Afghanistan War + More Troops = Catastrophe (Full Video)

Uploaded by bravenewfilms on 25.02.2009


We need to reconsider all the fundamental assumptions
underlying our Afghan policy.
Think about another way to deal with this.
Take a somewhat different course.
It requires rethinking.
Rethink this very, very carefully.
[people chatter in background]
President Obama has ordered the first major military deployment of his presidency
we learned late today, he's sending an additional 17,000 American troops to Afghanistan.
The rural nature of Aghanistan-- Afghanistan --50 percent of Afghanistan is-- is basically rural.
The rural nature of Afghanistan is precisely why the United States
cannot defeat the Taliban militarily because--um
the United States only has the forces to go and control certain urban areas--and when I say urban areas
I mean like, seven or eight houses at a crossroads is considered an urban area
and they only have the ability to control these sort of things.
They don't have--the troops has nor could they conceivably ever have the troop size to actually control the countryside as it requires
hundreds of thousands of troops in every village which is not a-- a tenable situation whatsoever.
If we look at Afghanistan, uh what we can see is, I think the application of a faulty lesson.
Uh, what I think what the Obama administration is doing is believing that, well, if 20,000 extra troops, uh,
suppress violence in Iraq, maybe 30,000 extra troops will suppress violence in Afghanistan.
Um, and I think they're likely to be disappointed.
Given the size of the population, given the lack of development, uh, lack of infrastructure--the number of troops
that the administration is talking about, really hardly amounts to more than a drop in the bucket.
You need a ratio of something like 1 combat force , um--um soldier for every 40
people in the country, and what that equates to in Afghanistan,
is well over a quarter million western combat forces.
You see, you need to learn from history. That there were half a million Soviet troops in Afghanistan
and they could not contain the Afghan resistance.
A military solution is not uh, going to bring resolution here. Um, If--if it would have then the Russians had over
half a million soldiers engaged here. The British were actually--uh, you know, they had the territory
all around here, and had the largest concentration of British troops during those times, and they chose to
uh, let it govern itself. So, I mean, it's important to look at some of those, uh, you know,
lessons from history and see why was that done, and how it will be different today.
The Afghans are probably the world champions in resisting foreign domination and infiltration into their country.
Uh, they showed this to the Russians, uh in the 20th century. They showed it to the British in the 19th century.
But to try and change a society which has never, ever been able to by force be
changed, it's been known as a graveyard of many great armies, and um, it is not a place
where you can bring about change by force.

ABC News has taken a poll in Afghanistan. It shows that after
seven years there, less than half of Afghans view the U.S. favorably.
30,000, 100,000, as many as they come, they will increase the casualties.
They will destroy our country, and there will be casualties
to their forces also.
We don't want the Americans to build us road or bridges. We just want them to leave.
The Pashtuns who live in the rural areas, often outside of state control, have a --
both a code of honor and a code of conduct called the Pashtun Wali
and it stresses personal autonomy.
Um, it stresses having solutions take place outside of the state.
But there's another aspect to this. I will be your friend, as long as you don't
do the one thing that is most, uh, vile in
Pashtun tradition. And that tradition says this: Do not invade my
woman's dressing room, do not invade my house, do not invade my complex,
do not invade my village, do not invade my country.
We have done all of those things.
So when the international community especially American, um, arrived
in Afghanistan. The Afghan people say very well. We would like
to have, uh, uh a normal life. We would like to have
electricity, to have road, to have a-- a car, to have a job,
unfortunately, after 7 years
now, the Afghan people didn't believe in your message.
So you know for local people, they say, ok on one side you're talking about peace, on the other side, you're bringing more troops,
I mean it doesn't make any sense. Uh, so I think it doesn't help in terms of what the perception
is in the mind of the local people. If you're talking about not engaging militarily
and looking towards development and diplomacy... Then why have more of a surge of troops?
I'm really surprised when people saying that... Ok,
these troops are coming just to make a security, and this secure environment
will give more chance for more investment and development.
Um, if you comparing today troops in Afghanistan 2009
to 2002, I believe the number of troops in 2002 was very less
but the development was very successful at that time. Security was
much, much, much better than today. And at that time, people was having
and carrying hope for the better future.
This is not some faraway place for someone like me. I mean, this is my home.
If I'm living there, and a bomb was to fall, and
you see your daughter's leg flying in the air, or your wife is hurt, then
it's very difficult for you to have a sympathetic view
towards, uh, the greater cause, even if you are part of collateral damage.
The experience that we have from last seven
years, more troops will cause more
casualites of civilians, and
more casualities of civilians will bring
uh, more people to join insurgency and Taliban.
In this case, uh, sending more troops, are a wrong diagnosis
coming with wrong prescription.
[gunshots] Until just over a month ago,
these men were serving the Afghan government as police patrolling
the border with Iran. Now they answer to the Taliban. Their goal is to
drive all foreign troops out of Afghanistan.
Our soil is occupied by Americans, and I want them to leave this country.
That's my only goal.
Those additonal forces are plenty of additional forces;
plenty enough to continue to fuel suicide and other forms of terrorism,
that is anti-American inspired terrorism which is
just simply not a good thing. Before our invasion in the fall of 2001
Afghanistan never experienced a suicide attack in its history.
I've personally met, I've met a lot of Taliban members who say that they've joined
the insurgency because they've seen their house bombed, they've seen their relative's house bombed.
But I, I'm also, I'm sure that it would be the same here in the United States if you were to
have a cental force, even be it a U.S. army, go into Michgan even
or any paticular state in America and you were to see the big Humvees outside and they were to
stop people and check them and ask them questions and go into their homes and hold a gun on
their daughter's heads... I'm sure that even people here in the United States would react
in a similar way that people in this area react to such a thing.
I think, um Madame Secretary designate, we're on the wrong track
and I think unless we rethink this very, very carefully
uh, we could raise the stakes, invest America's reputation
in a greater way, as well as our treasure, and wind up pursuing the policy
that is frankly unpersuable [sic], unacheivable.
The idea of sending more troops to Afghanistan troubles me for several reasons.
First of all, I think it sends a signal that we
consider this to be a military problem.
When you have a military problem that can't be controlled with the resources you're sending, you send
more troops. But that only works if it's a military problem. And what we're facing in Afghanistan
is not a military problem.
You know, we need to remind ourselves, we are not
Afghani, we are not Iraqi. Um, we need to remind ourselves
that we are sending hundreds of thousands of people into these countries
who do not share the religion, who do not understand the culture, who do not have
kinship relations with local people, and who do not even speak the language.
There is a need of--for U.S. to think about
another way to deal with this. Not in the fighting way.
The issue in Afghanistan, an issue of uh, a government
that lacks legitimacy uh, and a, uh
a country that faces severe unrest and stability;
there is no way that simply sending any number of US troops is actually
going to provide an anecdote to the basic problem.
If there were simple solutions, one hopes, we would have already imposed them and we wouldnt' be talking about this.
Um, but it requires a lot, and it requires rethinking
what is actually necessary in Afghanistan? What can we do? What can we not do?
And what's the best way to carry it out.

Afghanistan is a country that poses some dangers to us but
nothing like the dangers that Pakistan poses. Right now Pakistan is the most dangerous country
in the world.