THE FAILED US NATO STRATEGY IN AFGANISTAN AS ASSESSED ON 2ND AUGUST 2006
War is too serious a business to be waged like business.The West is presentky engaged in a clash of civilisation waged all over the globe.
The perception in the Islamic world and among Muslims all over the world is that this is a crusade disguised in the facade of war against terror . The qusetion is not that this perception is right or wrong but the fact that this perception is sinking harder and harder in the Muslim psyche and leading to a backlash which will turn into a massive long term avalanch in due course.Perhaps in a time span of 1 to 3 years.
The essence of the West's ( Its not USA alone , it is North America and West Europe with some new upstarts like Hungary and Lithunia admitted in the exclusive NATO club) strategic position is as following :---
- It is a war with no tangible centre of gravity hence no single Operation Barbarossa can be planned to capture Moscow and finish the USSR or an OVERLORD to capture Berlin and finish NAZI Germany.
- There is a strategic suspension of action following invasion and capture of Iraq and Afghanistan with both the states invaded but not conquered .
- The West which is perceived as a Christian North American-West European coalition with Turks as good camp followers and the submissive dog catcher Paki military junta which is the faux pas of the whole affair and makes winning of this war by the Chris-NA-W-EU-TURK- PAKI-dogcatcher coalition difficult.
- The Chris-NA-W-EU-TURK-PAKI-dogcatcher coalition does not know where to strike next and how to digest what they have taken in their mouth .Its hard for them to chew what they have in their mouth although Baghdad and Kabul is oveflowing with pork of all types and some clever Arabs and Afghans are making good bucks selling pork with some good German Butchers along Street Number 15 of Kabul's Wazir Akbar Khan and sausage factories in Karte Seh.
- The Chris-NA-W-EU-TURK- PAKI-dogcatcher coalition lacks that burning fire to beat the enemy that in words of Stalin is the key to victory in war .On one side there are suicide bombers who are dangerous because their master minds are fanatics with an idea and a strategy and good tactics.On the other side we have chocolate cream soldiers with top level armor protection and no stomach to fight to the better end.On a tour of duty to make an extra buck which they could not do in their home countries.Lower or lower middle class boys , with no pride of a VON to achieve the impossible . No Irish Iron Duke's or a Lords younger son to beat a Marhatta at Assaye.One special thing about the German Army between 1870 and 1945 was that it had a heavy proportion of the Prussian/German nobility , impoverished but with great pride.Can it be said of todays German Army .The same is the case with the British who till 1945 had a strong and motivated officer corps.The army which won at Waterloo and at Blenheim had officers who had pride.Here we see a bunch of guys who are in Afghanistan for a short tour of duty .no motivation of Lord Roberts marching from Kabul to Kandahar ! The Americans carry the same naievette that distinguished them in WW Two and in Vietnam.Well fed , well armed but with no grey matter.Having an officer corps composed of careerists but few professionals.Much bravado and little strategic or even operational or tactical talent.Huge targets visible from a 100 miles.
- The enemy is invisible , with a very small logistic tale and deadly teeth pitched against a chocolate cream army with a long tale and small teeth despite overwhelmingly superior weapons.The main weapon in this war is the remote control mine which can be manufactured with local expedients.
- The enemy has vast reservoirs of manpower.There are over 50,000 Madrassas in Pakistan .The Jesuits , and I was educated in a Jesuit school , used to say that , give me a child for first five years of his life and he is mine .What I learnt at the Jesiot school was to be tolerant and a passion for alchohol because some of our Christian teachers had a deep communion with the bottle.The Pakistani Muslim Jesuits are more dangerous because they are training for war.Every Madrassa is a Kriegspiele and a War College supported by multiple schools of infantry and tactics .This is a dangerous war because the enemy has no uniforms.
- This is a dangerous war because one side has to fight by civilised rules and one side believes in no rules.Savagery can be remedied only by savagery but the West has its dead weights of human rights and the press barons looking for sensational atrocities.The Islamists have declared unrestricted U Boat war all over the globe and have no rules of engagement but the west is encumbered by rules of engagement ! The West has to abandon its civilsed rules of conduct or it will lose the war.It should study the history of Islam and the East again .Massacre of prisoners in cold blood was common.Muslim Sultans of Delhi frequently executed all male population above 8 and Ahmad Shah Abdali regarded women as booty .This was true for all kings of that age.How Saddam controlled Iraq ! How the Pakistan Army massacred Muslims in East Bengal in 1971.
- The Talibs can be fought but the US has to learn from Roberts who hanged daily some 50 people in Kabul during the Second Afghan War and this had a positive effect .The British were victors in the Second Afghan War.Violence has to be answered with multiple violence.
- The Afghan Iran and Afghan Pakistan border cannot be sealed and state actors in Iran and non state actors in Pakistan are deeply committed to make sure that if the West does not lose this war , they dont win also.
- The key is time.The West has little time.Every day is an accountants nightmare and the Islamists have ample time to fight and strike at the time and place of their choosing .
- Even Russia and its Central Asian satellites watch with secret happiness how hopelessly the USA and its sattellites are bogged down.
- Intelligence is hopeless at local levels and every day 5 to 10 Western intelligence sources are gunned down in the region.
- The Afghan Army has no military virtue and the American contractors who are training them do not know how to instill it. Their main virtue is driving their US Ford jeeps at top speed.They do need to have this skill to bolt away from the field of action in Helmand,Uruzgan and Kandahar.
- The middleman , the big Ten US and many other Afghan and Turkish companies have made big money.I have documentary evidence to prove that profits of USAID , JICA and many other aided projects range from 30 to 50 % .
- Instead of applying Machiavelli and making Muslims fight the Muslims the West is relying on short term Christian draftees to fight a hard war which has to be fought with the cunning of a fox , ruthlessness of a wolf and a heart of a lion.In a nutshell they have a lot of muscle but little grey matter and little heart to use the muscle !
- The Taliban Movement has serious non state as well as state supporters in Pakistan and beyond .The NATO or the US do not have the military capability to seal the Afghan Pakistan , Iran Afghan or even the Afghan Central Asian Border .Even the Pakistan Army cannot control or seal the Afghan Pak border.
Seen in this context the conclusions are :--
- Any Anti Taliban strategy in Afghanistan without dealing the Pakistan problem is bound to fail and this is the most likely fate of the present US NATO strategy.
- The US can sit in main cities of Afghanistan but this won't lead to the demise of the Taliban.
- The US-NATO forces simply lack the basic motivation to fight the Taliban.
- In the long run the whole region from Lebanon till Pakistan will be a land of strategic anarchy and a greater danger to world peace.
- The Afghan Army lacks the will to fight as well as the military potential.The Afghan state will remain a fiction for a long time to come unless the US-NATO find an Amir Abdul Rahman type .
- Occupation of Afghanistan by US-NATO is not a strategic object in itself and is bound to fail unless USA cannot deal with Iran and Pakistan .
- In Pakistan even the military junta is clueless how to deal with the Islamists.On the other hand the Islamists have a deep penetration in the military junta.
- The US lacks the strategic brilliance to do serial number 6 .
- Afghanistan remains condemns to be the drug smugglers paradise with active involvement of all parties Afghan,American,NATO and the neighbours.
- Instead of following a subtle strategy the USA , pedantic and outrageously naieve as ever is creating more Shah of Irans.A State Department officer in Kabul was my friend and the two word conclusion that he came to after our 8 months strategic discussions conducted as friends was that the US State Department decision makers were a bunch of " WET PUSSIES".
- PERSONAL CONCLUSION:-- What will be the place of a non religious non mosque going , Scotch Whiskey lover , Muslim in name only man in this scenario.Personally i am a liberal but all around i see signs of demise of liberalism.
The scene is set for diasaster and what is now a small cloud may become a hurricane within ten years.
It is the law of history and nature that when an Empire has to decline , the perception of its key decision makers is clouded and they do not see things as they are.I am not a religious man but I do remember reading the Bible , " the race is not to the swift , nor the battle to the strong , but time and chance happeneth to them all ".
Ex Editor Globe , Ex Assistant Editor Defence Journal,Ex Editor Journal of Afghanistan Studies , Kabul 2004-2005 --PUBLICATIONS:-- Pakistan Army till 1965,Sepoy Rebellion of 1857-59 Reinterpreted,Indo Pak Wars from 1947-71-A Strategic and Operational Analysis,The Essential Clausewitz, held at Library of Congress,Combined Arms Research Library US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth,US Army War College Library Carlisle,US Army Armor School Fort Knox Library,Columbia University LibraryUS Military Academy West Point ,columnist PRAVDA,NATION,DAWN,FRIDAY TIMES,SOUTH ASIA TRIBUNE,STATESMAN PESHAWAR,CITADEL MAGAZINE OF COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE QUETTA,PAKISTAN ARMY JOURNAL,INDIAN STRATEGIC REVIEW, WWW.ORBAT.COM,FRONTIER POST,THE NEWS,BALOCH OSTOMAN, BALOCH.COM,MILITARY AND SECURITY REVIEW.