Will Afghans switch back to the Taliban?

NATOs Afghanistan commander Gen. David Richards says the population could turn back to the Taliban if major improvements are not seen this winter.  In recent months we have seen the reemergence of the Taliban in mostly southern Afghanistan.  What happened?

“They will say, ‘We do not want the Taliban but then we would rather have that austere and unpleasant life that that might involve than another five years of fighting,”‘ Richards said. 

I don’t know if the population would truly turn to the Taliban and organization that terrorized the country during their reign but it’s true that basic needs must be met to consider Afghanistan a success.  This can only be accomplished when security is sufficient to allow more reconstruction. A major problem continues to be the ability of Taliban forces to cross in and out of Afghanistan from Pakistan.  While Pakistani President Musharraf hawks his new book Taliban forces move in and out of Afghanistan nearly at will.  The Waziristan area of Pakistan continues to harbor the majority of these forces.

The Gen. is correct in stating NATO forces must take advantage of this winter to make improvements.  Historically winter brings a lull in fighting as cold weather sets in.  Afghanistan and coalition forces working with NGO’s and private companies need to exploit this time to complete useful projects that will help the population.  This does not mean huge projects but small sustainable (sustainable by locals) projects the average person personally feels.


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