“Robert Charles sees some similarities between the Obama administration’s approach in Afghanistan and that of its predecessor, and he doesn’t consider it a good sign.
“The Pentagon is putting forward many of the same proposals that were Rumsfeld-era proposals,” he said in an interview with NationalJournal.com. “…Until they do significant interdiction, significant demand reduction and significant eradication, they will never win in Afghanistan.”
As assistant secretary of State under President George W. Bush, Charles was a fly on the wall to a feud between Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on whether civilians or the military should rebuild the Middle East, as well as what to do about ending the drug economy. Charles, who advised on counternarcotics, police training and other stabilization efforts, said progress has been insufficient.
Charles: “I would say the real fact is that there’s no new thinking…. The Pentagon is putting forward many of the same proposals that were Rumsfeld-era proposals…. Until they do significant interdiction, significant demand reduction and significant eradication, they will never win in Afghanistan…. Until you create real deterrence and you stop the proliferation and the expansion of the drug trade, the counterforce of drug trafficking and the violence it brings will always be heavier than the invitation to have a lower-paying but peaceful job….”
2010-03-17 05:46:53 UTC