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View Diary: Pakistan Forfeits the Swat Valley to the Taliban (51 comments)

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  •  but what do you do now (1+ / 0-)
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    soms

    I understand why they came to be. But that's history, what do you do now.  When schools that you want to build are being blown up.  Allow them to continue unabated in blowing things up?  People aren't choosing them, they are forcing themselves on people with big guns.

    Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

    by bvig on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 09:58:46 AM PST

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    •  Here's a stab at it... (2+ / 0-)
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      KenBee, soms

      Afghanistan has two major language groups: Pashtun and Farsi (Persian). The Pashtuns are mainly from the Pakistan side, and they are Sunni with lots of Wahhbist influence. The Farsi speakers are more closely aligned with Iran and Shia. Since the Taliban took over millions of Farsi speaking Afghans fled to Iran, this increased again with the US invasion. Iran and the Taliban are natural enemies. So, the US should patch things up with Iran and work on getting some of the millions of Afghans in Iran to go back. This will take investment and much logistical/military support in conjunction with Iran. Increasing the education/prosperity of Farsi/Afghan society provides an alternative.

      Right now what we do in Afghanistan is try to attack the Taliban without supporting the locals. Moreover, when we mistakenly kill innocents we ignore them and try to brush it under the rug. Without local buy in the Taliban is comparable strategically to the VC in the Vietnam War with the villagers caught in the middle. Iran can provide real logistical and intelligence support, and its in their interests as well.

      You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

      by FrankCornish on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 10:09:00 AM PST

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      •  Obama seems to be working on it (1+ / 0-)
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        soms

        but what about Pakistan, that's where they are conceding territory to the Taliban.  Though weakening them everywhere is good.  

        Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

        by bvig on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 10:20:53 AM PST

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        •  Pakistan is tough... (0+ / 0-)

          there are really a few different regions with different concerns. power structures and levers.

          Personally, I think military force is always a blunt instrument and not a good tool for most jobs. Its easy to understand, but often creates more problems than it solves. Economic development is the best thing in most cases. Nearly everyone wants better economic opportunities and education. The problem is that results come more slowly, and are often difficult to measure.

          Pakistan is nearly a failed state, so in order to make things better the first thing that has to be done is to remove stresses. Another thing the US could do is lean much harder on the Wahhabis--Saudi Arabia is more the source of Sunni Fundamentalism than anywhere else.

          You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

          by FrankCornish on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 01:32:26 PM PST

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