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turnea
As you may know Afghanistan's elections are scheduled for October 9th, mere days from the starting of this post.
QUOTE(BBC News)
On 9 October Afghans will choose from 18 presidential candidates in some 25,000 polling stations across the country.  
  
That is not all - Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries will be also casting their ballots.  
  
Some 800,000 Afghans living in refugee camps in Iran are expected to turn up at the 1,000 polling stations on the same day.  
  
And in Pakistan, another 1.5 million are expected to vote.[...]  
International election officials, who are helping out in Afghanistan, say the situation is more serious than it was during recent elections in "post-conflict societies" like Cambodia and East Timor.  
  
The 26,000-strong US and Nato-led peacekeeping forces say they are taking measures to tighten security.

Afghanistan's election challenge
However, that essnetial security is at the center of a dispute...
QUOTE
With just about ten days to go before millions of Afghans vote in the country's first direct presidential ballot, the US Congress on Wednesday slammed European nations for not fulfilling promises to reinforce NATO-led troops in the country to beef up security.  
  
Tom Lantos, a Democratic representative from the San Francisco area, attacked "the freeloading and sheer hypocrisy of some of our European allies," calling the NATO contingent in Afghanistan "pitifully" small. The comments came during a hearing in the US House of Representatives in the run-up to the October 9 Afghan elections.  
  
"Where is the administration's outrage over the fact that NATO and key allies in the Middle East have not only refused to help in Iraq, which is a controversial and separate issue, but turned their backs on Afghanistan as well," Lantos asked. He added that President Bush's administration "must be prepared to publicly condemn them for their failure to act."[...]  
There are currently around 8,000 NATO-led peacekeepers based mainly in Kabul.  
  
The reinforcements -- mostly Spanish and Italian troops -- would bring to around 9,000 the number of troops deployed with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which NATO has run since last year.   

US Blames Europe For Failures in Afghanistan
Emphasis added.
US Lawmakers Request More Security in Afghanistan
Though I believe the title of the article is a bit unfair, it does raise an important point.
So...
Are America's allies doing enough to stabilize Iraq and aid in that country's efforts to establish democracy?
Have they sent enough troops?
If not, why do you think this is?
What is you opinion of the odds for success in Afghanistan?
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DaytonRocker
Americas allies? Which ones? New Guinea or Cameroon?

I think most countries are trying to separate themselves from the United States and that's what we're seeing. Heck, it's even happening in Iraq.

Bush did a good job of sending our troops in and kicking some Taliban butt. His response to 9-11 in my opinion, was nothing short of awesome. Unfortunately, he never finished the job in Afganistan so he could invade a country having nothing to do with international terrorism. That's when I realized he truly sucked as a president.

So, while he's off rejecting the UN and making enemies of some of our strongest allies (Germany, France, and everybody else that has real resources to help), they're leaving it for us to fix. After all, Bush has been stating we can do it all.

Now, opium production is at pre-war levels, the tribal leaders are running the country, and the 75% of Taliban leaders "brought to justice" have been replaced with brand new nutjobs wanting some American heads on a platter. And Bin Laden is probably laughing his warped butt of somewhere in Pakistan while writing checks for more terrorist supplies. They can downplay not capturing or killing him all they want, but as long as he's not separated form his checkbook, he's our #1 problem.

Odds for success under the current conditions? 10-20% if no leaders get assassinated (Karzai, et al). If Kerry is elected? Better than 40% only because we have a chance of getting the help we need. With Bush in power, we have none.
Ultimatejoe
Are America's allies doing enough to stabilize Iraq and aid in that country's efforts to establish democracy?
Have they sent enough troops?
If not, why do you think this is?
What is you opinion of the odds for success in Afghanistan?


Turnea, I have a question for you... is a government's responsibility to it's citizens first, or the international community? Ok, that's a loaded question, but do you see where I am going here? The U.S. led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq (with Iraq being the more prescient example) demonstrated that, at least according to the neo-conservative reading, a state must act in it's own best interests, even when they grossly conflict with the interests of other states and their citizens. There is no way you can say that the European Allies have a "responsibility" to Afghanistan without invalidating the "morality" of going to war in either countries; which obviously poses a problem.

Logistically, have they sent enough troops? Likely no, but the politics of the situation are exceedingly complex. However, there is some legitimacy to the suggestion that sending troops in the volume that Lantos et al would like would by all accounts be fruitless. The fact is that (in my estimation) over two-thirds of Afghanistan is essentially completely lawless, and the dynamics of that country suggest that tens of thousands of armed peacekeepers could do very little to change that. Without any inherently local political stability (which is where the U.S. and Europe SHOULD have been focusing their efforts after they let Osama Bin Laden skidaddle out of harm's way) no military force short of a full-fledged invasion could be effective.
turnea
QUOTE(DaytonRocker @ Oct 3 2004, 11:05 PM)

I think most countries are trying to separate themselves from the United States and that's what we're seeing. Heck, it's even happening in Iraq.

Odds for success under the current conditions? 10-20% if no leaders get assassinated (Karzai, et al). If Kerry is elected? Better than 40% only because we have a chance of getting the help we need. With Bush in power, we have none.
*


On the first point, that might make sense if the time lines matched up. That is to say that is is not only since the operation in Iraq that allied troops levels have been insufficient. The aid Afghanistan has received form the international community has never been what was promised, as Karzai sees it.

I find the second point kind of funny since as I type this Afghanistan has already held its elections, unmarred (relatively) by violence. There is a political struggle in the wings, but that is a problem much easier to overcome. The people there in general seem very happy with the results.

10-20% laugh.gif


QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Oct 4 2004, 06:43 AM)

Are America's allies doing enough to stabilize Iraq and aid in that country's efforts to establish democracy? 
Have they sent enough troops? 
If not, why do you think this is? 
What is you opinion of the odds for success in Afghanistan?


The U.S. led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq (with Iraq being the more prescient example) demonstrated that, at least according to the neo-conservative reading, a state must act in it's own best interests, even when they grossly conflict with the interests of other states and their citizens. There is no way you can say that the European Allies have a "responsibility" to Afghanistan without invalidating the "morality" of going to war in either countries; which obviously poses a problem.
*


I don't quite think that is what is going on here and I think that logic is flawed.

These European nations have already declared the stabilization of Afghanistan to be in line with their interest, indeed they promised support.

..and to say that the logic behind going to war in Iraq invalidates obligations of support to Afghanistan is a bit of a stretch.

QUOTE(UltimateJoe)
Logistically, have they sent enough troops? Likely no, but the politics of the situation are exceedingly complex.

Now you have something. One of the major reason these nations have failed to send significant levels of troops is because they fear upsetting their constituencies. They had no problem making grand promises to the Afghans when it was politically expedient, but when the time came to back up the talk...
QUOTE(UltimateJoe)
The fact is that (in my estimation) over two-thirds of Afghanistan is essentially completely lawless, and the dynamics of that country suggest that tens of thousands of armed peacekeepers could do very little to change that. Without any inherently local political stability (which is where the U.S. and Europe SHOULD have been focusing their efforts after they let Osama Bin Laden skidaddle out of harm's way) no military force short of a full-fledged invasion could be effective.

The US led force (which are basically the one providing military support for the country, the NATO force is restricted to areas around Kabul) has clearly been doing a lot of good as today's election shows.

More troops can do better according to some familiar with the situation.
QUOTE
A local think-tank, the Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), said in a report more needed to be done to protect the electoral process, including voters and candidates.

It said the disarmament of armed factions needed to be accelerated and numbers of NATO-led peacekeepers increased, not reduced, ahead of parliamentary elections next year.

Afghan president aborts trip after attack
QUOTE
Nato is facing growing criticism in Afghanistan over its leadership of the international peacekeeping operation here - which it has called its number one priority.

Some are describing the alliance as "highly unreliable". [...]
At its Istanbul summit in late June, Nato committed to providing an additional 3,500 troops for Isaf before the polls, to take its strength to around 10,000.

That was only after much negotiation among Nato's 26 member states. President Hamid Karzai - who was in Istanbul - had been hoping for many more. Nonetheless, he begged alliance members to "please hurry" in sending the extra forces. [...]
Another concern is the change of command at Isaf to Eurocorps. The Canadians under Lt Gen Rick Hillier are widely seen as having done a good job at leading the peacekeeping force.

"It's unfortunate they're going at this time," said one Afghanistan-based analyst, who asked not to be named.

"I don't know anyone who thinks the Germans and the French are up to the task - especially based on Germany's performance up in Kunduz [in north-east Afghanistan, where German troops run a provincial reconstruction team]. What we'll see is more of the same conservative, risk-averse style they've adopted up there."

Nato under fire for Afghan role
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