Afghanistan_Pullout_Affirmative___Seniors___GDS_2010.doc - Afghanistan Af GDS 2010 Suo Tyler Ricardo Aron Seniors Notes Use document map Don’t read

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Unformatted text preview: Afghanistan Af GDS 2010 Suo, Tyler, Ricardo, Aron Seniors Notes Use document map Don’t read OSB Make your own solvency contention Plan Text Plan: The United States federal government should withdraw nearly all forces dedicated to counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. 1AC Afghan Stability Contention 1: Afghan Stability Current counterinsurgency strategy is rooted in a Western nation-building ideology – the US props up the unpopular and ineffective central government at the cost of security Preble 10 (Christopher A. Preble, Director of Foreign Policy studies at the Cato Institute, May 21, 2010, “Is the War in Afghanistan Winnable?”, | Suo) If we define victory narrowly, if we are willing to apply the resources necessary to have a reasonable chance of success, and if we have capable and credible partners, then of course the war is winnable. Any war is winnable under these conditions. None of these conditions exist in Afghanistan, however. Our mission is too broadly construed. Our resources are constrained. The patience of the American people has worn thin. And our Afghan partners are unreliable and unpopular with their own people. Given this, the better question is whether the resources that we have already ploughed into Afghanistan, and those that would be required in the medium to long term, could be better spent elsewhere. They most certainly could be. More important still is the question of whether the mission is essential to American national security interests—a necessary component of a broader strategy to degrade al-Qaeda's capacity for carrying out another terrorist attack in America. Or has it become an interest in itself? (That is, we must win the war because it is the war we are in.) The appropriate question is not whether the war is winnable. Judging from most of the contemporary commentary, it has become the latter. This explains why our war aims have expanded to the point where they are serving ends unrelated to our core security interests. The current strategy in Afghanistan is flawed. Population centric counterinsurgency (COIN) amounts to large-scale social engineering. The costs in blood and treasure that we would have to incur to accomplish this mission—in addition to what we have already paid—are not outweighed by the benefits, even if we accept the most optimistic estimates as to the likelihood of success. It is also unnecessary. We do not need a long-term, large-scale presence to disrupt al-Qaeda. Indeed, that limited aim has largely been achieved. The physical safe haven that al-Qaeda once enjoyed in Afghanistan has been disrupted, but it could be recreated in dozens of other ungoverned spaces around the world—from Nor does fighting terrorism require over 100,000 foreign troops building roads and bridges, digging wells and crafting legal codes. Indeed, our efforts to convince, cajole or compel our ungrateful clients to take ownership of their problems might do more harm than good. Building capacity without destroying the host nation's will to act has always proved difficult. This fact surely annoys most Americans, who have Pakistan to Yemen to Somalia. The claim that Afghanistan is uniquely suited to hosting would-be terrorists does not withstand close scrutiny. grown tired of fighting other people's wars and building other people's countries. It is little surprise, then, that a war that once enjoyed overwhelming public support has lost its lustre. Polls show that a majority of Americans would like to see the mission drawn to a close. The war is even less popular within the European countries that are contributing troops to the effort. You go to war with the electorate a problem for our current strategy, Hamid Karzai Advocates of COIN explain ad nauseam that the success of these missions depends upon a reliable local partner, something that Mr Karzai is not. Efforts to build support around his government are likely to fail. An individual who lacks legitimacy in the eyes of his people does not gain from the perception that he is a foreign puppet. Mr Karzai is caught in a Catch-22. His ham-fisted efforts to distance himself from the Obama administration have eroded support for him in America without boosting his standing in Afghanistan. America and its allies must narrow their focus in Afghanistan . Rather than asking if the war is winnable, we should ask instead if the war is worth winning. And we should look for alternative approaches that do not require us to transform what is a deeply divided, poverty stricken, tribal-based society into a self-sufficient, cohesive and stable electoral democracy. you have, not the electorate you wished you had. But while the public's waning appetite for the war in Afghanistan poses poses a greater one. 1AC Afghan Stability More specifically, counterinsurgency doctrine is inherently hostile to local authority structures Last printed Georgetown Debate Seminar 1 Afghanistan Af GDS 2010 Suo, Tyler, Ricardo, Aron Seniors Friedman 9 (Benjamin H. Friedman, research fellow in defense and homeland security studies, September 3, 2009, “Making Enemies in Afghanistan”, | Suo) Trofimov’s article in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal explains how Ghulam Yahya, a former anti-Taliban, Tajik miltia leader from Herat, became an insurgent. The short answer: because the American master plan in Afghanistan required the retirement of warlords. The trouble is that in much of Afghanistan “warlord” is a synonym for “local government.” Attacking local authority structures is a good way to make enemies. So it went in Herat. Having been fired from a government post, Ghulum Yahya turned his militia against Kabul and now fires rockets at foreign troops, kidnaps their contractors, and brags of welcoming foreign jihadists. Herat turned redder on the color-coded maps of the “Taliban” insurgency. That story reminded me of C.J. Chivers’s close-in accounts of firefights he witnessed last spring with an army platoon in Afghanistan’s Korangal Valley. According to Chivers, the Taliban there revolted in part because the Afghan government shut down their timber business. That is an odd reason for us to fight them. One of the perversions of the branch of technocratic idealism that we now call counterinsurgency doctrine is its hostility to local authority structures. As articulated on TV by people like General Stanley McChrystal, counterinsurgency is a kind of one-size-fits-all endeavor. You chase off the insurgents, protect the people, and thus provide room for the central government and its foreign backers to provide services, which win the people to the government. The people then turn against the insurgency. This makes sense, I suppose, for relatively strong central states facing insurgencies, like India, the Philippines or Colombia. But where the central state is dysfunctional and essentially foreign to the region being pacified, this model may not fit. Certainly it does not describe the tactic of buying off Sunni sheiks in Anbar province Iraq (a move pioneered by Saddam Hussein, not David Petraeus, by the way). It is even less applicable to the amalgam of fiefdoms labeled on our maps as Afghanistan . From what I can tell, power in much of Afghanistan is really held by headmen — warlords — who control enough men with guns to collect some protection taxes and run the local show. The western idea of government says the central state should replace these mini-states, but that only makes sense as a war strategy if their aims are contrary to ours , which is only the case if they are trying to overthrow the central government or hosting terrorists that go abroad to attack Americans. Few warlords meet those criteria. The way to “pacify” the other areas is to leave them alone. Doing otherwise stirs up needless trouble; it makes us more the revolutionary than the counterrevolutionary. On a related note, I see John Nagl attacking George Will for not getting counterinsurgency doctrine. Insofar as Will seems to understand, unlike Nagl, that counterinsurgency doctrine is a set of best practices that allow more competent execution of foolish endeavors , this is Yaroslav unsurprising. More interesting is Nagl’s statement that we, the United States have not “properly resourced” the Afghan forces. Nagl does not mention that the United States is already committed to building the Afghan security forces (which are, incidentally, not ours) to a size — roughly 450,000 — that will annually cost about 500% of Afghanistan’s budget (Rory’s Stewart’s calculation), which is another way we will be paying for these forces for the foreseeable future. It probably goes too far to say this war has become a self-licking ice-cream cone where we create both the enemy and the forces to fight them, but it’s a possibility worth considering. of saying 1AC Afghan Stability Withdrawal of support for Karzai’s government leads to a provincial security regime that stabilizes Afghanistan Fisher 9 (Max Fisher, associate editor for the Atlantic on foreign affairs and national security, Nov 18 2009, “Can Warlords Save Afghanistan?”, | Suo) Obama has made it clear that any strategy he commits to in Afghanistan must stabilize the country while accounting for our exit. But a very significant hurdle stands in the way: the notorious weakness of Afghanistan's police and military. Of the trooplevel plans Obama has reportedly considered, even the smallest emphasizes training and assistance for Afghan forces. After all, for us to leave, Afghan institutions must be able to replace the 100,000 foreign troops currently providing security. This makes building a massive, national Afghan military one of our top priorities in the region. Critics of this plan say the Afghan military is hopelessly disorganized, ill-equipped and corrupt. Supporters say it's crucial to our success. But there may be another way. Bolstering the Afghan military carries significant risks. Given how illegitimate Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government is perceived to be by Afghans, a Karzai-led army would be poorly received and perhaps worsen anti-government sentiment. If a national Afghanistan army has a fraction of the national government's corruption, it could inspire disastrous backlash. Under Karzai's corrupt governance, the application of a national security force would wax and wane with political whims. With no personal stake in security outside Kabul, would Karzai really risk his resources and military strength to counter every threat or pacify every skirmish? Afghanistan has not been a stable, unified state with a strong centralized government in three decades. The cultural and political institutions for a single national force may simply no longer exist. But Afghanistan, owing in part to necessity and in part to the tumultuous processes that have shaped the country, retains functional , if weak, security infrastructure at the provincial level. In the post-Soviet power vacuum and throughout periods of civil war, warlords arose to lead local militias. Many of them still remain in place--they were among our strongest allies in routing the Taliban's hold on the government--and have settled into more stationary roles somewhere between warlord and governor. Local rule has become the Afghan way. Local leaders who operate their own provincial forces, after all, stake their very lives on the security of their realm. By working with these leaders to establish and train local militias and police, rather than troubled and mistrusted national forces, the U.S. could find its route to Afghan President Last printed Georgetown Debate Seminar 2 Afghanistan Af GDS 2010 Suo, Tyler, Ricardo, Aron Seniors stability and exit. In parts of Afghanistan, strong provincial leadership has already developed security separate from national leadership. In the relatively peaceful and prosperous northern region of Mazar-E-Sharif, Governor Atta Mohammad Noor, himself a former warlord who fought against the Soviets and Taliban, commands authority rivaling that of President Karzai. Unlike Karzai, Noor is popular among his constituents and his province enjoys remarkable stability. The local military officials are loyal to him before Karzai, if they are loyal to Karzai at all. By promoting local governance and directing our military training and assistance to forces loyal to that governance, the U.S. could promote other strong provincial leaders like Noor. Like Noor, many of these are likely to be former or current warlords. Warlords, despite their scary name, can be our strongest allies. They tend to be nonideological and fervently anti-Taliban. Their fates are tied to the local populaces they govern. They're corrupt and tax heavily, but they provide real security and are trusted. Their ambitions are not for anti-Western war or fundamentalism, but sovereignty, security, and domination. None of these men is Thomas Jefferson, but in a country of many evil and exploitative forces, they are the best that Afghan civilians or American forces are likely to get. Just as important, local security forces would better suit the region they protect, with more religious militias in the devout south and east but conventional police in the secular north . As General Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, wrote in his much-discussed report calling for more troops, "Focusing on force or resource requirements misses the point entirely." He insisted that Afghans' "needs, identities and grievances vary from province to province and from valley to valley." A national security force would struggle to overcome the inevitable Goldilocks problem: Either it would be too secular for the south and east or too religious for the north but never just right. After all, the Taliban's initial support came in part from Afghans who desperately wanted religious rule. Though we may find the idea of supporting Islamic militias discomforting, forcing secular rule would risk another Taliban-like uprising. Better, perhaps, to establish local Islamic governance that is religious enough to satisfy the populace it serves but moderate enough to resist the Taliban. The U.S. is already enacting a micro variant of this strategy by hiring and arming locals to provide security. The informal militiamen must come from within 50 km of their deployment site, which in addition to providing local jobs (Afghanistan's unemployment rate is a catastrophic 40%) also deters insurgents, who would be less likely to attack a familiar neighbor than a foreign invader. The principles that make this so effective would also apply to a larger, standing This does not preclude a national government with its own separate, standing force in the style of the national guard. Karzai's government could function much like a miniature European Union, setting economic and social policies while facilitating interactions provincial force. between the provincial leaders. An economically centralized Afghanistan would in fact be crucial in this case so that provincial leaders remain dependent on Karzai for funding. It may be tempting to point to Iraq as a model for putting stock in national security forces. After all, the strong roles of Iraqi military and police were crucial to stabilizing the country and phasing out American control over the past two years. But modern Iraq has never lacked the traditions or institutions for national security. If anything, Iraq under Saddam Hussein had one of the world's strictest and most oppressive regimes since the fall of the Soviet Union. Saddam's Iraq was in many ways a polar opposite from the chaos of frontier Afghanistan. Any rebuilt security in Iraq has been a matter of replacing one national security system with another. In Afghanistan, there is none to be replaced. Of the many problems likely holding up President Obama's decision on Afghanistan, the public contradiction between two of his top officials is likely high on the list. General McChrystal famously warned of "mission failure" without an additional 40,000 troops. More recently, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, a general who previously Working with provincial leaders to establish local security forces could meet McChrystal's security priorities while getting around Eikenberry's concerns about Karzai. Most importantly, it would meet Obama's goals of stability in Afghanistan with a foreseeable exit strategy. held McChrystal's command, cautioned in two leaked cables against bolstering the notoriously corrupt Karzai. Their requests are not mutually exclusive. 1AC Afghan Stability Inevitable destabilization that results from an imposed central government leads to the fragmentation of Afghanistan, resulting in escalating wars throughout Central Asia and the Middle East, Indopak nuclear use, and a Russia-China alliance against the US Morgan 7 (Stephen John, Former member of the British Labour Party Executive Committee, ) the Taliban could not advance without the support or acquiescence of parts of the population, especially in the south. In particular, the Taliban is drawing on backing from the Pashtun tribes from whom they originate. The southern and eastern areas have been totally out of government control since 2001. Moreover, not only have they not benefited at all from the Allied occupation, but it is increasingly clear that with a few small centres of exception, all of the country outside Kabul has seen little improvement in its circumstances . The conditions for unrest are ripe and the Taliban is filling the vacuum. The Break-Up of Afghanistan? However, the Taliban is unlikely to win much support outside of the powerful Pashtun tribes. Although they make up a majority of the nation, they are concentrated in the south and east. Among the other key minorities, such as Tajiks and Uzbeks, who control the north they have no chance of making new inroads. They will fight the Taliban and fight hard, but their loyalty to the NATO and US forces is tenuous to say the least. The Northern Alliance originally liberated Kabul from the Taliban without Allied ground support. The Northern Alliance are fierce fighters, veterans of the war of liberation against the Soviets and the Afghanistan civil war. Mobilized they count for a much stronger adversary than the NATO and US forces. It is possible that, while they won’t fight for the current government or coalition forces, they will certainly resist any new Taliban rule. They may decide to withdraw to their areas in the Although disliked and despised in many quarters, north and west of the country. This would leave the Allied forces with few social reserves, excepting a frightened and unstable urban population in Kabul, much like what happened to the Soviets. Squeezed sooner or later, a “Saigonstyle” evacuation of US and Allied forces could be on the cards. The net result could be the break-up and partition of Afghanistan into a northern and western area and a southern and eastern area, which would include the two key cities of Kandahar and, the capital Kabul. by facing fierce fighting in Helmund and other provinces, and, at the same time, harried by a complementary tactic of Al Qaeda-style urban terrorism in Kabul, Last printed Georgetown Debate Seminar 3 Afghanistan Af GDS 2010 Suo, Tyler, Ricardo, Aron Seniors « Pastunistan?» The Taliban themselves, however may decide not to take on the Northern Alliance and fighting may concentrate on creating a border between the two areas, about which the two sides may reach an agreement regardless of US and Allied plans or preferences. The Taliban may claim the name Afghanistan or might opt for “Pashtunistan” – a long-standing, though intermittent demand of the Pashtuns, within Afghanistan and especially along the ungovernable border regions inside Pakistan. It could not be ruled out that the Taliban could be aiming to lead a break away of the Pakistani Pashtuns to form a 30 million strong greater Pashtun state, encompassing some 18 million Pakistani Pashtun...
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