Why the Afghan surge probably will not succeed as well as the Iraq surge

by Omar

“Afghans, while not necessarily fond of the Taliban actions, do not seem to see huge differences between Taliban and government control. In fact sometimes they prefer the former as the Taliban can be better at governance and creating working relations with the population, largely because the government is so incompetent and corrupt.

In Iraq the situation was different. Terrorists alienated the population with their brutality, while the government and U.S. forces offered brighter and more viable alternatives. By the time the surge started, Awakening tribes were already chasing down al-Qaeda.

Afghanistan’s security forces are a third the size of Iraq’s. Tough terrain and more scattered population centers further complicate counterinsurgency operations by the smaller combined U.S.-Afghan force.

The Iraq surge had the right enablers, but also clear and suitable political and military goals—to protect the population, defeat the irreconcilable, and offer the reconcilable a chance to find political solutions.”


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