USA's NEW AFGHAN STRATEGY-OBAMA POLICY SPEECH OF 27 MARCH 2009-AN ANALYSIS
AGHA H AMIN
27 MARCH 2009 While tailor made and apparently or at least outwardly speaking neat and logical,President Obamas policy speech on Afghanistanis vulnerable to many serious criticsms.The first criticism of the whole idea of US presence and success in Afghanistan is as following:--1-The USA for many years was the mastermind in financing,directing and waging war through proxies in Afghanistan.A war waged against a de facto government of Afghanistan.A brutal and criminal war which left some 14,000 Red Army soldiers,many of whom were Muslims dead,and some 35,000 wounded and maimed for life.A war which destroyed most of the infra structure that had been built in Afghanistan since some 200 years.Now that the USA by a twist of fate is in a similar position in Afghanistan as was the USSR ,how on earth does it expect Russia to just sit and watch the USA succeed in the same role which the USSR had embarked upon some 30 years ago.In terms of International law USA's position is far worse as compared to the USSR position.The USA invaded Afghanistan to displace a de facto regime.The USSR entered Afghanistan to save a leftist regime under threat of extinction by US paid mercenaries operating from Pakistan.2-Another very serious contradiction is the fact that the moral authority of the Pakistani state has been severely eroded since 9/11.The basioc resaon for is the fact that 30 years ago the Pakistani military junta was selling the idea that USSR is a non Muslim power which had occupied Afghanistan,so it must be repelled by fighting a holy war or Jihad. Ironically since October 2001 the Pakistani state became a shameless collaborator of a Christian power that occupied Afghanistan in November 2001 ! The motive being the same as in waging the Jihad of 1979 ! US Dollars !At least the balancing factor in favour of the Soviets was that they were not Christians !I am not a religious man at all but my criticism is philosophical rather than religious.Having said that it remains a hard fact that the above two contradictions are irreconcilable.When Obama says that 700 US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan he proves two facts.One that the US soldier is hardly fighting a war because 700 soldiers killed in 8 years means a 100 soldiers per year,which proves that the enemy that the USA is facing in Afghanistan is hardly that dangerous an enemy as claimed by USA.The second and more serious criticism of Obamas lamenting 700 over fed and over protected US lives is that 14,000 Red Army soldiers killed in Afghanistan were sub humans !It is hard to believe that non state forces alleged to have killed 3000 on 9/11 have killed a peanut 700 US soldiers.In any case it amply proves that the threat is almost non existent.Another grave issue , perhaps morally not as relevant is the dangerous precedent that US success in Afghanistan or Iraq would establish.Without sufficient proof that Afghanistan or the Taliban had anything to do with some aircrafts ramming the Twin Trade Centres,the US invasion of Afghanistan introduced an element of rash albeit,whitewashed civility in international relations.I say whitewashed because the UN then was headed by one of the most opportunbistic secretary generals in its history.Unfortunately one whose mediocrity has been eclipsed by another pathetic successor in the person of Ban ki Moon.Any US success in Afghanistan or Iraq would vindicate the fact that might is right in a world which follows laws of jungles in which Tarzans like Adolf Bush occupy any Poland they like at whim !Nevertheless whatever international law was followed while attacking Afghanistan , all was violated when the USA without any International sanction occupied Iraq.The central moral question now is that if the USA succeeds in Iraq and Afghanistan a new and dangerous precedent would be firmly established in intenational law.Hitory will go back to the time of Attilla the Hun and Genghis Khan.Although it would be below the military dignity of Mongols to compare them with the US Army, a far more bulky and clumsy outfit.The dangerous precedent that Adolf Bush's actions would set is that the stronger countries can occupy the weaker at whim and will.After all why were the First and Second World Wars fought ? For the sanctity of neutrality and Sovereignty of Belgium and Poland !This third contradiction appears more cosmetic but is the most dangerous aspect of the whole issue.It is a tragedy of US history that mediocrity in decision making has remained the hall marks of US policy since 1945. Obamas Afghan strategy with a peanut 1.5 Billion US Dollars per annum to the Pakistani government printed at leisure and at no cost to USA,would severely divide Pakistan.1.5 Billion US dollars straight into the gutter.Because these would not achieve any of USA's policy objectives.Since these are linked to fighting Taliban Pakistan would be severely weakened with the Pakistani forces crushed under the burden of carrying the US albatross of 1.5 Billion US Dollars , as shameless mercenaries of a Christian power !Russia and China perceive any US success in Afghanistan as a prelude to a US sponsored Phase Two Guerrilla war in Singkiang and later US encroachments into Central Asia as Phase Three.It is hard to imagine why these two crucial regional players would allow the USA to succeed in Afghanistan ? Russia is a key player in Afghanistan thanks to the brilliant intelligence appreciations done by Dr Najeeb and General Yaqubi in 1980-1992.Any US success in Afghanistan would be a grave strategic failure for Russia.After all what has the USA done for Russia except creating trouble for Russia by enlarging NATO,deploying missile shields in Poland and subverting Ukraine and Georgia.Thus there is logic in Russia deciding to re-establish bases in Syria,Libya and Yemen and in deploying strategic bombers in Venezuela and Cuba !US policy makers forget the most important Clausewitzian concept of the indeoendent will of the enemy.How on earth do they expect this independent will not to sabotage the USA in Afghanistan ! Was the USA sending candies and doughnuts for the Red Army in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 !Afghanistan and Pakistani states are past masters in syphoning foreign aid in private accounts.Once again USA intends playing the same corruption game ! I am inclined to become a fan of Dr Eric Bernes book " Games People Play".The South Vietnamese Army was far better than the Afghan National Army.Yet it failed to defeat the NVA.So the outcome of war in Afghanistan in case of any US withdrawal remains a foregone conclusion.India Russia China and Iran apart from lip service have been laegely ignored in the proposed strategy which means that US strategy lacks strategic vision.The right thing from the USA should have been to incorporate these three players.The very concept that Al Qaeda needs some tribal areas to train is fallacious and incorret.The boundaries of Al Qaeda are much wider,although at the same time the Al Qaeda has proved incapable of inflicting any substantial damage to USA in the last 8 years.So the whole theory that the Al Qaeda is a threat to USA's national security is a non seller.At the same time insisting that Al Qaeda is in the tribal areas is absurd.Obama stated that the tribal areas are a vast expense whereas these are small strip of territory approximately 300 miles north to south and average 100 miles east to west.The US Army has a far greater tail to teeth ratio than Red Army in Afghanistan.Seen in this context 17,000 US troops would be peanuts.I have yet to see any construction solicitation in US Army Corps of Engineers website proving that 17,000 troops would be actually coming to Afghanistan ! Its possible that this increase is more of rhetorical jugglery than anything actual .And in any case what would these 17,000 musketeers achieveWould the US forces be able to seal Afghanistans 5000 Km plus borders and specially the 2400 Km border with Pakistan !The most central part of the whole discussion is that the Afghan issue cannot be solved by USA and Pakistan alone.Specially the military and political effetiveness of the Pakistani government in achieving even a fraction of what the USA wants is highly questionable.The Pakistani military establishment has an institutional stake in ensuring that Pakistan remains vulnerable so that the military calls the shots.They see the Talibans as useful allies and cheap cannonfodder in any war with India..The Saudis see the Taliban as useful allies against Shias.In the final summing up the bottom line is that the Pakistani politicians and generals will juggle with 1.5 Billion US Dollars per annum and deliver little or nothing at all.Even the US assertion that drone attacks have achieved great success is largely rhetorical and political .Whereas the USA is facing Taliban , how does the theory that Al Qaeda from tribal areas is controlling the war on terror is questionable and fallacious !The simple truth is that war in Afghanistan is about the presence of US and other Christian troops and not about Al Qaeda.Hardly 5 % of USA's opponents in Afghanistan are Al Qaeda.What to conclude ? All one can say is that Obamas speech was a speech designed to win 2012 elections for Obama rather than the war on terror.Obama made a speech because it was a political requirement and not because any strategy was planned or evolved.Hillary Clinton is more suited as a civil attorney or on the bolard of Walmart than as a secretary of state !The USA cannot win in Afghanistan because the equation involves many strong players.All it can do is mark time and ultimately withdraw without achieving much.After hearing the Obama speech one can safely conclude that the USA has no anti Al Qaeda strategy in Afghanistan.Its a case of either supreme strategic incompetence or the first phase of a secret war against Russia and China !
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