Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

Will more foreign troops bring peace to Afghanistan?


APCs of German ISAF in Afghanistan/Fabrizio BenschWith both U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain calling for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan, there have been a slew of articles arguing this will at best not work and, at worst, fuel the insurgency.

The Financial Times quotes Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former U.S. national security adviser and prominent supporter of Barack Obama, as saying the United States risks repeating the defeat suffered by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. “It is important for U.S. policy in general and for Obama more specifically to recognise that simply putting more troops into Afghanistan is not the entire solution,” he is quoted as saying.

“We are running the risk of repeating the mistake the Soviet Union made . . . Our strategy is getting in deeper and deeper.”

That theme is echoed in Canada’s Globe and Mail, whose correspondent in Moscow talked to veterans of the disastrous Soviet occupation of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1889, which helped lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  ”We knew by 1985 that we could not win,” it quotes veteran Ruslan Aushev as saying.  It then took Moscow four more years to extricate hundreds of thousands of troops.