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Exit Strategy: A way out of Afghanistan

The secret to success is Pakistan.

Dealing with Afghanistan is getting exponentially difficult. The Mayor of Kabul living in the “forbidden” Arg palace has no clue on how to govern the country. The anti-occupation forces have the run of the country and have repeatedly attacked Kabul and the heart of the US military.
As the insurgents smell victory the attacks have become more and more brazen–the latest onslaught from the capital to one of the largest and most-heavily fortified US bases in Bagram.

In a grim reminder of the Vietnamese “Tet Offensive” this new wave of suicide attacks has badly impacted the ISAF’s ability and hampered it much heralded military offensives in Helmand, Kandahar and Paktika provinces. Its not looking good. General McChrystal said so in so many words when he reiterated that “neither side is winning”. If the independent reports are to be believed about 90% of Afghanistan is int he hands of the militants. Some analysis describe the US as a “blind man in a dark room, looking for a dark cat which isn’t there”. Top America, NATO and ISAF military commanders seem to be groping in the dark, trying to in finding a way out of the malaise. Defeated on the battlefield, the losing generals are doing what all defeated generals do–blame others. Of course Pakistan is the favorite whipping boy and North Waziristan the excuse for losing 90% of Afghanistan. Why would the so called Talibans need “sanctuaries” in North Waziristian, if they own all of Afghanistan? But logic doesn’t work with generals who own the media have the Crusaders on their side.

This is a seminal moment in history–for America and for the region.

The Battle of Maiwand and the defeat at Gandawak are persistent reminders to the British on the limits of imperial power and what it can achieve. Lord Curzon took the expedient decision after the defeats and announced the “Back to the Indus” policy–and the British Empire used Afghanistan as a buffer state between imperial Britain and Tzarist Russia.

Perpetual mimetic warfare, brutal occupation and blanket repression strategies are not working any more. The Anti-Occupation forces labeled as the “Taliban” have proposed a “safe exit” to America if it promises to leave. Mr. Karzai asking the owners of Afghanistan to lay down their weapons may be barking up the wrong tree.

International Analysts worldwide are now publicly questioning the so called military doctrines of stemming out of Brussels and Washington. Are they working? The drone have created the worst backlash to bombing in modern history. The Pakistanis have lost 12000 people martyred to the so called “war on terror”. The US has not been free of the risks–and Times Square remains a reminder of the blowback.
The Karzai family’s corruption, the American hubris and the European reluctance to fight keeps the fruits of nation building out of the reach of most of the penury stricken, war affected population of Afghanistan.

Every time a Reaper or Predator drone takes off, the mothers and children of Afghanistan cringe. Its 91 every day for them. Every time it fires its hellfire missiles the dream of peace become less possible. Each hellfire increases Anti-Americanism around the globe.

President Karzai knows many languages, but his best one is schmooze. As Churchill said a very long time ago “you can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time”. President Karzai, speaking from both sides of his mouth– he plays to the Western gallery while lambasting the “Coalition of the Willing” (ISAF, NATO, US etc) for real and perceived war crimes. The question is are the jirgas still on? They were just for show anyway, so hosting them for the American audience doesn’t change the realities on the ground.

The incomprehensible strategy to attain a military solution was clarified by President Obama in Westpoint this week! He is banking on a composite solution. Afghanistan poses are danger to Iran, Pakistan, Russia, the Central Asia republics, and to China. The war-weary conglomeration of tribes has been in war for the past thirty years.

Every year the insurgents launch a “Spring Offensive”. This year was not exception. They code named this years offensive “Al-Fatah” (Victory). The moniker says volumes about their new found confidence.

The US President Barack Obama, and President Karzai face the confidence of the insurgents with trepidation and political expediency–which forces them to deal with the scum of the earth and the drug lords that have preyed on the innocent.

Many doubt the might of the Pakhtuns but they own Afghanistan and the “Coalition of the Willing” does not. President Obama had changed strategies multiple time. Planning a robust Exit Strategy with the Pakistan is the best move yet–as long as he can keep Ms. Clinton’s mouth taped.

Ms. Hillary Clinton has done more harm to peace in West Asia than a gang-rape by a combination of the Geller’s Neo-Nazis and the followers of Robert Spencer.A

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