From our partners at Newshoggers.com
By Steve Hynd
The man who withdrew his nation's troops from Afghanistan, Mikhail Gorbachev, is pessimistic about America's adventure there, telling the BBC that a US victory "is impossible there". He added that the mess is, to a great extent, America's own fault.
"We had hoped America would abide by the agreement that we reached that Afghanistan should be a neutral, democratic country, that would have good relations with its neighbours and with both the US and the USSR.
"The Americans always said they supported this, but at the same time they were training militants – the same ones who today are terrorising Afghanistan and more and more of Pakistan," Mr Gorbachev said.
Because of this, it would be more difficult for the US to get out of the situation.
"But what's the alternative – another Vietnam? Sending in half-a-million troops? That wouldn't work."
The best that Nato could hope to achieve, he said, was to help the country get back on its feet and rebuild itself after the war.
That's not a nation-building exercize Gorby is advocating – it's simply paying for our breakages and getting the f*** out of the store. Analysts like Marvin Weinbaum at Georgetown and Caroline Wadhams at C.A.P. tell us that the warlords of the former Northern Alliance are now re-arming for the next stage of Afghanistan's civil war and that the Afghan security forces will likely fracture into partisan militias as soon as that next stage kicks off – which will depend on Pakistan, Karzai and the Taliban, not America's presence or lack of it. Getting out before we find ourselves refereeing that next war would be a damn good idea.