World View: U.S. Decision on Haqqani Network Will Affect Pakistan Relations

World View: U.S. Decision on Haqqani Network Will Affect Pakistan Relations

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Obama administration decision on Haqqani network will affect Pakistan relations
  • Debate of effectiveness of terror designation of Haqqani network
  • The Haqqani Network and the Pashtuns

Obama administration decision on Haqqani network will affect Pakistan relations

Haqqani network leader Jalaluddin Haqqani in 1998 (AP)
Haqqani network leader Jalaluddin Haqqani in 1998 (AP)

The Obama administration is deeply divided over whether to designatethe Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a terrorist group. A report onthe administration’s decision is due to Congress by September 9, andSecretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated that the deadline willbe met, one way or the other. The Haqqani Network is a Talibanoffshoot that is leading the fight against the government ofAfghanistan and the Nato forces in Afghanistan. A number of USmilitary commanders have indicated that the Haqqani Network is themost dangerous and most organized terrorist organization in theTaliban.

The designation of the Haqqani Network as a terrorist organizationshould be an easy call, but there are broader issues. Americanofficials in the past have accused Pakistan’s Inter-ServicesIntelligence (ISI) agency of having ties to the Haqqani Network, andeven of supply arms and money to it. The Pakistanis deny this, sayingthat ISI links were cut long ago. And so a designation of the HaqqaniNetwork as a terrorist organization might once again cause a majorrift in relations with Pakistan, at a time just after last year’s riftwas healed and the supply route through Pakistan was reopened, as we reported in July. Pakistan Observer

Debate of effectiveness of terror designation of Haqqani network

Part of the debate is over whether the terror designation willactually accomplish anything. A recent report calls the Haqqaninetwork “an efficient, trans�national jihadi industry” that hasreal estate and construction in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Arab Gulfand beyond.” Proponents of the designation claim that these businessinterests will be undermined, but others in the White House point outthat several Haqqani leaders have already been designated individuallyas terrorists, and that hasn’t affected their business interests.Washington Post

The Haqqani Network and the Pashtuns

The Haqqani Network is the culmination of how I’ve been describing foryears the Afghanistan war in terms of Generational Dynamics theory.

President Obama initiated the “surge” into Afghanistan in2009 with the intent of duplicating the success of PresidentBush’s “surge” strategy into Iraq in 2007. However, as I’vewritten several times in the past, the generational situationin Afghanistan is very different than in Iraq, and there aresignificant differences that will prevent the surge strategy fromworking there.

Afghan-Pak-India ethnic map
Afghan-Pak-India ethnic map

Iraq’s last generational crisis war was the Iran/Iraq war of the1980s, meaning that Iraq is in a generational Awakening era, not veryinterested in war. This was an external war, fought with Iran, thatbrought the Iraqi people together against a common foe. When al-Qaedain Iraq started operating, they were thrown out by people on bothsides of the Sunni/Shia sectarian divide, since the two sides werestill united. Thus, America’s 2007 “surge” was very effective inhelping them eject al-Qaeda in Iraq. From 2007: “Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq”

Afghanistan’s last generational crisis war was the bloody civil war ofthe 1990s, climaxing in 1996. So Afghanistan is at the end of agenerational Recovery era, and is just entering a generationalAwakening era, and from that point of view, the country is similar toIraq. But the huge difference is that Afghanistan’s crisis war was acivil war.

During the extremely bloody ethnic civil war that the Afghans foughtin the 1990s, the Shia Muslim Hazaris and the Sunni Muslim Pashtunswere on opposite sides, and the ethnic groups were torturing andkilling each other within Afghanistan. The Hazari and the Pashtunsare going to continue to see each other as the enemy, and they willcan never come together and see the Haqqani network as a commonenemy, in the way that the Iraqi’s saw al-Qaeda in Iraq as a commonenemy.

Even despite all that, things might settle down in Afghanistan, if itweren’t for one more major problem. The Taliban are Pashtuns. TheHaqqani Network are Pashtuns. The Pashtuns live in a broad area thatspans Afghanistan, Pakistan’s tribal area, and Pakistan’s northwest,as you can see from the map above, where the Pashtuns are shown ingreen.

The additional major problem is that the Pashtuns in Pakistan areon a different generational timeline than the Pashtuns in Afghanistan.Pakistan’s last crisis war was Partition, the 1947 partitioning ofthe Indian subcontinent into Pakistan and India. So the PakistaniPashtuns are deep into a generational crisis era, and the HaqqaniNetwork are Pakistani Pashtuns, able to move freely acrossthe border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

So we have a situation where Afghanistan is entering a generationalAwakening era, and has little desire for a bloody war. Indeed,Afghan president Hamid Karzai is a Pashtun who has close relationswith the Hazaris. But the Pakistani-based Haqqani Network wantsa war, and believe that a Pashtun victory will give themcontrol of the entire region.

I keep reading nonsense that various American officials are hopingthat the Taliban will agree to a negotiated truce with Nato. Thisis so absurd that it’s laughable. Yes, the Afghan Taliban mightagree to that, but there is no way in hell that the HaqqaniNetwork or the Pakistani Taliban in general are going to haveanything to do with a peace agreement with the infidels.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out again, as I have in the past, thathistorically, Hindus have been allied with Shia Muslims in warsagainst Sunni Muslims, and this is the current trend in the region.In the coming Clash of Civilizations world war, it’s expected thatPakistan will be allied with the Taliban (Pashtuns) in southernAfghanistan, and India will be allied with Iran and with the Hazarisand other Shia Muslims in northern Afghanistan.

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Taliban,Haqqani Network, Inter-Services Intelligence, ISI,Pashtuns, Iraq, al-Qaeda in Iraq, India, Hindus, Iran
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