Who the hell woke up one day and said, “you know what guys, I think this might be a good idea”?
Combine the above with the “install a prime minister” and “arm the tribes” plans, and you have a recipe for …well, you know. Seriously, if this is the endgame, we might as well do away with the pretense of democracy, and stop asking Afghans working on projects like the UNDP SEAL II and Afghanistan Parliamentary Assistance Project to risk –and even lose– their lives for something we (the US, Europeans, etc) are only supporting in bad faith.
Ugh. This whole thing says more about the cynical mentality in Washington, London and Brussels than it does about what Afghans want or think.
Marianne made a great point in the comments:
This has been the US strategy in Afghanistan since day one – making alliances with the strongmen (no matter how bloody their hands) to overcome the Taleban.
I can see why it makes sense to the people making these choices – because of the values they bring to the decision – to them “security” means national security.
But the real irony is that if you applied their criteria (i.e. who has the ability to control opium production and maintain law and order style security in the streets) then you could make a good case that your best choice would be the Taleban. Hmmm.
From a human rights perspective – apart from the obvious issue of impunity – this is a really good example of where a human security analysis would make a huge difference. Do ordinary Afghans feel safe with the warlords? Community-based research on security done by HRRAC (see the “Take the Guns Away” report) would suggest not!