Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NATO in Afghanistan -- winning the battles but losing the war

An American study confirms what many of us have suspected for some time:
International forces in Afghanistan might have won most of the clashes they fought with insurgents, but they nevertheless have still lost much of the country, a new analysis concludes.

In a grim assessment of the war, the non-partisan Center for Strategic and International Studies finds the U.S. and allied effort wanting.

"The U.S. failed to focus on the needs and security of the Afghan people," the report out this week concludes.

"It also failed to properly resource the war and to provide effective leadership."

The analysis, based largely on Pentagon and NATO data, finds the Afghan government and outside aid efforts have failed to meet even the basic needs of Afghans.

Afghan forces were simply treated as "adjuncts" rather than as true partners of the International Security Assistance Force, the analysis by the Washington-based think-tank concludes.

"The end result was that the U.S. and its allies won largely meaningless tactical clashes while steadily losing the country and the people," says Anthony Cordesman’s report.

From the Chronicle-Herald.

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