Gates in Afghanistan

For Immediate Release

Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Gates in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - AP reports: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the Pentagon is moving to get three of the four combat brigades requested by commanders into Afghanistan by next summer. ...

"The Pentagon chief spoke with reporters traveling with him to Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was to meet with military leaders Thursday."

STEPHEN KINZER
Available for a limited number of interviews, Kinzer is a former New York Times foreign correspondent. In a Boston Globe piece titled "The Reality of War in Afghanistan," he recently wrote: "Emotion leads many Americans to want to punish perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. They see war against the Taliban as a way to do it. Suggesting that victory over the Taliban is impossible, and that the United States can only hope for peace in Afghanistan through compromise with Taliban leaders, has been taken as near-treason.

"This knee-jerk response ignores the pattern of fluid loyalties that has been part of Afghan tribal life for centuries. Alliances shift as interests change. Warlords who support the Taliban are not necessarily enemies of the United States. If they are today, they need not be tomorrow. ...

"A relentless series of U.S. attacks in Afghanistan has produced 'collateral damage' in the form of hundreds of civilian deaths, which alienate the very Afghans the West needs. As long as the campaign continues, recruits will pour into Taliban ranks. It is no accident that the Taliban has mushroomed since the current bombing campaign began. It allows the Taliban to claim the mantle of resistance to a foreign occupier."

Kinzer's books include Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror and A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It.
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ROBERT NAIMAN
Naiman, senior policy analyst and national coordinator at Just Foreign Policy, is available for interviews and can help arrange interviews with Kinzer. His latest piece is "Kinzer: Surge Diplomacy, Not Troops, in Afghanistan," based on an interview with Kinzer. Video is available on the Just Foreign Policy blog.

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