July 21st, 2010
07:14 AM ET

Opinion: Don't let obstacles block Afghan peace

Gen. David Petraeus, the new commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, has called for labeling the leaders of the insurgent Haqqani network as terrorists.

I've met Gen. Petraeus only briefly, and I am convinced that he is not trying to pull another McChrystal, to push the White House to become even more deeply mired in the war in Afghanistan. Hence the only way one can interpret the troubling news that he wants to brand the insurgent group with the terrorist label is that he has the support of his civilian superiors for such a move.

Read more of the opinion of Amitai Etzioni, a professor of international relations at George Washington University and the author of several books, including "Security First" and "New Common Ground."

Filed under: Voices • Your View
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Patriotic Soldier

    I do not blame the people of Afghanistan. I blame people like Danielle-2 and people like her who want this to continue forever.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jitendra

    Clearly, America is at pains to find a solution, a workable solution that guarantees peace in the short term future to enable orderly withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Also, the aim is to enable Kabul to provide a measure of security to the regions owing allegiance to it.

    Curiously, count down to withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan must begin with a well calibrated action in Islamabad. The following ought to be the sequence of events to take place at the earliest :-

    a) Project Zardari as the democratic head of Pakistan and ensure that the presidency is not check-mated by other power centers.

    b) Kyani should be allowed to retire as per rules and a new Army chief with no past association with the ISI should take his place straightaway..

    c) ISI must be replaced by a professional military intelligence agency. The GHQ must be purged of all ISI sympathizers or with association with it in the past.

    d) Kandhar offensive must be held in abeyance till the above policy initiatives begin to show results. In all likelihood, if the ISI ceases to be a factor in Af-Pak equation no further fighting may be needed.

    e) Mullen's saying that he only knows one half of the ISI and nothing about the other is a tacit admission of the failure of American intelligence to know fully the antecedents of its front line ally and its unpleasant secrets. Then what is America basing its war plans on one might be tempted to ask?

    The above thoughts may be disorienting at first, but would strike as the only plausible course open to exorcise the ghost of terrorism from the world. And once their shield of protection falls, Osama and his cohort Omar will automatically surface.

    July 24, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
    • John Lutz

      Let them settle their OWN Internal Conflict , as this has never been our WAR . We have created another mess just like we did in Iraq. We the USA should be totally out of both Countries in the 30 Days. Both Conflicts is not worth American Blood nor 14 Billion Dollars a Month. Prez. Obama will not be Re-Elected and I voted for him. I care about America , and America comes first and should be above petty Politics and Party.

      July 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Daniel-2

    Can you explain that i don't understand. I only have one tooth and can't wait for it to come out.

    July 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Patriotic soldier

    You know, I'm in Afghanistan right now–in the Taliban's backyard, no less, and it is obvious that the people of Afghanistan do not want peace: They want American dollars. If they can drag out things longer, the more money they receive.

    July 22, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      So they have nothing in common with the Pakistan government it seems. Not.

      July 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Quite right,Patriotic soldier.

      July 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Daniel-2


    July 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grimlock

      If you're a troll hijacking Daniel/Daniel-2/Onesmallvoice/BUBBA–ALABAMA STYLE!!!'s various alternate ID's, then good try, but it's not very funny.

      If you're actually whom your ID says you are, then it's safe to say you've lost your mind.

      July 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Sorry,Grimlock.It's just a troll hijacking my name here,but I wish to kingdom come that he would cut the Tea Party lingo!!!He thinks that he's funny but we know he's not.He even hijacked God's name just to be funny but I find that quite sacrilegious.What an embarrassment!!!!!

        July 21, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Daniel-2. Another person has seen through your silly little game eh, how interesting.
        Grimlock. You can also add this name to your list.

        July 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Here goes Funny boy again.Just ignore him,Grimlock.I'm the real Bledsoe and I hate this stupid war along with the needless death and destruction and whoever doesn't should have their head examined!!!

        July 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Hey Funny boy,why don't you just shut the Tea Party lingo up!!!

      July 21, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        When is the tea party can i come will there be cookies?

        July 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • atal

      At last common sense!

      July 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Anabel

        I concur.

        July 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Khalil Nouri

    The Haqanis cannot be roaming around free by killing incent people.

    I have recent report from Afghanistan the 11 police officers, government official slain in north Afghanistan is the work of the Haqani network.

    My question to Professor Etzioni: What could have happened if the old West US was full of Haqanis?

    Obviously, there were conditions implemented for those with rewards for them dead or alive. The war has started with the invasion of United States in 2001 and now the network is perpetuating as an unstoppable kinetic energy killing in an inhumane fashion.

    And yet the Pakistani government offered them as power sharing elements within the Afghan government. Would anyone allow a brutal government shared with the Haqanis to resemble Hitler's regime?

    July 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Khalil Nouri

      It is my business I am one of the people of Afghanistan ...

      July 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • atal

      BUBBA...But out you stupid yank.

      July 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anabel

      I don't understand. I thought onesmallevoice/Daniel-2/Bledsoe et al were against the west.

      July 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Anabel,have you been blogging under God's name lately?If so,I wish that you'd stop.That's what I call sacrilegious and you may cut out some of that Tea Party lingo while you're at it.Thank you.

      July 24, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Anabel

      Ah yes i understand now.

      July 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jerry

    What he really means is;don't let obstacles block the building of the American Anglo-French Empire.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      That is right it would be a coillition.

      July 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grimlock

      What I'd like to know is, how exactly is that a bad thing?

      If it brings stability to the region, as well as the extensive modernization that's sure to come of it, I don't see how you can oppose that.

      July 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Quite simple,Grimlock.Afghanistan belongs to the Afghans and not to the United States,Great Britain nor France!!! It's as simple as that!

        July 24, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |

        The taliban are against any form of education and development. Anyone who can read are a threat to them because they soon realize how ignorant and backward they are.

        July 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Lutz

      Do You think this War is worth almost 8 Billion a Month to our Deficit , and do you think our Prez., has been totally Truthful. I believe this will cost him Re-Election as I do not – will not vote for him again. It is time that we put America first.

      July 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |