America has lost the war in Afghanistan. It needs a face-saving exit out of the Hindu Kush. President Obama needs to show his electorate that he killed Osama Bin Laden America is safe once again. When the Afghan National Resistance stages spectacular attacks in the heart of Kabul, the American bubble of a stable Afghanistan is busted and the American people begin thinking of the lies that they have been told. An expeditious withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan (Bharati interference notwithstanding) is in interest of Pakistan. Pakistan can deal with Bharat. The China-Pakistan alliance can deal with Delhi’s machinations in Kabul. Islambad’s main objective right now should be to help the American get out of Afghanistan. A national and international strategy has to be constructed to enable the withdrawal of US forces from the Hindu Kush. The United States and Pakistan is the world’s oddest couple, with an on-again, off-again friendship that has survived since the 1950s. The current impasse is a reaction to the Haqqani attacks on the US Embassy etc.
Islamabad has to act in its own interests. Pakistan cannot take America’s words on anything that has to do with Afghanistan.
Beware “What Man speaks with forked tongue”.
There was much discussion of the Strategic Dialogue and other such stuff. Nothing came of it. The Pakistani population and its vibrant media remained extremely skeptical of any US moves. The words did not match their deeds. “Once bitten, twice shy“, the Pakistani media and elite wanted instant results from America–the results were not delivered quickly–American today face an abyss in the Khyber–from which it may not be able to recover.
The disappointment is not ubiquitous in Islamabad–but Pakistani patience has run out. However a direct confrontation with the US has to be avoided at all costs.
The US has lost a narrow window of opportunity in Afghanistan. American could have built up Pakistan with substantial aid, eliminated the energy crisis, and assisted int he floods. It however sent a trickle o aid, just enough to keep the corrupt politicians in their pockets. Nothing more, nothing less. While Afghanistan got $143 billion in aid, and Iraq got $650 billion in aid per yeare, Pakistan was promised $7.5 billion over five years–though only $300 million of that so called aid ever materialized. Pakistan has lost $60 billion according to the numbers given by President Zardari. So the aid is useless and the strings that come with the aid is slimy and too intrsuive, even for a complaint government
- Tightened US ties with Pakistan
- Appeasing India has been a US miscalculation
- Pakistan’s Parity with India: Old ghosts haunt Delhi
The Pakistani strategists have already ascertained that the aid is about to be cut-off. President Obama’s recent comments hinted at that. The prayers of most Pakistanis have come true. With an end to the aid, the US will not be able to intrude the way it has done in the past few years.
There are a couple of things that are standing in the way of the Americans–one is their defeat in Afghanistan, and the other is their inability to control events in Pakistan. The Council of Foreign Relations is a Pakistanphobic thinktank–its employees need to be taken with a pinch of salt. “Ayub Khan’s letter to a US Admiral, in 1955? needs to be compared to knee-bended Indian pleas to send them arms in 1962, and Kennedy and Johnson’s responses with respect to Pakistan.
Michael Howard the Chilean Professor of History. His overemphasis on the theoretical basis of war tries to justify “the long war”-just like St. Augustine tried to justify the “good war” of the Holy Roman Empire almost 1,600 years ago. American today no longer think of the war in Afghanistan as a “good war” or one that is necessary.
The thesis that “The US will not withdraw from Afghanistan” is flawed. The US has to withdraw from Pakistan. The global financial crisis and the American people demand it.
The Long War’ is not sustainable and the US seeks “a face saving” exit. It has learnt that all roads to Kabul lead from Islamabad. NATO and ISAF have tried the Bharati model and it failed to give them the results that they required. Delhi was unable to hand over Afghanistan to them on a silver platter–hence President Obama is trying the Pakistani proposal presented by General Kiyani.
- Waning Regional Influence of India
- Afghanistan-Pakistan: Economies are one. Culturally, linguistically, ethnically same
- India’s dilemma: Avoiding being taken for granted
- US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue: Can the US ‘do more’?
It has bled enough. It economy is in shambles, and it has lost the appetite for war. A tired America needs right now, is a face saving exit from Afghanistan.
- Strategic failure: Can Delhi learn from Curzon’s mistakes?
- Can India become a positive force for change?
We think that Pakistan should give them that face saving exit.
- Strategic dialogue or Strategic Farce?
- Delhi unable to kill Nagaland separatist movement
- ‘Chindia’ dead: China-India War inevitable
- Can Delhi derail US-Pakistan dialogue?
An America– out of Afghanistan would allow Islamabad to build its strategic alliances with Tajikistan and a representative government in Kabul.
The focus should be on rebuilding Pakistan. In the longer run, Pakistan needs help to move up the economic value chain and into manufacturing goods. With its growing population, it needs GDP growth of 6% or more each year to keep improving the lives of its 175 million inhabitants, half of whom are below 18 years of age. That growth depends on foreign investment, which is critically dependent on security and good governance, both of which have been in short supply in recent years. But Pakistan must also avoid becoming dependent on aid or ceding its sovereignty in the process of acquiring aid. As its first military dictator, Mohammad Ayub Khan, put it bluntly: Pakistan needs “friends not masters.”
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For the past fifty of the last sixty years, the diplomats in Delhi have opposed every US policy around the world. During the Cold War, the Socialist Nehru dynasty (still in power after fifty years) opposed the US on 95% of the votes in the United Nations. Bharati (aka Indian) politicians and the entire country opposed the liberation of Afghanistan and supported the USSRs invasion of that country.
The reason for the Bharati support of the USSR was because according to Delhi’s calculations the USSR would win the Cold War and because the Socialists in Nehru’s government thought that supporting Moscow was in the interest of Delhi. Bharat’s support for the Soviets was because of the ideological support for World Socialism, but also because of the deep rooted hatred for what it called “US Imperialism” and “Ugly capitalism”. The Indian politicians firmly believed that by supporting Stalin and Kruschev and they would be on the winning side.
Since the 50s, the Bharatis condemned Pakistan for being a founding member of SEATO and CENTO, and called Pakistan a US lackey–ironically Delhi was more loyal to Moscow than Cuba.
Vir Sanghvi of the Hindustan Times has written a very strange article. On the one hands, he describes the usual company line of Bharat in criticizing Pakistan for its support for its traditional alliances with America–on the other hand Sanghvi laments the so called American tilt towards Pakistan. Sanghvi then dives into a never ending diatribe against everything American. Of course the purpose of his rhetoric is to malign Pakistan. However his ineptitude describes US policy and why it should be subservient to Delhi’s interests.
After the destruction of the USSR, Delhi found itself surrounded by a belligerent China, an antagonist Bangladesh, a fearful Nepal, and an aggressive Pakistan. It was at this time the Delhi found the good practices of America and fell in “love” with America.
If the US wants a partner in Delhi, let them have it. The new century will not be defined in English, it will be described in Chinese, and Pakistan’s geographic location allows it to build on the FTA and export goods to the 1.3 billion Chinese. There is no point in exporting goods half the world away–it is much easier to sell them to China.
Discussion of the view that Pakistan should align with Bharat has been around for six decades. “But this view is not new to Pakistanis. I recall having met Michael Krepon of the Henry Stimson Centre in 1995 and 2001 advocating risk reduction and confidence building measures with India”
What Professor Walter Russell Mead is saying is nothing knew. The US and the Democratic Party think of Pakistan as an artificial divide. Pakistanis–as long as they continue to call it “partition” we will continue to play into that nonsensical theories. Ayub Khan answered them with “Friends Not Masters” and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in his book “Myth of Independence” famously said:
The idea of becoming subservient to India is abhorrent and that of cooperation with India, with the object of promoting tension with China, equally repugnant.” Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
here is nothing new to this garbage. This started even before to the Cold War ended. Pakistan was being forced by the Soviet Union to join the “Asian Security Pact” which would have reduced Pakistan to the status of Chechnya in the greater scheme of things. On the other hand the US wanted Pakistan and India to join forces against China. There is nothing new in this!