For Immediate Release


Taruna Godric, 416-916-5202, ext. 414.

The Real News Network

Coalition Forces On The Wrong Track in Afghanistan

Anand Gopal: Afghanistan does not need more guns, it needs reconstruction and reconciliation

KABUL - Earlier this week, US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates spoke about the need for a greater commitment of troops and money from NATO countries involved in Afghanistan. He described NATO's operations in Afghanistan as being 'hamstrung' by national differences over troop numbers and budgets. Gates' statements favour a troop surge in Afghanistan, similar to the one in Iraq.

The Realnews spoke with Anand Gopal, a journalist for Inter Press Services (IPS) who is stationed in Kabul. Gopal states that the recent rise in violence is not impacted by the number of NATO troops. Increasing levels of insurgency are due to a weak central government, perceived by the public as being corrupt, and the high numbers of civilian casualities. Gopal argues the number of NATO troops would contribute less to the stabilization of the situation. Instead, reconstruction and reconciliation should be NATO's priority.

After seven years, the US is 'realizing the war is not going their way,' Gopal notes. He concludes the Afghanistan needs less boots on the ground and an increased emphasis on reconstruction.


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