliminate physical safehavens. Use as a planning assumption that each district needs one forward operating base or, at minimum, a reinforced rifle platoon house.
    7. Create robust civil affairs deliverables for each population center: power generation, agricultural programs, health, education, etc.
    8. Eliminate tribal safe havens by bolstering the Provincial Council, District Councils, and members of Parliament and working to make sure they are representative and efficacious.
    9. Hire civilians with key skills sets (e.g. water engineers, agricultural specialists, etc.) for each province (although my preference is each district) and give them a career path. Tactically harden them and ensure they have the same benefits as a person in uniform.
    10. Deploy and embed Human Terrain Team members with NATO forces.

    Some initial thoughts....I look forward to seeing your ideas.
    The "S" is SEAL stands for Sea. Afghanistan is far from it and people work best in a familiar environment. Putting SEAL Teams in the 'Stan never made a whole lot of sense. They've been there and done some great things but Afghan conditions are not their bag.

    Your offers of 'help' to other Nations are unlikely to be well received and could be taken as Yankee arrogance. The Brits think they do COIN better than we do. They don't but perception is reality and most of NATO would, properly, tell us to butt out. We, after all, invited and cajoled NATO to go in there...

    There are between 350 and 400 Districts there. They range in population from a few hundred to well over 100K. The terrain varies widely as does the geographic area. Thus it seems that more than a Platoon would be required in some districts. Accepting your Platoon/District fit and the common figure of 366 Districts, you need 366 Platoons -- that equates to roughly 14 Brigades. With the support slice that's about 140,000 troops -- about double the number now present . Where would those additional troops come from?

    Aside from that number -- which posits no reserve -- you're confronted with the fact that a Platoon base is a target for 300-400 bad guys and if all your Platoons are farmed out, they won't be able to help each other.

    Good luck with getting any Muslim nation other than Turkey to assist. Consider also that Afghans really do NOT like Arabs.

    Your last three suggestions are obviously ideal but it does not appear that the Afghans are quite there yet and may be dome time in getting there. It's rather difficult to turn around 3,000 plus years in just a few. Then there's the problem of getting that batch of civilian expertise to go to a combat zone...

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    Smile Number of Districts

    How many districts are there in Uruzgan, Helmand, and Kandahar?

    I know Uruzgan has six and I think Kandahar has sixteen and Helmand has thirteen for a total of thirty-five.

    I believe the SEALs (Sea, Air, and Land, can't forget the "Land" part) are pretty bored in Anbar so sending them to Afghanistan would at least have them focused on fighting.

    At this point in their deployments I think many of the NATO countries have had to alter their strategies and realize their own unique approaches may not be working that well.

    My sense is that the UAE and Jordan have pretty good reputations in that part of the world due to their humanitarian and development assistance. It's certainly worth a try.
    Last edited by DGreen; 01-31-2008 at 06:18 PM.

  12. #72
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    Default Arab allies

    We worked with Arab allies on the Afg-Pak border and were very effective with the partnership.

  13. #73
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default You have questions, I have answers...

    Quote Originally Posted by DGreen View Post
    How many districts are there in Uruzgan, Helmand, and Kandahar?

    I know Uruzgan has six and I think Kandahar has sixteen and Helmand has thirteen for a total of thirty-five.
    You want to ignore the rest of the country and concentrate on the south? Cool. Mullah Omar will say "Go west and north, Young Man...

    However, covering only 35 Districts of different sizes with varying terrain and populations cuts the troop requirement -- it does not obviate your tactical problem.
    I believe the SEALs (Sea, Air, and Land, can't forget the "Land" part) are pretty bored in Anbar so sending them to Afghanistan would at least have them focused on fighting.
    Is the object to focus the SEAL Teams on fighting or to achieve an acceptable outcome in the 'Stan?
    At this point in their deployments I think many of the NATO countries have had to alter their strategies and realize their own unique approaches may not be working that well.
    I don't think any of them have altered their strategy at all -- that would entail leaving the country, they may have tried different TTP -- as have we. Doesn't affect the fact that you're suggesting trampling on National pride and can expect rejection -- or them leaving the country, a move most of those nations voters would support.
    My sense is that the UAE and Jordan have pretty good reputations in that part of the world due to their humanitarian and development assistance. It's certainly worth a try.
    They do indeed have such a reputation in the ME, less so in south Asia where the mores and attitudes differ a bit. However, that's not the issue -- Bismallah the average Afghans reaction to Arabs is the issue. Plus the fact that most Muslims are still not at all sure what we're up to and and are reluctant to interfere in other Muslim nations. You are certainly welcome to try.

    Oh, and while looking for all those civilians that would be nice to have there, ponder the thought of our Congress, already upset with many NATO nations (relative) lack of effort in Afghanistan, agreeing to allow us to expend CERP funds for some of those nations...

    I'm not trying to rain on your parade, honest. You asked for thoughts and I gave you some. No question what you suggest would be beneficial, the questions I raise are solely addressed not at how good or bad the ideas are but at some considerations and what might be realistically achievable.

  14. #74
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    Default By the numbers

    Making the assumption that resources are not constrained - which they most definitely are - and evaluating each point on its own merits:

    1. Why not? SF were the most effective combat multipliers we had. The SEALs are not ideally fitted for the environment or the overall mission, but they would be a useful asset.
    2. Absolutely. CA teams with money are highly useful, and our NATO allies do not have the deep pockets or the flexibility that CERP affords their US counterparts. Would be a great help.
    3. There is already a southern regional headquarters, essentially a brigade(+) hq, that should be coordinating provincial activities. The lack of coordination is not due to a spare command structure or lack of communications, it is caused by competing military and politcal agendas. More liaison officers would not help and could possibly harm what cooperation and coordination already exists.
    4. This has already happened and is happening. There were Turks, Kuwaitis, Egyptians, and Jordanians in Afghanistan when I was there, and a UAE SF unit. You are unlikely to get much additional help from that quarter.
    5. With limited exceptions, NATO does not train national forces, so any effort like this would have to be US acting more or less unilaterally. Assuming that we have our own act together on the subject, which is debatable, your suggestion implies that there is a "right" way to do COIN in Afghanistan. There is not. Afghanistan is not one war, it is multiple conflicts with many actors with shifting loyalties, objectives, and tactics. The fact that we in Paktia and the Dutch in Uruzgan take different approaches is not (necessarily) a bad thing. The idea that we all need to operate in a common way is, if not bad, an unnecessary constraint on local commanders.
    6. All for eliminating safe havens. However, it cannot be done by establishing platoon houses, multiple FOBs, or any other form of blockhouses. The terrain is too rough and the area too large for that. Plus there is that pesky Pakistan...
    7. Right on. Repairing the irrigation system would do more for the country than any thing else I can think of.
    8. Ummm, who do you think sits on those councils? The weakening of tribal influences brought on by three decades of continuous war is one of the things that has contributed to higer levels of violence in Afghanistan. This suggestion indicates a lack of understanding on how the society you want to help actually operates.
    9. These are called contractors. If you meant indigenous engineers, etc., you'll have to bring them back from wherever they fled years ago.
    10. I don't know what a Human Terrain Team is, but they sound awfully effective. I would guess they are experts at discovering the mechanisms that drive society, linking important players, and analyzing the needs of specific localities, and not a bunch of soldiers who have read three books on Afghanistan. I'll defer judgment on this one.

    Good luck

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    Smile

    I'm not ignoring the rest of the country at all. I'm focused on trying to fix a particular problem in the south. That is where most of NATO's forces are fighting right now. I'm quite aware that we need a national counter-insurgency strategy for Afghanistan that is well resourced and comprehensive.

  16. #76
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    Default Armchair thoughts

    1. Buy the heroin crop
    2. Build tarmac'd roads - using local labour
    3. Pay the Afghan Army (ANA) & Afghan Police (ANP) on time
    4. Pay the ANA & ANP if necessary direct and 50% to family if not living local
    5. Forget about new NATO or other forces arriving
    6. Expect the Canadians and Dutch to leave in 2009

    davidbfpo

  17. #77
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    Default Thoughts du jour

    Actually, skip buying the poppy crop and start buying other crops at higher rates. They need competing markets for space and fertile land, not a re-enforcement of bad behavior that, if I read the reports correctly, result in an inability to provide food for their internal needs, much less external markets.

    In fact, the government could constitute a "grain reserve" program by building up effective storage areas in the districts and building capacity that would stabilize the price of wheat and other necessary food stuffs, provide a stable, comparative income and facilitate government control and good will as a provider to the people as opposed to USAID or other outside sources. Not to mention, stave off the possibility of starving millions of Afghanis.

    Of course, that would require building up the irrigation and road systems, along with grain storage, much faster than is happening now. I keep thinking about the seabees of WWII and how fast they could throw up a base or air port or road and wonder at how long it takes us today.

    Tie that in with local governance and tribal allegiances as a coop with some sort of plan for security from the tribes,makes their survivability and relationship with their own and the government a little more imperative.

    There is a double edged sword to providing food aid to people who are more interested in growing poppies than in growing food. Money cannot buy what is not available and the income simply means imports are more expensive.

    I think the tribal elders would gain back some additional control from the Islamists if they had a sustained capacity for providing for their people. We're not talking necessarily western standards, but the basics with the potential for additional development.

    Of course, there is the issue of what agricultural basins exist, what crops they suited for and whether anyone could compete with the poppy trade. And the issue of protected government insiders and parliamentarians who traffic in it without any retribution from state for fear of "pashtunwali". there has to be an effective deterence AND replacement system. We're just to afraid to do it or push for it (so is the Afghan government) since we fear the rear guard action in the middle of trying to fight of the Taliban.

    Still, start small enough. There has got to be some concept of self sufficiency built into the program or they will never leave the poppies.
    Kat-Missouri

  18. #78
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    Question Accepting that

    Quote Originally Posted by kehenry1 View Post
    Actually, skip buying the poppy crop and start buying other crops at higher rates. They need competing markets for space and fertile land, not a re-enforcement of bad behavior that, if I read the reports correctly, result in an inability to provide food for their internal needs, much less external markets.
    I think the assertion that they will not give it up until there is not only a viable but a much more attractive alternative is probably widely accepted. Doesn't that fact in and of itself speak to the possible necessity of outbidding the current clientel for the product and creating a dependancy on the governmental structure for sustained purchase and approval for what is grown. Once this is done it drys up much of the extra funding the Taliban and AQ are able to subvert from this trade and would make them have to seek alternative forms or other locals within which to work it.

    It also places the Govt in a positin to give the growers a directive a little further on which products to grow and over time to transition to a more supply and demand both internally and internationally in a different competetive market. This is would seem counter intuitive to US thought but for a country in which the market is as it is , the only way to trasition it to a more free market reflective agriculture base may be to first bring it into the government owned type but all the while watching for opportunity to push it back out into the private sector with a different focus.

    It makes me uncomfortable to consider it such as state owned anything so often tends to lead into marxist, leninist type societies but as with anything what the goal is and what it will take to get it there has to be considered.

    Thought's
    Last edited by Ron Humphrey; 02-02-2008 at 11:21 PM. Reason: Fix Title

  19. #79
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    Default Seems NATO support is on the way

    Belgium to deploy 4 F-16s to Afghanistan

    The move came in response to a NATO call for more troops to be deployed in Afghanistan.

    For four months starting from September, 100 Belgian troops will support Dutch troops stationed in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan.

    The four F-16 jets will be deployed in Kandahar (KAF) from September 1.

    Twenty military instructors are also to be sent to Afghanistan after October 1 to help train Afghan military personnel. They will be based at either Kabul or Kunduz.
    Canada government may extend Afghan mission

    TORONTO—Canada's minority Conservative government said Wednesday it will ask Parliament to extend the country's combat mission in Afghanistan, and indicated it might be willing to put itself on the line to make sure the unpopular measure passes.

    The refusal of some major European allies to send significant number of troops to Afghanistan's southern front lines has opened a rift within NATO. Troops from Canada, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States have borne the brunt of a resurgence of Taliban violence in the region, with support from Denmark, Romania, Estonia and non-NATO nation Australia.
    Germany to dispatch 200 additional troops to Afghanistan

    BERLIN, Feb 6 (KUNA) -- Germany will send some 200 additional troops to serve in a so-called quick reaction force in the relatively calm northern Afghanistan, fulfilling a request from NATO.

    Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung told reporters Wednesday that the troops would be based along with Germany's other roughly 3,000 ISAF troops in the north.

    Jung said the quick reaction force would be available for support missions "elsewhere in Afghanistan"...

    He reiterated his refusal to send German troops to southern Afghanistan, where ISAF troops and Taliban militants are engaged in clashes.

    ...Jung added that he would seek to increase German military transport planes from six at present to eight in the future.
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  20. #80
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    Default Canadians set date to leave

    In the (London) Daily Telegraph today:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...wcanada122.xml

    Reports that Canada has an exit date from Afghanistan in 2011.

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