Come to think of it, the US surge in Afghanistan, i.e., dispatching 30,000 additional troops, and then starting a withdrawal from Afghanistan by mid 2011, has more to do with the next Presidential elections in the US than to do with the ground realities in Afghanistan.
The bid to re-elect President Obama for a second term will begin in early 2012 and will be in full force by the summer of 2012. It will be around the same time that the ‘victorious’ soldiers from Afghanistan will be returning home. A ‘mission accomplished’ sign will be hanging from the walls of the White House in Washington, DC for a job well-done in Afghanistan.
Since it takes months to provide the logistics support required to move 30,000 troops, the surge in Afghanistan is likely to be in effect in the second half of 2010. Even with 150,000 NATO troops on ground in Afghanistan, the task of putting in place a stable government in Kabul will remain highly elusive.
It is not clear to me that how in a short period of 12 months, i.e., between the summer of 2010 and summer of 2011, NATO will accomplish the tasks it had set for itself, which it could not accomplish in 8 years, and would start withdrawing from Afghanistan.
Even if Afghanistan continues to be the wild west of Asia where warlords and narco traffickers may be calling the shots in 2012, one outcome is becoming more certain: the US forces will be back on American soil in 2012; in time for the US Presidential elections.