This blog explores the contemporary political and cultural trends from a distinct perspective
Policy and strategic failure in Af-Pak region
Published on December 3, 2009 By Bahu Virupaksha In Current Events

The long awaited "surge" has finally happened. In another 3 weeks 30,000 US servicemen and women will head toward Afghanistan. Unfortunately, President Obama has set a deadline for the troops to meet: July 2011. This unrealistic deadline already spelt out by the President and admitted as such to be unrealistic by both the Secretary of Defence and the Secretary of State will make things easier for the terrorists holed up in the mountains of AFGHANISTAN. They have only to wait out the "surge"  anf the land will be theirs. Very unwisely, Preident Obama has set a deadline and herein lies the root of the policy failure.

The General on the ground McCrystal will not be quite happy with the troop level of nearly 100,000 soldiers and with the NATO allies the total will go up to 130,000 men. Hardly enough for the battle ahead. It is estimated that the Taliban have nearly 60,000 men and in any counterinsurgency the ratio between insurgents and the defenders must be 1: 5. Here the troop level is wholly inadequate, even though the US soldier is a much better fighter than the Taliban by any stretch of the imagination. To create erosion and division in the ranks of the Taliban the Obama Admisistration has decided to give money for defection. This is a dangerous tactic and could well backfire.

Tha Government of Karzai has absolutely no legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghan people and backing his regime will prove costly as the US and NATO will have to bear the cost of the unpopularity of Karzai. His ministers and minions are  not only corrupt but have developed extensive links with the Opium and poppy lobby which controls the economy of Afghanistan.

The "surge" in troop levels is not nmatched by any political initiative to bring ppeace in the war ravaged country. For example the Hazaras, the decendants of the Mongol hordes of Gengis Khan, are an ethnic group that is both hated and despised by the Pustuns, as any reader of the novel The Kiterunner would know. There is no attempt to bring about a break in the social coalition that that developed around the Pastun dominated, taliban.

The pressure that is now being put on Pakistan will not do as Pakistan has become the second line of defence of the TALIBAN. For all practical purposes, the offensive afgainst the Taliban launched by the Pakistni Army has spluttered to a halt and the Pakistani leadership is not keen on taking the war in Waziristan to the logical end. The Kerry-Lugar Bill not withstanding, the Pakistani Army will find a way out of the restricting provisions of the bill. The nuclear weapons of Pakistan have been transferred to the control of Geelani, the Prime Minister who is known tobe close to the Army which itself is only a front for the Taluban. It is said that in most contries, the State has an Army, in Pakistan the Army has a State.

The increse in troop levels by 30,000 will not alter the ground rerality. In the short run there will be some maked and notable successes, but in the long run the Taliban will just sit out the "surge". The only real solution is the creation of a Paktun Republic amalgamating the territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and once  the Taliban rule tis emirate of theirs there will be peace.

 


Comments
on Dec 03, 2009

A very to-the-point analysis of a difficult war.

 

on Dec 03, 2009

A good read. I concur with your analysis.

on Dec 03, 2009

The pressure that is now being put on Pakistan will not do as Pakistan has become the second line of defence of the TALIBAN. For all practical purposes, the offensive afgainst the Taliban launched by the Pakistni Army has spluttered to a halt and the Pakistani leadership is not keen on taking the war in Waziristan to the logical end.

Many of the articles that I have read coming from Pakistan have been reading the oposite of what you are saying.  The Taliban's breaking of their agreement with the Pakistan's civilian government earlier this year was the last straw for the Pakistani military leadership.  The resent bomb attacks on the Pakistani inteligence agency headquarters has caused that group to turn on the Taliban too.

One of the reasons the US is facing a stronger Taliban in Afghanistan is not because of revitalization, but because the Taliban in Pakistan is losing its safe havens there and are fleeing into Afghanistan.

If you have not noticed, it is getting cold outside and Pakistan has been socked by bad weather.  The Pakistani Army has been slowed more by weather then resistance.  The UN's crying about refugees during cooled weather and requesting the slowdown of the offensive has not helped much either.

Pakistan had in the past placed most of their Army on the Indian boarder.  But with the resent peace and trade agreements brokered last year by the US, the Pakistan Army and Intel agency have removed a large number of assets off the boarder.

The Pakistani Army has secured more Taliban territory in the Swat Valley and Waziristan then NATO in Afghanistan has resently.

I think you and the Obama Administration has not given Pakistan enough credit for the gaint steps they have taken in the last few months.  The Pakistani Army is continuing their offensive on the Taliban even while the Civilian government is in termoil.  It is also good to see that the Pakistani Army has found the new hobby of attacking the Taliban.  Thier past hobby has been attacking India and removing Civilian Governments.

on Dec 03, 2009

Lee, I'm just not so sure that Pakistanis heart (just like this US administration) is in this fight. There are too many Taliban sympathizers and western haters, both in the army and intelligence services as well as civilians, and IMO that will not change overnight. They (Taliban) are seen as the victims. The Pakistani government is going to play up their success and determination (after all there is 5 billion in aid money riding on it). I agree about the weather slowing them down, and it definitely aids the Taliban. The simple fact is the Taliban’s leader, Omar, isn’t making speeches about when he’s going to quit or add/withdraw fighters.

We have (some) allies that refuse to fight after dark, need wine with each meal (at the expense of other more important supplies I suppose), or just don’t want to be in the fight. The Taliban knows this. The NATO alliance stipulates an attack on one member nation is an attack on all. You wouldn’t think this was the case with some of the lukewarm participation that is offered. I suppose something is better than nothing, but I wonder what would be said if the situation were reversed and the US sent 1000 troops to hold down the rear. Time is clearly on the Taliban’s side. Obama’s apology tour did little to garner support for the US, and that is clearly evident in the amount of international “help” rushing to our aid.  I hope I’m wrong.

 

 

on Dec 04, 2009

The general agreement among Afghans is that Barack Obama's highly anticipated speech had his trademark message of hope. But unfortunately this message of hope was directed at the Taliban and not the people of Afghanistan. In the words of a friend and fellow Afghan, Obama basically told the Taliban to go home and rest for 18 months and then return to a no-man's land up for grabs.

Or, as an editorial in the Hasht-Sobh newspaper put it, the new American strategy is basically tantamount to "surrender before defeat".

"I'm feeling cheap and used for someone else's political agenda," said Fahim Khairy, an Afghan activist who fights for the rights of disabled people in Afghanistan. Like many other Afghans, Khairy made the mistake of taking politicians of democratically elected governments of western Europe and the US at face value when they promised in 2001 that this time they were not going to abandon Afghanistan.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/dec/03/obama-taliban-withdrawal-afghanistan

I am more and more impressed by Obama's new foreign policy which puts more emphasis on collaboration and respect for friends and less on doing things alone.

Since Obama became president the US have ignored Africa, offended long-time allies, abandoned Poland, cheated Germany with the GM manoeuvre, and given up on Iraq just when the country started to work.

When are those improvements coming?

 

on Dec 04, 2009

Obama's message might be understood as complex in the rest of the world but to rural Afghanistan it means only one thing: the return of the Taliban.

When even the Guardian is noticing it, something must be wrong with Obama's foreign policy, no?

 

on Dec 05, 2009

read. I concur with your analysis.
A very to-the-point analysis of a difficult war.
I am more and more impressed by Obama's new foreign policy which puts more emphasis on collaboration and respect for friends and less on doing things alone.

The War in Afghainstan wille a difficult one because of the terrain and also because there is every pobbibility of a war without a nreal enemy as the Taliban in Mao's famous phrase are like fish in water,and it wille impossible to dry up the pond.

I too find Omama's approach to foreign policy extremely engaging ans more in tune with US interests and objectives. But In Afghanistan US is in for the very ;ong haul.

 

 

on Dec 05, 2009

I too find Omama's approach to foreign policy extremely engaging ans more in tune with US interests and objectives. 

I was being sarcastic.

The fact is that Obama did not engage his friends but abandoned them. And I am still angry about him abandoning Poland and the GM-Open disaster.

 

on Mar 17, 2012

Once again I have been right in my prediction.

on Mar 17, 2012

Busted clock...  but you may be right.

Meta
Views
» 315
Comments
» 10
Category
Sponsored Links