. ..Washington is faced with a serious strategic dilemma: If it chooses to continue bombing and escalate its ground operations, it runs the risk of fueling political destabilization in Islamic countries, which are already finding it difficult to stand by Washington’s side – Pakistan in particular. If, on the other hand, it chooses to call a ceasefire during the holy period of Ramadan then, in essence, everything will be put off till springtime. The wound will remain open throughout the winter with all the negative repercussions that this implies. It is obvious that the White House cannot afford to withdraw. If the Taleban regime is not toppled, US President George W. Bush will find himself in an extremely uncomfortable position domestically and the USA’s international image will be fundamentally tarnished. For the time being, Washington hopes to accomplish its objective of finding an alternative solution to the question of the post-Taleban order, centered round the former king. So far its efforts have not yielded fruit. It is no coincidence that there have even been scenarios projecting a division of Afghanistan. But should an agreement be reached, it is very likely that a strong military force will have to be deployed to overthrow the Taleban and back the new government. This, however, may draw the American troops into a guerrilla war that will entail a high cost at all levels…

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