A Closer Look at the U.S.-Afghan Partnership Agreement

Alan W. Dowd writes on defense and security.


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A year after a fearless, anonymous team of Navy SEALs sent Osama bin Laden to wherever mass-murderers go when they die, the commander-in-chief continued his yearlong victory lap with a stop in Afghanistan to sign a framework agreement with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai. While the Left gushes over President Obama’s swaggering anniversary speeches and the Right questions the president’s tone and tactics, it’s the substance of the U.S.-Afghanistan agreement—or lack thereof—that worries me.

I. The document states that “cooperation between Afghanistan and the United States is based on mutual respect and shared interests.”

Try telling that to the families of U.S., British and French troops who have been killed by Afghan troops—there have been some 45 attacks by uniformed Afghan troops on U.S. and other NATO forces, killing 70 allied troops—or to the Western forces still fighting for Afghanistan, who have to look over their shoulders as they fight.

II. The document states that the U.S. and Afghanistan “reaffirm” their commitment to “defeating al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

There are two problems with this part of the agreement, and they are significant. First, the commitment of the Afghan government and military is shaky at best. (See Point I.) Fresh from a tour of Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Daniel Davis describes Afghan troops as largely unwilling to engage the Taliban. According to a classified report leaked to The New York Times, one Afghan colonel describes his own troops as “thieves, liars and drug addicts.” An American quoted in the report says Afghan troops are “pretty much gutless in combat; we do most of the fighting.”

Second, just how committed are Kabul and Washington to defeating “al Qaeda and its affiliates” if the two have directed their diplomats to talk to al Qaeda’s closest, oldest affiliate? That would be the Taliban. It pays to recall that Afghanistan became the world headquarters for al Qaeda because the Taliban welcomed bin Laden with open arms. The Taliban and al Qaeda share the same worldview and the same enemy. Given the terror that was unleashed when the Taliban was in power—and their brutality since being ousted from power—there’s no reason to think Mullah Omar and his henchmen have changed. CIA Director David Petraeus certainly doesn’t think so. A year ago, when asked to make the case for staying the course, then-Gen. Petraeus bluntly replied, “Two words…Nine Eleven,” reminding us of what happened the last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan.

Moreover, when it comes to commitment, it pays to recall, as Karzai surely has, that the Obama administration always keeps its eyes on the calendar and the exit sign—and has little regard for standing agreements with allies. Obama casually scrapped a hard-earned missile-defense agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic in order to get an arms control treaty of questionable merit with Russia; jettisoned Mubarak when the going got tough in Egypt; and when NATO allies made an urgent request for an extension of U.S. air power during the Libya war, a NATO official took pains to emphasize that America’s help “expires on Monday”—a bruising metaphor for what passes as American leadership in the age of Obama.

III. The document calls on NATO member states “to sustain and improve Afghan security capabilities beyond 2014 by taking concrete measures to implement” previous security agreements.

Good luck with that. Following Washington’s lead, NATO is headed for the exits. From the beginning, most NATO members have been half-hearted about the Afghanistan mission. Consider: The United States is contributing 71 percent of all forces to the mission; non-NATO members Australia, Georgia and Sweden have more troops deployed than Belgium, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal—all founding members of the alliance; Germany, Italy and Spain refused to help in Afghanistan’s restive south; Italy didn’t permit its fighter-bombers in Afghanistan to carry bombs; and German troops, until recently, were required to shout warnings to enemy forces—in three languages—before opening fire.

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  • Phillip Ley

    No one should be surprised by any of this ….

  • SRWakankar

    For permanent peace in Af what is required is regional solution,preferably through SAARC nations.Instead of US/NATO, let there be something like SATO(South Asian Treaty Organization).Taliban is Pak creation, Mulla Omer is a Pak stooge.Pakistan thinks itself as the British Imperial power of older days and follows what is known as British India's Forward Policy. Pakistan should remember that it is not British Empire or "successor state" of British India which is India; Pak is a New State carved out of British India.It should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Af but it tries to annex Af which can never happen.The Pashtun tribal people are merely a tool in Pak hands and they misuse them. Pak attacked Kashmir in 1947 using these people, and in 1994, captured Kabul and made Mulla Omer its ruler.The whole problem is due to Pakistan which wants to fight India but fears these Pashtuns and don't want to fight them.
    If a new State/Nation of Pashtunistan is carved out, AfPak both would be subjected to division. Pashtuns don't respect the Durand Line as they are on both sides of it.There is a lawless/ungoverned area there where global terrorists are stationed and Pak rulers have great love for them as they are "soldiers of Allah" striving to form a global Caliphate.This is an Arab problem; this whole area of AfPak is non-Arab (Old India).Afgans are basically
    INDIANS-they are not PERSIANS-;Persia and India have been the old powers of this area.
    India like democracy is needed in Af and Pak both countries if terrorism and global jihadists are to be defeated.Money is coming from the gulf and KSA which is trying to carry out a SUNNI Revolution in AfPak area of Old India as a reply to Shia Revolution of Iran.
    SAARC Joint Force is the best option for ending this war.

  • Schlomotion

    Mr. Dowd promotes the Loser Plan. Under the Loser Plan, the United States rejects all future nuclear agreements in favor of building contentious surface to air missile systems on the borders of all other countries. Under the Loser Plan, the United States stays in Afghanistan and loses, just like the USSR. Under the Loser Plan, the US spends itself into oblivion while also exhausting the monies of countries in the Eurozone. Under the Loser Plan, the United States props up Hosni Mubarak, even though he is in a coma. Under the Loser Plan, the US hands Libya to BP but continues to buy ammunition far after the fact of killing Qadhafi and gaining access to the oil. Under the Loser Plan, the US tries to stop Osama bin Laden from ousting Karzai even though Osama bin Laden has been dead for a year. Under the Loser Plan, future attacks on Pakistan depend on forward US basing in Afghanistan. The Loser Plan rejects all forms of diplomacy. The Loser Plan is based on information garnered from Jennifer Anniston movies. The Loser Plan is a subsidiary of The Dowd Report.
    http://www.ascfusa.org/content_pages/view/dowd_bi

  • ObamaYoMoma

    there have been some 45 attacks by uniformed Afghan troops on U.S. and other NATO forces, killing 70 allied troops—or to the Western forces still fighting for Afghanistan, who have to look over their shoulders as they fight

    Actually, there have been more than 45 attacks, as the AP reported this week that the US military has been deliberately hiding and under reporting the amount of attacks against US troops by the Afghans. Which doesn't come as a surprise to me at all, since as for as I'm concerned, the fantasy based nation-building missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq were about as insane and counterproductive as saving Hitler and lifting up the Nazis in WWII, and are in reality the two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history.

    The document states that the U.S. and Afghanistan “reaffirm” their commitment to “defeating al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

    AQ and its so-called affiliates, Islamic extremists, and terrorism aren't the problem. Islam and mass Muslim immigration to the West that is really covert and deceptive non-violent jihad for the purpose of mass Muslim infiltration and stealth demographic conquest is the problem.

    Indeed, if there weren't millions of covert and deceptive non-violent jihadists already living in America on 9/11 as a fifth column, the so-called 9/11 terrorists attacks, that were really violent jihad attacks, would have been absolutely impossible.

    Islam is not a faith-based religion, it's a supremacist theo-political totalitarian ideology that seeks world domination, and violent and non-violent jihad, which is an obligatory duty for all Muslims on earth and in which is holy fighting in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme and that constitutes total warfare that employs both violent and non-violent means of jihad, but primarily non-violent means, is the problem.

    Terrorism, which is the product of political extremists, is not the problem. However, jihad, which is a product of mainstream orthodox Islam and mainstream orthodox Muslims as opposed to political extremists, is the problem.

    In other words, thanks to mass Muslim infiltration into America and all of America's major institutions, our political elites on both sides of the political aisle fundamentally misunderstand the true nature of the problem.

    It pays to recall that Afghanistan became the world headquarters for al Qaeda because the Taliban welcomed bin Laden with open arms.

    Again, that notion is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the problem, whereby Islamic extremists is believed to be the source of the problem as opposed to mainstream orthodox Islam and mainstream orthodox Muslims. The truth is violent and non-violent jihad is intrinsic to Islam and alleged Islamic extremism that leads to terrorism is not the source of the problem, as that notion again is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the true nature of Islam.

    The Taliban and al Qaeda share the same worldview and the same enemy. Given the terror that was unleashed when the Taliban was in power—and their brutality since being ousted from power—there’s no reason to think Mullah Omar and his henchmen have changed.

    Actually, the Taliban, AQ, and the entire mainstream orthodox Islamic worldwide ummah share the same exact worldview and the same exact enemies, which are all non-Muslim unbelievers in the world. Very apparently this writer is hopelessly blinded by PC multiculturalism and is therefore just as blind to the reality of Islam as our political elites.

    –continued below

  • ObamaYoMoma

    CIA Director David Petraeus certainly doesn’t think so. A year ago, when asked to make the case for staying the course, then-Gen. Petraeus bluntly replied, “Two words…Nine Eleven,” reminding us of what happened the last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan.

    David Petraeus, just like our political elites, has demonstrated that he is also oblivious to the reality of Islam and is thus incompetent when it comes to protecting and defending America from the scourge of Islam. Indeed, his strategy to win the hearts and minds of Muslims in Afghanistan, which are obligated to hate all non-Muslim unbelievers, inevitably backfired and resulted in thousands of Americans being needlessly killed and maimed. Again, attempting to lift up Muslims is as counterproductive and insane as attempting to save Hitler and lift up the Nazis during WWII would have been.

    And once again, without millions of Muslim covert and deceptive jihadists already living in America on 9/11 as a convenient fifth column, the so-called 9/11 terrorist attacks, that were really violent jihad attacks, would have been absolutely impossible.

    Indeed, appointing David Petraeus as CIA director is analogous to the blind leading the blind.

    and when NATO allies made an urgent request for an extension of U.S. air power during the Libya war, a NATO official took pains to emphasize that America’s help “expires on Monday”

    I hate to rain on this writer's idiotic parade again, but participating in the Libya war was just as insane and counterproductive as the fantasy based nation-building missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Very apparently, this writer is just stuck on stupid, as he believes the nature of the problem consist of Islamic extremists, instead of mainstream orthodox Islam, just like our political elites on both sides of the political aisle.

    Regarding Pakistan, the country is a nuclear basket-case, a political mess, a metastasis of terror, the spawning ground of the Taliban and the final address of Osama bin Laden. It’s a sad irony that Pakistan was once the jumping-off point for targeting terrorists in Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is now the jumping-off point for targeting terrorists in Pakistan.

    Had this unhinged writer and our political elites done their homework first and understood the true nature of the problem, they would have known from the very get go that Pakistan, exactly like all other Islamic states as well, is our eternal mortal enemies. Of course, having all our colleges and universities together with all of our major institutions thoroughly infiltrated by covert and deceptive non-violent jihadists didn't help matters either.

    Anyway, this writer is still a loon and doesn't have the first clue, and he is as blind as all our political elites on both sides of the political aisle.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Afghanistan like Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and all camel dung composts are simmering and will eventually
    be under the Muslim Brotherhood in the new Caliphate. The Muslim Brotherhood aka, friends of
    Mullah Obama has his support and ever present interference with military sanity, National aims and
    future benefit to America and the World. Slippery dictator in charge has eight months to make the
    problems for America worse while enabling Islam to form it's grand goal around the World.
    If you combine 50% Marxist and 50% Islamist what do you get………………Mullah Obama.
    William

  • Fred Dawes

    It is evil and the system boys love mass slaughter, Obama was and will be kept in power by the evil Globalists we are being lied to on all sides and being used like some third world H@@@.

  • dougjmiller

    Summary of the agreement with Afghanistan: We continue to pay them with money we don't have, and our soldiers continue to suffer and die. Nice deal Obama. He has put our national treasury and the lives of our troops t the service of his benefactors in the oil rich Arabian Peninsula. We really need to send Obama packing before he destroys our nation.

  • Schlomotion

    Reason and hope? Sounds like the Reason for moving to Guyana and the Hope that everyone would drink the Kool Aid. What is this collective illusion that the US is going to build a McUSA in Libya and stay there until it's safe for BP personnel to walk down the street sipping lattes? And in Afghanistan where there is nothing but rocks, sand and wrinkled mountains, where the only thing that grows are poppies? Have you seen the aerial view of that place? And the idea that treaties don't change? We just enforce every oath to a great bloodbath? You haven't read Shakespeare or Siegfried? Your "Reason" is casus belli. Your "Hope" is bloodlust.

  • Schlomotion

    We agree on a lot. Not on the drill, drill, drill, though. In fact, I agree with most of it. Regarding Bertholt Brecht, I read "Mother Courage" in high school but did not like it. I am not into the alienation effect of theater. I'd be a Byronian Romanticist, not a New Objectivist. I don't like Marxism. In the Weimar Period, I would have either been discussing Relativity in the Ringstrasse Circle, trying to assassinate Karl Liebknecht, or something in between. Nuradin Abdi is a kook. I don't believe in violence against innocent people.

  • Walt

    Having read your endless proclamations, I have trouble seeing you 'trying to assassinate Karl Liebknecht' – I can see you trying to talk him to death, but anything requiring physical or mental courage from you would be quite a stretch!