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World View: U.S. Announces End of Joint Operations with Afghan Soldiers

World View: U.S. Announces End of Joint Operations with Afghan Soldiers

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Afghan suicide attack kills 13 in revenge for anti-Islamic movie
  • Appearing to panic, U.S. announces end of joint operations with Afghan soldiers
  • China’s nuclear weapons dilemma
  • China discovering billions of dollars in fraud over steel warehousing
  • Russia reveals a huge diamond mine in Siberia

Afghan suicide attack kills 13 in revenge for anti-Islamic movie

A militant group called Hezb-i-Islami (Party of Islam) claimedresponsibility for one of the most deadly insurgent attacks in Kabul,Afghanistan, this year, after a suicide bomber detonated a car filledwith explosives on a main thoroughfare. Most of the victims wereSouth Africans, packed into a minivan on their way to work at theairport. The suicide bomber rammed into the minivan, creating a hugeexplosion whose shockwaves were felt in many parts of the city,sending the minivan flying at least 160 feet from its originallocation. ABC News

Appearing to panic, U.S. announces end of joint operations with Afghan soldiers

In a move that strikes at the heart of the strategy for withdrawingNato forces from Afghanistan by 2014, the U.S. has announcedthat it will no longer conduct joint operations with Afghansoldiers. These joint operations are an essential componentof the withdrawal strategy, because they’re needed to trainthe Afghan soldiers to defend themselves after Nato leaves.Now they’re going to be left on their own without havingbeen properly trained. 

The decision may have been made in panic, as none of America’s Natoallies were informed of the decision before it was announced. Thedecision was made in reaction to a series of killings of Nato soldiersby the Afghan partner soldiers they were supposed to be working withand training. It turns out that many of them had joined the Afghanarmy to await an opportunity to kill Americans and other Nato forces,and then flee back to their Taliban barracks. So far in 2012, 51 Natosoldiers have been killed in this way, 8 of them over the lastweekend.

The Obama administration had implemented a “surge” strategy,attempting to emulate President Bush’s successful surge strategyin Iran in 2007. However, as I’ve written many times in thelast three years, a Generational Dynamics analysis shows significantgenerational differences between Iraq and Afghanistan that makeit impossible for the same surge strategy to work.

The fundamental difference is that in Iraq’s two previousgenerational crisis wars, Iraqis put aside sectarian (Sunni vs Shia)differences to fight an external enemy. So they had no troublecooperating to eject another foreign intruder, al-Qaeda in Iraq.

But Afghanistan’s last generational crisis war was an extremelybloody sectarian civil war, with Sunni Pashtuns (Taliban)fighting against Shia Hazaris. There isn’t a snowflake’schance in hell that the Sunni Taliban are going to agree toa peace deal with Nato.

In fact, Tuesday’s announcement reflects exactly that. The Afghanarmy is infiltrated with Sunni Taliban soldiers who are committed tojihad against Nato and America, as well as against the Shia Hazariswith whom they’re supposed to be uniting.

The Nato leadership hopes that once the furor over the Americananti-Muslim film dies down, then Nato can resume joint patrols withthe Afghans. But almost all of those 51 incidents this year occurredlong before that furor began, and so the Nato plan for smoothwithdrawal from Afghanistan remains wishful thinking. The realdanger, and quite a realistic one, is the complete collapse of theAfghan army, such as what happened when the Americans withdrew fromVietnam in 1974. Guardian (London) and Khaleej Times (Dubai)

China’s nuclear weapons dilemma

According to an assessment of China’s nuclear weapons strategy,China has a serious dilemma: 

  • They don’t want to be the first to use nuclear weapons
  • Therefore a “defensive” first strike would have to be with conventional missiles, and these missiles have to be ready to strike first and hard.
  • But the same Chinese military bases are used for both conventional weapons and nuclear weapons
  • Therefore, if they launch conventional weapons, their enemy (the U.S.) won’t be able to tell the difference, and will assume that they’re nuclear weapons, and will respond with nuclear weapons.
  • Therefore, “Escalation to nuclear war could become accelerated and unavoidable.”


China discovering billions of dollars in fraud over steel warehousing

There’s just no end to the imagination of financial criminals intoday’s world culture of fraud and extortion, and a new kind of fraudhas been revealed in China. Many firms had borrowed billions ofdollars from banks, and pledged warehouses containing stacks of storedsteel as collateral. Now many of those firms are defaulting, and thebanks are discovering that the warehouses are ghosts — they eitherdon’t exist, or they’re empty. Many firms pledged the same warehousesas collateral for multiple loans. According to an analyst inShanghai, “What we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.The situation will get worse as poor demand, slumping prices and tightcredit from banks create a domino effect on the industry.” Reuters and ZeroHedge

Russia reveals a huge diamond mine in Siberia

World diamond markets may soon become chaotic with sharply fallingprices, after Russia revealed a huge diamond mine in Siberia, withenough diamonds to supply global markets for another 3,000 years. Thediamond mine was actually discovered in 1971, but it was kept secretbecause the Russians did not want to risk losing money from their ownlucrative diamond sales. CS Monitor

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