President Barack Obama’s recent announcement of an unexpectedly rapid drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan is producing a bitter reaction in Pakistan to the effect that America makes promises but, once again, is ignoring its promises and abandoning its allies, and that the Obama administration is acting for political purposes, and following narrow parochial interests.
Alternate supply routes to Afghan war (WaPost)
The Pakistan public generally blames America for the numerous terrorist attacks from al-Qaeda and the Taliban that Pakistan has suffered since 9/11. Here’s a typical view from Pakistan Observer:
“Pakistan is suffering the most in ongoing war on terror which is raging for over a decade and may go on for many more years. It is up against local militants of various hues funded, equipped trained and guided by foreign agencies based in Afghanistan. Bomb attacks and suicide attacks have become a routine. 30,000 civilians and 5000 security personnel have died in terror attacks. 9,000 security forces have received serious injuries while combating militancy. Afghan and NATO troops indulging in border violations and NATO jets frequently violate airspace and at times bomb security border posts. US Marines had undertaken a heli-borne raid in Angoor Adda in September 2009. Drone strike rate has accelerated from 2009 onwards and has reached a crescendo and hundreds of innocent people have died. …
Presence of US troops is bound to keep insurgency simmering which in turn will keep the region unstable. Pakistan is the most affected country since it will be up against several hostile forces. It will also have to contend with huge CIA network harboring ill designs against Pakistan. With large Indian presence of India in Afghanistan and continued patronage of US military, RAW [India’s intelligence agency] will continue with its covert war against Pakistan. Karzai must understand that Pakistan and not USA will act as the proverbial straw to save him from drowning.”
The concern is that now that the Americans have come to Afghanistan and destabilized the country, they’ll leave the country in much the same way that the Americans pulled out of Vietnam — leaving behind a massive civil war. An analysis published by a Jordanian official and translated by Memri says that the American withdrawal will turn Afghanistan into one big terrorist camp:
“But if the American forces indeed withdraw… when [Afghanistan] is still in this tragic state, with the Taliban able to reach any target it wants and Al-Qaeda still in existence and able to hit any target it wants, whether in [Afghanistan] or elsewhere – the situation is bound to return to what it was [before the Americans came]. And in this situation, we will surely see a recurrence of the tragedies that occurred following [America’s] first withdrawal in the early 1990s, only in a more catastrophic form.”
These concerns have been fed by increases in cross-border attacks between Afghanistan and Pakistan. On Wednesday, hundreds of militants crossed from Afghanistan and attacked several border villages in Pakistan, triggering shootouts with local militias that killed at least five people, according to AP.
On Tuesday, at least 150 militants came from Pakistan and overran three border checkpoints in eastern Afghanistan near the border, killing at least 12 Afghan border policemen.
These acts are increasing tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afganistan is accusing Pakistan of intentionally firing rockets into Afghanistan, firing at militants. The accusations have been denied.
As tensions grow between Afghanistan and Pakistan, relations between the U.S. and Pakistan are in free fall. The U.S. has sharply reduced military aid to Pakistan, and the Pakistanis have thrown the Americans out of an airbase on Pakistani soil.
The concern is that Pakistan could, once and for all, cut off the land route used by American forces to bring food, fuel and equipment from Karachi harbor to Afghanistan. There was, in fact, a brief cutoff in September.
For that reason, the U.S. military is rapidly expanding its aerial and Central Asian supply routes to the war in Afghanistan, according to the Washington Post. The map at the beginning of this report shows the new routes.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the Afghan counterinsurgency never had a chance of succeeding, largely because of the Pakistan connection. (See “30-Jun-11 News — Terrorist bombing of Kabul hotel shows power of Haqqani network.”) And anyway, in the end, the war in Afghanistan will be less important than the coming nuclear war between Pakistan and India.
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About 100 demonstrators in Karachi on Monday protested to denounce a gay rights event hosted last month by the U.S. embassy, calling the meeting “an assault on Pakistan’s Islamic culture.” According to one Islamic leader, “We condemn the American conspiracy to encourage bisexualism in our country. They have destroyed us physically, imposed the so-called war on terrorism on us and now they have unleashed cultural terrorism on us. This meeting shows cruel America has unleashed a storm of immoral values on our great Islamic values, which we’ll resist at all costs.” AFP
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