Afghanistan progress?

Afghan president backs strict guidelines for women

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s president on Tuesday endorsed a "code of conduct" issued by an influential council of clerics that activists say represents a giant step backward for women’s rights in the country.
President Hamid Karzai’s Tuesday remarks backing the Ulema Council’s document, which allows husbands to beat wives under certain circumstances and encourages segregation of the sexes, is seen as part of his outreach to insurgents like the Taliban.

We’ve done a wonderful job of guiding the Karzai administration (SARC).   

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8 thoughts on “Afghanistan progress?

  1. If it Walks like a Duck , Smells like a Duck and Runs like a Duck it must be a DUCK…….Like I have said before. We are not going to change a Civilization that lives in a past of Centuries ago. Karsai is not a leader , he just likes the money and Power.

    11th

  2. Afghanistan has seen significant progress since 2001. But there is more to go, and progress doesn’t take place in a straight line.

    President Obama is directly negotiating with the Taliban without involving President Karzai [who the Taliban and their sponsors–we all know who they are] perceive as excessively anti Taliban. Karzai has been negotiating with the Taliban for a long time and hasn’t been able to get anywhere because Karzai is too “anti Taliban.”

    In the Afghan context, the US is perceived as closer to the Taliban than the large majority of Afghan political factions. This is another reason so many Afghans and Afghan National Army are deeply suspicious that ISAF, NATO, UN and US back the Taliban against them. This undercurrent conspiracy theory is another reason for blue on blue incidents.

    Karzai and many Afghans fear that the Obama will “make friends” with the Taliban against the Afghans. This fear is one of the reasons Karzai is pushing this legislation.

    Specifically with regard to this legislation, Afghan woman can take care of themselves. Internationals should push their right to vote, access to the legal system, get educated and work. Afghan woman will take care of the rest on their own.

  3. ANON, the progress you speak of is very tenuous. In fact I suspect as soon as we depart or if we were to cut funding Afghanistan would revert back to tribal fighting and possible civil war. ISAF / US. are the only thing I see keeping the progress moving. When one looks at areas turned over to the GiRoA we see major backsliding. I certainly hope the best for Afghanistan but see little hope at this point.

    The best thing going right now is the ANA. The ANP and its variants are not to be trusted. The NDS is very competent in some places however their motives are theirs alone. Without constant training, funding and general watching by coalition forces they will collapse. Local power brokers still run much of Afghanistan.

    The SFODAs (SEALS too) are probably making the biggest impact with the VSO program and that should have been the model from the start.

    I agree that all Afghans don’t support the Taliban they also don’t support the government. Mostly they support themselves with little trust of anyone. This is another problem with perceived progress. It’s temporary. It’s also understandable to a great extent. We’ve allowed a corrupt government to grow. Had we closely mentored and ran the country until capable leaders were in place things might have been very different now. But we were in a hurry to show how fast we could turn it over to the Afghans.

    As to Karzai believing the US will make friends with the Taliban, well that’s a bit farfetched. Karzai knows us well, so well he’s been able to milk us financially for years. Karzai is playing games but will most likely end up living his days out in Virginia somewhere. His goal is to keep the money flowing until then.

    That’s not to say the current US administration won’t cut a deal with the Taliban just to get out of Afghanistan. So I suppose he does understand that.

    As to the ability of Afghan women to take care of themselves, I don’t even know how to react to that. The few token afghan female legislators have been marginalized to the extent they might as well not exist. Afghan women in their military might have some impact at some point in the future as they will be the most educated.

    How many Afghan officials have been prosecuted for corruption?

    How about that re-integration program? How many former insurgents are now running their own legar Arbaki or ANP districts? How may have used funds from the re-integration program to wait out the winter on the governments dime?

    I hate to sound so negative on Afghanistan but I just returned from there and what I saw wasn’t nearly as rosy as the HQs promote. Perhaps one day it will become a great place to visit. But it was safer to move around there in 2003 then it is now.

    This is not all Afghanistans fault, we handled this mission poorly.

  4. JB, could you e-mail me offline?

    Afghanistan varies greatly by region.

    If funding for the ANSF were cut off, Afghanistan could fall off a cliff. However, the entire ANSF training command [Patang’s ANPTC and Karim’s ANATC], for example, costs less than $1 billion per year. Why do you think the international community won’t keep funding it? [By comparison the US spent $200 billion in Iraq in 2007.]

    If the ANSF training command’s were surged to $2 billion/year, imagine how quickly Afghanistan would be transformed. Unfortunately President Obama opposed McChrystal’s, Petraeus’ and Caldwell’s plans for doing that.

    It is too bad that US policy opposed the creation of capable ANSF training commands before November, 2009. [For what President Bush and Obama thought were good reasons, avoiding antagonizing the Pakistani Army and Gulf.] Most of the little training that did occur pre November, 2009, happened after ANSF were deployed in the field. Very different from the US, Pakistani and international model of train and then deploy.

    Do you support letting India train the ANSF?

    +++++++
    Do you think most of Afghanistan [North, West, Center] would fall apart if the ASNF budget is not slashed? If so, why?

  5. “When one looks at areas turned over to the GiRoA we see major backsliding.”

    You need to be specific here. Most of the areas handed over to the GIRoA are improving or little changed. What specific districts in what specific provinces are you referring to?

    Much of RC-North has been handed over the the GIRoA or will be handed over in the coming weeks. Violence in RC-North continues to drop sharply. There has been no material increase in violence in RC West or Kabul. Kabul, the North and West continue to attract many international tourists and business people.

    Helmand violence continues to drop sharply. Much of Helmand has been transitioned to the ASNF, with much more transitioning within weeks.

    Has there been deterioration in the ANSF AOs in Zabul province?

    There are ANSF AOs that have seen increased violence as well. That is why specifics matter.

  6. “The ANP and its variants are not to be trusted.” Too broad a statement. The ANP run many Afghan provinces. Such as Bamiyan, Daikundi, Panjir, Balkh. They run almost all of Kabul. Are they doing a bad job in those provinces?

    What would your criticism of the NDS be? Many NDS are virulently anti Pakistani Army and see Pakistani spies behind every bush. They beat up Afghans on the slightest suspicion. They even beat up foreigners [including westerners] that they suspect are Pakistani spies. The NDS are the most anti Taliban faction in Afghanistan and are paranoid about ISAF collusion with the Taliban. There are several examples of NDS inspecting ISAF convoys and facilities on suspicion that they are aiding the Taliban. The NDS paranoia prevents them from sharing a lot of their information with the ANA, ANP and ISAF, for fear that they will leak to the Taliban. This isn’t an easy problem to address. This said, at least they hate the Taliban.

    “As to Karzai believing the US will make friends with the Taliban, well that’s a bit farfetched.” Don’t be so sure. Could you e-mail me offline on regarding this.

    “How many Afghan officials have been prosecuted for corruption? ” :LOL: Many highly corrupt countries are very successful. Afghanistan has been corrupt for thousands of years and will remain corrupt. But there can be rapid progress even with high corruption.

    In Afghan public opinion polling the Taliban are more unpopular now than ever before. With the largest percentage ever strongly opposing them.

    “How about that re-integration program? How many former insurgents are now running their own legar Arbaki or ANP districts? How may have used funds from the re-integration program to wait out the winter on the governments dime? ”

    Did you hear this from ANA and NDS? This is one reason they believe ISAF backs the Taliban and Afghanistan against them.

  7. Anan, I’m pretty sure you just backed up many of my statements.

    I will only add one more thing on this particular post. The claim that violence is down is an interesting one. I suppose it’s depends on what we count as violence and what time frame we compare it to. Oh yeah and who’s doing the comparison.

    Violence has dropped in the last few months. This is due to a couple of reason I won’t go into but compared to say anytime before 2009 it’s much harder to make that statmenet.

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