A new report by the International Crisis Group was released today, ostensibly to “remind policymakers of the deep problems that exist in Afghanistan,” but also laying the ground for an open-ended continuation of the Afghan War by overtly condemning all notions of ending the conflict.
The details of the war situation in the report are quite true, reporting that “there is little evidence that the operations have disrupted the insurgency’s momentum” and by and large declaring the war an enormous failure.
Bizarrely, though, the ICG report then warns of “dire consequences” if the war is ever ended, despite conceding the dire consequences of the war continuing, and condemns the idea of negotiating any sort of peace deal with he Taliban.
The report may be quite correct in concluding that the Karzai government would “collapse” without 150,000 NATO occupation troops there to prop them up, but given the government’s incompetence, the report refers for the government as “Kabul’s kleptocratic elites,” it seems difficult to understand what purpose the continuation of the war might serve.
In the end the report seems to rehash all the bad things we already knew about the war, confirms that there are no “quick fixes” to these problems, but then also concludes ending the war “will not help Afghans” either and advocates the same status quo it readily admits is failing miserably.