Monday, November 19, 2007

Afghanistan and the Need for a Winning Strategy

Territory is constantly won by the NATO led forces in Afghanistan, immediately that it is given to the ‘freshly’ trained Afghan army, the territory is sooner or later lost to the Taliban. This according to much media reports is the case where Canadian forces are operating at the least.

One needs to ask, why is territory being lost, why is it that whenever the Taliban comes across Afghan forces they nearly always win. This is surprising considering that the Afghan forces are better equipped than the Taliban, having access one would hope to more updated arms coming from NATO. The only cause then must be within the Afghan forces and what is expected from them by NATO. The Afghan forces have no moral, the cause of lack of moral is the lack of a cause. One needs to be fighting in what they believe in, one will only fight to create or preserve what they consider greatness then one will have high moral.

It seems that the Taliban believe they have a cause whilst the modern Afghan army seems to not believe in what they are fighting for. The facts speak for themselves, the Afghan army does not seem to want to risk limb and arm for Afghanistan, this obviously means they do not believe in Afghanistan why die for it. Using reason, the Afghan army is being paid, wages funded by international aid, the Taliban are not being paid. The Afghan soldier is probably so frightened to shoot back at the Taliban, but because he has a wife and maybe three kids at home who must eat he has taken up the job as soldier, something he would never do say was he born in Idaho, Utah, or Canada.

One can ask the question but it is his country does he like to leave under the Taliban, would he like a state where everything is restricted, where his daughter will not go to school, where he can never seek pleasure, where he knows things will always be the same because the society leaders in the name of the Taliban and those before abhorred knowledge, abhorred thinking, because thinking man challenge ideas thinking man demand to know why they must do something, obviously he would not like such a situation. Then the question is why does he not fight. The reason is simple, a society that has seen 30 years of nearly continuous war means that the people have been robbed of their home by all sorts of warlords and endless causes. Been so long at war one does not know what tomorrow will bring, why risk limb and arm for something one does not know what it will be. They, like so many societies around the world have been robbed of believing because of evil leaders that have forced themselves onto them, to them what really is the difference between this Afghanistan and all the other Afghanistans before.

A cause has to be instilled into the Afghan army, that the past is now finished and it is up to Afghanis to take the chance that they have now. The Afghan needs to believe in the future, in a future, and that future includes freedom to be, it has to be instilled into the Afghani army that under freedom much can be achieved, greatness, can be achieved, greatness of the mind, the world is entering the space age, and the only way to get into that age is by using the mind.

This kind of training can not occur inside Afghanistan. This kind of training can only occur outside Afghanistan, 7 000 men trained in NATO training facilities in the USA, Canada, and Western Europe. The military training must be as intense as the training the US army has for at least a brigade, a brigade being 5 000 men. The other 2 000 men must be trained not as a regular army but to search for the Taliban in the mountains that border Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Why can it not occur inside Afghanistan, the answer is simple the surroundings. The soldiers train then they go home, it is a normal routine it is a job, they still worry about everyday matters, the usual mundane items, yet if they are trained in facilities belonging to NATO countries they can focus, daily issues will not distract them, they will be intent on training and longing their home. Those three to six months can be totally intense both militarily and the role of the civilized warrior. The civilized warrior does not harm civilians, the modern warrior is there to protect civilians and is in service to civilians. The modern warrior defends the ideals of the society and is apolitical unless of course the threat is to take away the freedoms of the people.

Political training must occur because these soldiers will become the core of the Afghan army, it must be instilled into them what Afghanistan has lost in the last 30 years, they will see the infrastructure in the NATO countries, an infrastructure that would exist in Afghanistan given freedom, it is in freedom where one can search for knowledge and increase the knowledge base of Afghanistan. This ‘core’ brigade and battalions will need to be taught to lead by example, when they return to Afghanistan they carry a little pamphlet that they will distribute to villages for anybody who can read. The pamphlet will show what freedom truly is, that greatness is achieved by freemen, they will explain that they are fighting for the vision of a great Afghanistan, not a superstitious Afghanistan. There are no enemy civilians, those considered the enemy will be told they can believe in what they like, but must no hinder others with their personal ways.

Canada will for example pull out of Afghanistan soon, political pressure, Civilians are not understanding what is at stake in Afghanistan. Canada has the obligation to make sure its work will not be for naught, taking in 500 – 1 000 Afghanis for 3- 6 months giving them the proper training and equipment should not be too much too ask. The USA of course can afford to do more, Germany, Poland, Holland, England can all afford to undertake this, it is a military exercise, these people will need to be in barracks. Not to waste the training they will need equipment to hold territory. Would NATO be willing to give intense training in use of helicopter gunships and the like?

The troops of course will need to be visited by the Afghan president. But it must be made clear they are not fighting for the President, he is commander in Chief because of his office. They are fighting for an ideal, that ideal is freedom, because in freedom greatness can be achieved because in reality the true comparative advantage in economics is knowledge, and knowledge needs people to be allowed to think, Afghanis can have engineers, bankers, great minds of any profession, this proven by people who left Afghanistan and many prove their great minds, something the Taliban would never allow. They are not trained to be bodyguards of Kharzai, the present president will have to stand for elections, therefore they are to be trained as bodyguards of the nation.

NATO will also have to consider an intelligence service, the villages need to be protected, not an easy task. Needs men who can assume civilian roles in the villages and identify the enemies of freedom, those who are willing to use arms to stop others from enjoying their individual rights. The core of the service of course must be trained in Intelligence facilities in NATO countries.

Soon countries will due to political pressure at home pull out of Afghanistan, will the USA want to carry such a burden, if not then it is time to create a proper army that army needs a cause to have high moral, they need to long for something better, need to join the global community and they can, they surely deserve a chance to gather knowledge and build up Afghanistan for themselves. They have been kept from using their minds because that way they are easier to rule and be commanded, keeping a few in luxury whilst the majority must toil for their existence.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom