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13 February 2010


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I would love to see that happen - but I would be a bit surprised it that's the end-state...perhaps the way forward would be for the US to sit a few key people down, give them some metrics - and say (unofficially!), if these aren't accomplished by some date certain, we're going to make sure you end up dead 24 hours after? (those discussions would probably have to be off the record, though)

William R. Cumming

Interesting to me that world press is already reporting some success by the defenders with various types of explosives. Wondering PL what you take is on this and is it a surprise to NATO forces and US? Or within the bounds of expectations?

Patrick Lang


I think resistance so far is what could be expected and the force will "secure" the desired area. As a number of people here have correctly observed, that is not in doubt and has not been. The real issue is whether or not effective, self-supporting Afghan government can be established in the Marja district. That is a test for the McChrystal strategy. Was it a good idea to seek this kind of test in a place like Marja? That remains to be seen. If the effort fails, I think that game in Afghaniatan will be decided. That is what I meant. pl

William R. Cumming

Thanks for clarifying the stakes, PL for this op.

N. M. Salamon


A question:
did not the USSR try a similar measure of trying to control the major settlements? What is the difference betweet that in the past and this measure? and to what extent these measures reflect the USA game [as in Iraq] of dividing the populance by ethnic/religious bases - basing on the notion that the Afgan forces are Tadji in the Pashun heartland?

Thaks for your answer.

Patrick Lang

NM Salomon

I have not favored this strateghy for the reason you mention.

We do not divide these people. They are already divided. these "countries" are figments of post colonial imagination.

Yes. We used the emergent animosity of the Sunni tribes and secular Shia against AQ. So what! pl


I've seen a map done by the Brits of Afghanistan with a breakdown of areas by religion and tribe. The map made it appear a very fractious place.

After reading your comment earlier about the King, I have been pondering what event or leader could bring this nation together, other than an invading army which really seems to unite them.

Do you have any ideas on how to unite them?

Patrick Lang


They are always divided in the face of invasion. pl


Thanks for the answer. I think I'll just go with your "they like themselves" and do not want to be "improved" and forget the whole thing. We aren't totally united here in the good ole US.

You implied the battle at Marja would be decisive and I think it will. The American electorate is fed up with this war. It has finally dawned on many that we are wasting money on wars that could be better spent here.

The military will keep pursuing this as long as the money lasts and I think that is where the rubber meets the road.

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