Afghanistan: December 17, 2002

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  NGO's (Non-Governmental Organizations) are waging a media campaign to get more peacekeepers into Afghanistan, and to keep American Civil Affairs troops out (because the NGOs fear that hostile Afghans will target all NGO workers because the US Civil Affairs soldiers are doing NGO type aid work.) No one wants to send peacekeepers to Afghanistan. It's too dangerous, and if you do get into a scrape, the NGOs and media will be all over you for abusing the locals. American Civil Affairs troops are doing what they've been doing for over half a century, long before NGOs became a major force in aid work at the end of the 20th century.

The border area with Pakistan is becoming a war zone. The US has not been able to get permission from Pakistan to go after Taliban bases in Pakistan, so the Taliban cross the border for raids. Many of the Taliban are being caught and chased back to Pakistan. But once they are into Pakistan, they are safe. This is is becoming a political issue, as American military leaders point out that this sort of "Sanctuary" is what made Vietnam such an unwinnable war. But public opinion in Pakistan is against any cooperation with the US. Of course, one could just ignore the public opinion and go after the Taliban camps. This would not automatically expand the war, given the divisions in Pakistani politics and distaste for Pushtun gunmen.

 

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