Tuesday, November 10, 2009

US can't win in Afghanistan, says Gorbachev

And he would certainly know a thing or two about that since the Soviet Union invaded and was in a murky war in Afghanistan for much of the 1980s... something that has been long considered that country's version of Vietnam. His diagnosis was basically that Afghanistan is too scattered and too much of a clan culture to be controlled militarily.

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, drawing on his experience of military failure in Afghanistan in the 1980s, said the U.S. can’t win the conflict there and should begin pulling out its soldiers.

Afghanistan, where U.S. and NATO forces are battling a Taliban-led insurgency, is too fragmented between clans to be controlled militarily, Gorbachev, 78, said in an interview today in Berlin. While he said President Barack Obama would be unlikely to take his advice, Gorbachev said he saw no chance of success even with more U.S. troops.

“I believe that there is no prospect of a military solution,” Gorbachev said in Russian through a translator. “What we need is the reconciliation of Afghan society -- and they should be preparing the ground for withdrawal rather than additional troops.” 

Considering how much the Afghan war hurt the Soviet Union, the United States might want to take a look at these statements and the similarities between the invasion by the USSR and the current occupation by the US. 

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