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ISAF

ISAF


Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:48 pm Post
This is a forum specific to discussion of the ongoing, UN mandated, International Security Assistance Force. ISAF is currently operating in Afghanistan.
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Re: ISAF


Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:16 pm Post
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Greetings NATO members. It is the start of a new year, and the start of the ninth year of fighting in Afghanistan.

I understand that the missions to both Iraq and Afghanistan have made some nations weary. I recognize that continued losses may be untenable for some nations.

For this reason, I believe it is important to discuss how ISAF can make meaningful, lasting progress. This is, after all, about the Afghan people. They will have to live with the ramifications of whatever decisions we make here.

As it currently stands, ISAF is going town to town, village by village, rousting and removing the Taliban. We are providing security for the people, and we are doing what we can to ensure that the people remain secure. But I believe we can make an adjustment to our approach. Neither Al-Qaeda nor the Taliban are centrally organized. Yes, they have leaders who give general direction. But for the most part, these are local thugs. Some nations, like the United States and the UK have direct experience in dealing with groups such as this. We dealt with loosely organized groups such as the Bloods and the Crips.

The first thing we need to do is show the Afghan people that this is not about the United States attempting to destroy Islam or their way of life. One way we can do this is by not attacking mosques, even if there are suspected terrorists inside.

The second thing we need to do is help build these communities up. The people want to be safe and secure, have jobs, and education. One thing we can do here is to pay Afghanis to build facilities. We can have instructors teach basics like electrical work, pipe laying, and so on. Then, we pay them to build the facilities they need. This can accomplish two things. First, we give them jobs and they have the facilities they need. Second, having spent time creating these structures, they will be less likely to allow a militant to come and blow them up. It could help us to push militants out of the area.

The third thing we need to do is be guarantors of security. We can do this by engaging the local communities. We gather the women who have had their faces burned by acid, or the families who have lost relatives to in-fighting between the various local factions. We gather these people together, and we have them confront the people who are terrorizing them. Then we guarantee their security. In other words, we mediate the exchange between the locals and the terrorists. We let them take charge of rejecting the terrorists, and then we shield the people from retaliation.

Fourth, and finally, we need to target the local police and other powerful individuals. These people also victimize the Afghans. We need to remove corrupt individuals from society, and empower the average Afghan.

These are our ideas to help bring stability to Afghanistan, to help us end this war, and to help us all bring our children home. I await your responses, and look forward to bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan.

Thank you.

Ivo H. Daalder
Permanent U.S. Representative to NATO


Re: ISAF


Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:18 am Post
Turkey is proud to continue fighting for the future of the Afghani people alongside our friends and allies. As our own model shows, Islam is best served by peace and democracy and those members of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other radical movements are wrong to think that Islam requires force and heavy-handedness.

It is my belief that the most serious problem facing us in Afghanistan is the lack of a good national government. Karzai is simply a bad partner and is not taking the necessary steps to end corruption in the country. This corruption needs to stop if the national government is every to gain legitimacy among the people of Afghanistan.


Re: ISAF


Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:59 am Post
Yes, this is another of our major concerns, and quite frankly, it is a headache for us. This is one of the reasons why we have decided to focus on the issues away from Kabul for the time being, and to return to the issue of Karzai in due time.

Ivo H. Daalder
Permanent U.S. Representative to NATO


Re: ISAF


Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:06 am Post
The United Kingdom strongly supports the ISAF Mission to assist the Afghani people and prosecute the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other extremists.

We support the United States' proposal to localise the conflict by supporting and backing the local population to fight back against the elements of terror in their communities. While we must be careful to not overspend on development while our nations show high debt and unemployment numbers, we also strongly believe that development will be the guard against the Taliban's return once ISAF leaves Afghanistan. Lastly, we can only agree again with the United States and Turkey. There is undeniable corruption within the Afghan government, at the highest levels. We must make a plan to do something to resolve this problem, or it will weaken Afghanistan's chances to succeed post-ISAF.

Mariot Leslie
Permanent UK Representative to NATO


Re: ISAF


Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:13 am Post
As you may well know, good sirs, the Canadian government in the past election campaign committed itself from withdrawing from Afghanistan as soon as was possible in a responsible fashion. The only way Canada's new government would reconsider this decision is if Hamid Karzai was ousted, and certain modifications be made to the constitution and laws of Afghanistan to bring them into line with values we would more like to see. These would include, ending the constitutional ban on Non-Muslims becoming president, declaring Afghanistan to be a fully secular nation where religion is to have no influence on government, ending its status as an Islamic Republic, repealing the media law of 2004 which would allow for censorship of media outlets, a legalisation of homosexual relations and a passage of legislation to protect minorities, including LGBTs and crossdressers, from attack and hate rhetoric. We would also ask for a full inquiry into corruption and abuses in the intelligence services of Afghanistan and the police of Afghanistan, as well as the ousting of warlords in the North of Afghanistan. In other words, we are asking for this mission to start again. America and its allies should have learned from Vietnam that supporting an authoritarian regime with little popular basis from the people is an impossible quagmire, and if we continue to do so Canada will look to protect its men in the region.

Canada is only willing to have young men die for this cause if it is a cause in line with western and not backwards values, we want no part in supporting warlords, Islamists, torture, religious, ethnic, gender, or sexual discrimination, and we will pull out of the region ISAF attempts to impose this on us.


Re: ISAF


Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:31 am Post
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Minister of Defence - Martine Aubry

Alongside France's pending withdrawal from NATO's integrated command structure, France is planning to withdraw all of our forces currently stationed in Afghanistan within six months.

Afghanistan has defeated every major power that has attempted to make it into anything other than a backwards and uncivilized tribal system. The British learned this in the 1800s, the Soviets in the 1900s, and I predict the United States will learn it in the 2000s. France has shed enough blood there already and sees no point in shedding more.


Re: ISAF


Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:02 am Post
Germany remains committed to the ISAF mission, we will continue strive towards our final goal of a stable democracy being created for the afgan people.

While we agree with the US approach to the ongoing difficulties in Afghanistan in which we will dicuss further we must now take note to the impending withdraw of French forces and determine a strategy for the replacement of the said french forces.


Re: ISAF


Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:03 am Post
Juan Chacón - Minister Of Defence

Spain cannot continue keeping our troops in Afganistan. We simply cannot afford it. So we will be pulling out of Afganistan from now until they are completely out by two months time.


Re: ISAF


Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:39 pm Post
We fully understand the reservations of the French and Spanish. For different reasons, each of your nations does not wish to engage the ISAF mission any longer. This is understandable. However, the only thing we ask is that you give the remaining ISAF participants enough of a window to send more soldiers to the theatre. Please give us at least three month's notice prior to withdrawing, so that we can locate, train, send, and acclimatize the needed units before your numbers decrease.

Ivo H. Daalder
Permanent U.S. Representative to NATO
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