Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I guess I'm not the only one to think that a war in Iraq would be the perfect opportunity for those who wish to destabilize/take over the very fragile government in Afghanistan. You can see it here post aspart of the article from Slate's Int'l Papers Sect;

Currently, ISAF only operates in Kabul and its immediate surroundings, which has allowed former Taliban leaders and renegade warlords to re-establish influence in the regions beyond the capital city. The Guardian reported that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, "one of Afghanistan's most fundamentalist warlords," is now creating an alliance with Taliban and al-Qaida survivors to target U.S. forces, aid agencies, and representatives of the Afghan government. The paper quoted from an interview Hekmatyar gave to the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper last November: "The battle is with the Americans. The reason for what we are facing is the American presence in Afghanistan. We must end this presence, and then its supporters will collapse."

An alarming piece in Monday's Daily Telegraph by Ahmed Rashid presented a region in which the old tensions of the "great game" are resurfacing and threatening Afghanistan's stability: "Despite pledges of help for [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai, Russia is arming one warlord and Iran another. India and Pakistan are continuing their long rivalry and secretly backing different claimants to power, while the central Asian republics are backing their ethnic allies." The neighboring states are frantically vying for influence because they believe the United States will reduce its commitment to Afghanistan if it goes to war in Iraq. Rashid's conclusion was depressing but sound: "Hopes of an end to interference lie in a stronger central government and greater western pressure to stop the neighbours from interfering. The latter appears less likely with the world's attention focused on Iraq."

If this happens we are soooo fucked.

Sidenote - if I keep this standard of profanity laced tirades, I might have to change my name to "The Foul Mouthed Pundit". Curses make me sound bad, but they feel soooo goooood.... even in text no less.


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