NATO in Afghanistan: the Titanic’s uncertain future?

Abstract

Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan has imposed itself as a blueprint for the invasion of Iraq two years later. Yet, as early as 2003, analysts had pointed out the illusory quality of what was presented to Western public opinions as a success. Actually, the progressive increase in the number of troops did not stop the military situation from degrading. This Western failure has three major causes: default of expertise, absence of coordination between Western countries and absence of means for reconstruction. The Taliban have proved to be dynamic adversaries when confronted with Western forces: having reconstituted their forces in Pakistan, they have quickly initiated the attack. Moreover, the regional context is not favourable to Westerners and can only worsen if the United States pursues an aggressive policy towards Iran or Pakistan, the two determining neighbours in the Afghan crisis evolution. In these circumstances, no perspective for a crisis outcome in the near term can be foreseen.

AFRI 2008 Summary