Monday, January 18, 2010

Kabul attacked

Has anybody told these folks what they are in for?

In a move that is less of a Tet offensive, and more simply designed to show both Afghanis and Americans that the government of Afghanistan has no more than the thinnest veneer of control, Tailban forces attacked the capital of Kabul today. It was a moved timed symbolically to coincide with the swearing in of Afghani President Hamad Karzai's new cabinet.

The assault was widespread aimed at creating as much panic and fear as possible. It was also designed to show the Taliban's reach (if also revealing their limits and inability to make frontal attacks on troops centers or hold territory). The BBC and other sources reported coordinated attacks at the Presidential Palace, the Defense Ministry, the Justice Department, Afghan Telecom, the Feroshgah-e-Afghan shopping center and the Serena Hotel, all located at the heart of an ostensibly very heavily protected capital.

The BBC quoted Afghan MP Shukria Barakzai, saying that it cast a shadow over a London conference later this month intended to demonstrate the Afghan government's ability and willingness to take charge. As the Clarion Content has said continuously since 1993, Afghanistan is not governable centrally as conceived by Western policymakers. The state of Afghanistan does not exist save as a mapmakers conceit and as an opportunity for local elites to accept bribes and siphon western aid into personal coffers.

The BBC notes, "A large number of cabinet posts remain vacant. Parliament has twice rejected many of Mr Karzai's nominations for a new cabinet, forcing the president to direct deputy ministers or other caretaker figures to run their ministries."

Among the conundrums facing American leadership, the Taliban does not need to win on the ground to achieve its desired outcome. For their purposes, a tie is sufficient, they must merely show that the American "way" and the American "stooge" are incapable of providing peace and economic stability.

No comments: