Get Rethink Afghanistan Updates
Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter Get E-Mail Updates
Join Us on Facebook

Lawrence Korb and Katrina vanden Heuvel Debate Pakistani Instability

Posted by Lawrence Korb on April 22nd, 2009

Click here for more information about the Afghanistan war.

For too long, U.S. and NATO efforts in Afghanistan have been under-resourced and poorly coordinated. As a result, the United States’ early gains in the country have been reversed, and the Taliban and al-Qaeda have grown stronger and more lethal. Violence in the country has reached levels not seen since the initial invasion in 2001. In 2003, U.S. troops experienced fewer than 50 casualties; last year, that number had risen to 150. Attacks on U.S. and coalition forces have also grown more sophisticated, even in areas of the country where the Taliban is not thought to be strong. And while the military has had some success in eliminating high-level members of the insurgency, al-Qaeda continues to operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, posing a serious threat to U.S. national security.

President Obama’s decision to send 17,000 additional combat troops and 4,000 additional trainers for the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, is a necessary first step to reversing the deteriorating security situation in the country. But while necessary, the troop increase proposed by President Obama is not sufficient to achieve sustainable security in Afghanistan.

The administration’s decision to increase the amount of civilian experts and diplomatic resources, and the adoption of a regional approach is also necessary to correct American policy in Afghanistan. In addition to increasing security in Afghanistan, new troop deployments will enable these other elements of US national power to be put to more effective use.

Despite a decline in support in recent years, the United States and NATO still remain popular among a broad segment of the Afghan population, and additional forces will ensure that we can provide the aid and security needed to build our relationship with them. Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, recognized this relationship between security and growth, when he wrote that, “reconstruction cannot proceed on a large scale without the requisite security to protect those carrying out the projects and those overseeing them.”

As the U.S. and its NATO allies increase their military and civilian presence in Afghanistan, they must also maintain their strong commitment to stabilizing the region, particularly Pakistan. The fates of Afghanistan and Pakistan are tightly intertwined, due to the porous and often lawless border region between them. Like Afghanistan, Pakistan’s problems cannot be solved by military means alone. Stability will only be achieved as the result of a coordinated effort to create security, economic growth, and an open democratic system. This effort, as well as U.S. work in Afghanistan, must include regional actors such as China, India, Russia, and Iran.

Despite the neglect of Afghanistan on the part of the Bush administration, we must remember that it is the central front in the War on Terror. Therefore, we cannot ignore the threat Afghanistan poses to our vital national security interest, and we must combat it with all of the resources at our disposal—development aid, diplomacy, and military force.

(For more debates between Katrina vanden Heuvel and Lawrence Korb, visit Rethink Afghanistan.)

Share this:

to “Lawrence Korb and Katrina vanden Heuvel Debate Pakistani Instability”

  1. Shah says:

    The situation in Afghanistan is more complex than it seems. Deploying more troops will address only one dimension of the problem. If everything goes according to the most optimistic forecasts, the deployment of more troops may improve the security situation in Afghanistan for a short time, but it's never going to be a durable solution. What Afghanistan needs is long term commitment for a foreseeable future by the international community, specially the United States and Europe. It will be naive to think that problems of Afghanistan are post 9/11, rather 30 years of war; including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the civil war, barbaric role of the Taliban and middling by the neighboring countries are all contributing factors to what we see now in Afghanistan.

    The world should promote democratic values, role of law, good governance, economic development and more importantly manifest a solid commitment to Afghanistan. This is a tall order, but I believe that these are important factors for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

    The United States must also put more pressure on President Karzai’s administration. Frankly, Karzai has let down Afghans, and people have lost confidence in his administration. Afghanistan has already missed a golden opportunity, mainly due to corruption and bad policies of the Afghan government and some shortcomings by the international community. The new Obama strategy for Afghanistan provides a window of opportunity and must be embarrassed and followed by all involving parties.

  2. Shah says:

    The situation in Afghanistan is more complex than it seems. Deploying more troops will address only one dimension of the problem. If everything goes according to the most optimistic forecasts, the deployment of more troops may improve the security situation in Afghanistan for a short time, but it's never going to be a durable solution. What Afghanistan needs is long term commitment for a foreseeable future by the international community, specially the United States and Europe. It will be naive to think that problems of Afghanistan are post 9/11, rather 30 years of war; including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the civil war, barbaric role of the Taliban and middling by the neighboring countries are all contributing factors to what we see now in Afghanistan.

    The world should promote democratic values, role of law, good governance, economic development and more importantly manifest a solid commitment to Afghanistan. This is a tall order, but I believe that these are important factors for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

    The United States must also put more pressure on President Karzai’s administration. Frankly, Karzai has let down Afghans, and people have lost confidence in his administration. Afghanistan has already missed a golden opportunity, mainly due to corruption and bad policies of the Afghan government and some shortcomings by the international community. The new Obama strategy for Afghanistan provides a window of opportunity and must be embarrassed and followed by all involving parties.

  3. [...] posting the last two videos, I brought you vanden Heuvel and Korb in their own words, expanding on their arguments from the debates. Now I want to bring you Derrick [...]

Rethink Afghanistan Facebook is leading the charge to end the war. Get breaking news and actions.
FACT SHEETS

FROM DERRICK CROWE'S BLOG
RECENT POSTS

SEARCH THE BLOG
Subscribe via RSS
Become a Peacemaker



Bronze Telly Award
QUESTIONS
For general questions, email us here.
For technical issues regarding this site, contact us here.

PRESS

For Press inquiries, please contact Kim at: bravenewfoundation.press@gmail.com



CREDITS
Director: Robert Greenwald - Executive Director: Jim Miller - Producer: Jason Zaro - Associate Producer: Dallas Dunn, Jonathan Kim, and Kim Huynh - Researcher: Greg Wishnev - Editor: Phillip Cruess - Political Director: Leighton Woodhouse - VP Marketing & Distribution: Laura Beatty - Production Assistant: Monique Hairston

LEGAL
Anyone is allowed to post content on this site, but Brave New Foundation 501(c)(3) is not responsible for that content. We will, however, remove anything unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, racist, or that contains other material that would violate the law. By posting you agree to this.





Brave New Foundation | 10510 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232