"... the Taliban have power over whether conditions return to a level that would allow resumption of the joint operations between NATO and Afghan forces, which have been touted as the key to preparing the ANA and the police to cope with the Taliban on their own. The Taliban have achieved a strategic coup by creating a high degree of U.S.-NATO fear and mistrust of the Afghan forces. Even if some joint operations are resumed, moreover, they will be limited to those approved by regional commanders, according to the new policy. And White House spokesman Jay Carney appeared to contradict the ISAF “return to normal operations” language, telling reporters, “Most partnering and advising will now be at the battalion level and above.” ISAF Commander Gen. John Allen has tried in the past to minimise the role of the Taliban in the insider killings, suggesting that as little as 10 percent of the Afghan soldiers and police who killed NATO troops were Taliban infiltrators. Most of the killers acted out of personal anger at their Western advisers, Allen argued." Porter and Noori
General Allen can argue what he likes but the Taliban have found the key to a stratagem that will give the "coup de grace" to the Afghanistan COIN project. The possibility of a nurturing, mentoring relationship lay at the heart of the plausibility of the theory of a gradual transfer of power from ISAF to the Afghan forces that NATO has tried so hard to create in its own image. The Taliban's program of destroying the possibility is lethal to the effort. General allen says that most of the killings are caused by Afghan hatred of their trainers. Does he realize what he is saying?
The Afghans are 100% Muslim. They were such before the US invaded the country and they will be such when NATO has departed. The notion that they could be transformed into a Central Asian version of Jordan was always a fantasy. Jordan is a tiny country with a small population where generations of Britishers devoted their lives to the task of seeking to cause the local Arab people to accept the imported princes of the Hashemite dynasty. This task has largely been accomplished at a high cost in subventions from the British and American governments and the governmental skill and persistence of the Hashemite house. To think that something similar could be done in Afghanistan, a vast, high, cold, wild place inhabited by uneducated and various peoples who did not speak a common language was simply folly. For such a task to be accomplished, an effort of generations, the expenditure of trillions of dollars and the expenditure of untold numbers of lives would have been necessary. That was never going to be, and it was obvious that this was never going to be.
What is going to happen is that the US will accelerate its withdrawal from Afghanistan in the coming year. A "President Romney" would think initially that he could reverse the withdrawal to please his neocon friends, but he would soon examine the numbers and decide that to continue in Afghanistan would destroy his economic and political hopes for the US. The Effort in Afghanistan as planned to date requires expenditures and numbers of US forces that can not be sustained. BHO in a second term would come to the same conclusion but earlier. He may have done that already.
The Iraq and Afghanistan "adventures" will have cost humanity a great deal. The anti-Western hostility of the worldwide collective Muslim mind has been deepened by the experience. The general hostility of Muslims to the notion of the West has been sharply focused. At the same time, vast numbers of people in the West and particularly in "flyover" America who previously were only dimly aware of Muslims are now filled with with a great hatred for the "ignorant savages" (their typical terms) who rejected their "civilizing" efforts at great cost in soldiers lives and health.
The US will achieve energy independence in the coming years. When that happens all that will be left of US interests in the Islamic World will be the hostility itself and the self assigned US "interest" in Israel.
The long term effects of those "interests" on the welfare of what the Muslims think of as the "'Ummah" will be awesome to behold. pl