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.

ethnic_mapethnic_key

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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