I get it . . .

I think.

It seems that a lot of people are disappointed, in a major way, with President Obama and his sending another 17,000 members of the armed forces to Afghanistan.  And I am not totally comfortable with that idea.  I do not unequivocally support the President’s move.

But, let’s consider some of the realities:

  • The Pakistan/Afghanistan border is a line that was arbitrarily drawn by the British 200 years ago.
  • Afghanistan has never had a strong central government.  It is a “tribal” dominated country.
  • Afghanistan consists of over ten different ethnic groups.
  • Pakistan was split off from India 62 years ago due to religious differences.
  • Kashmir, a majority Muslim province, is still part of India and a source of conflict.
  • Pakistan does not have a strong central government.  The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is an independent entity, run by a senior general.
  • Pakistan has an arsenal of nuclear weapons.
  • Baluchistan runs east-west across the southern parts of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.


This map from The National Geographic shows the ethnic divisions in Afghanistan.  The Baluchi and Pashtun continue east into Pakistan.

It is in everybody’s best interest to arrive at a political solution so that this part of south Asia has some peace.

President Obama has named a highly knowledgeable and esteemed person, Richard Holbrooke, as his envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan.  This president understands that there can be no military solution to this problem, only a political solution.

Everyone in the world and especially those in the immediate south Asia area have a vested interest in a stable government in Pakistan because of their nuclear weapons.  India, which also has nuclear weapons, really does not want to get into a nuclear exchange.  India is certainly capable in over running Pakistan with conventional forces and winning a brief war.  But they know that they could never govern a Muslim country and they are not sure that Pakistan will not, as a last resort, use nuclear weapons.  I mean, that is why there was a partition 62 years ago.

President Obama is more than just pretty smart.  He didn’t get to where he is by being your normal everyday politician.  He appears to be more a ‘statesman’ than any president in my lifetime (68 years).  So, my hope is that President Obama is increasing the troops in Afghanistan as a stop-gap measure while the diplomats of the world hammer out a workable and sustainable solution.

Explore posts in the same categories: Politics

2 Comments on “I get it . . .”

  1. msgtron Says:

    We must realize that Pakistan and Afghanistan are going to eventually ruled by Islamic leaderships.
    Krazai needs to form a government in Kabul with the
    Taliban. Islamabad has already started making deals with the militants. Share rule and stop the killing.
    I support a increased presence to give Karzai some control but I sense that this President is not seeing us in Afghanistan for an extended period.

    The Master Sergeant

  2. Chief Says:

    Master Sergeant,

    One of the many problems faced by Afghanistan is the inability of a central government to raise funds/taxes to administer the country. Each warlord has his own little fiefdom. Pakistan is dangerously close to a failed state.

    What branch service ?

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