NIGHTWATCH: Afghanistan – Nothing New Since 2001

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 08 Wild Cards, Peace Intelligence

Afghanistan: Afghanistan will likely plunge into civil and regional war if the United States does not leave a residual force of 20,000 to 30,000 troops in the country after 2014, along with significant economic aid, a senior Afghan opposition figure said Thursday. ‘The state will disintegrate’ and Afghan security forces will break into factions, said Mohammad Hanif Atmar, a former minister in the government of President Karzai.

Comment: The above assertion is not true in part. A residual US force would be primarily a target that would be too weak to prevent a return to civil war. As for the prediction of civil war — or more accurately tribal war — there is no power on earth than can stop it, whether the US keeps soldiers in Afghanistan or not. It has never stopped.

Nothing has been settled since 2001, including the terms for the distribution of wealth among the tribes; the role of Islam in government; ethnic relations between North and South; the ultimate form of the state; and finally, security.

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