In 2008, British Intelligence Concluded that the Afghanistan War Is Unwinnable . . . No Matter How Many Troops Were Sent In → Washingtons Blog
In 2008, British Intelligence Concluded that the Afghanistan War Is Unwinnable . . . No Matter How Many Troops Were Sent In - Washingtons Blog

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In 2008, British Intelligence Concluded that the Afghanistan War Is Unwinnable . . . No Matter How Many Troops Were Sent In

Obama was warned . . .

As I wrote in November 2008:

Veteran journalist Tariq Ali said this morning that the war in Afghanistan is lost.

Specifically, he said that British intelligence has concluded that - no matter how many troops are sent in - the war is already lost and is unwinnable in the future.

Ali also said that, should Obama follow through on his campaign promise to send more troops into Afghanistan, it would be a foreign policy blunder as big as Bush getting us into Iraq.

Specifically, Ali told Democracy Now:

Once [Obama] is in power and sees the intelligence reports coming in from Afghanistan, he will realize that that’s not a serious option. I mean, the British are already saying that sending in more troops isn’t going to help, because the war is lost. The United States intelligence agencies are already involved in panic discussions with the people they are fighting, the neo-Taliban, to try and persuade them to join the coalition, which they’re refusing to do as long as there are foreign troops there. So, escalating the war I don’t think is a serious option. And if he does it, it will be a very, very serious mistake, on the same level in scale as invading Iraq.


  1. While I agree that using war to prevent terrorism is a flawed concept and an economic disaster, I really think that Obama is staying true to his ideology here. If this hand is played right there is a chance it could be successful, though it is admittedly very very slim.

    I think he announced the troop pullout in July 2011 as a calculated political move. Some say the Taliban will just wait him out, and I think that is what he wants. He wants some years to go in and nation-build without extreme interference. When the deadline comes near for withdrawal, he will extend it to another set point not too far in the future (Will help him with re-election too as you don't change horses mid-stream).

    This appeases the economic anxiety of the US public, it sends a message to Karzai and the afghan public that we don't want to own them and want them to step up, it removes a major recruiting tool of extremist groups, and encourages extremists to "wait us out." Any period of time in which they are voluntarily inactive is a kind of victory.

    Thinking ahead 20 years, it might be nice to have Afghanistan there as another Saudi Arabian-type psuedo-ally. Having another Somalia or Sudan in Afghanistan would not be helpful.

    Of course, if paying to save Afghanistan is going to cost us our educational system (which it basically already has), I think the long-term outcome is clear.

  2. It is good to see that British Intelligence can come up with this conclusion. It is a pitty that it was arrived at after the invasion.

    Maybe if they had invested in some research time on Wikipedia they would have been able to conclude, based upon the experiences of Alexander before Christ, the British in the 1800's and the Soviets in the 1980's, that the Afgans always see off the invader.

    But then there are benefits to keeping the war going and not winning. Increased taxation to pay for the war lowers the standard of living in the countries funding the invaision. And civil liberties can be thrown out of the window in order to make everyone safer from the threat of terror.


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