View Full Version : Backing away from Afghanistan no option: UN

10 Jul 06,, 17:26
Backing away from Afghanistan no option: UN

By Robert Birsel
Monday, July 10, 2006; 7:02 AM

KABUL (Reuters) - The international community underestimated the ability of the Taliban to recover from their 2001 defeat and the world should now respond by stepping up support for Afghanistan, the United Nations said on Monday.

An announcement by Britain expected on Monday that it will send more troops was "excellent news" and other countries should increase help, whether military, political or financial, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative said. "These are difficult times for Afghanistan. These are difficult times for the south, but backing away is not an option," the special representative for Afghanistan, Tom Koenigs, told a news conference.

Taliban violence has intensified this year to its most severe since the hard-line Islamists were ousted nearly five years ago after refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden.

The violence, especially in the south of the country, has surprised the government and its Western backers. It has raised fears that NATO peacekeepers preparing to take over in the south from U.S. forces are getting sucked into a war. "If we have thought that the Taliban would not recover from their defeat in 2001, we were wrong. They have recovered and they get help through international terrorist networks," Koenigs said.

"If we have thought we need not pay special attention to the southern provinces, we were wrong."

Koenigs attended a top-level security meeting with President Hamid Karzai and his foreign allies on Sunday that looked at all aspects of the problem. If past analysis was wrong, now was the time to correct it, Koenigs said.

"The security in the south is much more fragile than we have analyzed, even half a year ago," he said.

"In the south we face the first phase of an insurgency, an insurgency using, frequently, terrorist methods, an insurgency fueled by international terrorist networks, and an insurgency not respecting any civilian lives."

Koenigs referred to a debate in the Italian parliament later this month on support for Afghanistan and said the lesson from the south was clear:

"If one has not reached the goal in the expected time, one has to increase the commitment, not decrease it."


The international community had to help Afghanistan build up its security forces and ensure that aid reaches everyone.

It also had to help cut external support for the Taliban, who were getting logistical and financial help from abroad, Koenigs said.

"It seems to be clear that the Taliban would not have recovered as a military force in the south if they wouldn't have had both the territory to recover and the financial support.

"Obviously, the insurgency is well-financed and obviously they have logistical bases outside the country," he said.

"Ending the logistical and ideological support from over the Pakistan border is a Pakistan issue. The international community has to press and support Pakistan in that direction," he said.

Britain's expected deployment of more troops to back up the 3,300 it already has in the Afghan south was an exemplary response, he said.

"That's exactly the direction I want everybody to go: to see and analyze that we have problems, to take the consequence, more commitment, adjust strategy and stay the course.

"That gives a clear message to the Taliban that they will not win and that's what we all want."


Asim Aquil
10 Jul 06,, 18:30
IMO this sudden burst of emotional dialogues should be avoided like "THEY WILL NOT WIN". Talibans were always the underdogs and bound to lose and this is somethign what they would've said instead.

Media is just trying to reignite American passion against Taliban. Remember they need an enemy. Taliban come from the Pashtuns. Talibanism is an ideology. Kill the ideology and the Pashtuns would stop becoming Taliban. Thats the way to win.

You don't even know for sure what Mullah Omar looks like. The only big break you can get is by killing Mullah Omar and that won't kill an ideology either since some other Mullah would be there to give the idea.

You might think that it can't be done, but just compare NWFP with the Pashtun provinces in Afghanistan. You'd see a whole cultural difference amongst them. NWFP has a lot of urban people busy with work, trade and education.

I look at it this way. I have an idea, and the Mullahs have an idea. If my idea is better, I should be able to convince the people that my idea's better.

Pulling out of Afghanistan isn't an option. Breaking hell loose isn't one either. Pump troops in numbers of 10s of thousands. Occupy territory. Dry them out for now and allow the movers n shakers of Afghanistan to make some changes. There are SOOO many afghanis who fled to America in the 80's. So there must be a whole bunch of educated ones over there. Bring the brain power back.