Time for the World to Step It Up in Afghanistan
News about military operations in Afghanistan is at a low boil most of the time, only making the front pages of mainstream news outlets when our side experiences a particularly tough loss. This war against the Taliban continues to take its toll on American troops and the latest blow comes in the form of a Navy Seals Chinook helicopter brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade. Thirty-one Americans died.
It was a heavy loss. There is no question about that. But for those of us who believe that the Taliban must ultimately be broken as a viable fighting force, lest they wrest control of the region and its future, these warriors did not die in vain.
The aims of this war are still valid. That said, the sacrifice does also remind us of the disproportionate burden that Americans have borne in this fight. ISAF has been ridiculed as a military acronym meaning "I Saw Americans Fighting". Other countries have not been doing their part -- and I'm not referring only to the NATO member countries who until now have been mostly guarding the photocopiers in the north of Afghanistan. We all know about the American-led "surge" that has put the Taliban on their back foot. Where was the German surge? The Polish surge? The Kuwaiti surge?
China shares a small section of border with Afghanistan and is experiencing its own Islamist insurgency in its Eastern region. Would it be too much for this rising regional power to contribute a stabilization force as part of the ISAF grouping? Thwarting a jihadist takeover of Central Asia is surely in their interests as much as other countries. Part of the reason for the USA's indebtedness to China is that the USA is still effectively subsidizing global security while the country many nations are looking at as the next global superpower contributes very little to that cause.
The ISAF mission is already mandated by the United Nations. There are good reasons for all countries to want to bring this poisonous insurgency to a close. A more united front by the world's nations in Afghanistan would be the quickest way to get there -- and get out.
Jonathon Narvey is the Editor of The Propagandist