All posts tagged: Af-pak

“Why does Pakistan hate the United States”- Christopher Hitchens

Give credit to the Vice President: He really does enjoy politics and “can’t see a room without working it,” as a colleague of mine half-admiringly remarked last Wednesday morning. We were waiting to enter the studio and comment after Biden had finished his interview with theScarborough/Brzezinski team, in which the main topic was Afghanistan. Exiting, he chose to stop and talk to each of us. Not wanting to waste a chance to be a bore on the subject, I asked him why he had mentioned Indiaonly once in the course of his remarks. Right away Biden managed the trick—several good politicians have mastered this—of reacting as if the question had been his own idea. Of course, he said, it was vexing that Pakistan preferred to keep its best troops on the border with India (our friend) rather than redeploying them to FATA—the so-called Federally Administered Tribal Areas—where they could be fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida (our enemy). My flesh was pressed, and it was on to the next. The newspapers that morning revealed that Pakistani authorities showed no …

Obama’s Af-Pak War is Not Just Deadly and Counterproductive: It’s Illegal

By Marjorie Cohn Some 30 percent of all U.S. deaths in Afghanistan have occurred during Obama’s presidency. His escalation of that war is not what the Nobel committee envisioned. President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize nine days after he announced he would send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. His escalation of that war is not what the Nobel committee envisioned when it sought to encourage him to make peace, not war. In 1945, in the wake of two wars that claimed millions of lives, the nations of the world created the United Nations system to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” The UN Charter is based on the principles of international peace and security as well as the protection of human rights. But the United States, one of the founding members of the UN, has often flouted the commands of the charter, which is part of U.S. law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

Post-American scenarios in Afghanistan

By Ilhan Niaz After three decades of turmoil, violence and killings, Afghanistan is still at war. A powerful foreign occupation force continues to hold in place a local collaborationist dispensation with few roots and even less demonstrable competence. Democratic development has replaced despotic Islamic rule which earlier replaced a socialist paradigm as the slop of the day dished out for public consumption. The Islamic warriors who blunted and frustrated the armies of the ‘Evil Empire’ are now the ‘evil doers’. The other great enemies of the ‘Evil Empire’, namely the United States and its allies, once the benefactors of today’s terrorists have replaced the Soviets as the occupying force. As guns and drugs boom, the writ of what is generously called the Afghan government is practically non-existent outside Kabul. Warlords, mafias and insurgents control 80 per cent of the territory and feed off the presence of the occupation forces. The reality is that a failing occupation is trying to prop up a failed state.

Will Pakistan Army Wake Up Now ? Aey Mard e Mujahid jaag Zara

Would it be too rude to say that Pakistan Army had it coming? No, I mean, literally. As reported in the media, there were intelligence reports that the attack on GHQ was imminent and had been well planned. Two facts stand out about the armed terrorists who attacked. a. They knew they will not be able to come out alive from the heavily guarded military headquarters. These were highly trained and motivated terrorists who wanted to make a big impact by attacking the nerve centre of Pakistan Army. b. The terrorist must have known that the attack was going to have more of a symbolic value than anything else. In fact this is akin to attack on Pentagon and World Trade Centre. In an irony some may say that GHQ can be seen as representing both the corporate and military interests in Pakistan. This was an audacious attack, whose consequences and implications had been undoubtedly, thought through. However, most probably, where terrorists failed is that they may have hoped to prolong their action and inflict …

PAKISTAN BEWARE – India’s thirst is making us all wet

Published in NewScientist 03 October 2009 New Scientist discusses how Water is being sucked up in North India at astronomical rates. This is having considerable negative impact on the height of water tables in the area. Considering there exists a serious water dispute between Pakistan and India, and that how India has used its ‘water muscle’ in the past in an attempt to choke Pakistan, this reading is alarming for Pakistan. ONE nation’s thirst for groundwater is having an impact on global sea levels. Satellite measurements show that northern India is sucking some 54 trillion litres of water out of the ground every year. This is threatening a major water crisis and adding to global sea level rise.

EU reluctant to commit troops to Afghanistan without clear shift in strategy

EU reluctant to commit troops to Afghanistan without clear shift in strategy Geraint Rees Published in Open democracy 29 – 09 – 2009 European Union defence ministers have expressed reluctance to committing more troops to Afghanistan except as part of a limited plan training the Afghan military and police. The statements were made as EU defence ministers met yesterday in Göteborg, Sweden, for informal discussions on theEU’s security and defence policy. Several ministers were reluctant to send front line troops, instead wishing to focus resources and efforts on training Afghan security forces. ‘We have a lot, about 2,000 men in Afghanistan. I think it’s far more important in the long run that we have more Afghan military, and Afghan police,’ Dutch defence minister Eimert Van Middelkopp told reporters. The ToD Verdict: The statements come in anticipation of a possible call by the US for the EU to commit more front line troops to support the Nato-led mission in Afghanistan. The US is considering a request by General Stanley McChrystal, commander of US and NATO forces in …

How Top Generals May Trap Obama in a Losing War By Tom Engelhardt

Front and center in the debate over the Afghan War these days are General Stanley “Stan” McChrystal, Afghan war commander, whose “classified, pre-decisional” and devastating report — almost eight years and at least $220 billion later, the war is a complete disaster — was conveniently, not to say suspiciously,leaked to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post by we-know-not-who at a particularly embarrassing moment for Barack Obama; Admiral Michael “Mike” Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has been increasingly vocal about a “deteriorating” war and the need for more American boots on the ground; and the president himself, who blitzed every TV show in sight last Sunday and Monday for his health reform program, but spent significant time expressing doubts about sending more American troops to Afghanistan. (“I’m not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan… or sending a message that America is here for the duration.”)