WASHINGTON: The American officials have committed many mistakes in Afghanistan including the decision to eschew “nation building” and rely on Afghan warlords to keep order in the hinterlands and the declaration of victory in the country too son. “U.S. officials committed mistakes. One was the decision to eschew “nation building” and rely on Afghan warlords to keep order in the hinterlands. Pocketing millions in CIA handouts, these militia leaders extorted and bullied their way back into power, enriching themselves while most Afghans struggled in poverty,” the Washington Post reported.
A second U.S. error was to declare victory too soon and ignore evidence that the revived Taliban movement was gaining strength. The paper portrays Afghan President Hamid Karzai as charming but weak. In a telling anecdote, it describes the newly installed Karzai greeting his first defense minister, a former warlord who had once held him prisoner. As Karzai stepped off a plane in Kabul in December 2001, the militia boss asked him, “Where are your men?” With a disarming smile, Karzai replied, “Why general, you are my men, all of you.”
The daily explores the flaws in U.S. thinking that helped allow the Taliban’s comeback. To the Bush administration, Taliban were a junior menace compared to the high-priority goal of catching Osama bin Laden. The United States was quietly dealing with the Taliban until 9/11, and Pakistan actively assisted its leaders long after publicly shunning them.
The upshot of all this, the daily concludes, is looming disaster. As popular frustration with corruption and insecurity grows among Afghans, the Taliban’s tentacles have reached further into their society. U.S. military forces in Afghanistan have been thinned by the conflict in Iraq, while NATO troops are hamstrung by rules of engagement imposed by European governments, making them seem like “scared rabbits.”-SANA