Several events have happened which seals the destiny of the people of Afghanistan. The future of peace is bright as ever.
1) The entire US war strategy in Afghanistan is up for grabs. The critique of NATO-ISAF strategy delivered by Mr Barrett, a former UK counter-terrorism chief has sharpened the dilemma faced by David Cameron, the prime minister of Britain. The UK is constrained in its commitment to Afghanistan with by large budget deficit. The British have already publicly announced that the UK has no interest in staying in Afghanistan beyond 2011. The Turkish-Israeli rift has created more tensions for America, and it is in its best interest to begin the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2011.
2) The much heralded offensive in southern Afghanistan in Qandahar was supposedly the centerpiece of President Barack Obama new strategy approved in December 2009. The so called surge of 40,000-troop was supposed to have quelled the tide of the anti-occupation forces and forced the Taliban to make a deal with the Americans. The news media has been full of articles which essentially predicted the failure of the surge. We have written multiple articles about it. President Hamid Karzai, has been “notably lukewarm about the whole Kandahar thing”. He knows that that it would be impossible to make a deal with the Taliban if the US continues to engage them on their home turf. The Americans would not talk if an offensive is being waged on Washington.
The question of the right circumstances in which to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table appeared to be a matter of great confusion. “They’re not going to negotiate from a position of weakness,” he said. “They’re more likely to negotiate, I think, from a position of strength, when they feel they can get a really good deal . . . But we’ve got to be clear on what do they want, and I’m not even sure that we know what the Taliban really want.” (FT)
3) On Sunday, June 13, 2010, the US commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and the Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Qandahar–the Taliban’s spiritual home. but forgot to mention the date of the offensive. They had gone there to assure the local tribes that they had not been abandoned. The surge and the offensive against Qandhar has now been postponed ’till September – if it happens at all. The UK has pretty much disgusted with the situation and has pledged to bring back British troops next year, which makes the attack on Qandahar a remote possibility.
4) The Indo-US dialogue concluded with no major concessions to Delhi in terms of lifting of an embargo on sensitive technology to India, the operatinoalization of the 123 Nuclear deal, the role of India in Afghanistan, or the resolution to the Liability issues. The US was blunt towards Delhi. In the end India has voiced “understanding” for US plan of Afghanistan viz a viz its historic rival Pakistan– despite earlier security fears.
5) The US endorsement of the Tehran, Istanbul, London Conferences and the Afghan jirga will expedite the Pan-Afghan solution pushed by Pakistan, all of Afghanistan’s neighbors, and 62 countries that had been invited to London. The US has clearly announced that while India is important in Afghanistan, Pakistan is indispensable. Mr. Karzai has shared similar sentiments when he announced that “India is a friend, but Afghanistan and Pakistan are inseparable conjoined twins”
“I’m quite sure if there were no foreign troops in Afghanistan there’d be less agitation in Leeds, or wherever, about Pakistanis extremely upset, or suspicious about what western intentions are in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
6) The American drones are being questioned by the UN, and many countries around the world.
There’s another debate over whether the drone attacks are legal and moral. These attacks are often called “targeted killings” — of suspected terrorists, for example. The official U.S. position is that the strikes are permitted: The U.S. is at war with al-Qaida and has the right to defend itself.
A new U.N. report questioned that legal logic. Others have raised questions, too. NPR
7) Insurgents make crude Anti-Aircraft missiles. This has a huge impact on the war and will turn the tables.
Many have called the Russian defeat in Afghanistan “Charlie Wilson’s war”. Of course the 2 million Muslim kids who died defeating the USSR surely don’t like the credit going to on American Congressman. Charlie Wilson’s war applauded the Stinger Missiles as the seminal weapon of choice which prevented Soviet helicopters from raining death and destruction on what the White House at the time called “Mujahideen”–Freedom Fighters. Today the tables are being reversed. After a decade of being shot at “like fish in a barrel”, the Taliban and their allies have been able to beg, borrow and steal and manufacture anti-aircraft missiles which can be fired at American choppers. The crude missiles are not very accurate, and lack the range of the lethal Stingers, but the missiles make in in quantity what they lack in quality. The Afghan seem to have captured many American weapons. The Pakhtuns always had the capacity and the brilliance to duplicate arms. In many parts of Afghanistan they were able to duplicate British 303, Russian Klashnikovs, Israeli Uzis, and American M-16s. The Taliban and anti-occupation forces in Afghanistan now have their own anti-chopper weapons which can also target low flying American aircraft. If the US helicopters can no longer provide ground forces with close air support, then the anti-insurgent operations will be conducted on the ground. The case the fox operations rarely work. If the US choppers and planes are to fly at higher altitudes, and out of missile range their potency will be reduced dramatically.
As expected, one day the insurgents will also be able to shoot the drones.
The Israeli Mossad site called DebkaFile makes the announcement that the American total supremacy over Afghanistan is now over.
* The British Prime Minister David Cameron had to cancel his helicopter flight to the main British base of Camp Bastion on June 12 after receiving intelligence that the Taliban was preparing to shoot it down.
* Three days earlier, on June 9, an American Chinook crashed near Sangin in the Helmand Province killing all four US servicemen aboard. It was then that US and NATO commanders first realized that an unknown party had given the Taliban those anti-air missiles and instructed them in their use.
* This means that US helicopters can no longer provide ground forces with close air support and must fly at higher altitudes out of missile range. The Afghan War nears end with Pakistan-aided Taliban victory. DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis June 13, 2010, 9:33 PM (GMT+02:00).
If we use Charlie Wilson’s logic, the US air war in Afghanistan is now over. The seminal turning point was the downing of the American Chinook near Sangin. There are other factors.
Washington has been reluctant to publicly announce the postponement. Our analysts however predict the postponement or cancellation of the surge in Qandahar. The postponement was inevitable because of the total fiasco in Marjah. Operation Mushtarak didn’t provide any united results, and the Afghan National Army surely did not come out with flying colors. Operation Mushtarak was to have taken over Helmundh province and this would have been the final push towards Qandhar. The Afghan National Army once again refused to fight their brethren, and defections are an at all time high. The combined US-UK-ISAF-NATo forces were “unable to loosen the Taliban’s grip on the town or prevent the insurgents from using it as a springboard for grabbing the whole of southern Afghanistan.”
With the Qandahar delay, or cancellation the bottom is about to drop out of Obama’s overall war strategy.
In their White House talks of May 10-14, Karzai and Obama glossed over their differences by agreeing that the Afghan president would convene a “peace jirga” (a conference of tribal leaders) that would include chieftains and commanders associated with the Taliban as the first step toward national reconciliation.
The grand jirga was announced on May-10-14 with the full cognizance and support of the Pakistanis and quiet and public opposition of Delhi. The conference did take place on June 2, 2010 and was attended by about 1,400 heads of tribes. The conference was disrupted by the Indian supported Northern Alliance but survived the intrusion. The “jirga” approved the resolution to allow Mr. Karzai to seek a Pan-Afghan solution to the problems of Afghanistan, and bring about peace to the war torn nation. As part of the deal Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. representative in Afghanistan, declared on Saturday, June 12, 2010 that ”The U.N. is listening to what the peace jirga is saying. Some of the people in the list may not be alive anymore. The list may be completely outdated.” Thus Mr. Hamid Karzai who now trusts the Pakistanis more than he trusts NATO and US forces is free to make peace deals with all the factions who control 90% of Afghanistan.
The Indian Foreign service is active and has been planting stories in the Western media. False stories have now been published all leading papers trying to malign Pakistan the favorite kicking boy the ISI. Two million Afghan refugees live in and around Quetta. Those who want perpetual mimetic war in Afghanistan resurrect “the Quetta Shura” whenever there is movement for peace. The LSE professor apparently interviewed nameless faceless individuals that supposedly indicted the ISI. What surprised US officials was the fact that the “Taliban” would implicate their benefactors, if the ISI was really behind the Taliban. Then again why would be divulge this information to an unknown professor from LSE. Why would a London School of Economic professor be interviewing the Taliban in areas “where angels fear to tread”.
The longer the US administration clings to the assumption that cooperation with India and its intelligence agency is the only course for beating the Taliban, the more elusive peace in Afghanistan will be for the US and its allies.
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