The Afghanistan problem

Nej till kriget Ledare Aftonbladet: "Sammanblandningen mellan USA:s krig mot terrorismen och FN:s Isaf-styrka, som ska bidra med säkerhet och utbilda afghansk polis och militär och möjliggöra humanitära insatser, är djupt problematisk. Att FN-styrkan dessutom leds av Nato och av en amerikansk general gör inte saken bättre."

Aftonbladet, the newspaper that accused Israel of killing Palestinians and stealing their organs, claims that there is a problem because civilian mores are mixed up with America's war against terrorism in Afghanistan. However, we are not just fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan we are also fighting Iran. Like the US was doing and are doing in Iraq. Iran has chosen to wage a clandestine war against all West's interests in the region. They support Hamas and Hizbollah. They have infiltrated Iraq and they train, lodge and equip fighters that aid the Taliban. Even if they have not formally attacked another country they are expansive and thusly want to propagate their revolution.

Much of the fighting morale for the Taliban is probably coming from the knowledge that Iran supports them. Michael Rubin a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and lectures at the Naval Postgraduate School and at Johns Hopkins University writes and article which elaborates the case for a regime change in Iran. I have earlier thought that the only way forward was a non-sanction approach on Iran but I have reassessed this position to surgical sanctions engineered for targeting only the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Robert Gates, the American Defence Secretary, recently brought up the problem of how to approach the situation Iran's nuclear program is causing. What is new with Rubin's approach is that he rules out bombing which is thought to only irritate and anger those positive to the West that are the prerequisite for a regime change. It is indeed problematic with Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and with their attitude they have caused a terrible situation in the Middle East. It would be very good if a new government in Iran would decide to not develop nuclear weapons.

Afghanistan might be insignificant when it comes to commerce but it is situated in an important area where the interests of the US, Russia and China meet. Kyrgyzstan is apparently starting to feel the pressure as well. It harbors both Russian and American bases and the actions of Russia as of late indicates that Russians what the American base shut. Public relations wise Russia is doing terribly well recently in Europe. President Medvedev's deft flight to Krakow through the Icelandic ashes when European chiefs of state huddled in cars and cessnas certainly impressed. However, when push comes to showe they are probably friends of the Islamic Republic to whom they sell important air defence systems that protects them against potential Western assaults. As the development of Central Asia proceeds by Russia and China, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan are a way to the sea half ways as India also have taken note of since they have entered into Afghanistan with quite some funds.

Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, recently exclaimed that he'd join the Taliban if not so and so but at the same time he says he needs funds for his security forces until 2014. As long as Iran keeps up their covert operations, the war in Afghanistan can drag on for quite some time. Sweden should definitely stay and support the US together with other NATO forces and the purchase of American helicopters to support our troops is well seen. It is my belief that Afghans are better off in the West than in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. A stable Afghanistan is also going to have positive effects on security in Pakistan.

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