Washington Post Calls for More Peace Troops in Afghanistan
In an editorial appearing in today’s Washington Post, the independent newspaper called on President Bush to rethink his refusal to expand the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) beyond Kabul and suggested that the President increase the amount of peace troops in the country. According to the Post, refusing to expand the ISAF would put Afghanistan at great risk of “descent into chaos,” a claim supported – at least in part – by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who has admitted that if security is not established in Afghanistan, “there’s not going to be a stable government. There’s not going to be humanitarian assistance. Things aren’t going to work.” Rumsfeld though is supporting the Bush policy on the ISAF. The paper also cites that a “top official” at the State Department “has suggested a five-fold increase in the existing peace keeping force.” United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Afghan Interim Authority have also both called on an increase in peace troops, however “Mr. Bush is standing on the sidelines,” according to the Post, a move that “threaten[s] the credibility of his war on terrorism.”
The Feminist Majority has been leading the call in the U.S. for the expansion of the ISAF. The immediate expansion of peacekeeping troops is absolutely essential to disarmament, de-escalation of conflicts among warlords, preservation of women’s rights and human rights, delivery of humanitarian assistance, and the success of the loya jirga process. According to Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal, “Without expanded international security forces and without adequate funding, women’s rights and an end to terrorism will be unobtainable goals.”
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