Obama has given with one hand and taken with the other, says ex-envoy

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Washington, Dec.2 (ANI):Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalizad has said that by announcing the deployment of an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama has probably indulged in the time-old practice of giving with one hand and taking with the other.

"If you put in a timeline you encourage the enemy to outwait you, to regard the strategy as not enduring. When I was ambassador,the Taliban sent me a message saying 'you have all the watches,but we have all the time'. It may encourage the Taliban and others in the region to assume we don't have the staying power,and therefore, make the job harder," The Telegraph quoted Khalizad as telling CNN in an interview.

Khalizad opines that Obama should perhaps be given credit for being deliberately vague.

"He did not say how many troops would be pulled out in July 2011 or how quickly. There was no end-date. He gave scant clues of the strategy behind his exit strategy, but clearly believes that without a deadline the Afghan government would not get its act together," he says.

"Perhaps that's all July 2011 is, a whip. And it may work. The Taliban may indeed bide their time, but in their absence an army can be established, sound government developed, schools constructed and legal agriculture propagated. The extremist militia might return when Nato forces are much reduced or even gone completely, but the challenge facing them would be all the greater," he adds. (ANI)

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