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Pakistan's ISI major supporter of Afghan Taliban


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Good link Wrath.

 

I like this:

 

The problem with the military position is that what worked in Iraq is not working in Afghanistan. The policy of funding the tribes is of limited value in Afghanistan because the enemy isn't led by foreign terrorists; it is a native insurgency. Funding some tribes and not others simply aggravates the feuding between them. And COIN depends on having a reliable local government running the security and social programs, which simply isn't going to happen so long as Hamid Karzai is President. The only part of the military spectrum that has worked in both Iraq and Afghanistan is McChrystal's special ops, which is stripping out midlevel Taliban leaders on a nightly basis.

 

It encapsulates the problem in two sentences --- i.e. Karzai is part of the problem and not the solution and the military bit that works is the time-honoured nutting of the enemy command and control by the hooligans in your SF.

 

I suggest a proper, full-on protectorate.

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The last time Britain was successful against an enemy that relied on guerilla warfare was the Boer war. The remedy to win is blatant genocide, concentration/elimination camps, scorched earth (if necessary with the inhabitants still there) until they are all dead. Fighters, civilians and their livestock all together. That is going to be a hard thing to sell to the public in this day and age.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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The switch to Petreus may be good thing though. I keep reading McChrystal's policies were so restrictive our troops felt like they were fighting with their hands tied. Some stopped even calling for air support because air support was afraid to do anything.

Heard this on the radio, so take it with a grain of salt, but I heard that troops that called for flare rounds to be fired during a night skirmish (so the area would be lit up and they could spot their attackers) were denied the shot because the shell might fall on a civilian. :rolleyes:

 

I'm so glad I didn't join the army after high school. I don't think I could have taken this kind of ridiculousness. The commanders are more worried about civilian casualties than the lives of our soldiers.

 

Ah... here it is. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...0061803760.html

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That article succintly details the reasons I believe that success in Afghanistan is not possible under current conditions. We're allowing our soldiers to be hogtied and basically slaughtered... for what? The people don't want us there, the corrupt government doesn't want us there, it's a tribal society that is not going to change its nature in our lifetimes, or in this century for that matter. We went in to push the Taliban and Al Qaida out. We did that, then systematically abandoned the place for Iraq, allowing everything that had been accomplished to be completely undone. Not only undone in Afghanistan, but also allowing for the first time a Taliban/Al Qaida foothold to be established in Pakistan.

 

This is VietNam all over again. Ignore input from soldiers on the ground, use them as cannon fodder, lie to the public about how well the war is going, and implement rules of engagement that ties the hands of soldiers, making them even more vulnerable to an enemy that has NO limits or rules on how or who they kill. The American government has let our soldiers down once again, valuing global public relations above the lives of our military men and women, and history has been doomed to repeat itself.

 

We need to get out of there now, and let the Afghans storm Kabul and tear their corrupt president from his palace by force. All we've taught them about democracy is that it's every bit as inept and corrupt as the Taliban... because we allowed it to be.

Edited by ~Di
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The last time Britain was successful against an enemy that relied on guerilla warfare was the Boer war. The remedy to win is blatant genocide, concentration/elimination camps, scorched earth (if necessary with the inhabitants still there) until they are all dead. Fighters, civilians and their livestock all together. That is going to be a hard thing to sell to the public in this day and age.

 

Wrong.

 

The Malayan emergency and, indeed, Northern Ireland were both successful, in the context of counter-insurgency. You could even add pre-1947 Palestine to that one, now I think of it. That is to say there were no victory parades or a date on which the war ended. But there were reductions in violence / terrorist activity, negotiations and eventually a peace of sorts. In Malaya the British pioneered the Hearts and Minds strategy that Gen. McChrystal now advocates in Iraq, not that the two campaigns are in any way comparable.

 

Your description of 'blatant genocide' during the Boer War is factually wrong to the point of being offensive. My country has never prosecuted a war of genocide. Have there been incidents of thoughtless violence and brutality in the history of the British Empire? Sure, plenty. Amritsar to Mesopotamia to Bloody Sunday --- we've done the lot but mainly because we didn't choose the alternative (i.e. Nazi-style scorched earth tactics).

 

In fact, the last time we did that was the revanche during the Hundred Year's War against France.

 

You're on a sticky wicket on this one, it's about as valid as me chippily and inaccurately posting hyperbole about the Aboriginal Genocide in the early 20th Century (which didn't happen, unless you have an agenda).

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I have to back up Monte. He's dead on. I've met a lot of boers, even one who was actually in one of the camps (ancient leathery old bugger, but a nice guy). They blame us for having systematically infected inmates. But they all backed off when I showed them that infection rates were not significantly different to those the army was running for its own soldiers [i no longer have those books, although at a pinch I might look them up if anyone's bothered].

 

Fact is that is perfectly possible to win a counter-insurgency without genocide. Arguing otherwise is - as I've said many times - is equivalent to say insurgents cannot lose. And that's just mental. Any human effort can fail. Insurgency isn't some magic exercise.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Fact is that is perfectly possible to win a counter-insurgency without genocide. Arguing otherwise is - as I've said many times - is equivalent to say insurgents cannot lose. And that's just mental. Any human effort can fail. Insurgency isn't some magic exercise.

I believe it is possible too, but I don't believe the allies are seriously trying at the moment. Looks more like (seen from the outside) that the strategy applied by western governments is one of trying to maintain status quo so they can get their own guys disengaged from the conflict. Something like the Marshall plan and "Entnazificierung" looks more like what is needed. Better infrastructure, exposure to the outside world and a motivation for change is required. It might be cultural "genocide", but frankly, there are days where I am a bit of a culturual fascist and consider some aspects of some cultures inferior.

 

As for the Boers... when you stick close to 100% of a people in either concentration camps or remote island penal colonies with excessive mortality rates (more than 50% of the entire "under 16" population died in the concentration camps), burn down their homes and farms, salting the soil, poisoning the wells etc. to make sure those who escaped the camps have nothing to eat. If that isn't a war of extermination, then I don't really know what would qualify?

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Sidenote: Terrorism isn't the only reason the U.S. is involved in Afghanistan.

 

Look at the global players most likely to rival American hegemony over the next 50 years. Look at their supply lines to the well-developed sources of key resources (primarily, but not exclusively, petroleum). Note the U.S./allied control of those supply lines. Now look at where the largest undeveloped reserves of petroleum and mineral resources are located, and look at how the supply lines would run from there to these potential American rivals.

 

It may not be at the front of the President's mind when he's making a decision to commit forces. But there certainly is a memo somewhere on his desk outlining this line of reasoning. It is not a coincidence that the resource sources that are presently most developed are the ones that have to go though supply lines that the U.S. could choke off if it wanted to.

 

Also note that instability serves just as well as American-aligned stability in preventing the development of resource sources and transmission lines. Afghanistan as a functioning nation-state might well be a pipe dream. But Afghanistan is presently a place that long-term strategic rivals cannot develop or pull within their sphere of influence. And, largely as a result of American intervention in the region, that is likely to remain the case.

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*snip*

 

In answer to both points I'd say 'incompetence'. In the case of the former the incompetence lies primarily with the democratic structures in all interested countries failing to produce an effective focus on fixing the problems. We'd all far rather watch 'Got Talent' shows and hope the entire thing magically fixes itself.

 

 

In the case of the latter you are talking about an administration which systematically failed to cope with the boers. There was no attempt to win hearts or minds, we failed to fight more effectively at the local level, and when we tried to 'drain the sea' by locking them all up we put them in the hands of administrators who were incapable of looking after themselves. You also have to read a bit deeper and note how many of those diseases were caused by an unwillingness to participate in use of latrines, and subsequently infected water etc. These were veldt farmers, totally unused to living in such close confines, and unequipped with the means to do so. I think it's also wise to read the communiques being sent by administrators wanting to know how long these 'temporary' accomodations were supposed to run for. Everyone kept pretending they were only going to be necessary for a few weeks or months. But if you have alternative sources, I'd be grateful for them. (Almost) Always keen to learn more.

 

In any case my real point is that the Boer experience rather demonstrated how NOT to win a counter-insurgency. The Boers were broken, but their ambitions were not defeated. It also taxed the resources of the whole Empire. Whereas, as Monte points out, Malaya was won on the cheap, and won completely.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Another thought: internal Pakistani politics are complicated. Democracy in Pakistan is essentially dressed-up feudalism, largely organized on ethnic lines. The Sindh and Punjabi majority has a problem with Pashtun peoples, driven by the large migrations of Pashtuns to the area around Karachi over the last decade. The theory is that the Sharif/Bhutto crowd, acting through the ISI, wants to demonize the U.S. a bit (and, by extension, Karzai and the efforts to build a cohesive Afghan nation) in the eyes of the Pashtuns and channel the potential Pashtun troublemakers out of Pakistan and into the traditionally Pashtun areas in southern and western Afghanistan-- "go blow things up there instead of causing trouble here." To do that, they make a show of trying to reconcile the (mostly Pashtun) ex-Taliban with the Karzai government, which lets them blame the U.S. and Karzai for not listening much and for kissing up to Tajiks and Uzbeks.

Edited by Enoch
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Some more interesting info, taking the leaked documents into consideration: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100727/wl_time/08599200649300

 

Machiavelli once suggested that it's more important to be feared than to be loved. But what the latest documents reveal about the activities and outlook of America's ostensible allies in Afghanistan is that Washington is neither loved nor feared as much as it is increasingly ignored.
Ain't that the truth.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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Some more interesting info, taking the leaked documents into consideration: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100727/wl_time/08599200649300

 

Machiavelli once suggested that it's more important to be feared than to be loved. But what the latest documents reveal about the activities and outlook of America's ostensible allies in Afghanistan is that Washington is neither loved nor feared as much as it is increasingly ignored.
Ain't that the truth.

 

Hmm...That doesn't sound too bad. If people on the ground think U.S. is so useless that they can ignore it, they sure wouldn't mind if the American pulls out tomorrow, right?

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Its funny that out of all the concrete facts and reports on the appauling state of affairs in Afghanistan from wikileaks the propaganda machine... I mean mainstream media... got hung up on speculation about Pakistan...

 

 

Under the line the situation seems like a dejavu of the last years of the soviet presence... and the modus operandi to get out of that debacke is about the same and about as effective awell.

Russians must be laughing their arses off.

 

Saying that, Pakistanis would be idiots not to play both sides. They know that in a year or so the last nato chopper will lift off and they`ll be left holding the baby. Why on earth would they go out of their way to do everything the US wants if they know the americans are activly packing their bags and passing the buck.

Lession of south vietnam not lost on everyone in afghanistan and pakistan... You cant expect people and countries to jump at the prospect of being the coalitions meat sheald for departure that is getting sacrificed to the volwes. They`re taking a page out of the USs playbook. Rule one: look after yourself and your interests above all else. And we`re blaming them? I`m not.

Edited by Brdavs
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