Pakistan and the US. Exit from Afghanistan
By George Friedman (2.10.10) - Excerpts
The American Solution
The American solution, one that we suspect is already under way, is the Pakistanization of the war. By this, we do not mean extending the war into Pakistan but rather extending Pakistan into Afghanistan. The Taliban phenomenon has extended into Pakistan in ways that seriously complicate Pakistani efforts to regain their bearing in Afghanistan. It has created a major security problem for Islamabad, which, coupled with the severe deterioration of the country’s economy and now the floods, has weakened the Pakistanis’ ability to manage Afghanistan. In other words, the moment that the Pakistanis have been waiting for — American agreement and support for the Pakistanization of the war — has come at a time when the Pakistanis are not in an ideal position to capitalize on it.
In the past, the United States has endeavored to keep the Taliban in Afghanistan and the regime in Pakistan separate. (The Taliban movements in Afghanistan and Pakistan are not one and the same.) Washington has not succeeded in this regard, with the Pakistanis continuing to hedge their bets and maintain a relationship across the border. Still, U.S. opposition has been the single greatest impediment to Pakistan’s consolidation of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and abandoning this opposition leaves important avenues open for Islamabad.
The Pakistani relationship to the Taliban, which was a liability for the United States in the past, now becomes an advantage for Washington because it creates a trusted channel for meaningful communication with the Taliban. Logic suggests this channel is quite active now.
The Vietnam War ended with the Paris peace talks. Those formal talks were not where the real bargaining took place but rather where the results were ultimately confirmed. If talks are under way, a similar venue for the formal manifestation of the talks is needed — and Islamabad is as good a place as any.
Pakistan is an American ally which the United States needs, both to balance growing Chinese influence in and partnership with Pakistan, and to contain India. Pakistan needs the United States for the same reason. Meanwhile, the Taliban want to run Afghanistan. The United States has no strong national interest in how Afghanistan is run so long as it does not support and espouse transnational jihadism. But it needs its withdrawal to take place in a manner that strengthens its influence rather than weakens it, and Pakistan can provide the cover for turning a retreat into a negotiated settlement.
Pakistan has every reason to play this role. It needs the United States over the long term to balance against India. It must have a stable or relatively stable Afghanistan to secure its western frontier. It needs an end to U.S. forays into Pakistan that are destabilizing the regime. And playing this role would enhance Pakistan’s status in the Islamic world, something the United States could benefit from, too. We suspect that all sides are moving toward this end.
The United States isn’t going to defeat the Taliban. The original goal of the war is irrelevant, and the current goal is rather difficult to take seriously. Even a victory, whatever that would look like, would make little difference in the fight against transnational jihad, but a defeat could harm U.S. interests. Therefore, the United States needs a withdrawal that is not a defeat. Such a strategic shift is not without profound political complexity and difficulties. But the disparity between — and increasingly, the incompatibility of — the struggle with transnational terrorism and the war effort geographically rooted in Afghanistan is only becoming more apparent — even to the American public.
The Wall Street Journal, not usually a trustworthy source, reports as follows on 2.10.10:
CIA Escalates in Pakistan
The U.S. military is secretly diverting aerial drones and weaponry from the Afghan battlefront to significantly expand the CIA's campaign against militants in their Pakistani havens.
The shift in strategic focus reflects the U.S. view that, with Pakistan's military unable or unwilling to do the job, more U.S. force against terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan is now needed to turn around the struggling Afghan war effort across the border.
The additional drones helped the CIA escalate the number of strikes in Pakistan in September. The agency averaged five strikes a week in September, up from an average of two to three per week. The Pentagon and CIA have ramped up their purchases of drones, but they aren't being built fast enough to meet the rapid rise in demand.
(After our nuclear weapons, eh! Well, let's hope the Pak army knows what it's doing to allow this nightmare to be taking place. Fasten your seat belts everyone. Even tougher times ahead?)
iamsowise, I thank you for this video. I often do not know where we are bound for, we in Pakistan. My faith in the Afghan Resistance and their victory, however, is as a strong as a rock. Your video only confirms what I have felt all along. They cannot be defeated.
Quote " They cannot be defeated. "
Yes but can they defeat the enemy without any help from those who are dreaming of Khilafat on empty rhetoric and words ?
shimatoree, the answer is no, of course. Without outside help of some kind or the other, even the bravest of Mujahideen cannot turn the course of the war their own favour.
I personally don't think that only those daydreaming of a Khilafat are to be counted on for help to the Resistance. All west enemies, and they are many in number, are doing their bit to upset the west apple cart and they will go on doing so. I have always maintained the Afghan war is being fought for the benefit of the entire world. I have had no reason so far to change my mind on this assumption.
I don't think they can succeed, unless Taliban treat minorites as their friends not enemies, If once again they start oppressing minorities especialy Shia comunity thn Shias have right to call some one for their help. after US may be they call Russia again. so it would be a never ending story.
iamsowise, you do have a wise point there. Time does not stand still and time brings changes. I do hope Mullah Omar and his troops have learnt from past mistakes. As for calling in Russia again, as far as I know, Russia will not respond to calls of this kind in the way you fear.
N.B. After the Resistance, the most ferocious of enemies the US has is hidden behind the smiling face of the Russians. And the same goes for the impassive faces of the Chinese leadership. Add to it the hatred in the hearts of ordinary Muslims the world over and the picture is more or less complete.
"I do hope Mullah Omar and his troops have learnt from past mistakes"
Agree with you
BTW Russians have also learnt from their past mistakes.
Drug trade flourishes under the patronage and protection of the US forces in Afghanistan, valued at nearly half a trillion dollars per annum.
Anywhere where CIA is present drug production and use increases. The same is true for companies like Halliburton or Brown and Root. Oil exploration, CIA and drugs go hand in hand. America will not leave this area as predicted.
Kalmago, US will not leave the area - willingly - but leave they will. They have no other choice, as simple as that.
iamsowise, thanks for agreeing and for the timely reminder that Russians too have learnt over time to stay away from past mistakes.
Mirza Ghalib. Recommended reading for you is Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert.
He has explained with detail.
OK, Kalmago, shall do so. Thanks.
"US will not leave the area - willingly - but leave they will. They have no other choice, as simple as that."
They are already leaving Afghanistan but the problem right now -- and to which we are blinded to -- is they are coming here. In fact the war on Pakistan has already been on for over a year but somehow we are deaf and dumb to it. Could it be because our army to has joined them in this dastardly deed? (Certainly nothing new as they are always treasonous)
I have NO DOUBTS that what we are seeing here is the end of the alleged "war on terror" in Pakistan, and the beginnings of an actual war against Pakistan (and again, with our army fighting for the invaders).
[Hillary Clinton Demands Pakistan Hike Taxes
So tell me: Everyone else seems to know. Why the confusion here????????????????????????
nota, I did explain in the past. I believed in the army. I clung to the hope that at least the Pak army would not turn out to be nest of traitors unlike the present and past govts. A human being without any hope whatsoever is a human being condemned to die. Hence the confusion.
You worked long and hard on me. Today I acknowledge I've come over to your way of thinking: treasonous they are down to the tips of their well polished boots. So what now? Where do we go from here? Any idea?
Well, we still have a long way to go to get "here". Remember no media would touch the "treasonous" side but in fact cover it up. And so would all other institutions.
Interestingly, a parliamentary sub-committee did issue a report about the corruption of the army men and recommended their assets be frozen and sold. Let's see where that gets (I am sure 'nowhere'). Everyone is still looking at Kiyani as the great savior and singing praises of the army having "built-up their image". So where do you think we are headed? Rape seems inevitable. In fact -- like I said -- it is ongoing...
And suddenly, US tells Pakistan: "You're no good!"
(Is all this hoopla to build army's image as having some balls? You betcha!)