So I just finished reading White Paper of the Interagency Policy Group's Report on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I wanted to know what endgame in Afghanistan will look like for the US and NATO?
And if you agree with my assessment that endgame will result in Taliban as a political party?

There is no military victory in Afghanistan, the tactic of building up infrastructure for the civilians to win hearts and minds (as adopted from the Iraq strategy) can only work so far in Afghanistan because it requires protection of those areas, boots on the ground. You cant come in build roads and electricity lines then just leave and go back to base for the night. You have to occupy the land in which you wish to build up. Or you will be building the same road every week; a nice drain on cash not to mention the risk you put the soldiers in every time. In Iraq the population density allowed this to influence more people in each step forward. Afghanistan is to large, our military would be over extended just to cover the populated areas which would leave the unpopulated areas to insurgency.

Another destabilizing issue is the narcotic trade, the economy it builds is huge and in that part of the world nothing can beat that domestically. We could offer them better gain's and seeds and teach them to grow with greater yield but I don’t buy this idea that if we just did that the opium farming would stop. We would have to actively start seeking out destroying the production. We would need a intelligence apparatus for just this. I have not heard a great solution to this issue. Any Ideas?
Anti-Nacro Officers in Mexico eventually realized if they ever wanted a country representing them or protecting them that they had to stop the nacro trade, so they risk their lives. To be the police captain of boarder cities is a death wish yet they step up when their predecessor is executed, not only that but they put their families at risk. I think the willingness of such unselfish action is the only way to combat this kind of billion dollar industry and I won’t expect these ideas to enter Afghanistan for a long time.

I take the hardliner rightwing idea that we can not negotiate with terrorist generally, however on this issue I am bent. Recently I got to talk to a guy pretty high up in the DNC and it was like we had switch roles. He disagreed that we could negotiate with the Taliban. My points where that once cornered, the Taliban will resort to intimidating the Afghan Civilians which would push public opinion (much like Anbar Awakening) to the NATO mission.
Once this happens, Taliban will be at odds with the general population. In a attempt to win back the civilians opinion they must set up land that they can protect and build up infrastructure, this is necessary for them to gather power and will of the people; the PLO aka PA did this, Hezbollah has done this successfully. By threatening to destroy that land, you are putting pressure on their power over the civilians. At the same time you must threatening diminishing power in government based on how they act at that current time. The Mahdi Militia looked around and realized if they didn’t put there guns down and jump into the political process they would be left out.

EU3 especially Britain have been working with the Taliban on diplomatic levels for quit some time.
I am convinced there is no military victory in Afghanistan, The Russians couldn’t do it by terrorism, atrocities, demoralization, and largely targeted killings of innocents. What hope does the US have? The US would never attempt policies like the Russians. Will the extra troops Obama sent help? I don’t think so, we would have to have a draft 1% of the population to field the kind of troops that would make a significant difference.

What is everyone's take on a possible endgame in Afghanistan?


Bryan Suits Dark Secret Place: Soviet withdraw of Afghanistan and lessons learned.