Another Downward Step Afghanistan

NATO is suspending joint operations with Afghan forces. This is due to several recent attacks on NATO troops by Afghans in police or army uniform.

But the point of having troops there is supposed to be training Afghan forces prior to NATO leaving in 2014. So, the rationale for keeping troops there has just evaporated.

One lesson that might be learned from this fiasco: there is no need to train Afghans how to fight. They are quite capable of figuring that out for themselves. What NATO might have done instead is simply give the Afghan government enough cash to buy the loyalty of enough clients to keep it in business and otherwise leave well alone.

Another lesson: NATO might also have allowed a separation of the rival ethnic groups giving the Pashtuns and the others either autonomy or independence instead of trying to keep incompatibles hitched together.

A third lesson: modern Western militaries continue their poor record of success in fighting insurgent rebellions. The underlying reason is not I think some flaw in their counter-insurgency strategy. It is more fundamental: the war aversion of Western liberal nations. To inflict the kind of decimating violence that would thoroughly smash and cow a rebellion has become (quite rightly) unthinkable.

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