"There can be no victory unless the military strategy is combined with a political strategy, both on the Afghan side of the border and on the Pakistan side of the border."
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband
"The president is in a moment in which he really has to regain the approval of the American people, as well as people around the world, that we are on the right course"
U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind.
The US is in a tight spot. After 9/11 Bush invaded Afghanistan cowboy style and succeeded. But the problem is rooting out the Taliban and Muslim extremists there. Afghanistan is a wild country. It has been wild for centuries. The world has to tame it so that it does not harbor Al Qaeda. That is a tall ask.
Afghanistan is not a country as we know it. It is collection of tribes. Breaking that tribal system and creating a modern state with a vibrant middle class is what is needed. That is going to take a long time. When Obama gives a eighteen month deadline, it sounds laughable. But America is running out of money.
The rest of the world has to step in. It is not a problem of America and western Europe alone. Tomorrow the Al Qaeda could turn towards China, Russia... Any country. All the big countries have to get together and fight terrorism. Taming Afghanistan is not America's job alone. It is the job of all major countries.
Poppy cultivation is financial backbone of Taliban. Afghan farmers have to be helped, trained and financed to cultivate something else. This a big aspect of the Afghan problem.
War in Afghanistan: Part 1
War in Afghanistan: Part 3