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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

time to negotiate « Previous | |Next »
April 13, 2009

It's time to end the conflict in Afghanistan if not leave. My guess is that US is exploring ways to find an escape route from the escalating crisis in Afghanistan. That would involve coming to terms with the anti-Western coalition resistance in Afghanistan.

ObamaAfghanistanEaster.jpg Martin Rowson

The growth of insurgency in Pakistan over the past year of the United States-backed civilian coalition government in Islamabad has been far quicker than that of Afghanistan's insurgency. There is a possibility that the insurgency threatens to take down Pakistani state.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:27 AM | | Comments (6)
Comments

Comments

My guess is that in Afghanistan the US will have the biggest surge it can afford at the moment then bail.

Pakistan is too sad to think about.

'Warning that Pakistan is in danger of collapse within months

'Paul McGeough April 13, 2009

'PAKISTAN could collapse within months, one of the more influential counter-insurgency voices in Washington says.

'The warning comes as the US scrambles to redeploy its military forces and diplomats in an attempt to stem rising violence and anarchy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

'"We have to face the fact that if Pakistan collapses it will dwarf anything we have seen so far in whatever we're calling the war on terror now," said David Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer who was a specialist adviser for the Bush administration and is now a consultant to the Obama White House. [...]

'"We can muddle through in Afghanistan. It is problematic and difficult but we know what to do. What we don't know is if we have the time or if we can afford the cost of what needs to be done."

'Dr Kilcullen said a fault line had developed in the West's grasp of circumstances on each side of the Durand Line, the disputed border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"In Afghanistan, it's easy to understand, difficult to execute. But in Pakistan, it is very difficult to understand and it's extremely difficult for us to generate any leverage, because Pakistan does not want our help.

'"In a sense there is no Pakistan - no single set of opinion. Pakistan has a military and intelligence establishment that refuses to follow the directions of its civilian leadership. They have a tradition of using regional extremist groups as unconventional counterweights against India's regional influence."'

"You just can't say that you're not going to worry about al-Qaeda taking control of Pakistan and its nukes," he said.

'As the US implements a new strategy in Central Asia so comprehensive that some analysts now dub the cross-border conflict "Obama's war", Dr Kilcullen said time was running out for international efforts to pull both countries back from the brink. [...]

http://www.smh.com.au/world/warning-that-pakistan-is-in-danger-of-collapse-within-months-20090412-a40u.html

Mission accomplished?

Pursuing Bush, Cheney, Abrams, Libby, Rumsfeld, Feith & co for war crimes would go a long way to improving America's credibility around the world.

I wonder what it's like to grow up in the Middle East. Do the young people there feel in control of their own destiny...?

U.S. drones: Killing Pakistan extremists or recruiting them?

Tue Apr 7, 8:21 pm ET

WASHINGTON — Even as the Obama administration launches new drone attacks into Pakistan's remote tribal areas, concerns are growing among U.S. intelligence and military officials that the strikes are bolstering the Islamic insurgency by prompting Islamist radicals to disperse into the country's heartland.

Al Qaida , Taliban and other militants who've been relocating to Pakistan's overcrowded and impoverished cities may be harder to find and stop from staging terrorist attacks, the officials said.

Moreover, they said, the strikes by the missile-firing drones are a recruiting boon for extremists because of the unintended civilian casualties that have prompted widespread anger against the U.S.

"Putting these guys on the run forces a lot of good things to happen," said a senior U.S. defense official who requested anonymity because the drone operations, run by the CIA and the Air Force , are top-secret. "It gives you more targeting opportunities. The downside is that you get a much more dispersed target set and they go to places where we are not operating."

U.S. drone attacks "may have hurt more than they have helped," said a U.S. military official who's been deeply involved in counterterrorism operations. The official, who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly, called the drone operations a "recruiting windfall for the Pakistani Taliban."

"A significant number of bad actors aren't where they used to be," but have moved to "places where we can't get at them the way we could," he added.

As a result of the drone attacks, insurgent activities are "more dispersed in Pakistan and focusing on Pakistani targets," said Christine Fair of the RAND Corp. , a policy institute that advises the Pentagon . "So we have shifted the costs." etc etc

http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090408/wl_mcclatchy/3207691

Huh? Interesting phrase that... "shifted the cost". Don't you reckon that's what the militants (and their new recruits) would love to do? Shift the cost to downtown Atlanta or Dallas.

'Warning that Pakistan is in danger of collapse within months

'Paul McGeough April 13, 2009

'PAKISTAN could collapse within months, one of the more influential counter-insurgency voices in Washington says.

'The warning comes as the US scrambles to redeploy its military forces and diplomats in an attempt to stem rising violence and anarchy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

'"We have to face the fact that if Pakistan collapses it will dwarf anything we have seen so far in whatever we're calling the war on terror now," said David Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer who was a specialist adviser for the Bush administration and is now a consultant to the Obama White House. [...]

'"We can muddle through in Afghanistan. It is problematic and difficult but we know what to do. What we don't know is if we have the time or if we can afford the cost of what needs to be done."

'Dr Kilcullen said a fault line had developed in the West's grasp of circumstances on each side of the Durand Line, the disputed border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"In Afghanistan, it's easy to understand, difficult to execute. But in Pakistan, it is very difficult to understand and it's extremely difficult for us to generate any leverage, because Pakistan does not want our help.

'"In a sense there is no Pakistan - no single set of opinion. Pakistan has a military and intelligence establishment that refuses to follow the directions of its civilian leadership. They have a tradition of using regional extremist groups as unconventional counterweights against India's regional influence."'

"You just can't say that you're not going to worry about al-Qaeda taking control of Pakistan and its nukes," he said.

'As the US implements a new strategy in Central Asia so comprehensive that some analysts now dub the cross-border conflict "Obama's war", Dr Kilcullen said time was running out for international efforts to pull both countries back from the brink. [...]

http://www.smh.com.au/world/warning-that-pakistan-is-in-danger-of-collapse-within-months-20090412-a40u.html

David Kilcullen appears to be an enterprising Australian who's learning to play the Washington pundit game brilliantly. As one of the perceived fathers of Teh Surge in Iraq he'll be feted by the neocons fur years and right now of course he has a book to promote.

It's news to me he's a 'consultant to the Obama White House'. The man himself didn't bother to mention it in his short résumé two months ago (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2009/02/crunch-time-in-afghanistanpaki/).