Shikha Dalmia Talks Post-9/11 Foreign Policy on RT

Reason senior policy analyst Shikha Dalmia appeared on RT to discuss how the War on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan have cornered the U.S. into becoming the policeman of the world, leaving America with few options and double standards on Syria and Libya.

About 5 minutes. 

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  • Joe M||

    Anyone see this video? The commentary surrounding it at the Frum Forum is irritating beyond belief, e.g. ROADZ!!!

  • Joker||

    What's the difference between a professional sports pundit and a blog commentator?

    One gets paid for promulgating his inane opinions.

  • PantsFan||

    are you taking shots at Peter "Brett Favre" King?

  • ||

    Shikha looks seriously arrogant in that screenshot.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Actually, she looks like Ayn Rand 2.0.

  • spencer||

    She is SO HOT. If I wasn't married, I would so stalk her into a restraining order.

  • Doug||

    Yes, agreed. After spending several months in Singapore I've found that Indian chicks are scorching hot!

    Although I seriously doubt I'd stalk to the point of a restraining order. Call me paranoid but Asian justice tends to be a bit more...well...geared toward the stick than it does toward the carrot, if you know what I mean. :-\

  • ||

    So what should the US do now regarding foreign policy?

    The Iraq war (which I'd argue should not have been fought in the first place) is effectively over. Since the remaining "non-combat" troops are no longer necessary to keep the elected government in power or maintain security, I'm in favor withdrawing them now. However, if they remain there training Iraqi security forces until the end of the year (as seems likely), it is not that big of a deal.

    By contrast, the Afghanistan War (or more accurately the Afghan/Pakistan War, as fighting occurs on both sides of the border) is still going full blast. It is not clear that the US-led coalition can achieve victory anytime soon, or how it would do so.

    So how should the US and its allies proceed? Should they seek a peace agreement with the Taliban (and Taliban-allied warlords)? And on what terms should the US be willing to make peace?

    If not a peace agreement, what other options are there?

    Keep fighting an open-ended war?

    Withdraw from Afghanistan and let the chips fall where they may?

    Withdraw ground troops but aid the Karzai-led government in other ways (air support, weapons, etc.)?

    Something else (not sure what)?

    My view is that they should offer to make peace with the Taliban, on condition that they cease all support for terrorism, stop fighting to overthrow the Afghan government, accept the Afghan constitution, and refrain from perpetrating reprisals against Afghans who opposed their theocratic rule and/or supported the coalition. (They can be offered a part in the government in some type of power-sharing agreement, but not the option of re-establishing the totalitarian theocracy they had before.) In fact, Obama has made such an offer, but he should make it in a more high-profile way and indicate that it is a standing offer on the table. Of course, he should also seek endorsement of this proposal by Pakistan, Karzai, various factions within Afghanistan, and others who have a stake in the conflict (with their peace conditions included, if within reason). There should be pressure coming from all sides to get the Taliban to accept these terms.

    Make it clear that the US is willing to withdraw if these conditions are met, and thus the Taliban has no legitimate reason to keep fighting. If they refuse this offer and keep the war going, the world should be constantly reminded that the continuation of the war, and the resulting death and misery, is the Taliban’s fault. The purpose of this is to create a public relations problem for the Taliban and reduce any constituency they might have.

    The Taliban has said that they are only willing to negotiate after the US withdraws, but this is most likely a cynical ploy to get the US to leave so they can take Kabul and go back to the pre-2001 system. It should be pointed out as such. Alternatively, the US could agree to withdraw on condition that the Taliban observe a ceasefire afterwards and negotiate with Karzai and the Afghan Parliament in good faith. The US could stipulate that if the Taliban breaks this ceasefire and starts an advance towards Kabul, the US will go back in, or at least bomb advancing Taliban militants enough to reverse their gains.

    If the Taliban accepts these terms, the US should withdraw in accordance with its obligations in the agreement, perhaps leaving behind civilian observers to monitor the situation and ensure the Taliban is not aiding terrorists in secret or otherwise violating its obligations.

  • ||

    That's a long-winded way of recommending that we try to bribe with crumbs people who want the whole banquet.

    My suggestion: USA out, completely, and leave a note that says: enjoy your short and miserable lives, suckas!

  • ||

    That's a long-winded way of recommending that we try to bribe with crumbs people who want the whole banquet.

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I think we should do. If the Taliban succeeded in getting "the whole banquet", it would be a disaster (just like last time they had it).

    Of course I think this would have been a lot easier had Bush tried something along those lines in 2002 - and kept the country's military, economic, and diplomatic resources focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan instead of going into Iraq. Back then the Taliban was much weaker, global and Afghan public opinion were more firmly on the side of the US, and the US public was much less war-weary (so it didn't seem like the Taliban could simply wait us out).

    My suggestion: USA out, completely, and leave a note that says: enjoy your short and miserable lives, suckas!

    Are you concerned about the possibility of the Taliban regaining control to the same extent they had it from 1996 to 2001? What about the (quite likely) possibility that they would commit atrocities against those Afghans who have been cooperating with the US and fighting alongside us? This would not inspire much confidence in potential future allies. Even if we withdraw troops, should the US do anything to help prevent such an outcome (air support, providing the Karzai government with weapons, etc.)?

  • ||

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