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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2730

US illusive wish to convert defeat into victory in Afghanistan

By Asif Haroon Raja

The new millennium saw worst bloodshed of the Muslims. The horrific acts of USA resulted in massacre of more than 1.5 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq; rapes and hair-raising tortures to thousands in infamous Baghram Base, Abu Gharib and Guantanamo ghoulish prisons for years; destruction of property, infrastructure, houses, farms, orchards and agriculture; millions of women getting widowed, children orphaned, millions made homeless; serious injuries to millions with many maimed for life.

The so-called civilised world took active part in this massive genocide and mayhem of the people of two victim countries based on fabricated charges. Bush and his team as well as Tony Blair blatantly lied to the world to justify invasion of Iraq. The eight years Iran-Iraq war stoked by USA cost over million casualties and had been described as the regions bloodiest since Mongol invasion of Iraq in 1258 AD. US invasion of Iraq in 2003 surpassed that figure of fatalities to 1.4 million.

Even now, their thirst for blood of Muslims has not quenched and they continue to find new means to suck their blood. They have come down from country, to groups and now to non-state actors to fish for all anti-US elements. They do not mind having spent a colossal amount on this senseless US war on terror, which has now been converted into Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan wars. So intense is their hatred against the Muslims that even global economic meltdown and US economy nose-dive has not bothered them. They have now decided to shift focus of war towards Afghanistan-Pakistan, beef up military strength in that theatre and induct Indian military in Afghanistan and make it a key ally in war on terror.

While the Taliban are no threat to US homeland security they do pose credible threat to US regional interests as long as Afghanistan remains in occupation of foreign troops and FATA is subjected to drone attacks. Al-Qaeda is the chief threat to US global ascendancy which USA wants to retain by using brute force; diplomatic, political and economic coercion; and rewards in return for a price. The Al-Qaeda challenges the pro-rich capitalist system, skewed democracy which is a means to neo-colonise the developing and under developed world, unjust judicial system that is expensive, time consuming and protects the rich only. It challenges the doctrine of war on terror framed by the Bush led neo-cons which is Muslim specific and meant to eliminate all anti-US elements residing in Muslim world with the help of handpicked secular leaders. Al-Qaeda is a reactionary force which has assumed international dimensions because of American excessive oppression of the Muslims under the garb of terrorism.

USA and the west are now working on a plan to let Indian military play a central role in Afghan affairs. In other words it desires Indian forces should be prepared to take over security duties once US-NATO forces decide to withdraw from the region and operate both sides of Durand Line including FATA. RAW, CIA and KGB have succeeded in cultivating anti-social and anti-state elements within Pakistan and are using them to foment chaos in troubled spots. RAW is busy accentuating fissiparous tendencies in Pakistan. Balwaristan movement in Gilgit is instigated and funded by RAW, and so are Fazlullah led Taliban in Swat and the BLA leadership in exile in Kabul seeking independence of Baluchistan. Several RAW agents have been arrested in Baluchistan, Bajaur, Swat and Lahore.

From June 2008 onwards, US drones continuously violated our airspace and killed innocent people in Waziristan. Only unmanned drones equipped with cameras had been allowed by Musharraf to intrude into our territory for purpose of intelligence sharing since Pakistan did not have requisite technological capability. Despite repeated requests by our leaders and assurances by Bush and Adm. Mullen that Pakistan?s sovereignty will be respected, it was violated unabatedly. US leaders adopted a belligerent posture and gave all sorts of ridiculous names to Pakistan indicating hostile intentions. US failures in Afghanistan were lumped on Pakistan. Anti-American elements were dubbed as terrorists or pro-terrorists. A virulent propaganda campaign was unleashed to defame the army, the ISI, political leadership and other institutions and an impression was built to project Pakistan as a non-governable, non-viable failing state and its nuclear weapons unsafe.

Dissatisfaction was expressed over army?s performance and the ISI was maligned to be in cahoots with the Taliban. Threat of religious militancy was over blown asserting that they had gained sufficient strength to take over power and the nuclear weapons. Stories of balkanisation of Pakistan were deliberately floated by leading US think tanks, most being Jewish dominated and funded. Daniel Pipes, the most notorious anti-Islamist, was glorified and appointed as member of US think tank by Bush. Arnaud de Borchgrave, Seymon Herc, B. Raman, Douglas Frantz, Catherine Collins and RAND are all anti-Pakistan. Paid writers and intellectuals in Pakistan subscribed to western diatribe.

This was the time when Pakistan economy had nose-dived and all its economic indicators had fallen due to surging oil price and devaluation of rupee. Military and economic coercion was padded up with psychological operations under a timed program worked out in 2001 to destabilise, de-Islamise and de-nuclearise Pakistan and turn it into a compliant state of India, or else truncate it. Sufficient progress had been made in the domains of destabilisation and de-Islamisation, but for de-nuclearisation, it was necessary to weaken the trunk of the army and to defang the ISI. For the attainment of these objectives, the army had been pushed into the furnaces of FATA and Baluchistan and the ISI wilfully defamed. The two furnaces have been continuously fuelled.

Our leaders had attached high hopes that drone attacks would terminate once Obama led Administration took over. Such fancying without any basis dashed after the January 23 attacks in the two Waziristan Agencies killing 20 people. Two more attacks have taken place in February. It has been made clear that attacks would continue without taking Islamabad into confidence and irrespective of its reservations. Foreign policies do not hinge on hopes and that too false ones. Noam Chomsky too has opined that there will be no change in US policy. US leaders are myopically convinced that drones are valuable means to enfeeble al-Qaeda operatives based in FATA. Robert Gates, retained as Defence Secretary said that the US would go after Al-Qaeda, wherever Al-Qaeda is. This statement has been made to justify drone attacks and to pave the way for military operations in FATA. Joe Biden touted as Pakistan?s friend has started to talk tough reaffirming Obama viewpoint that US troops would barge into Pakistan whenever actionable target crops up.

Karzai has already subscribed to the views of NATO leadership by asserting that USA should take the war into Pakistan to tackle militancy. Reportedly, USA has made plans to send Special Forces into FATA to destroy militant sanctuaries and nab or kill high value targets. It says that unless terrorists? nests and training sites in FATA are destroyed militancy in Afghanistan would not be controlled. None realise that suchlike aggressive acts not only fuel militancy but also undo army?s efforts to control militancy and contributes towards weakening the writ of Pakistan government.

It is ironic that stabilisation of Afghanistan is being achieved by destabilising Pakistan. Not only US funding on war on terror has been slashed, much-hyped $15 billion Lugar-Biden non-military assistance to Pakistan spread over ten years has been axed.

Richard Holbrooke appointed as Special Envoy for Pakistan-Afghanistan has no soft corner for Muslims or for Pakistan as can be judged from his track record. Besides being pro-Israel, he is pushy, hard-nose and a strong advocate of military action. He had encouraged ethnic cleansing of Serbs at the hands of Croatians in 1995. Our excitement about Kashmir on his agenda proved short-lived since it has been clipped from his mandate under Indian pressure.

He is in very good books of newly appointed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton whose hostile utterances against Pakistan are well documented. In her bid to please the Jews she is on record saying that she is prepared to obliterate Iran and kill 70 million citizens. Having expressed his unhappiness over the dismal performance of Karzai led regime, Holbrooke will be tough with Karzai and will be pushing him to get rid of corrupt and inept practices and start delivering or get ready for a sack. It will be quite easy for him to make our weak-kneed civilian rulers submit to his wishes. We shall be hearing a lot about him coordinating Pak-Afghan joint actions along the Durand Line and he may once again encourage ethnic cleansing of hard-line Pakhtuns.

Obama wishes to convert Bush defeat into victory in Afghanistan by applying greater force. Like Bush regime, the Obama led Administration too do not wish that the Taliban under Mullah Omer should return to power. Keeping Al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan and the Taliban out of power are difficult propositions and unachievable in short-term perspective. These objectives are planned to be achieved through troop surge of over 30,000 US troops so as to outgun and outmanoeuvre the militants in their strongholds in southern and eastern Afghanistan. Pakistan will be asked by assertive Holbrooke to go all out to decimate foreign and hard-line militants in FATA. Within Afghanistan, efforts will be made to break the nexus between Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda to isolate the latter and give it a mortal blow.

USA has not met with any appreciable success to divide the Taliban by winning over the moderate elements and making them share power. Efforts will be renewed to win over Mullah Omar who has hinted at sharing power provided a firm time-table of foreign troop withdrawal is announced. Two-year timeframe will be offered as in case of Iraq, which will subsequently be dishonoured. Negotiations for power sharing will be undertaken only when the US-Nato military tilts the balance in its favour to be able to bargain from a position of strength. This implies more bloodshed, not realising that more the provocations by US troops, fiercer will be the response from the militant forces. Its oppressive acts will accelerate rather than de-accelerate violence thereby making foreign troops based in Afghanistan that much vulnerable to attacks. Military power can win a war but cannot defeat terrorism, which grows like wild weeds. Terrorism is a product of injustice; without eradicating root causes which breed terrorism, the disease cannot be cured by applying force. Obama and his team must take into account the consensus that has emerged among the western analysts that dialogue based on sincerity of purpose and genuine efforts to remove root causes is the key to settle Afghan imbroglio.

Asif Haroon Raja is a retired Brig and a defence and political analyst.

- Asian Tribune -

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