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Pakistan Bleeds United States in Afghanistan
|by Dr. Subhash Kapila|
Pakistan has been bleeding the United States in Afghanistan militarily ever since 2001-2002 when the United States undertook its military intervention to displace the Taliban regime imposed by Pakistan in Kabul and destroy the Islamic Jihadi infrastructure established there jointly by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The Taliban and the Al Qaeda were their political creations and which since the 1990s have constantly waged war against the United States. It began with international terrorism against USA and the West culminating in the horrific onslaught of 9/11 on the citadels of power on the US mainland. It now continues as a proxy war on Pakistan's behalf to destabilize the United States political and military control over Afghanistan. Regrettably, the United States policy establishment has not recognized this strategic reality and pushes on with the belief that Pakistan as a Major Non-NATO ally is faithfully furthering American strategic aims in Afghanistan.
The United States seems to be fixated on this belief as is evident from the remarks given by US President-elect Obama in a media interview. In brief Obama's interview remarks attributed to him imply that Pakistan has considerable insecurities arising from Afghanistan which precludes it from wholly siding with the United States in the global war on terrorism. Chiefly, the major insecurity arises from the unresolved Kashmir issue and that the new US Administration under him would focus on resolving this issue and that to this end he may nominate former US President Clinton as his Special Envoy With this process Obama hopes to enlist Pakistan more vigorously assisting USA in Afghanistan.
The present Column would not like to dwell on the merits and de-merits of Obama's projected observations on South Asia as a whole. Probably, once in office the prevailing strategic realities may prompt him to revise his present perceptions. This Column however would like to focus on how Pakistan bleeds the United States in Afghanistan by asymmetric warfare through the use of the Taliban in the same manner that it bleeds India in Kashmir and by proxy terrorism all over India now.
Afghanistan by now after six years of sustained United States and NATO effort in terms of reconstruction and reorganization would have emerged as a stable, democratic and moderate Islamic State and as a model for Pakistan itself. The United States needs to ask itself as to why this has not come around?
Afghanistan has not emerged as a stable and secure state because Pakistan despite its rhetorical profession of enduring loyalty to the United States and its objectives in the region has all along been 'double-timing' the United States strategically and militarily. The Pakistan Army in which the United States has so heavily invested is the main cause of Pakistan's 'double timing' as till recently it was in military control of Pakistan from 2001 to 2008.
The Pakistan Army was committed to apprehend Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda Chief and so also the Taliban Chief Mullah Omar. Six years down the line the United States has still to get its hands on them. They continue to enjoy safe havens in Pakistan territory by kind courtesy of the Pakistan Army.
The Pakistan Army was committed to seal Pakistan's borders with Afghanistan along the Durand Line so as to prevent the ingress of Taliban militia fighters into Afghanistan for disruptive activities and terrorism against the Karzai regime in Kabul which was democratically elected. The Taliban continues to enjoy unrestricted access to Afghanistan by virtue of Pakistan Army's complicity in the ongoing proxy war being conducted by the Taliban on Pakistan's behalf.
Pakistan Army's acts of military commission and omission are not only resulting in the unending instability in Afghanistan but more ironically in loss of thousands of United States and NATO military lives as a result of the 'double-timing' of the United States at the hands of those sworn to defend United States strategic interests in that region.
The Pakistan Army aims to bleed the United States in Afghanistan so that this culminates in 'strategic fatigue' which in turn would prompt the United States to make a hasty exit from Afghanistan and leave that hapless nation as a free run for Pakistan Army strategic designs.
Pakistan's insidious role in Afghanistan is still not being read correctly in Washington despites the forthcoming change politically. The same Pakistan-centric perspectives seem to persist and this in a rapidly changing security environment in South-West Asia could add to United States strategic woes.
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