The debate over post-war Afghanistan

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  • 0

    Frungy

    facepalm This article represents such a complete and utter failure of intelligence that one hardly knows where to begin.

    The problem in Afghanistan is cultural, religious and economic, not military. If the U.S. had spent just 1% of the budget for the "War on Terror" on setting up businesses in Afghanistan then this conflict would already be over. Businesses would have bough stability, increased labor demand would have undermined traditional gender stereotypes, increased wealth would have opened access to the internet and Western media, and in a couple of decades it would have been impossible to find any suicide bombers because, "Sorry Dude, I'm playing on my PS3... maybe later".

    Instead the U.S. went in with drones and bombs, and killed indiscriminately. For every terrorist they managed to hit they killed at least 3~5 innocent bystanders... and then in many cases classified the bystanders as "enemy combatants". They suppressed traditional religious teachings, labelled fundamentalist religious figures as terrorists and tried to kill them (and in many cases did), blocked humanitarian aid from other Islamic groups, and generally made this a religious war.

    The moment the U.S. leaves there will be a massive backlash as the suppressed religion comes back, but this time with the moral authority to say, "We were persecuted, therefore any opposition to us is further persecution", and there will be a radical Islamic government before you can blink. And they'll have a common enemy, the U.S., and tens of thousands of orphans and widows to support their cause.

    The U.S. has made a monumental hash of things in Afghanistan, but that was always its intention, to destabilise the region and create another war to justify the huge arms industry in the U.S. They never cared about the people they killed, and each and every American is responsible. Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat you all support an arms industry that kills innocent people to create jobs for Americans. This is on your heads.

  • -1

    Kabukilover

    First of all, anyone in favor of punishing the US for invading Afghanistan the way we punished the USSR for doing the same thing 35 years ago.

    No, I did not think so.

    Anyway. No matter what, Afghanistan is a lose-lose situation as it was for the Soviets and every other invader. The only advice I have for the US is what I'd tell a gambler having a bad night: Accept your loses and go home before you lose the farm.

    You know who has been successful in Afghanistan? The Chinese. They have been selling things to the people at reasonable prices. They are viewed as peaceful souls and China as a kind of paradise.

    This worth learning from.

  • 0

    lostrune2

    The Chinese. They have been selling things to the people at reasonable prices.

    They've been putting Afghans out of business. They could sell things cheaper than Afghans could make 'em.

  • -2

    Frungy

    lostrune2Mar. 04, 2014 - 03:41PM JST

    The Chinese. They have been selling things to the people at reasonable prices.

    They've been putting Afghans out of business. They could sell things cheaper than Afghans could make 'em.

    Yes, clearly China is flooding the Afghan markets with cheap goats!! Afghanistan is primarily an agricultural economy, and the assertion that China has been putting Afghans out of business is just ridiculous. If anything China is a market for Afghanistan's grain products and meat,. and is balancing that trade by selling cheap electronics and household goods. The U.S. could have adopted this strategy, selling Afghanistan tupperware and tumbledryers, but sadly the U.S. thinks more with its guns and less with its brain. As a result hundreds of thousands of Afghanis are dead, Afghanistan hates the U.S. and the U.S. taxpayer is going to be paying for this war for about the next 100 years. Well done U.S.A. clearly this is a winning strategy, if you define the winners very narrowly as the U.S. arms industry.

  • 0

    Wakarimasen

    Afghanistan has always united against outsiders and has been a graveyard for foreign intervention since alexander the Great. It should be left to do as it pleases, even if that results in misogyny, superstition and oppression of minorities....

  • 0

    lostrune2

    The Chinese. They have been selling things to the people at reasonable prices.

    They've been putting Afghans out of business. They could sell things cheaper than Afghans could make 'em.

    Yes, clearly China is flooding the Afghan markets with cheap goats!!

    Textiles, folks. Everybody needs textiles. Chinese textiles made in factories are even cheaper than local Afghan family-made ones.

  • -3

    Frungy

    lostrune2Mar. 04, 2014 - 06:09PM JST Textiles, folks. Everybody needs textiles. Chinese textiles made in factories are even cheaper than local Afghan family-made ones.

    So now, instead of spending the whole week at a loom in their cottage a woman can go down to the market and buy a cheap Chinese t-shirt. This isn't putting anyone out of business like you claimed. The major textiles made by businesses and exported from Afghanistan are things like hand-woven rugs, which will remain popular for their artistic and hand-made qualities. These are hard to replicate by the Chinese because they're quite distinctive to the discerning buyer. Other examples include pashmina, which is a blend of cashmere wool and other textiles (the highest quality is cashmere and silk), and again these are hand-made items that involve a massive amount of manual labor and skill that isn't easy to copy unless you want to design a machine to gently brush cashmere goats and then hand-spin and blend the fabric?

    Sure, some sweat-shop owners making cheap knock-offs may have gone under, but these aren't a large or even significant percentage of the textiles industry in Afghanistan. The area of overlap between the Afghan textiles industry and that of China is insignificant.

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