Rupee News has always predicted that NATO and the US will leave Afghanistan ahead of schedule. NATO has already announced its early withdrawal in 2013. We predict that President Obama is waiting for the elections to be over before he admits to “Cut and Run” and implements “Cut and Sprint”.
General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of NATO says “From now until the end of 2014 we will see announcements of redeployments, withdrawals or drawdown.” Rasmussen fessed up in the Guardian in an interview. “If the security situation allows, I would not exclude the possibility that in certain areas you could accelerate the process.”
In 2009, Afghanistan looked like such a mess that President Obama was forced to order the surge. Compared to 2009, Afghanistan does not look improved–with the attacks at the same of higher level. With the surge gone, things will deteriorate rapidly. The surge was not only the soldiers, it also consisted of the mercenaries that the US Army outsources. With the end of the Surge, the mercenaries have also departed, drastically reducing the footprint of NATO in Afghanistan.
The results are obvious and are all over the print.
Military’s Own Report Card Gives Afghan Surge an F
The US Military Report Shows Afghan Surge Complete Failure
The withdrawal of the Surge has not allowed the ephemeral “Afghan-National Army-by-Day” and “Taliban-by-night” to take over large swathes of territory. In fact NATO and the US has stopped the joint missions and US officers stay away from the ANA which has been murdering Westerners at will.
The US lost all of 2011 because of a useless and non-productive spat with Pakistan which halted all NATO supplies of more than half the year. While the US struggled to use the Northern route, Russia began to flex its muscles. The US then began searching for a Non-Pakistani and Non-Russian route. It discovered that the rates in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan began to rise. Another thing that began to rise in 2011 were the attacks on NATO trucks. The halting of the NATO supplies by Pakistan pushed the war northwards. The Afghan National Resistance (ANR) began rekindling old alliances with the IMU in Central Asia further destabilizing the very countries that the US wanted to increase its influence in.
No one is interested in peace in Afghanistan. The Northern Alliance leaders are all shopping for homes in Western capitals and in Bharat. Ironically Mr. Karzai may share a neighborhood with his arch-enemy Abdulah Abdullah.
A new general has arrived in Afghanistan. The US generals and civilian officials have all but written off what was once one of the cornerstones of American strategy to end the war in Afghanistan.
Bruce Reidel has been saying (in code words):
1) Convince the Pakistanis–code words for allowing so many terror attacks on the civilian population and military establishment that they forget who the enemy is
2) Use the Liberal elite and NGOs in Pakistan to sow seeds of dissention
3) Pressure Pakistan into attacking its own people
4) Engaging in drone warfare so that the folks retaliate against Islamabad
4) Battering the Taliban into a peace deal
The admission of the defeated generals comes as a leak in the New York Times.
President Obama’s surge of US troops in the graveyard of empires is over and the Taliban still pose a potent threat. The report published in the NYT says “the once ambitious American plans for ending the war are now being replaced by the far more modest goal of setting the stage for the Afghans to work out a deal among themselves in the years after most Western forces depart, and to ensure Pakistan is on board with any eventual settlement.”
The NYT quotes military and diplomatic officials in Afghanistan and Washington as saying that despite attempts to engage directly with Taliban leaders in 2012, “they now expect that any significant progress will come only after 2014, once the bulk of NATO troops have left”.
In other words, the new policy is not “Cut and Run”, it is “Cut and Sprint”!
The Americans will leave a mess in Afghanistan worse than the mess left by the USSR. Unless Bharat behaves this is a recipe for disaster. Blackwell proposed dividing the artificially created country to be divided into Pakhtun and Non-Pakhtun parts.
The only problem with that scenario is that despite a decade of efforts, the Northern Alliance Non-Pakhtuns have been unable to form an Afghan Army. All can hold their noses and wait for the inevitable Civil War.
The US tried to bypass Pakistan and talk directly to the Talibs. Multiple attempts to talk to the Talibs have ended in fiascos with the interlocutors turning out to be fakes. The failure to conduct any talks with the Taliban describes the fragility of the alleged gains claimed during the surge of US troops.
The defeated generals, Stanley A McChrystal, David H Petraeus the current soldier in charge John R Allen, have been making the same sounds “the US is not going to kill its way out of Afghanistan”. The were correct in saying that “the Afghanistan war, like most insurgencies, could only end with a negotiation”. What is comical is the fact that the generals have given up on war–and they have also giving up on peace. The US generals now want the Afghans to make peace after they leave.
US officials hope that the Taliban will find the Afghan Army a more formidable adversary than they expect. As in the 80s, it may take years before peace returns to Kabul and all the other cities cobbled together by the British in an experiment called “Afghanistan”.
The US wants Pakistan to help the US and the Kabul government in vetting the Talib representatives–so that they are talking to the right Talibs and not cab drivers and vegetable vendors in it for a buck. Those episodes created much humor in ISI headquarters.
The prospects for direct negotiations between the Karzaites and the Talibs are remote. The Talibs see no reason to talk to the government in Kabul which they consider a “puppet government”. Thy see no reason talking to a defeated army that will leaving the Hindu Kush in a few months. Pakistan will not wage war on so called safe havens, when everyone knows that these very people will be running Afghanistan in a few months. Why create enemies?
The old Talib adage is more true that ever. The Americans have the clocks but the Talibs have the time