US Failure in Afghanistan
Agha H Amin
1- Afghanistan contrary to myths was repeatedly conquered and held by various empires.As late as 1709 it was a province of Mughal Empire in India ( held by Mughals since 1504 .This refers to the eastern part.The Western part was part of Persian Saffavid Empire while the northern part was part of Central Asian Khanates.Afghanistan in its present form was created only in 1747.Even after this foreign powers meddled.Herat was saved from Persia by English East India Company defeating Persia in a war in 1856-57.Russia was restrained from capturing Afghanistan by the British in 1839-1914.
2-Afghanistan was deliberately kept as a buffer state by the British who saw it as economical to subsidise it .
3-Even Afghanistans strongest king Ameer Abdul Rahman gained power because the British defeated his main opponent Sardar Ayub Khan at Kandahar in 1880.
4-Legitimacy in Afghanistan was tribal from 1747 to 1973 where only the Durranis could rule.Thus the same clan of Abdalis or Ahmad Shah Abdalis relatives family ruled from 1747 till 1978.
5-The legitimacy of Durrani rule was broken in 1978 when mostly officers from Ghilzai tribes led the coup.
6-Diem government was corrupt but so was South Korean military yet South Korea survived because the US Army stayed there.Karzais corruption is also debatable.Out of contracts above 10 Million awarded from 2001 to 2012 some 90 % were awarded by USAID,USACE, EU,JICA,ADB ,WORLD Bank,ARDS ( a foreign managed consultancy). Yet there was corruption n these contracts.
7-My research indicates that Karzais maximum illegal money comes from drug trafficking which does not really affect public money.
8-True that Afghanistans insurgencies are rural based but the tribes of rural areas supremacy was broken by Ameer Abdul Rahman Khan by 1890 and again by Daud Khan by 1960.Rural insurgencies only succeeded once they were backed by foregn powers as was Bacha Saqa who was helped by British policy.Nadir Khan with whom my grandfathers brother served as a doctor was restored by a British plan similar to 2001 Enduring freedom. In this case the tribal lashkar was assembled in British controlled NWA Agency in FATA.
9-The traditional system of power was shattered by Pakistani-US-Saudi combine in 1978 when they elevated the lowest people into power by organising the so called Mujahideen.These included Mullahs , the lowest persons in Pashtun society , Tajiks,Uzbeks,Hazaras previously regarded as lower classes in Afghan realpolitique.The Afghan resistance was largely led by ISI picked people with previusly no social standing like Hekmatyar and Massoud and Haqqani.Since they were non entities it was easier to order them .
10-In the present war the US did not invest in creating livelihoods unlike the Soviets who did create free housing projects and factories.
11-Till 2004 everything went well and generally till 2006.
12-The problem started in 2006 when Pakistani state in response to insurrection in Balochistan stepped up the Taliban in Afghanistan.Chinese and Russian involvement is also there.Iran follows the policy of one Pashtun killed as good as one US soldier killed.The key factor is foreign manipulation using proxies on Pakistani payroll since 1974.
13-The present insurgency is less religious and more rural Pashtun with a clear Pakistani override.
14-The US made no attempt to fence the border which could have severely reduced infiltration from Pakistan and Iran.This was not done as the Afghan economy depends on smuggling to/from Pakistan and Iran.However he US could have done it if they wanted.
15-No attempt was made to defoliate poppy , a months job, which would have broken the financial back of Taliban.
16-Yes the Taliban rules by terror and by gunpower but so does the US .
17-The solution lies in partition and permanent US bases like Korea and West Germany.The North clearly is anti Taliban and must not be abadoned like South Vietnam.