Tag Archive | "insurgency"

Pakistan’s “Strategic Depth” and endless war in Afghanistan

I am the Afghanistan Blogging Fellow for The Seminal and Brave New Foundation. You can read my work on The Seminal or at Rethink Afghanistan. The views expressed below are my own.

If everything works out perfectly in our counterinsurgency strategy, or if congress forces a binding timetable in line with popular support, the United States will begin slowly drawing down its forces in Afghanistan in July 2011. It’s only the start, it will be tremendously slow, and the military leadership will likely fight it every step of the way (if Iraq is any indication, that is).

July 2011. That’s one year from now – 12 months. If June’s casualty numbers remain constant, that’s over a thousand Americans who’ll die before then, at minimum another 80 billion dollars down the toilet, and then we just start leaving. After that there’s no clear evidence of exactly how long it will take before the US has completely removed its military presence from Afghanistan, and possibly Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc, although there’s no evidence we’re planning on leaving those places either.

As I’ve said many times before, this is a good thing. It’s good that congress is starting to listen to its constituents, and is taking action to hold President Obama to his timetable for withdrawal. Afghanistan is America’s longest war, and with such ethereal objectives as “stability” and “preventing safe havens for extremism,” the war can seem endlessly un-winnable, stretching on for decades as long as we’re content to let it happen. That we have a goal in sight, July 2011, is absolutely a victory.

Unfortunately, it’s not good enough. Pakistan’s national security policy of supporting terrorist groups and militias as proxies against India, known as “strategic depth,” is accelerating out of control, and they are either deliberately or inadvertently engineering a globalized religious war, a Clash of Civilizations. Both terrorist and insurgent elements are evolving, with the Taliban co-opting Al-Qa’eda’s idea of religious war to legitimize its fight against the Pakistani state, and Al-Qa’eda in turn co-opting the Taliban’s objective of confronting India to legitimize the sub-continent as the premier theater of global jihad. Hawkish India, for one, will not take these developments lightly.

If pressure on congress is not increased, if the US remains on the slow, ambiguous timetable it is on now, it will be caught right in the middle of this clash. The bloodbath of Iraq in 2006 was only a preview of what will happen if there is a civil war in Pakistan, or a (nuclear?) war between Pakistan and India. Or both. If the US does not expedite its withdrawal, as well as dramatically reform its policies toward the region as a whole, we will very quickly be sucked into that conflagration. Continue Reading

Posted in Anti-war

Afghanistan: Has Hamid Karzai Already Joined the Taliban?

I am the Afghanistan Blogging Fellow for The Seminal and Brave New Foundation. You can read my work on The Seminal or at Rethink Afghanistan. The views expressed below are my own.

The war in Afghanistan is disintegrating before our very eyes. Our counterinsurgency strategy is broken, and the Pentagon knows it. The so-called “emergency” funding requested months ago by the Obama administration now seems destined to die a slow, bureaucratic death in congress due to overwhelming pressure by citizens. Our allies in NATO have either reached their peak of military involvement, as with the UK, or have already begun to dismantle their troop presence, as with Canada and so many others. Other countries in the region are already vying for power after the US leaves, even as the Pentagon insists its July 2011 withdrawal date will only be the “beginning of a process.”

But what about Afghanistan itself? What about President Hamid Karzai, our ally and head of the “Host Nation” government? The theory put forward by the pundit class is usually some variation of the “bloodbath” theme. That is, our allies in Kabul like Karzai would be overrun and annihilated by the Taliban. This appears to be more media myth-making, however, as we see from Karzai’s political maneuvering that not only is he threatening to join the Taliban, but he may have already done just that.

Karzai is already negotiating with the Taliban and even received formal terms of a peace treaty from Taliban-aligned Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that Karzai joined them. After all, negotiations are merely the first step in any peace process, no matter the circumstances. Instead we have to look deeper inside this peace process to see the real endgame Karzai is working toward, that of a nominal, Pashtun-nationalist government in Kabul overlaying a Taliban-dominated countryside. Together they function not only as a crime family capable of exploiting Afghanistan’s resources (minerals, opium, timber, etc) but also as a highly effective proxy for Pakistan’s interminable battle against Indian influence. Continue Reading

Posted in Anti-war

Election 2010: “Lefty Insurgents” and the phony revolution

I am the Afghanistan Blogging Fellow for The Seminal and Brave New Foundation. You can read my work on The Seminal or at Rethink Afghanistan. The views expressed below are my own.

Oh my gosh, did you hear? There’s a revolution happening today! That’s right, you the governed citizens are literally overthrowing your government, and all it took was voting in the party primaries. Here’s Chris Matthews to explain:

Sounds like a revolution all right. Really, voting for Rand Paul is just like shouting “allahu akbar” at Khameini from a Tehran rooftop or getting crushed under the treads of a Soviet tank in Black January. Just like it. But wait, how come Specter is the evil establishment because he has the support of unions, but Halter is part of the “angry grassroots” because he…has the support of unions? Does the support of Daily Kos really qualify as fringey and outsider? Isn’t Markos Moulitsas like the Green Day of activists? Don’t get me wrong, my shelves are packed with his books, but I don’t think it really counts as punk rawk anymore. And how is Rand Paul an outsider? He’s the son of Texas politician Ron Paul, who’s really more of a brand name than a person at this point. There’s too many questions that don’t fit with our absurd narrative, so let’s skip it. Instead, let’s hear about the insurgency:

Next week, if Joe Sestak defeats Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Dem primary, and Sen. Blanche Lincoln is forced into a runoff against challenger Bill Halter, lefty insurgents will have scored two major victories against the Democratic establishment in Washington.

Neato, you’re an insurgent! Phone banking for Halter is kind of like burying an IED on your family farm, and really, isn’t the fact that you disagree with Blanche Lincoln on financial regulation kind of like she’s storming your house at night and gunning down your pregnant wife and young children? I mean you’re not just unseating Specter, you’re setting his dead body on fire and hanging it from a bridge in Fallujah. You didn’t know American politics were this hardcore did you? Thanks a lot media, it’s fun to be an insurgent!

But let’s get real. This media narrative about insurgencies and revolution is just plain bullshit. Today’s elections have nothing to do with throwing out the bum incumbents, and everything to do with affirming the status quo. Not a single candidate who opposes the war in Afghanistan is expected to win today. It will take a lot more than partisan primaries to achieve the changes we want to see.
Continue Reading

Posted in Anti-war


NSA surveillance



Read our continuing coverage on the NSA

Contact

Bob Morris bob@polizeros.com

310.600.5237

Morris Consulting

  • Legacy PC database migration to Windows
  • WordPress design and support
  • Data conversion

Contact Morris Consulting at bomoco.com.

Categories

Archives