A glimpse of how the Afghan government could collapse in the future, as the hand-off from American and other ISAF forces to the Afghan army and police proceeds, is provided by the following report on how the Taliban are seizing control of villages surrounding Mazar-e-Sharif in the North, previously considered a secure zone.
See Tanna Badkhen, “The Taliban Come to Mazar: Last month, NATO forces ceded this northern city to the Afghan army, calling it safe territory. But insurgent forces are on the doorstep,” Foreign Policy, August 3, 2011.
The overall failure to build a viable government in Afghanistan, over 10 years, and the specific failure of U.S. foreign assistance to contribute to this goal, are described in a report by The International Crisis Group released on August 4.
See International Crisis Group, “Aid and Conflict in Afghanistan” (Asia Report N°210), August 4, 2011
The fundamental flaw in U.S. strategy in Afghanistan has been a failure to address the governance problem, relying instead almost exclusively on military means to stabilize the country. The result has been a totally corrupt narco-state ruled by local warloards, under the general coordination of the leading warlord in Kabul.
The only alternative policy that is left is to return to the earlier project of building a democratic government in the country, giving Afghan soldiers and police goals and an ideology to fight for that might be strong enough to overcome the religious and ideological appeal–and ruthless methods–of the Taliban.
See earlier articles by The Trenchant Observer on this theme:
Strategic disarray in Afghanistan
October 2, 2010
Corrupt-istan Update: Karzai’s Brazen Defiance
November 11, 2010
Fighting corruption and other challenges in Dexter Filkins’ Corrupt-istan
September 18, 2010
September 18 Afghan National Assembly Elections–Context
September 4, 2010
CIA Payments Undercut U.S. Efforts to Strengthen Governance in Afghanistan
September 2, 2010
REPRISE (from March 26, 2010): Afghanistan U.N. SRSG de Mistura Describes U.N. Electoral Role; What Are Allied Forces Fighting For?
July 29, 2010
(Originally published March 26, 2010)
“The Magician” enthralls donors once again, in Kabul
July 22, 2010
General Petraeus, the Haqqani network, and moral clarity in Afghanistan
July 14, 2010
Updated July 16, 2010
Urgent Note to Obama and Petraeus: Reread the Eikenberry Cables, Avoid Reasoning from Conclusions, and Adjust Course
July 1, 2010
After McChrystal: Obama, Petraeus, and Fixing a Failed Strategy in Afghanistan
June 23, 2010
KARZAI’S FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL IN AFGHANISTAN—THE REAL EXTENT OF THE ELECTORAL FRAUD, ABDULLAH’S CHANCES, AND WASHINGTON’S RESPONSE
October 16, 2009
MORE TROOPS, OR BETTER DIPLOMACY? DIPLOMATIC AND POLITICAL FAILURES IN AFGHANISTAN
October 6, 2009
The Trenchant Observer