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tv   [untitled]    October 8, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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well. science technology innovation all the list of elements from around russia we've got the future covered. and you can. start. a long way in welcoming cross talk i'm peter lavelle when is the end really the end of the strategy of the u.s. led mission in afghanistan is in a shambles green on blue attacks against coalition forces speak volumes on how many
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afghans feel about the continued occupation of their country by western troops isn't it time to negotiate with the taliban and end this military adventure. and. start. to cross-talk the u.s. mission in afghanistan i'm joined by michael maloof in washington he's a senior reporter for the world net daily and a former analyst for the defense department also in washington we have augmented my g.d.r. he is a senior research associate at the american enterprise institute and in beirut we cross to michael black and he is a freelance journalist all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want i've made in washington you wrote recently at c.n.n. u.s. faces growing green on blue challenge what's the thesis of your article please explain it to my audience. of course we've seen dramatic rise and green on blue attacks in afghanistan which has eroded trust between the coalition forces and
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the afghan security forces we know that the core mission and afghanistan right now is to train a quip and strengthen the afghan security forces so they are able to take security responsibilities and prevent the return of the taliban al qaeda once foreign troops are gone but now with dificid and trust that that important pella off this strategy is in question and indeed the i chord into the eye itself the taliban has been responsible for twenty five percent of the green on blue attacks but the rest of that results from. personal grievances cultural and religious and it is a war fatigue adders but i think that it is also important not to exaggerate the level of threat from the taliban infiltration because there are hundreds of contacts between the afghan forces and the coalition forces on
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a daily basis and they are still not the common trends we know that this is the signature. strategy by the taliban to create this distrust because they know that the afghan security forces will be a permanent threat to their strategies and they know it as a foreign troops are leaving it sounds right yes foreign troops are leaving michael how would you respond to what our guest our other guest in washington said well i agree with with him for the most part but i think that the threat is a little more serious than. it's so serious that the united states certainly has suspended some of its training activities and it is actually caused a decrease in morale well michael if i could jump in here real quick isn't that really the last trump card the u.s. and its coalition partners have is to train these people that's the last thing they have please. head well you're you're absolutely right and i think that the taliban has been very clever in figuring this out and they're actually undermining what is
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supposed to be a long standing long term effort by the united states it doesn't necessarily mean that the united states is going to completely pull out afghanistan i think it may mean that we're going to have delay in some departures but that the trust element is certainly there and and and the the intent i think of the united states would be to try to keep and prop up the afghan government for as long as possible because once i self troops leave that's only could be a question of time before their government falls and i think a lot of this is being you getting ahead of us here let me go to my can be root here i mean if if the u.s. and its allies can't train afghan security then why stay well exactly i think this is the central point i mean i don't think so much the training was a trump card our i think it was frankly the last card the last of the dice or ethically they even said withdrawal i don't think i've any serious intention of
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delaying a pullout i think i will go in twenty fourteen because they want to have they've lost the will to fight this war because the west has lost it frankly we haven't done what we set out to do no matter how many times we tried to redefine the mission we failed in every category and finally now we can't even trust the people fighting alongside and the people we expect to contain the situation that we lead so i don't honestly believe that we have any more options we've used them all up and frankly this is just a fig leaf to say we're staying it's trying them this proves that this statement saying we're going to suspend the joint patrols means we are trying and as you've mentioned several train in them what else are we doing ok i mean what else are we doing to be then let's go back to washington go ahead. peter i didn't mean to downplay the implications of the rise in green blue attacks because as my colleague mentioned. we already see it restrictions in joint operations which is significant from the military mission there and also there are political implications to that
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both and europe are also here in washington because the war is already very much unpopular but what i meant was that the recent set backs that we've seen in afghanistan should not up security fact that we've had tremendous progress in afghanistan over the past three years there has been significant improvement in the size and quality of the afghan security forces three years ago we had a very poorly equipped and trained. security personnel of about one hundred ninety thousand now the number is three hundred fifty thousand leaving about fifty percent of the operations in the east and south and also taking responsibility for security of about seventy five percent and all over the country and also as a result of the surge we saw that the taliban were pushed away from their. strongholds in saudi and afghanistan so that's why it's important that we stay the course we and the international community the main committed to afghanistan to
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sustain the game made over the past three years and also the transition process needs to be condition based gradual and orderly in order to succeed that i think that the world community has a very good chance of success and i understand that this t.v. there should be very benign so it's not just with broad brushes right there if i go back to michael in washington what do you think troops there american troops british troops think now i mean fine fieri in practice when all of this stuff in washington london and all that but their lives are rich stakes by people they know . well that's absolutely correct and i think that even our leadership in the united states and the defense department has commented on the fact that it has caused them demoralizing the troop morale and consequently. going to have an effective fighting force as a consequence i think what the united states is going to probably attempt to do is as a begin to pull out they're really going to be counting on other countries in the region
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to come in and fill that void. to provide the security as you may know that the karzai government made an arrangement with the indian government to begin to train afghan forces once i say leaves this is really an ongoing thing stanleys isn't it it's a really popular very popular and it's really created it's going to create a real problem and of course the the afghan taliban is a proxy for the pakistani government you know mike in beirut you know what about the karzai government i mean how strong is that again when we start withdrawing i mean is karzai going to get on the last plane. five that we get on the last climb but this is due to go anyway after the elections in twenty fourteen solid us are in a tight place which are i think that they probably will but just to pick up on a couple of points about these improvements to get hearing about i mean speaking earlier this year lieutenant general cody scott scott a party is
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a forget the response the ocean he's the second highest ranking soldier in afghanistan at that so i was just moved back to washington during the summer he actually said then that only one percent of afghan battalions could operate independently and that was this year he said that so it is fifty percent of afghan battalions operating independently of nato troops comes from is a mystery to me i mean i think we've got to be realistic about what we've achieved here ok we haven't achieved in eleven years a great deal we're talking about very small pluses over an eleven year period you know basically we just have to accept the fact that you know this isn't a withdrawal it's a retreat in this retreat in the face of a war that's unwinnable by any criteria i don't think anyone expected a clear cut victory for either side in this but what they really didn't expect was the fact that the west of mishandled this so badly that it's led to now to them basically leaving as they did in iraq are still doing in iraq with the tell between the legs ok and we can't press that up any any any other way i mean we talk about improvements again just as one point two thousand the two thousand american soldier
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was killed this week in afghanistan and that three years ago the figure is something like eight or nine hundred so that's doubled in three years and that's the same for the british troop numbers that number that's has doubled in the last three years that's not an improvement by any artistic men shouldn't we should really say it is a man in washington responded out improvements. yes i think that we are when we are talking that not more than one percent of the afghan security forces are independent we are judging them by their western standards but there has been improvement and afghan security forces and i don't think that we can just we're not going to and the fraction which are going by standard with respect sort of are up just so judging by what i stand and i do actually do that here instead of the taliban terribly well at the moment so. what the western stand would get in there is actually not not not winning the war either so if i can come up to that standard then i do agree whether i should i want to thank you. let me go ahead go
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ahead right i agree with mike on one thing that the afghan security forces still remain reliant on the coalition forces when it comes to support all primarily the air power because that. force is almost nonexistent and also when it comes to just take this applies the chain of supplies over there and i think that if they call a show of force this in the next two three years help the afghan security forces with the air power and also the supply chain of supplies so if they become independent i believe that they can take the are themselves michael in washington i mean trusting the karzai government to mean there's not much trust or not much love there anymore. no and i think the i think corruption still rules supreme in that in their government and as a consequence i think karzai who is is basically going to step down there once is term and is looking for survival and he has been paving the way and talking to the pakistanis trying to do something to with the recognition that the taliban is going
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to have to be included somehow in that in his government structure and i think that he's trying to keep something alive there and keep it going and keep the telo and work with the taliban although i think the taliban realize that it's just a question of time and they're going to probably take over whenever they whenever they ice out and leave and unless we're going to short break and when we return we'll talk about the taliban after a short break we'll continue our discussion on afghanistan. by horse. by trucks or.
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and. welcome back to crossfire calculable remind you we're talking about the u.s. led military presence in afghanistan. ok mike i want to go back to you in beirut the time has come to sit down in the go
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shader withdrawal with the taliban as much as you don't like it's time to do it it's time for the neighborhood to mend itself it will be very bloody and very messy but only the neighborhood can do this agree or disagree oh i agree entirely this side of the west is that they know this themselves that they have negotiations. with the taliban which broke down at some point they're trying to ignite and they're quite desperate inside i believe because they want to tie the taliban in senegal generations again to provide some kind of a fig leaf for when they exit in twenty fourteen so i mean yes it's always been time to sort of the taliban because militarily that this war is unwinnable ok i made a bet in washington why do you argue against dealing with the caliber. it was a question about their reconciliation with the taliban. or the government you know is part of the withdrawal of western forces because the taliban are staying western forces are leaving ok those are the two knowns the talks yes the talks with the
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taliban is nothing new indeed the united states has tried negotiations with the taliban over the past three years but it has had no results so far and it has a government has tried it very aggressively since two thousand and three but the taliban response has only been increased violence and also there they have refused to cut ties with al qaeda and even come to sit. on the table with the afghan government and accept afghan government as the government they did to mit system in the country so now that the foreign troops are leaving i think that the taliban have even less incentive to talks i don't think that it's possible to reconcile with the core ideological leadership of the taliban but it is possible to integrate a large number of their foot soldiers and also their mid-level commanders who are fighting in afghanistan by offering them political and financial incentives but that only happens when they are convinced that the current system in afghanistan is sustainable and the world community is committed to making sure that you do not you
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just gave an argument to withdraw even earlier didn't you. no i did it i said that the world community should remain committed to afghanistan and that with convinced portions of the taliban that they will not win militarily and then when they come to the table i think that the president obama is. setting timelines really and there can't they have military and political mission in afghanistan because that gave the taliban an incentive that you just wait out there for in chips and not counted a table and continue fighting and it also these deadlines persuaded cantrips like pakistan to can it continue support for its proxies like the taliban rather than to bring it on table and only a long term committed commitment from the international community can change those calculations michael in washington where do you come out on this but i think i think there is two levels of activity that are that are emerging number one the
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taliban just has to wait it out but number two it's going to mean that pakistan is going to try to assert its influence through the taliban and basically take over and meantime you have india coming in that is going to try and provide security services but also now the chinese have offered to train afghan forces security forces so it's basically becoming much more of a regional effort with the united states receding but staying on the on the periphery because afghanistan for the united states is strategically important. iran and also toward containment of china so that the united states is going to want to let the regional powers basically come in and do their thing they will probably moderate the taliban somewhat because of that interactivity but ultimately the united states is going to think about working alternately with what emerges from this from this chaos that we're seeing right now mike in beirut when you think
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about that it's just going to get worse and worse and worse so why should the west stay there. when indeed what we shouldn't i mean i agree with agnes point that the west is basically it's a bankrupt check in negotiations now with the taliban because it's already said it's leaving in two years so as i said before what do you say if you're western the goetia sitting face to face the taliban would you say stop killing more troops or leave in two years it is a conscious make no sense in that sense that any right. i do i think what we're looking at leaving behind there in twenty fourteen in afghanistan is not a can so what we we actually arrived to try to stamp out we're going to leave a country the size of going to be divided between the taliban and local warlords and what's left of the ministration of them because i or very worst a country that's really in the throes of civil war. yeah i think the west has a problem but it hasn't iraq i mean i think the room we left really votes have between our legs saying everything will be fine it was fine for the couple weeks
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with a couple months before we left because we negotiated peace well they'll do that briefly with the taliban i'm sure and then when they leave what happens next michael did you want to jump in in washington yeah i don't think i don't think ultimately the situation in afghanistan is going to is going to get into a an all out civil war because the regional powers in that area it's to their benefit that it meant that that not happen they cannot have that instability in that region that's why you're going to see india and china and pakistan ultimately coming together to try to work this thing out and bring out something that they can live with without. becoming a total quagmire and civil war and i think that china is very concerned about it india is very concerned about it the united states is probably going to work through china and through india to assert its influence and try to. get the best outcome all discussions with taliban is basically ceased from from what i can
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gather and they because of the united states recognizes that there's there's no new . goshi asian because of the because taliban feels that it has the upper hand and it's holding on and it's continuing attacks along with the with what it's now doing to the ice after oops so i think that it's going to be realigned the united states is going to be relying more on working through its own proxies if you will india and china michael it with the scenario you just gave is a western military use of power in that scenario that you gave. i think more of intelligence more. arms per se probably equipment to help train probably working through the indians and and coordinating in somewhat with the chinese i think that for the united states. afghanistan is going to be important whether it will actually have a physical presence in afghanistan remains to be seen but i think there will be
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some contingent of u.s. presence in afghanistan but not to the point that we see right now only because you're going to still probably have some drug drones flying around every once in a while and things of that sort we're good at that i mean what do you think about that scenario that something really bad go right ahead please. i don't agree with my michael that the united states should rely on neighboring countries of afghanistan post two thousand and fourteen i don't think that china or india is willing to fill the military vacuum which would be left by the end is that the united states they don't have the ability and capabilities of doing that yeah we have seen the chinese interest in afghanistan but that has mostly been economic and so has been india's yes iran and pakistan can play a very crucial role posted as in fourteen but and far she has data packets any interest in afghanistan is at cross-purpose when it counts thirty years interest
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that acts that well as i was the taliban. go ahead michael john i'm not suggesting they're going to set i'm not going to i'm not suggesting they don't send troops and they will send trainers in to work with the existing with what they have right now and then incorporate perhaps the taliban into the afghan security forces whether it's police or or situation remains as volatile and as bad as it is now and if it's even deteriorates in future i don't think that the advisers alone whatever that would be from the united states are from neighboring countries like china or india can can't carry out their mission properly might well it's the same pattern is that the route let's go to beirut go ahead mike so i was just i would actually agree with akbar there and add another and that pakistan is an eternal problems on his own without having to deal with problems in afghanistan as well so i mean i think the scenario of the regional powers stepping in to fill a vacuum in any sense is is really optimistic in many ways you know and we've
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created a problem here you know we want to solve we probably solve it partly we haven't solved it entirely we create another set of problems that can be very very difficult to deal with in two years the difficult enough to deal with now frankly ok so i don't see the reason why i was suddenly applying applying a bomb to all this michael in washington july. third and i could stand for michael in washington going. you know i think that i think it's to the pakistani interest to try to bring a little stability to the region after all they regard afghanistan as their historical area of influence and so i think it's going to be to their their betterment and to to to work with china with whom they have very close relations by the way to try and bring some kind of stability to afghanistan it may not be the picture that the united states likes but it's going to be something that the regional powers can live with alternately go ahead. i think that the outcome in afghanistan is also important for stability of pakistan if the taliban count's back
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to afghanistan and topple the kabul regime i think that's what also blues are meant to be although i saw it on your art in the last day but i don't know if they are there they don't come back there or there are the taliban in pakistan or in afghanistan and afghanistan the taliban are geographically constrained just two parts of eastern and southern afghanistan flowing are very very very real their influence is very real and all a small parcels they can create they don't have significant military presence they don't have a hole there in the area or if they ran the years in the say i failed they have failed to regain their lost territories that they lost during the surge of troops in this out ok might give me an optimistic scenario last forty seconds. think the optimistic scenario is the one that opened earlier which is the division between basically a couple taliban controlled areas which is most of the rest of the country and those regions that are controlled by local warlords. i don't really see an
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optimistic at home over the one that perhaps contains itself within the region. and how they can be policed but i don't think a regional powers can do it but by the methods by good intelligence and things like that i think we we've made a mess of this we've gone in there we should've done the right thing we haven't we've lost and we're retreating that's the best scenario all right on that note gentlemen many thanks to my guest today in washington and in beirut and thanks to our viewers for watching us here see you next time remember cross talk. and you can. download the official publication so choose your language stream quality and
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