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US , NATO AND AFGHANISTAN


In this blog, instead of writing something ourselves, we have chosen two articles to present. Both articles concern Pakistan and US war in Afghanistan. The first is written by Rahimullah Yusufzai and was published in ‘The News’ on 23 November, 2010. It talks about the difficulties faced by NATO and US in their war. The quagmire that US finds itself in, and its plans how to extricate itself from it, can have extremely serious repercussions for Pakistan. That is where the second article becomes relevant, which provides us an insight into the thinking of American establishment. This article is a blog, written by Bill Roggio and published by Long War Journal on November 20th.  

Long War Journal is a project of ‘Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ ( CIA) and describes its mission as ‘….. dedicated to providing original and accurate reporting and analysis of the Long War (also known as the Global War on Terror)…..through ….embedded reporters, news and news aggregation, maps, podcasts, and other multimedia formats. Its web site is Longwarjournal.org. 

We have particularly included the comments made by readers on Bill Roggio’s , which give the clearest indications of what many in American public think about Pakistan. Or being made to think, by the establishment. It is also an insight into the what potentially may be in store for Pakistan and is an example of how public opinion in the West is moulded towards what the establishment wants and may have already planned.

 RahimUllah starts by pointing out the crux of matter …

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The 28-member North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is struggling to achieve victory, or should one say avoid defeat, in its maiden military engagement outside Europe….. the first real war that the Western military alliance…has ever fought. Losing it, and that too against the ragtag Taliban fighters, could unravel NATO and raise questions about the strength and morale of the heavily-armed, hi-tech armies ……….He then continues………

 Forty-eight countries that make up the NATO…… signed an agreement with President Hamid Karzai to begin handing over control of the war to his government in early 2011 and cede command also by the end of 2014…….

 Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s hawkish Danish secretary general, made it clear that the 2014 withdrawal deadline did not mean that the military alliance would leave behind a vacuum in Afghanistan ………….

 Rasmussen insisted that NATO would stay…….. to finish the job…….

The ‘job’ at hand, though, has changed over the past nine years……… Al-Qaeda have survived the assault despite suffering painful blows and the Taliban are back and in a much stronger position after suffering defeat in 2001.

 Other aspects of the ‘job’ ……..nation-building in Afghanistan and turning it into a democracy……… would require years and a lot more money, some of it lining the pockets of those in power and contributing to making Afghanistan the second most corrupt country in the world.

The ‘job’ that Rasmussen has in mind to prevent the Taliban from capturing power ………. enthusiastic and confident in keeping with the demands of his job and not required to heed the anti-war public opinion in the West as he no longer is contesting elections, (he) is already being contradicted by certain Western government functionaries, more importantly by the US. ………

 Rahimullah then opines

 … the beginning of the withdrawal of the US troops by July 2011 would still be symbolic instead of substantial and the military authorities could still come up with arguments to delay or alter the manner of the pullout.

……….. Once the principal power, the US, is ready to withdraw, it would become easier for other countries to extricate themselves from a war that has become increasingly unpopular with their electorate.

 ………..the biggest challenge now would be training the Afghan national army, police and other security forces………..

 ………The Afghan national army has been suffering from an unusually high rate of desertions ……… has a serious ethnic imbalance due to inadequate Pashtun representation………. The Afghan government would need to win over more Pashtuns and induct them ……………….

 More importantly, the Pashtuns ………have to be convinced that they would have a better future siding with the West-backed Afghan government than the Taliban.

As for the NATO, it cannot afford to lose the war that was a test of its capability to intervene in distant lands to fight potential enemies and bring regime changes to its liking. Its faltering military campaign against the lightly-armed Taliban guerrillas would have to be turned around to avoid defeat and embarrassment.

 The US is willing to put anything and everything into this war……….. All this is understandable because some experts think defeat for the US in Afghanistan could well herald the beginning of the end for America as the leading military power in the world.

We now present what Bill Raggio had written in his blog entitled

‘Pakistan squashes US bid to expand Predator campaign’ He starts by saying….. 

The Washington Post reported today that Pakistan is resisting US efforts to expand the US Predator campaign beyond the tribal areas and into Baluchistan.

The U.S. appeal has focused on the area surrounding the Pakistani city of Quetta, where the Afghan Taliban leadership is thought to be based……

Pakistan has rejected the request, officials said. Instead, the country has agreed to more modest measures, including an expanded CIA presence in Quetta,………

But Pakistan places strict boundaries on where CIA drones can fly. The unmanned aircraft may patrol designated flight “boxes” over the country’s tribal belt but not other provinces, including Baluchistan, which encompasses Quetta. …….

Bill then tells us….

While the US has struck in most of the tribal agencies, it rarely hits targets outside of North and South Waziristan. Only 11 of the 199 strikes since the program began in 2004 have hit targets outside of North Waziristan. …….. Northwestern Pakistan is what is called a target-rich environment……….. This doesn’t include the settled areas of Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa…………… If the US is seeking to expand beyond the tribal areas, the city of Quetta wouldn’t be the main focus of the strikes. The US would want to strike Taliban forward command centers in Chaman and Gerdi Jangal,……….

Next Bill reveals his real thinking……..

And even if the US could hit targets in Baluchistan, Punjab province and Karachi in Sindh are rife with terror camps and safe houses. Pakistan is literally infested with terror groups, many of which are supported by the military and the notorious Inter-Services Intelligence directorate.

And this gets to the heart of the real problem with US strategy in Afghanistan as well as against al Qaeda. Pakistan remains the real problem in the region, while Afghanistan is a sideshow. As long as the Pakistani state shelters, supports, and covers for the Taliban and allied terror groups, and either refuses to act or refuses to allow the US to strike (the former is a real solution, the latter merely a stopgap), Pakistan will remain the epicenter of terrorism.

  Lastly we present the comments made on this post by various readers. The reader can draw their own conclusion about what is being said about Pakistan.

 Posted by Jimmy at November 21, 2010 2:33 AM ET:

So this is how the devil machine works: Two sets of Jihadis are created in the Pak Army ISI terror machine. One set goes fighting in Afghanistan, Europe, North America and India. This set is under the control of Osama, Haqqani and Mulla Omar (Read: Pak Army ISI). The second set are sacrificial lambs (decoys) sent to the badlands of Pakistani tribal areas and Quetta, ready to be blown to bits through drones or captured by the so-called CIA, ISI co-operation teams. Basically just to fool the world of Pakistani ‘help’ in the war on terror. A few of these decoys are ‘promoted’ to dangerous Jihadi levels and captured just to show Pakistani help in capturing even high level Taliban. That is the reason Pakistan reacted so hysterically when NATO helcopters entered enemy territory not agreed to with beforehand with the ISI. That is why Pakistan resists enlargement of drone strike area. That is why ISI insists on its men accompanying any CIA team inside Quetta and that is why Osama is in Chitral and Mulla Omar in Karachi.

Posted by g at November 21, 2010 9:11 AM ET:

This is the thanks we get for allowing the delivery of 6 new F-16’s?

Posted by JRP at November 21, 2010 1:25 PM ET:

I think Jimmy is spot on ………..We are being played for fools by Pakistani ISI ….. ……….Instead of rewarding Pakistan, we should withdraw our Ambassador and cut off funding for an indefinite period so that an economic pinch begins to re-set ISI thinking and induces ISI to start throwing some truly big fish our way……… Such action would be especially effective, if we first got assurances from countries like China that they would not step in to fill the financial void just to maintain Pakistan as a counterweight to India.

Posted by Charu at November 21, 2010 3:27 PM ET:

 why would China ever want to this? They are the ultimate winners here ……… they are only carrying out a policy that we ourselves undertook for some 60 years in the region; which is now biting us in the ass.

Pakistan’s (the Punjabi’s who rule it) worst fear is for the Pashtuns in its side joining up with the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and reducing their Punjabi empire into a rump state. This should be used to force them to fully cooperate with us. Either they are fully with us or we will encourage the redrawing of the British borders to give the Pashtuns something that they’ve always wanted. Like with home ownership, the Pashtuns will then be more occupied with their new country than with supporting international terrorism.

Posted by Tim at November 21, 2010 3:52 PM ET:

I can see a clear polarization of the world into two spheres of influence:

Group 1: The US and its allies (Canada, Europe, Australasia, Japan, S.Korea, Israel and some middle east Islamic countries)

Group 2: China, N.Korea and some Islamic countries with Jihadi culture (that includes Pakistan!). They are vultures waiting for the demise of democracies to extend rule of dictators, religious bigots, inflexible theocracies and Communism. Its a marriage of evil! …………………..

Overall picture looks re-assuring to me as a citizen of group 1. Our democratic goverments seem to have woken up and started making the right or sensible foreign policy and strategic decisions. If these countries from group 1 were to maintain their unity somehow for the next 5-10 years, I believe we would be in a great position to win any future cold war or ‘clash of civilizations’!!

Posted by Max at November 21, 2010 5:37 PM ET:

“where the agency and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate have established teams seeking to locate and capture senior members of the Taliban.”
Translation: “Pakistan’s ISI has ‘minders’ who watch the CIA everywhere they go in Pakistan and report their goings-on to their allies in the Taliban to make sure they aren’t captured”

Posted by Chris at November 21, 2010 6:21 PM ET:

So, what is it we get out of this “deal” with Pakistan? We send them hundreds of millions in aid, and we get to keep pouring money and lives into Afghanistan while the Pakistanis tell us we can’t attack the people directing the fighters in Afghanistan who are killing our soldiers…………….. What are our options? Do we have to continue this absurd deal for years until we quit Afghanistan and the sheltered terrorists move back in from their secure areas in Pakistan? Does anyone have an alternative to this crazy situation?

Posted by Villiger at November 22, 2010 5:21 AM ET:

As NATO runs out of patience, it can give Pakistan an ultimatum:

COOPERATE FULLY AND VERIFIABLY, OR THE WEST IS GOING TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT INDIA ON KASHMIR. FURTHER, SHOULD INDIA ENGAGE IN A WAR WITH PAKISTAN, AGAIN THEY WILL HAVE U.S. SUPPORT.

Of course,Pakistan is also vulnerable in Baluchistan. ……………………

If such a policy pushes Pakistan towards China’s arms, so be it. Pakistan is a problem, a very big problem. …………………………….

The present status quo is untenable for the US and is degrading.

Posted by Spooky at November 22, 2010 5:23 AM ET:

I agree, for the reasons stated, to the suggestion made by an above poster to use the Pashtun nationalism against Pakistan and threaten Islamabad with turning it into a rump state. ………………..

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Vision 21 is Pakistan based non-profit, non- party Socio-Political organisation. We work through research and advocacy for developing and improving Human Capital, by focusing on Poverty and Misery Alleviation, Rights Awareness, Human Dignity, Women empowerment and Justice as a right and obligation. We act to promote and actively seek Human well-being and happiness by working side by side with the deprived and have-nots.

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