Agnosia Afghanistania

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Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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4 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    I don’t get number 1. How will drawing down lead to an increase of Taliban style gov in other “istan’s?” Iran is not going to welcome the Taliban, they are more likely to kill them. Pakistan already has supported whoever they want in Pakistan.

    Al-queda will be a threat( at whatever level) regardless of Afghanistan. Is there any evidence Afghanistan is at this point crucial to AQ. I don’t think so.Report

    • Avatar Chris Dierkes in reply to greginak says:

      Not Iran or Pakistan. But places like Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, and the like. The authoritarian-autocratic regimes to the north of Afghanistan. Then from there westward to the Transcaucasian areas (Chechnya for example already we know has had war and radicalization). Wherever globalization pushes (and they’re next along with sub-Saharan Africa), there is always indigenous resistance as well as criminal co-opting.

      On AQ. The presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan helps al-Qaeda in recruiting I would imagine. It also however hurts them as its goading the Pakistanis to give intel to the US for drone attacks.

      The more important question is what happens when the US/NATO begin to leave Afghanistan. If they did at this point–and I really think at any point in the future–the Taliban will control much of the East and South of the country. Would they give Al-Qaeda a sanctuary again?Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Chris Dierkes says:

        I’m just not sure how the Taliban spread to the neighboring countries just because of Afghanistan. The Taliban to a strong degree seem indigenous to Afghanistan. Countries with strong central authoritarian government are more able to withstand the Taliban. But also why do the other ‘stan’s matter that much to us in terms of our strategic view? I’m not sure Kazakhstan is our soft underbelly.

        Yes NATO in Afghanistan and Iraq helps AQ recruiting. That is a reason to draw down.

        I think many in the Taliban and afgan groups could easlly hear the message “we’re leaving now. Do what ever you want, but we have X number of troops/planes/death star’s overhear. Don’t bother us or we will blow stuff up like only American’s can.” We could also keep a smallish presence in Afghanistan as just such a warning. 20000 troops, heavy on special forces is a strong threat.Report

        • Avatar Chris Dierkes in reply to greginak says:

          Well the Taliban at least in the Afghan-Pakistan version has become basically merged with Pushtunism. But the Deobandi school of Islamism certainly can spread, already is and I think probably will get stronger.

          The history of autocracies shows they may keep various factions down for awhile but they have no long standing legitimacy with the people and foster such groups.

          Why we should care? That’s a legitimate question. But eventually it becomes something to deal with. It will be Russia and China’s both problems and opportunities. If we’re willing to make a deal with those countries then it makes sense to me. But I haven’t seen that kind of thinking from either side of the US foreign policy class.Report

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