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September 30, 2012

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We may not like the taliban, but we should not assume that we have the ability of national construction, especially in view of NATO in this respect complete failure. The taliban are repulsive, but they are far more than most Afghanistan before and has always been. Another option is to corruption, warlords and blackmail and threats.

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Good post Huw. The civil war years prior to the Taliban takeover were horrific. People had to pass through the 'checkpoints' of petty warlords who could torture, rob and kidnap. Much like the NATO backed Afghan Police do today.

We may not like the Taliban but we shouldn't presume we are capable of nation building, particularly given NATO's complete failure in this regard. The Taliban are repulsive but they where far better than what most of Afghanistan has had before and since. The alternative is corruption, warlords and extortion with menace.

There wouldn't be a war unless the Afghan people themselves were willing to take up arms against a foreign invader with far greater military power knowing they can be wiped out through a barrage of NATO air power.

HuwOS

The situation in Afghanistan in 2001 can in only the very loosest sense be called a civil war.
What in fact was happening up to the point of our involvement was a gradual process of nation creation from the shards and fragments that had been left after the Soviet withdrawal and the collapse of their puppet government.
What is worse, is that the process was nearing completion, Afghanistan was on the cusp of turning from an utter wasteland controlled by disparate brutal warlords with not even the concept of law into a nation with a legal framework.
Brutal and terrible as the Taliban de facto government was from our point of view it was still massively better than the only other available option.
We then intervened in the closing days of this process and reset the counter to zero.
Thereby ensuring that at least one more generation and probably more would get to experience the joys of instability and random violence, injury, maiming and death.
There is nothing honourable about our intervention no matter what point you choose to start at, it was as horrifically wrong and immoral an act as the invasion of Iraq was.

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