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Security Study Wants Stepped-up Afghanistan Effort

  • February 7th, 2008
  • Posted by EUEditor

afghan-australians-2008.jpgPressure for an upgrading and reorganisation of the international military and development effort in Afghanistan has been accentuated in a new research report from the International Crisis Group — joining demands for a stepped-up involvement by European armed forces.

The Brussels-based organisation, an independent agency set up to back ways of ending violent conflict, wants continued allied action against “extremist” politics of the Taliban insurgents.

It says in a covering statement for the latest report designed to influence policy makers, especially in Western countries: –

“The international community must urgently strengthen its resolve if the negative trends are to be reversed.

“Afghanistan: The Need for International Resolve, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the need for all actors to increase their efforts.

“An unstable Afghanistan in which extremists have a strong foothold would again pose a serious threat to global security, as it did before the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

“‘Afghanistan is not lost but the signs are not good’, says Nick Grono, Crisis Group Deputy President. ‘Countries sniping from the sidelines or unwilling to put their troops in the more dangerous parts of the country need to recognise that the Afghan intervention is ultimately about global security and do more’.

“Six years after the Taliban’s ouster, the international community lacks both a common diagnosis of what is needed to stabilise the country and unity of effort.

“Stability has proved elusive, and insurgent violence is severely affecting government outreach and development efforts in around half the country.

“Without greater coordination and a more strategic approach by the many international actors – both civilian and military – the increased attention and resources now directed at quelling the conflict could prove counterproductive by furthering a tendency to seek quick fixes.


“Troop contributing countries, including major NATO member states like Germany, France and Italy, have to be prepared to deploy troops, with the required mandates, wherever in the country they are needed.

“All allies, including the U.S., must commit to genuine coordination mechanisms.

“Within Afghanistan efforts must focus on institution building, not individual Afghan players, and tackle a culture of impunity.

“The international community must also reassess strategic interests in the region, notably the need to address the Pakistan problem more realistically and to insulate Afghanistan as much as possible from the U.S.-Iran confrontation.”

A coalition of states under NATO command is maintaining 40 000 outside troops in Afghanistan, and supporting extensive economic reconstruction projects.

The Crisis Group statement demanding “more coherent international efforts in Afghanistan” has been timed to coincide with a meeting of allied Defence Ministers, in Lithuania, called to discuss worries over how the campaign is going.


International Crisis Group, report, Afghanistan: The Need for International Resolve, 6.2.08., (7.2.08).

See EUAustralia, archive, “Afghanistan”.

Picture: Australian troops in Afghanistan, this Winter, DoD (Australia).