Saturday, March 28, 2009

Iran Will Not Help Us In Afghanistan

Shortly after Barack Obama was elected I cited a Washington Post article that the new Administration would seek to engage Iran by seeking its assistance in Afghanistan.

Well, scarcely a week after President Obama made his overture to the Mullahs, American and Iranian diplomats met today in Moscow to discuss Afghanistan.

Now one can make the case that General Petraeus supports this approach. Given his success in Iraq, his views must be taken into account. However, Iran has a long history of playing both sides of the fence where it concerns the Taliban. While there's no love lost between the mecca of Shia Islam and Sunni fundamentalists the Council on Foreign Relations observed "a number of reasons why a strengthened Taliban would serve Iran's interests, particularly in keeping U.S. forces off balance. "

The point here is it's wishful thinking on the part of the Obama Administration to pin their hopes of succeeding in Afghanistan on Iran.


Sikander Hayat said...

I think what Obama is doing by putting more forces on the ground is to escalate the war initially and put pressure on the insurgents and then bribe people away from Taliban. This is classic stick and carrot policy and how much it will succeed; only time will tell.

Another very important aspect is the increase in Afghan national army from 80000 to 134000. I believe that this is most important aspect of his speech as a strong central force will definitely have some impact on the overall situation. If the situation in Afghanistan stabilise to the extent that local army takes charge of the situation (even if the Taliban are not totally defeated) and foreign forces leave than situation in Pakistan will cool down as well.

By Sikander Hayat

Aaron Goldstein said...

Your comments are interesting.

However, it is unclear from your comments how Iran will assist the process in Afghanistan and why we should trust them given their past support for the Taliban.

Why would Iran help us unless we made significantly drastic changes to our foreign policy? And if they do help us what precisely are they expecting? Dropping all sanctions against their nuclear program? Allow their nuclear program to proceed unabated? Let Israel be driven into the sea? Keep our mouths shut about the impending trial of the seven Baha'i leaders?

I am not sure why President Obama is putting faith in a nation that views us a Satan and viewed us as Satan long before President Bush uttered the phrase "axis of evil."