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Preview of Afghanistan after Pullout?

As President Obama moves the U.S. toward a pullout from Afghanistan by 2014, it’s time to start asking the question: What will Afghanistan look like when America leaves? Events in the remote region of Baluchistan in western Pakistan may give us a clue.

In this impoverished and sparsely populated region, a bloody and poorly understood insurgency has been quietly growing for nearly a decade. Baloch seperatists and Pakistani security forces have been trading blows through a series of shadowy killings and mysterious disappearances. The scene is often rather grisly:

The family of Jalil Reki learned from television news that his body had been found, more than two years after the political activist was allegedly abducted by Pakistani security officials.

Reki’s body bore signs of severe torture, according to his father, Qadeer Baloch, including broken wrists and knees and burn marks. He was killed by several shots through the back of the head.

This is also a conflict with regional ramifications. There are allegations that India is helping Baloch rebels and terrorists, likely as a counter to Pakistan’s training of rebels in Kashmir. New Delhi has denied these allegations, but many Western governments believe them to be true.

This may be the future for a postwar Afghanistan: low-level combat interspersed with atrocities among militias supported by outside powers. Afghanistan is still an extraordinarily weak state despite years of NATO training, and there is no shortage of militia groups or outside powers with an interest in controlling the situation in Afghanistan—not exactly a recipe for stability and both India and Pakistan are likely to use the country as a zone for proxy warfare.

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  • Corlyss

    Isnt’ that what it was when we got there 10 years ago?

  • peter38a

    Isn’t that what it was when Alexander the Great got there a couple thousand years ago?

  • Gary L

    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!

    – Rudyard Kipling, The Young British Soldier

  • Hubbub

    And some of our leaders think that a continued U.S. presence there will somehow mollify the situation? For what good purpose? Let these people be. For all our military prowess, we cannot overcome the primitive, backward customs and thought of a stone-age society.

    Leave them be.

  • KFJ

    “What will Afghanistan look like when America leaves?”

    Why should we care?

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