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New Afghan War Strategy: ‘Finishing the Job’ or ‘Dwelling further’?

December 4, 2009

MS

Senior Editor, PKKH

Eight years in Afghanistan after 9/11, massive failures, destruction of whatever little infrastructure there was, death of countless innocents, soaring high opium trade, terrorized public, a second place in the list of world’s most corrupt nations constitute just a bunch of unsought presents by America’s botched Afghan Policy for this poor nation.

But that’s not it. This war has also given a lot to the American people, in shape of a cataclysmic economy, towering unemployment rates, incalculable soldiers killed, women left widowed, children left orphaned, war cemeteries filled with youthful graves, etc. Exactly, just a bunch of unsought presents for this ‘once-rich’ nation.

For Pakistan, these much friendly gifts or their effects stay devastatingly huge, often inestimable due to their heterogeneous nature.

President Obama, after his tenth war council meeting last week which was finally his last on the subject, announced on Tuesday that the number of U.S. troops will have to be increased further in this landlocked country. Of course, war-mongering comes with such fancy demands.

The Afghan war bill had hit record $43 billion annually this summer with the addition of 21,000 forces Obama had already sent to the battlefield this year. Associated Press reported “The White House has given Congress this rough yardstick for future troop increases: Approximately $1 billion a year for each 1,000 troops atop the current record figure of 68,000”. That was just after Obama took office, the President who preached his intentions to shut down America’s wars as a main pitch for his campaign.

The infusion of approximately 30,000 U.S. troops to begin in early 2010 will be the largest expansion since the beginning of the war and one that could bring the cost above $75 billion annually. The expected increase as reported would include at least three Army brigades and a single, larger Marine Corps contingent. The United States is quietly pressing NATO and other allies to increase forces as well, with a goal of between 5,000 and 7,000 additional non-U.S. troops. Where, NATO and other allies collectively have about 45,000 troops in Afghanistan already.

Obama in his speech has also pledged to increase drone attacks in a fully-sovereign country, Pakistan. This move which will kill many innocent Pakistani civilians for sins undone, won’t be categorized as war crimes since America is not at war with Pakistan. But then what is it? A friendly gesture as an ally they say for eliminating “terrorists”. What is left unsaid is that in midst of all these sugar-coated words, America is now busy finding mere excuses to bomb Baluchistan or in other words to take this war explicitly to Pakistan.

So much for shutting down the wars!

President Obama has been making grounds for announcing these decisions for a few weeks now. In his recent speeches during the past few weeks, President Obama had pressed the matter further saying that it is still in America’s vital national interest to “disrupt, dismantle and destroy” Al-Qaida terrorists and its extremist allies [who amazingly bomb Afghanistan and its neighbor more, just like their troops do]. “I intend to finish the job,” he had boldly claimed.

Obama had earlier stressed to his nation, just as a good salesman would do for a bogus product, “I can tell you, as I’ve said before, that it is in our strategic interest, in our national security interest to make sure that al-Qaida and its extremist allies cannot operate effectively in the area” he said. “We are going to dismantle and degrade their capabilities and ultimately dismantle and destroy their networks.” He had explained his stance on the troops surge on several occasions. Nearing close, he in his usual spellbinding style of a debater had explained, “I feel very confident that when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we’re doing there and how we intend to achieve our goals, that they will be supportive,” while speaking at a White House news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his recent visit.

Clearly Mr. Manmohan being the highest authority of a major UST (United States of Terror) state, in his well-timed trip to the Capitol Hill, did a fine job at convincing America how important this war against Afghanistan and Pakistan was. Mr. Obama however forgot to mention distinctly that Pakistan still stands or [at least how they try to portray it], as an “ally” for America, Afghanistan as an “ally” for India. The international media later boasted that Mr. Manmohan walked out ‘assured’ by U.S. and India is ‘happy’ on the new AfPak Policy.

These policy decisions came after much aspersion by American public who somehow repeatedly complain and protest on the streets for the rising combat deaths of their loved ones in this imposed war. Some congressional democrats, including Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., have questioned the value of adding forces and clearly expressed concerns on the war’s rising cost. More than half of America is still not persuaded enough on the troops surge even though the U.S. media has been doing a good job, investing billions in selling the scheme.

As anticipated, neither Obama nor his group of bullies, have sketched a concrete exit plan. The new AfPak policy hasn’t consigned to improve anything but rather has vowed to deteriorate things in the South Asian Region further. Surprisingly, mistakes of the past eight years don’t seem to be doing much good to the U.S. government when it comes to learning. Major Nadal’s case for example gives one important aspect and bears testimony to what spurious wars could result in.

Major Nadal was a successful doctor in the U.S. Military, a generally jovial and good natured guy as confirmed by his video footages released and by the people who knew him. Yet he ended up viciously murdering tens of his fellow Army men at a U.S. Military base. It was later revealed he was to be sent to Iraq, another of U.S’s ventures into testing its defenses against defenseless populace. This could be one of the probable reasons of severe nervous tension which made him commit such a heinous crime.

As Reuters, in a report published on Nov 17 by Phil Stewart confirms, “U.S. Army suicides set to hit new high in 2009. In 2008, there were 268 active-duty suicides across the U.S. Armed forces, most in the Army”. The Army suicide rate nearly doubles the U.S. national suicide rates. Imagine the level of frustration mounting in the U.S. Military personnel themselves. Murders, suicides; the conscience sadly can’t be ‘programmed’.

These are just few of the many lessons, which are worth more than being taken as another clause from the chapter of findings on these wars. U.S. should understand that they are doing no good in eliminating terrorists. If not creating more, they are rather acting as a consigliere to these beasts. At the end of the day both are killing innocent civilians.

If really sincere, the U.S. needs to work constructively towards a peaceful Afghanistan. War as a means of delivering peace is a façade, and this cat is out of the sack already. The people of Afghanistan do not trust good-willed U.S. intentions, if any, for the region anymore and so does Pakistan. Increase in troop levels after all will bring harsh repercussions for Pakistan too.  Although U.S. bolsters about its so-called control in Afghanistan but somehow often strategically removes its posts near the eastern border when Pakistan attacks the insurgents. Nothing less than a combat movie, is it?

Learning by your own mistakes, Mr. Obama you should realize by now that the money being spent on additional troops or more appropriately on this ‘stage-drama’ should well be utilized to build infrastructure and facilities that the Afghans really need. The dreams of peaceful life that you propagate, with these thespian invasions and baseless wars modern humanity can only dream of peaceful death, peaceful life is just too far-fetched.

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7 comments

  1. Pakistan has gone a long way into the dreaded trap set by world powers, with the help of regional and local players, against the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. There used to be a time, at the early stages of Western occupation of Afghanistan to be more specific, when almost all Pakistanis, except that brainless be-ghairat dictator Musharraf and a bunch of his dummy cronies, disowned the West’s sham war on terror. Pakistanis always rejected with contempt all the statements by the American and European leaders claiming that their war on terror was Pakistan’s too. A lot of water has flown in the Indus since then. Now most of Pakistanis and almost all of our leaders, including our buddhu prime minister, are claiming day and night that it’s our own war. In the process more Pakistanis and Afghanis have died in this deceptive game against the Muslims of this region. And apparently no end is in sight without a drastic change and reorientation of our national policies. The so-called Pakistani militants are attacking Friday prayers – which no ordinary Muslim can even think of doing, leave alone an Islamic minded militant would do such a crime – and highly sensitive well-guarded places are being attacked with impunity. All that amazingly planned and professionally executed attacks can not be expected from the youth who merely attended a madrassa. We must ponder on the whole game anew and analyze the way we were dragged in this self-destructive war by the external powers.

    One must not forget the fact that Al-queda was a product of CIA created to fight against Soviets in Afghanistan. Later, the two experienced estranged relationship and as a result Al-queda became rouge and turned on their creators. Other hostile players, countries and their agencies, too probably became active in that game. The US ended up in landing in the slaughter house of Afghanistan. The invading Western forces were fully cognizant of the fact that unless they succeed in pitting the local Islamists against the Pakistani military, their mission would probably be prolonged if not outrightly meet an embracing failure. That was probably when the occupation forces decided to induct Indian and Northern Alliance to their help in order to put Pakistan onto a self-destructive course.

    Pakistan, under the military dictator Musharraf, initially hesitated to go along. When the pressure increased, Musharraf started playing by doing cosmetic actions in FATA against Islamic militants. Most of the people in FATA knew the limitations of the Pakistani government and tolerated those Pak actions to some extent. Any distasteful environment was removed by local peace deals between the Pakistani government and tribal elders. Drone attacks then started playing their role. These attacks were used precisely to make the peace deals fail. Strangely enough, though, Musharraf started owning those drone attacks, to much delight of occupation forces in Afghanistan, against the people of Pakistan. That was the stage when anger against Pak government really started and soon reached to the boiling point. The enemy was waiting for that moment. Recruitment of disgruntled youth started and a deceptive bloody game against the Muslims of this region got onto its feet. The game plan soon moved into the full swing. The use of Uzbek and Afghan militants also had a crucial role to play. It was really not unimaginable that Pakistan government might be getting helicopters and bombs from US government while training, latest gadgets, bombs, suicide jackets, intelligence, and logistic support would simultaneously be provided to the militants by the CIA and its partner agencies. The disgraceful military action of Lal Masjid only provided extra and abundant fuel to the war unleashed by the enemies of Pakistan. Now the Islamic militants and Pak military were fully at war against each other. The situation took a change for worse and the Pakistan was forced to take military operations in Swat and SWA. Now Hilary Clinton is telling us to spread the military operation to other areas in FATA and probably take on the Afghan militants too. The question is where are we heading for as a nation? Pakistanis are a Muslim nation and military actions against our own youth will only spread the fight. The enemy is hell bent on fully supporting and exploiting our disgruntled youth. Just the military actions are not going to solve our problems. Rather, if no correction on our currently fatal course is undertaken rather soon, the fight against the Islamic militants will turn into a real civil war resulting in extreme disorder thus paralyzing our state machinery. The external powers are slowly but surely pushing us in that direction. Foreigners are running around in Pakistan, especially in Islamabad, with weapons, often breaking our laws, flouting and abusing our police force, and getting away boastfully. Foreigners are busy in recruiting locals, especially retired civil servants and military men, and preparing a dragnet for us under our own eyes. But our government is too impotent and scared to take any action for safeguarding our national unity and sovereignty.

    Pakistani government needs an urgent review of its policies regarding the war on terror. That war was never ours before and it is not ours at the moment either. We don’t need billions of dollars at the cost of the blood of our own youth. We need to draw red lines and the foreigners must not be allowed to cross those lines. Any offense must be dealt with harshly and visibly to the nation. Don’t forget Afghan jihad under Zia-ul-Haq when foreigners had only a very limited exposure of Pakistani system and Afghan fighters. Their roles were well defined and they were never allowed to venture out of their limits. It is strange, Indians would remove or deny any depressing news story to keep their nation’s moral and confidence boosted. Same applies to America – main stream newspapers would twist an even a real bad story such that it has minimum effect on the general mood. It is only government of Pakistan, run by our shameless elite class, that foreigners are chipping our nation-state body continuously and no action is visible against these tirades and efforts of our demolishing. Shame on our politicians.

    It is high time for the government of Pakistan (and the dummies sitting/sleeping in the national assembly) to act decisively. We have been surrounded by the foreign agents, mafias, and criminals. We need to act swiftly and firmly to save ourselves and our generations to follow. Some of the ideas are listed below.

    1 Pakistan must start a national conciliation process involving all segments of our society, especially the people from FATA, NWFP, and Baluchistan. But no NRO please in the name of national reconciliation. Letting the criminals, corrupt, and crooks off the hook is not reconciliation. It is a facilitation of the crime and assistance to the criminals.

    2. No war on terror, in any shape and manifestation, within Pakistan at all. The problems of occupation forces in Afghanistan are their own and has nothing to do with us. The hoax of Afghan fighters crossing back and forth must stop now. Why don’t the occupation forces stop the fighters from entering into Pakistan from Afghanistan? Erect a barbed wire or a wall. Use the latest electronics to monitor the borders. If they occupied the country then they should control the occupied lands. Don’t expect help from others. And definitely no violation or entry into our territory. If occupation forces murder civilians on the Afghan side, how can the brothers and cousins of deceased be stopped from going there? Problem is not unguarded border. The problem is the presence of occupation forces on Afghan side and their butchering the Afghan people.

    3 Bluntly tell them to stop drone attacks. Otherwise stop their supplies and let the Afghanis to take care of the bases of occupation forces. Or at least supply anti-air weapons to the Afghanis.

    4 Remove all the special favors given to the foreigners, remove the global terrorists and criminals of private security companies and prosecute the offenders among them. Punish their local recruits and confiscate all their equipment and assets. Law must be equal for all including those foreigners. It is strange fact these foreigners can not break the law in their own countries but feel no obligation to abide by the law in Pakistan. Real strange.

    5. Impose heavy excise, import, and transportation duties on the stuff that occupation forces in Afghanistan import via Pakistan. That stuff surely does not come under Pak-Afghan trade agreement because that stuff is not consumed by Afghan people. Impose 5000% import duty on all non-military stuff (food, beds, cloths, and other consumables). Similar taxes be imposed on the petroleum related stuff (fuel, etc.) and construction related product (such as cement, etc.) All military equipment should be either disallowed or at least impose four times more duties on that stuff. Make sure all the stuff is strictly checked and evaluated by Pak authorities. Since all the stuff is transported to Afghan border, it has severely damaged our national infrastructure. Impose heavy transportation duty to compensate that damage. We don’t need an aid. Just go by the rules and you get plenty.

    5. Take all military facilities (airbases, port births, military bases, etc.) given for the use by the foreign military personnel. Remember no war on terror, in any form, is permissible in Pakistan.

    6. Put an immediate and effective leash on the foreign secret agents. Arrest and prosecute the offenders in anti-terror courts for a swift justice.


  2. I think its more of a case of digging their own grave.

    A very though provoking article.. well done


  3. […] Senior Editor, PKKH […]


  4. Excellent analysis…war as a means of delivering peace is for sure a facade. Mr. Obama quit this war mongering!you r being no good than the ex president, if not worse u r being the same one holding massacres under ur own nose yet u preach peace.. Allah bless us


  5. It’s too late now!.This war will only end when American’s return home in bodybag’s like the Russian’s did.


  6. Brilliant!… We need ppl like you writing more and more. Sillu U.S. needs to learn from Russians!

    Pakistan Zindabad


  7. its good to see that someone is talking sense! Obama getting peace prize while he increasedthe forces to threefold in Iraq is the biggest joke of the century. the world has become completely blind i suppose.
    keep up the good work



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