American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

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Within 3 years after the US withdraws from Afghanistan

1) There will be a terrorist attack on US soil, and the US will declare all-out war on TSPA/ISI.
0
No votes
2) Terrorist attack on US soil, and the US will sanction Pakistan economically.
3
5%
3) Terrorist attack on US soil, and the US will conceal ISI involvement, blaming/attacking someone else (eg Iran.)
19
34%
4) Terrorist attacks will rise in EU/NATO countries but none on US soil. US will sanction Pakistan.
0
No votes
5) Terrorist attacks will rise in EU/NATO countries, none on US soil. US will continue propping up Pakistan.
3
5%
6) Terrorist attacks will not happen in Western countries but rise in West & SE Asia and Africa. US response weak/ad-hoc.
17
30%
7) Terrorist attacks will go up and down globally with *NO* correlation to the fact of American withdrawal from AfPak.
1
2%
8 ) There will be *NO* significant US withdrawal from AfPak at all.
13
23%
 
Total votes: 56

Rudradev
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American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Rudradev » 29 Jul 2010 10:20

Many on BRF assume that there will be no American withdrawal from AfPak, and that America will remain committed at least in Pakistan so that it can clean up the mess there and resurrect TSPA/ISI as a reliable munna.

Others don't think this will be the case. Public opinion does count for a lot in the USA. Obama may not have any hope of surviving the 2012 elections if he goes back on his commitment to begin substantial troop withdrawals in 2011. It has been argued that even after withdrawals, the USA will retain intelligence networks and special forces in Pakistan to watch what happens. However, this does not conform with the track record of the USA.

When the Americans have withdrawn from a country... be it Lebanon or Vietnam or 1980s Afghanistan... they have washed their hands of it very thoroughly, and left the management of those countries to erroneously "trusted" proxies.

No doubt some CIA types will continue to operate in Pakistan after Obama orders a withdrawal... but that is exactly the problem. Away from the limelight of US public attention, AfPak will be relegated to CIA types who habitually develop their own loyalties (eg. to the ISI) and their own policies accordingly. They become the "experts" with a monopoly on domain expertise, their ideas become the only source of input for US policymakers, and a situation begins to prevail whereby TSPA/ISI can paint any picture they want of the region and Washington will accept it as the truth. Meanwhile, since much less money is being spent on the theatre, nobody in the US will really be paying attention to what is going on. That is what led to 9/11 after all.

So it is important to analyze (1) whether the US will "draw down" from Afghanistan... to what extent, what they will leave behind, and what the results will be; and (2) the consequences of such a "draw down."

Please give some thought to the poll question before you answer it, based on all the information you really have available, rather than your first gut/emotional response.

Also please note: we know that terrorist attacks by TSP on India will go up whenever TSP gets a chance to increase them, for hundreds of reasons. This thread is not about the impact of American actions on TSP terrorism against India (something we are discussing in many other threads.) It is about the impact of American actions on TSP terrorism against America, its Western allies and/or its regional interests.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Klaus » 29 Jul 2010 11:13

I voted (3). The US Defense/Armament industry has been and will continue to be dependent on conflict (s) to make and display technological innovations. It is a fact that America's economy has been built on wars fought abroad, conflict is inseparable from America's economy and this fact will not change, regardless of the fact that the world has moved from the Industrial age to the Information Age and will move beyond.

Extent of operations against Iran is highly subjective, I think that America only prolongs conflict with an adversary if the adversary's size is lesser than a certain "critical mass". Iran's "critical mass" IMHO is higher than what the US would like and hence we might see special ops/drone attacks/robotic soldiers doing hit and run operations in Iran's periphery.

For the same reason of "critical mass", I think that US will not attack Pukeland. Pukeland's "critical mass" has been sustained by them and the other 2.5 friends in a very direct manner and it might be used for operations against Iran.

We on BRF would like to think that any terro attack on US soil would be the handiwork of Paki/Taleb sponsored AlQ, Wikileaks has also shown that Iran does sponsor the Talebs, also given that there was GOTUS authorisation for Wikileaks to occur makes me think that (3) has more of a chance of occuring than option (6).

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 01 Aug 2010 07:17

I made a post on the Paki thread about some articles posted in the last few days and suddenly that post helped me organize my thoughts.

If I was Pakistan army and I had benefited from US largesse and had also benefited from the relative peace that I got from US Dreoneacharya and actions in AF-Pak while I could continue my gaandmasti in Kashmir, what would be my great fear?

My fear would be that the US would lose interest and clear out form Afghanistan, leaving Pakikand high and dry - coping with the fallout of chaos in that areas as well as with no money and arms support to stick my fingers up India's backside.

So what would I do?

I would ensure that the US does not leave Afghanistan. For that I would ensure that US goals in Afghanistan are not achieved.

Long ago people on this forum assessed that if Pakistan handed bin Laden to the US, the game would be over for Pakistan. That is still the same game in town, except that you can replace the name "bin Laden" with "Taliban". I don't think Pakistan directly benefits from a Taliban take over in Afghanistan, but it certainly benefits from the US staying in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. Note that whether the US was supporting the Taliban in AfPak (cold war) or opposing the Taliban in AfPak (GOAT/GWOT) they need to be in Pakistan and paying rent to Pakistan. If the US moves out the rent stops and the Taliban (whose ancestors were not subdued by any one) will rule Afghanistan. Of course it is a lie to say (as Irfan Hussein did) that the taliban are the only force that can control Afghanistan. You cannot talk of a 1000 years of ancient histor and then suddenly say that the Taliban created a couple of decades ago will control an Afghanistan that has not been controlled for centuries. The fact is that even the Pakis will not be able to control them.

So Pakistan's game, as I see it, is to keep the US involved and fighting the Taliban while Pakistan reaps the benefits. Democracy, voters, recession in the US is not Pakistan's problem. If those factors make the US pull out, then Pakistan is in trouble. So the US must not pull out. What the Pakistan army is openly doing is what they do so well - "Negotiate with a gun to their heads". They are ensuring that the Taliban survive so chaos reigns in Afghanistan if the US leaves. That will affect Pakistan too - and the Paquis know that - but such chaos in Pakistan will be minus US aid if the US leaves. Therefore the US must not leave.

The US for its part would like to leave at some stage. They are hoping that Pakistan will be part of the solution and are promising to keep engaged with Pakistan i.e keep paying Pakistan. But the Pakis see that as a false promise that will be reneged upon the day there is stability in Afghanistan.

Clearly Afghanistan has no history of stability. It has always lived on handouts. Its rulers have always received payments from elsewhere. The Taliban will take over if the US goes. That will not help Pakistan. But it will definitely affect other nations too in terms of export of terrorism. Someone will have to remain in Afghanistan, either paying the leaders or fighting the insurgents - in fact both will have to happen.

This will require a long term solution. I currently favor the formation of Pashtunistan on both sides of the Durand line. Create a border on the Afghan side that the Afghans can defend and leave it to the Pakis to defend their border with Pashtunistan. If the Paki army wants to control Pashtunistan militarily - that is something that should keep them busy. But if they try to go across the Pashtunisan border into Afghanistan, the Afghans should be able to defend that border.

Bhadrakumar says that the US is worried about a Russia-India-China axis to support Afghanistan. That actually looks like a good idea to me.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Christopher Sidor » 01 Aug 2010 08:47

America's primary focus in afghanistan was and is Alqeda. Not Taliban. According to US the Taliban did not launch the attack on America, it was Alqeda who did. Now according to Americans the alqeda core has shifted to pakistan or pakistan-afghanistans border. And they want to concentrate on that. They want to rout alqeda by special forces or drone attacks or by using pakistani forces. If this involves leaving afghanistan to its fate or to the mercy of Taliban then so be it. What americans dont realize is this, if it vacates, afghanistan, taliban would declare a victory and would claim, that they had defeated two super powers, the soviets and now the americans. Also elements of alqeda would slip across the border from pakistan into afghanistan and continue doing what they do best. The collateral damage from all of this to India would be massive. Many Indians don't seem to realize that the withdrawal of soviet troops from afghanistan coincided with the kashmiri insurgency. Another withdrawal, this time of America, could coincide with more mumbai type attacks on india.
Whether US will suffer an attack on its soil after all of this is a moot point. The point that ought to be discussed is what will be americas reaction to a terrorist attack. It will not be able to occupy Pakistan, for the following reasons
1) The population of Pakistan is 175 million plus and counting. It does not have an army to occupy pakistan.
2) It cannot bomb or sanction pakistan to the stone ages. America would then be accused of having an agenda to destroy "muslim" countries. Further the refuge problem on punjab/rajasthan/gujarat will be massive.
3) Pakistan has nukes. Nukes on which certain middle eastern countries depend on. America would not be able to "secure" all the nukes. And it would take only one nuke to wreak havoc on america or india or any other target anywhere on this globe.

For the past two decades, we have been focusing on economic growth. In all of this, if our focus gets diverted, we will be harmed. Dont forget, America could occupy Afghanistan and Iraq not because of its military, but because of their economy and their wealth. We need to insulate ourselves from the fall out of american withdrawal. That unfortunately is easier said then done.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 01 Aug 2010 08:56

Many Indians don't seem to realize that the withdrawal of soviet troops from afghanistan coincided with the kashmiri insurgency.


Sidorji - I believe that you have left out one important effect that this had on India. We tightened up our borders so that the Pakis could not enter easily. That resulted in the terrorists being exported to Chechnya, Philippines ect and finallly 9-11. And after 9-11 every country put border controls on Paquis and that has led to Pakis facing an internal war.

If the US goes from Afghanistan, it is by no means certain that only India will face a backlash. India has been building defences against terrorists for years now. First Afghanistan will get ravaged, then they will move back into Paquistan and of course there are otehr areas to enter - Russia and Xinjiang.

I think a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan will be so much fun that I am waiting for it. But it won't happen.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Muppalla » 01 Aug 2010 09:02

One more point - Pakistanis coming as refugees to India in the western borders is not as easy as something like Bangladesh. India has constructed very good border. There will be some pilferage but not that India cannot handle. West can Nuke India via Pak in desperation of losing their buddy and that is what India needs to worry and nothing more.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Christopher Sidor » 01 Aug 2010 09:38

I am not bothered with what happens in other parts of the world. I am extremely concerned what happens in India. What happens in India affects me, my family, my friends, my colleagues and my country. If Pakistan shenanigans in Afghanistan affected other countries only or affected us in a minor fashion, I would not be concerned. I am sorry if I am sounding callous.
I am not convinced that our borders are still secure. The bombay attacks clearly showed that we have a long way to go. LeT and other of its ilk have managed to get into India post 9/11 despite us tightening our borders.
If a mass of humanity, I am assuming only 10% of 175 million, were to attempt to make it across the radcliffe line, the only way to stop them would be to shoot them dead. And if we do not shoot them and allow them entry, why in the world should we spend our money, our time and our effort on these people. Do not forget these people fought, killed over 1 million and displaced over 20 million to get their beloved Pakistan. I dont want such bigots and racist people in India. They made a mess out of their country.

A nuclear attack on Pakistan would be horrendous to India. Most of Pakistan's major population centres, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Hyderabad, etc are very near to India. Amristar for all practical purposes sits on the border with pakistan. Our South-Western monsoon sweeps parts of Pakistan also.

You see the main problem is that we might get diverted, from our primary focus. That is our economy. For 10 years 1991-2000 we concentrated only on our economy. We did not do any major defence deal, baring the SU-30MKI. We are now trying to bring up our defence, which has been severely depleted. IAF does not have the 39 fully functional squadrons. Our navy is down to a single aircraft carrier. We only have a single SSN. And that to we only have SLBMs missiles which can reach 1000 Kms. We are still developing a 5000 Km range missiles, which are still land based. God alone knows when will there be SLBMs of similar range. Whether we have MIRV capability is a moot point.
If we can concentrate on our economy for the next 15 years, without this AF-PAK crap hitting us, then it would be swell. We would have the 3rd largest economy by then.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 01 Aug 2010 10:31

Christopher Sidor wrote:I am not bothered with what happens in other parts of the world. I am extremely concerned what happens in India. What happens in India affects me, my family, my friends, my colleagues and my country. If Pakistan shenanigans in Afghanistan affected other countries only or affected us in a minor fashion, I would not be concerned. I am sorry if I am sounding callous.


You are absolutely right in saying this - but I think you have failed to understand what I am getting at. Let me try again

The entire goddam world was happy when the "freed up" jihadis of Afghanistan started attacking India after 1990. You have yourself said that those people attacked India and you didn't like it. I am adding the fact that everyone else was happy and content at that time. The US called these people "freedom fighters".

Did India sit by and twiddle its thumbs?

No it did not. We improved border policing, internal intelligence etc to the extent that a jihadi who entered Indian borders was killed in a mater of weeks. Most could not enter at all and remained in Pakistan leding to a huge excess of jihadis in Pakistan who could not enter India. I noted all this with refs in my e book put online 3-4 years ago.

What did those jihadis do? You are not interested so I won't bother repeating what they did outside India. They were unable to attack India. But the attacks on India via Kashmir were gradually reduced and attacks in other parts of India increased. But attacks on other parts of India are inherently more difficult than inflitration via land borders.

Indias defences are now up. In the early 1990s we were not prepared for asymmetric war. We were only prepared for conventional war with Pakistan. We are now geared up to fight asymmetric war. For this reason I am no longer worried by a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. I am as selfish for India as you are. Heck if Jihadis cannot get into India from PoK how the hell are they going to get in from Afghanistan? Djinn power?

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 01 Aug 2010 19:03

Cross post - to stimulate reactions

Call me insane if you like, but I am going to be charitable about Pakistan - for a short while - at least to see if that will help me organize my own thoughts.

The conventional story is Pakistan loves Taliban and wants Taliban to survive. reasons for this are "Pakistan is Taliban" or "Taliban are Pakistan's fighting arm to dominate Afghanistan and punish India". In the middle of all these crystal clear viewpoints we see contradictory news items that say "Pakistanis do not want Taliban ruling them" , "Pakis support army actions in clearing Swat and Waziristan". These latter news items are either dismissed as hogwash, or with glee as "Serves the buggers right"

Is there any way of reconciling these two diverging items of information "i.e that "Pakistan army supports Taliban" and "Pakis do not like Taliban" Yes of course, we say that the Amy and ISI are playing their own game. But if the army and ISI are playing their own game to support and strengthen Taliban while Pakis are against the Taliban the Pakis should be irritated with their army.

But no. They are not. Pakis support their army. Pakis generally do not like Taliban, and as per everyone, including WikLeaks, Paki army supports Taliban.

So what gives? How can all 3 of the above be true?

I have the following explanation and all 3 statements are true: They are:
1) Pakis support their army: true
2) Pakis do not support Taliban: true
3) Pakistan army supports Taliban: true

The thing to look at here is: Why does the Pakistan army not fighting the Taliban? Why does the Paki army seem to be both supporting and opposing the Taliban? Surely if they like the Taliban they should not be doing any fighting. But if they don't like the Taliban they should put their heart into the war.

Perhaps the real story is like this.
1) The "Taliban" are basically Afghan fighters in their lands. They have not yet been totally subjugated by anyone - although they have, with support fought off invaders starting from the Brits to the Soviets. The Soviets were fought with US arms, Paki advisers and Saudi+drug money.

2) The Pakistan army and the Taliban have built up relationships which cannot be broken without affecting the morale of the Pakistan army. The Paki army is not going to fight the Taliban. The Americans are fools to imagine that a 2001-2 threat by Amritraj will work forever.

3) In any case fighting the Taliban is tough business. Pakis may claim that they beat the Soviets. If they did - they should be able to dominate the Taliban, but I believe they know this is not feasible. The Taliban, which they (Pakis) cannot control in North Waziristan is hardly likely to remain in Paki control in Afghanistan. The Afghans have a long history of getting money and arms from various people and if they are in Afghanistan there is no guarantee that their loyalties will lie with the Pakis - especially if American money dries up.

4) If the US leaves Afghanistan, will American money dry up? This the the question that the Paki army needs to answer for itself. For us on BRF, it is easy to say "No. The US will continue to be stupid and keep giving Pakis money even after the cut and run and allow the Taliban to return to power in Afghanistan and turn a blind eye to what happens after that". But the Paki army is not BRF. They cannot be certain that the US will keep pouring money once the Taliban take over Afghanistan. Those Talibs will be hungry for money and arms and once in Afghanistan they can start getting money and arms from various nation that border Afghanistan - not just Pakistan. Unless Pakis are able to pay off the Taliban constantly, they will lose control. And if the Paki army loss control over the Taliban, who are basically Pashtun, then the Durand line may be dissolved and Pakistan splits.

5) The Pakistan army is playing safe with the Taliban. They are not hurting them too much and are paying them off using US money. If the Taliban come to power in Afghanistan, the Pakis hope to have the gratitude of the Taliban for having allowed them to survive in Pakistan. But over and above this- Afghanistan and the Taliban will still need money. If the Talibs make their own money from their own Opium, or if Talibs start getting money from elsewhere - the Pakis lose influence over Afghanistan and the actions of the Taliban. So ideally the US should still pay Pakistan for controlling the Taliban - but neither the control nor the money is guaranteed.

6) If the US does not leave Afghanistan, Pakistan still has a problem. It will not fight the Taliban and the only safe house for the Taliban will be in Pakistan and Pakistan will stand accused of helping to make the "war on terror" fail. This is what is happening now.

What does the US want in Afghanistan?

Ideally the US wants full control. The US wants Afghanistan to be stable. The US wants Pakistan to do its job. The US wants safe routes for oil and trade through Pakistan and Afghanistan. The US wants Al Qaeda. The US is not bothered abut Indian security.

Can Pakistan guarantee all this?

1) Without US money, definitely not
2) With US money - unlikely, IMO.

I see Pakistan as in for some trouble whichever way the cookie crumbles. A Taliban victory, which is so dreaded by everyone is not going to end up as a Pakistani victory for very long. The very same voters who, it is claimed want the US to pull out will demand that Pakistan not. be paid for funding he Taliban. And Pakistan will lose control over the Taliban.

Does the US understand all this? Yes
Does Pakistan understand Yes
India? Don't know.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby vic » 01 Aug 2010 19:21

Pakistan will loose around US$ 5 Billion in direct and indirect Baksheesh

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby SSridhar » 01 Aug 2010 20:15

Pakistan is angling for a combination of Karzai, Mullah Omar, Haqqani, and Hekmatyar to form the Government with the idea of replacing Karzai quite soon thereafter and paving the way for Mullah Omar to capture power eventually. All the talk of the Taliban agreeing to renounce violence and therefore included in peace talks etc is pure hogwash.

Pakistan has always made adjustments with even ideological enemies to take on India. Two of the prime examples being siding with the West including Israel during the Suez crisis and ceding territory to a Godless Communist China in 1963. Even during Musharraf's rule, Pakistan made contacts with Israel. This Hudaibiyah-like mentality permeates the entire society. Thus, the majority of Pakistanis (who are non-Deobandi/Ahl-e-Hadees/Wahhabi/Kharraji) see no contradiction is taking the help of those followers to take on India, even though they may not like to see Taliban rule them. It is this perception that the Islamist parties and the Punjabi Taliban are trying to change through propaganda and violence.

The PA, for its part, is not unduly worried about the Taliban. It has always maintained a close contact with them and generally under their control even if the Taliban could not be turned around on the issue of the Durand line. As Ayub Khan famously said, on hearing about problems on the Afghan front, that within a matter of a few hours they could sort out Afghanistan, the PA Generals are supremely confident about their abilities. Such perceptions take many defeats to change and currently the only beating that the PA has taken is from its own TTP & Punjabi Taliban.

The sudden release of news about huge deposits of trillions of dollars worth of metallic ores in Afghanistan is to tempt the Taliban that the Western powers would allow the Taliban to share the booty by helping them mine and export these in lieu for giving them an honourable exit and generally ensuring that the Al Qaeda is kept out of Afghanistan. This, they hope, would be their new opium.

What is being overlooked is that the Taliban, whose outlook was mostly local before 9/11, has changed it to global with the tighter embrace of Al Qaeda. Same goes for the Punjabi Taliban whose outlook was local and at the most regional. There is therefore no distinction between Al Qaeda and these allied organizations any more. If these people come to power, the PA will be their first target for 'takeover' and India will be the next target.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby lsunil » 01 Aug 2010 23:06

B Raman's thoughts on amirkhans withdrawal: Here
Even if the US wants to leave Afghanistan in a hurry, it won't be able to. Afghanistan is not Vietnam. Al Qaeda is not Vietcong. Once the US decided to quit Vietnam. Vietcong was happy & didn't chase them. It focussed on developing Vietnam. Al Qaeda and its jihadi hordes will chase them and keep killing more. Al Qaeda is a good terrorist organisation. It is not a good insurgent organisation. It cannot fight a guerilla warfare on the ground. If the Americans want to leave Afghanistan and live in peace in their homeland, their troops should enter North Waziristan, destroy Al Qaeda to the last Arab and Salafi and then leave.In Vietnam, the US fought a wrong war. In Afghanistan, it is fighting a right war the wrong way ~ B.Raman

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Muppalla » 01 Aug 2010 23:19

I voted (5). There is little chance that taking terror hit of US as pretext to attack Iran. Iran is not Iraq. Hitting iran when the western economies are in shambles in disastorous for them. In the unlikely even of hitting Iran, Iran will first cuttoff all the Oil lines and routes. It has access to substantial portion. Taking out Iran like Iraq is not easy job. Could US has capability to do it? Yes it has but hitting another country is extremely unpopular at this time.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby svinayak » 02 Aug 2010 01:13

SSridhar wrote:

Pakistan has always made adjustments with even ideological enemies to take on India. Two of the prime examples being siding with the West including Israel during the Suez crisis and ceding territory to a Godless Communist China in 1953. Even during Musharraf's rule, Pakistan made contacts with Israel. This Hudaibiyah-like mentality permeates the entire society. Thus, the majority of Pakistanis (who are non-Deobandi/Ahl-e-Hadees/Wahhabi/Kharraji) see no contradiction is taking the help of those followers to take on India, even though they may not like to see Taliban rule them. It is this perception that the Islamist parties and the Punjabi Taliban are trying to change through propaganda and violence.


It may be all over to make any more adjustment by Pakistan. Will that change anything. With US entering the scene and even if US leaves the region Pakistan cannot make anymore adjustment. Can Pakistan create more leverage.

India can neutralize all such leverage so that it will never be affected by what Pakistan does with rest of the world.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby krisna » 02 Aug 2010 02:47

I think why cant the option be 7-- attacks will go up and down globally with no correlation to american withdrawal.
In fact 7) option encompasses all the other options in someway or the other.
Attack on nato/Israel or friendly US nation is construed an attack on US :!:
After 9/11 attacks have occurred everywhere in the world though not as spectacular as 9/11.
Attacks have occurred in India/western countries with failed/botched attempts in US.




Even one spectacular attack will negate the other options easily.
the US may mount an all out attack on terrositan if they can make a connection to it(links will be definitely be found 400% guaranteed unlike Iraq) but this is not so sure. it depends on the capability of US after this tiresome war with no proper goals. it cannot win the war unless it respects and coordinates other countries efforts also.
The muslims populations in other countries though in minority have significant clout out of proportion to their numbers.

Despite evidence of Pakis involvement in many attacks including in US soil, US has not been sufficiently moved strong enuf to take action -- only keeps giving jaziya to it.
Remember Iraq shock and awe tactics with minimal evidence.
It blows hot and cold in Af Pak war. Something is missing in the puzzle. ( BRFites have mentioned this).


The main glue is the islamist ideology professed by the jeehards. To make it work it requires money, foot soldiers and support overt or covert from islamist countries which is always there.
As long the more pious are powerful to keep the less pious in check it will continue.
As long as there is a concerted effort to manufacture brain washed abduls in terroristan and western countries (including US) it will be a threat.

Emboldenment of islamists jihadists due to money+support in various forms in middle east(including govts) and elsewhere (including US/UK/europe muslim populations).
Also the western powers are not firm in rooting out the menace because they want their countries to be safe but dont care if countries like India have terrorist attacks.

US can send terroristan to stone age but ideology is not killed. hence jeehard is not dead.

Success begets success. the feeling of 72 raisins is itself enough to give confidence to the foot soldiers of jihadist ideology. No F22 or any other AC with sophisticated aviniocs is strong enuf to kill a determined soosai bummer.
The root has to be eliminated. If kept in check it will wait for its day of supremacy.

we are fighting ideology and not leaders with mass followers. people will continue jihad despite OBL killed or any other popular leader killed because of ideology( the main glue).


Most of the above mentioned in BRF forums. I am just regurgitating it again IMHO.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 02 Aug 2010 07:15

SSridhar wrote:
The PA, for its part, is not unduly worried about the Taliban. It has always maintained a close contact with them and generally under their control even if the Taliban could not be turned around on the issue of the Durand line. As Ayub Khan famously said, on hearing about problems on the Afghan front, that within a matter of a few hours they could sort out Afghanistan, the PA Generals are supremely confident about their abilities. Such perceptions take many defeats to change and currently the only beating that the PA has taken is from its own TTP & Punjabi Taliban.


I believe that Pakistani army support for the Taliban is less on the lines of "We can control them" and more on the lines of "We have no other option". After all the US has paid the Pakistan army 1.5 billion a year and provided ships, F 16s, AMRAAMs and whole lot of material to fight India in exchange for a simple request to fight the Taliban. The Pakis have bot managed to do that even inside Pakistan. In my view this indicates inability rather than unwillingness.

Afghans have no history of stable government even before the cold war jihad. There is no economy other than opium and tax on transit of goods. Even these are controlled by a few and those "few" keep changing as one group or other wrests control. That only means that an Afghanistan under the Taliban will have dozens of groups willing to take money from whoever is willing to pay them to do a job.

In fact - with the US being so soo "sympathetic" to "genuine Pakistani concerns" Pakistanis could have concentrated their attention on the eastern border and the core issue of Kashmir. Why add another front of headaches if the Taliban are easily controlled? Just bring them into line and fight India. The truth may be that the army is fighting a last ditch battle for its own survival.

Prior to 9-11 the Taliban were full of serving Pakistani army advisers and they achieved the height of infiltration into India. India was scrambling to reduce infiltration minus the technology, and minus international recognition of the problem and intelligence sharing, and minus the border controls on Pakis that many countries have made now - that allowed Pakis to fly in and out of neighbouring countries. Infiltration was being aided by lack of fencing and artillery and mortar battles supporting infiltrators who were using better communication equipment than India. Even in those golden days Pakis could not exert full control over the Taliban - a time when Pakis were not being held accountable even in words - leave alone in actions.

The situation now is much worse for Pakistan. Any "victory" in Afghanistan accompanying a US withdrawal is not going to last long. I believe that news items that talk of reducing Indian influence in Afghanistan are balderdash - and belong in the same genre as "India is trying to encircle Pakistan". India has no land access to Afghanistan and can do little to change the course of the Afghan situation without either cooperating fully with the US or with an entity like Russia.

I can clearly see how the Taliban will rape the crap out of Afghanistan and while I feel genuinely concerned about Afghans - I can' for the life of me see how an Afghanistan under Taliban control will make things worse for India without making things worse for Pakistan also. After all if India wants to capture and occupy Sri Lanka - we achieve nothing by first capturing and occupying Nepal. Pakistan's strategic depth is a strategic headache. The question of strategic depth arises if India attacks Pakistan. The cost of maintaining strategic depth in Afghanistan can only be reimbursed if India occupies Pakistan. And the only entities who will run to Afghanistan for "strategic depth" will be the Pakistani army if such a hypothetical scenario were ever to occur.

If Pakis are sitting and controlling things in Kabul it will be via Pashtuns, and if Pashtuns of AfPak have any issues - hunger, floods, earthquake - they are hardly likely to head towards Dushanbe or Moscow - they will come to Pakistan which has better facilities and infrastructure and kinder geography. How far will the US fund Pakistan with a Taliban in power in Afghanistan declaring "Victory over the US"?

Just my thoughts.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby SSridhar » 02 Aug 2010 07:47

Acharya wrote:It may be all over to make any more adjustment by Pakistan. Will that change anything. With US entering the scene and even if US leaves the region Pakistan cannot make anymore adjustment. Can Pakistan create more leverage.

India can neutralize all such leverage so that it will never be affected by what Pakistan does with rest of the world.

Acharya, I wish it were true. Unless of course, you were writing in sarcasm.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Ambar » 02 Aug 2010 08:37

Where do guys like Mehsuds and Mullah Radio' sit in this equation? It is almost certain the US will pull out sooner or later (probably before the 2012 elections),won't this further embolden those who are already blowing up the porkis? What would stop them from fighting for Shariah in Islamabad ? The former cavemen are now 'red-carpet-walking' poster boys for jihadis,surely a high stakes game in Pak can do no harm to them or would it?

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby svinayak » 02 Aug 2010 08:50

SSridhar wrote:
Acharya wrote:It may be all over to make any more adjustment by Pakistan. Will that change anything. With US entering the scene and even if US leaves the region Pakistan cannot make anymore adjustment. Can Pakistan create more leverage.

India can neutralize all such leverage so that it will never be affected by what Pakistan does with rest of the world.

Acharya, I wish it were true. Unless of course, you were writing in sarcasm.

A little bit but the main global relationship has reached a stage of jig saw puzzle. So no new alignment can be done unless wars and global change happens

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 02 Aug 2010 09:35

Ambar wrote: It is almost certain the US will pull out sooner or later (probably before the 2012 elections)


To a person like me, living in India, this is a mystery statement. Obviously people in the US have a better insight into US politics. So could you please say why it is almost certain that the US will pull out of Afghanistan before the elections?

Will the US pull out of Pakistan as well?

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby abhishek_sharma » 02 Aug 2010 09:47

I think the US govt would like to stay in Afghanistan for a long time. But the adverse public opinion (due to body bags and bad budget problems) ensures that they want to cut losses and get out as soon as possible.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 02 Aug 2010 09:51

Looking at the spread of Islamic extremism it seems to me that in 1947 India vomited out the proponents of an Islamist extremist ideology and gave them a homeland in East and West Pakistan and they really matured and thrived in the West.

Now in Pakistan and even purer and more murderous brand of islam has been nurtured and it seems all set to go back to Afghanistan where it was first matured. To me this appears like Islamic reconquista heading in the opposite direction from where it came.

The Afghans did not like it - but they could not do anything about it. Pakis also don't seem to like it pure Taliban format but can't get rid of it. They are hoping to give it a homeland in Afghanistan. To me its seems the correct place to let Islam fight itself is between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Why do we confuse ourselves? What interest do we have in Afghanistan? Let the Taliban get a foothold in Afghanistan and let Islamism spread back into countries where it has been diluted, led by the vomit that came from Indian and populated Pakistan. I think oil and minerals ets are a diversion from the fact that this is an age old Islamic madness and murder being played out in the one part of ancient India that really has been occupied for nearly 1000 years.

Pakis cannot defeat Taliban. Like a man who lives with syphilis or the HIV virus Pakistanis are making a virtue out of necessity - claiming that they control the Taliban. They dont. They have to live with them and are trying to push them off into Afghanistan. Let them do that. What goes of our father in India?
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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 02 Aug 2010 09:55

abhishek_sharma wrote:I think the US govt would like to stay in Afghanistan for a long time. But the adverse public opinion (due to body bags and bad budget problems) ensures that they want to cut losses and get out as soon as possible.



That is well known. The point is that this the classic monkey's hand in peanut jar. The US cannot cut and run.

I believe that there are some serious discrepancies in our view of US motivations. If the US wants Central Asian oil and want to keep India down in the long term then they have to stay. If they go it is not only a victory for the Taliban - it is also a blow for the idea that the US is trying to balance India via Pakistan.

Many of the commonly expressed ideas on here will require to be changed if we are to fit in all the available facts.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Ambar » 02 Aug 2010 09:57

shiv wrote:
Ambar wrote: It is almost certain the US will pull out sooner or later (probably before the 2012 elections)


To a person like me, living in India, this is a mystery statement. Obviously people in the US have a better insight into US politics. So could you please say why it is almost certain that the US will pull out of Afghanistan before the elections?

Will the US pull out of Pakistan as well?


I think you have answered your own question in your previous posts. US has failed to keep the lid on a boiling cauldron and nobody in states gets any satisfaction in seeing their young daughters and sons come back home in body-bags. Obama administration promised the moon about reforms and jobs,so far they have fallen well short of expectation,the last thing they want is a highly unpopular war that has lost support in all quarters,including the right. He needs to show something when he bids for re-election, and bringing two bloody wars to end would probably be the easiest thing he can do.

In my humble opinion,US/west policies towards Afg is to try and repeat their last biggest strategical success in Muslim world - 'Kingdom' of Saudi Arabia.You arm the strongest tribe,this could contain elements of taliban since there is no exact definition for taliban anyways and then you leave them with promises of protection and international acceptance.That's my theory anyways.

My real question remains unanswered,what about those folks in frontier provinces who are already busy blowing up Pakis? Will they stop in their tracks as soon as US leaves and settle down for a 400% infidel-less Afg? or will the yankee exit make them feel invincible and start their march towards Islamabad?

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby abhishek_sharma » 02 Aug 2010 10:04

shiv wrote:I believe that there are some serious discrepancies in our view of US motivations. If the US wants Central Asian oil and want to keep India down in the long term then they have to stay. If they go it is not only a victory for the Taliban - it is also a blow for the idea that the US is trying to balance India via Pakistan.



I think the US govt would like to achieve these goals. But they have to win elections as well. And an average American is not interested in grand strategic plans.

However, if the American govt can execute these plans "silently" (as they do in Japan/Korea) then the American public wouldn't care.
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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 02 Aug 2010 10:09

Ambar wrote:My real question remains unanswered,what about those folks in frontier provinces who are already busy blowing up Pakis? Will they stop in their tracks as soon as US leaves and settle down for a 400% infidel-less Afg? or will the yankee exit make them feel invincible and start their march towards Islamabad?


They will not stop. That is why I wanted to ask why people felt that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would be so bad for India. Unless we start worrying about or Poaki brethren a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would be fine. Unless someone could tell me where such a conclusion is wrong.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Ambar » 02 Aug 2010 10:19

shiv wrote:
Ambar wrote:My real question remains unanswered,what about those folks in frontier provinces who are already busy blowing up Pakis? Will they stop in their tracks as soon as US leaves and settle down for a 400% infidel-less Afg? or will the yankee exit make them feel invincible and start their march towards Islamabad?


They will not stop. That is why I wanted to ask why people felt that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would be so bad for India. Unless we start worrying about or Poaki brethren a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would be fine. Unless someone could tell me where such a conclusion is wrong.


I am in the same camp as you,the 90s taliban might have been formed under the tutelage of Pak,but the inmates have now taken over the asylum.If and when NATO exits Afg, these guys will think themselves as mythological fighters but would also want to stay in limelight,control more people and in turn control more money.Through the fake pretext of 'shariah' they will continue their voyage towards Islamabad.

As for those who believe that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would not benefit India,well,they are right in a way,but the big difference between now and 90s is that back then it benefited Pak massively,now it wont benefit either of us.Road to Delhi from Kandahar must pass through every Pak city and the 'new'Taliban knows that very well.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Pratyush » 02 Aug 2010 10:29

Shiv sar,

You have through your posts in this thread captured the thoughts that i had wanted to convey but was unable to put then in a chorent posts.

Regards

BTW I voted for option 5

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Christopher Sidor » 02 Aug 2010 11:18

shiv wrote:
Ambar wrote:My real question remains unanswered,what about those folks in frontier provinces who are already busy blowing up Pakis? Will they stop in their tracks as soon as US leaves and settle down for a 400% infidel-less Afg? or will the yankee exit make them feel invincible and start their march towards Islamabad?


That is why I wanted to ask why people felt that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would be so bad for India.


Taliban cannot be separated from the various terrorist organizations operating out and in of Pakistan. They share the same origin, i.e. the madrassas of Pakistan. Various elements of Pakistan state, its army, frontier crops, intelligence agents were embedded inside taliban. Dot forget the midnight Kunduz airlift, where most of them escaped on PAF's aircraft. Basically Taliban could go so far in Afghanistan as it did was precisely because of the support it received from Pakistan and certain gulf countries. The training grounds of various terrorist organizations, operating in India, during the Taliban era were in Afghanistan and not in Pakistan. It is after 9/11 that a majority of them shifted to PoK. Also IC814 was taken, by the terrorists to Afghanistan, because it was more safe than Pakistan. And despite Taliban promising India not to allow the 5 hijacker to escape, they not only escaped but were protected by the Taliban. All of this will be repeated if taliban or a neo-taliban make it to kabul.

A Taliban or a neo-taliban takeover of Afghanistan fuels the myth, that two super powers were defeated in Afghanistan. It also fuels the myth that these so called warriors are unbeatable and they can beat any Fakir Army or forces. The moral booster to Let, JeM, Hizbul, and other terrorist entities will be massive.

A Taliban or a neo-taliban takeover also will validate in eyes of many Pakis that the path they have undertaken, exporting terrorism to keep India unstable or bleeding india by a thousand cuts, will work. After all in Afghanistan, two super powers had to withdraw. It strengths Pakistan's hand vs India. It also brings a step closer the Paki dream of an islamic caliphate extending from samarkand to Karachi.

Of course a Taliban takeover might be bad for Pakistan, but that will be a small solace to us.

One big Fallout from US withdrawal from AfPak, is going to be its loss of credibility in eyes of India. US took its eyes off the ball in Afghanistan. Basically it shows that US can withdraw anytime, when it suits its purpose. I hope that it now becomes clear to India, that US is not a reliable partner. This lesson should have been hammered into India's head in 1971 and post US-China rapprochement. But it was not.
There should be some very serious introspection in Delhi, regarding the path that we have taken so far. India has to stand apart from US and not be attached to it. We should not be outsourcing our Foreign policy to US. And I certainly hope that we do not form a link up with US to contain China or to further US interest. We have to stand up to china on our merit and on our strength not on somebody's borrowed strength and certainly not by depending on America.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Sanjay M » 02 Aug 2010 12:36

I said US won't withdraw.

From what I see Gates & Co saying in their latest interviews, they are fudging the withdrawal deadline - meaning that they're not going to be held hostage to some political promise made during an election campaign. Obama said lots of things during his election campaign, and he's not fulfilled most of these promises anyway.

If Obama's smart, he pushes withdrawal deadline into 2nd-term, to help him win re-election. Then once he's re-elected, he's no longer on the hook to do anything he promised.

Taliban are showing no signs of wanting to negotiate with the US, and this is because they're thinking the US is itching to withdraw, and everything will fall into their hands anyway.

The fact is that the US has no way to ensure any compliance after it withdraws. ISI or no ISI, the Taliban are still stubborn enough to immediately renew relations with AlQaeda, and to get rich Gulf Arabs to open their money taps in support of the Taliban "Emirate". AlQaeda would quickly grow back to even bigger proportions than ever before. Further 9/11 attacks would be inevitable - which is why the US won't withdraw.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Christopher Sidor » 02 Aug 2010 13:05

One thing which this thread has not touched upon is the impact which this withdrawal has on NATO. NATO was the most enthusiastic about this war, seeing it is a just war. It also saw the 9/11 attacks on america not as a terrorist strike but as an ATTACK on America. And according to NATO charter as an attack on all the countries of NATO. However the Yanks fretted away this goodwill, first by saying that they will go alone in Afghanistan and then by attacking IRAQ. By the time Obama came along, the yanks had procrastinated so long that its NATO allies were fed up.

In spite all of this, it is worth noting, that most of the NATO troops, were of small size, baring British and American and did not do much fighting. Germany was tasked with building up the police force of Afghanistan, which it could not. Most of the other NATO troops had restrictions on where they could be deployed and what type of operations they could do.

The most damaging aspect of NATOs deployment was the unverified story about the French Special Forces having Bin Laden in Cross hairs and were not able to do anything about it, due to some coordination issue with the Americans. Please note that the story is unverified and its veracity is questionable. If this story is true, it points to a very glaring lack of coordination between NATO troops.

All this leads to question the effectiveness of NATO. Will it be able to pull its weight or is it truly a paper tiger? On paper this alliance is awe inspiring. But in reality, its 8 year conduct in Afghanistan leaves something of a question mark. Namely will it be able to act in an effective manner. These questions are serious, as many countries in eastern europe and other parts of asia see NATO as a panacea to their defense needs. Will joining NATO actually improve the defense or it will be a mirage. An great alliance, but one which cannot fulfill its purpose.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby SSridhar » 02 Aug 2010 14:49

shiv wrote:I believe that Pakistani army support for the Taliban is less on the lines of "We can control them" and more on the lines of "We have no other option". After all the US has paid the Pakistan army 1.5 billion a year and provided ships, F 16s, AMRAAMs and whole lot of material to fight India in exchange for a simple request to fight the Taliban. The Pakis have bot managed to do that even inside Pakistan. In my view this indicates inability rather than unwillingness.

Shiv, I am not saying that the Taliban can be 'controlled easily' by the PA. I am simply saying that it is the perception of the PA. For example, I had said that on the Durand-line issue, the Taliban could not be persuaded to renounce their claim for Pashtun lands inside Pakistan. The PA knows that but it is probably happy that if in matters of the single most interest to it, namely destruction of India, if Taliban could collaborate with it, it would be more than enough. The PA may not even demand active Taliban participation; just passive assistance would do.

There are certain putative things, again IMHO, as far as the Taliban and Pakistan go, IMO. One, the Taliban and the Al Qaeda are functioning as one unit today with the same worldview. That worldview is conquering the world by attacking the Axis of Evil which is Jews, Christians and Hindus. The Hindus were not on the Al Qaeda radar earlier, they have been added by the merger of the Punjabi Taliban tanzeems with the Taliban.

Two, by selectively targetting non-Pakistani Al Qaeda commanders through target killing, the CIA and the ISI have ensured, wittingly or unwittingly, that the Pakistani influence has become stronger in the new setup. Thus, we have Ilyas Kashmiri of HuJI/Brigade 313 as the operational commander today.

Three, Hamid Gul, Aslam Beg, and Col. Imam continue to guide the Taliban as Advisors and tacticians. The PA had never disowned these fine gentlemen and their theories of Talibanism and Strategic Depth continue to be the doctrines as Kayani and Shuja Pasha have stressed. Hamid Gul and Aslam Beg have for a long time now been parroting the Al Qaeda thinking on Yankee-Yahud-Hanadi axis.

Four, the Taliban are functioning cleverly as two separate units though they have a bayat to Osama and report to Mullah Omar for directions. One faction is the Quetta Shura helped by the Haqqanis and increasingly Hekmatyar. This combination has ISI written all over it. All these three owe their creation and existence to the ISI and the PA. There have also been WikiLeak and earlier reports that spoke of ISI officers being members of the Shura and hence controlling the proceedings. Hence the confidence of the PA that they could control them. This may be misplaced eventually and that time will tell. The second unit of Taliban is the Punjabi Taliban and local warlords in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa who are choosing their Pakistani targets for attacks according to the exigencies of their situation. To us, it may look paradoxical that these people are attacking the same State that supports their cause elsewhere. But, this second unit has tactical reasons for that while linking up strategically with the Taliban. For example, the State has placed curbs on them, the State had attacked them even if unwillingly and under international pressure and the State is seen as supporting the Great Satan (even if it double-crosses it). The PA may well be aware of this but they are unable to force the Afghan Taliban to rein in the second unit because the PA cannot cobble up another equally effective Afghan grouping as an alternate.

In fact - with the US being so soo "sympathetic" to "genuine Pakistani concerns" Pakistanis could have concentrated their attention on the eastern border and the core issue of Kashmir. Why add another front of headaches if the Taliban are easily controlled? Just bring them into line and fight India.

Before 9/11, the Taliban were simply nationalistic while giving asylum to Osama under ISI patronage. They allowed them to setup training centres for terrorism as they did the same with the Pakistani terrorrist groups for entirely different reasons. But, the Taliban were never interested in lending a helping hand to the PA to take on India even when they knew that we were helping the Northern Alliance. At this point of time, again, the Afghan Taliban are interested in re-possessing Afghanistan, and driving out the American and NATO forces. They cannot fritter away their resources in other fronts. I am also doubtful if the Afghan Taliban will ever be able to have enough resources to send to India on behalf of Pakistan because their cup would be full once they re-take Afghanistan. Afghanistan has never been easy to handle, and with the current geo political and geo strategic interests of so many countries, the Taliban may not be able to handle Afghanistan as freely as they did prior to 9/11.

The truth may be that the army is fighting a last ditch battle for its own survival.

That may be very true but my reasoning is stated as above.

I can' for the life of me see how an Afghanistan under Taliban control will make things worse for India without making things worse for Pakistan also.

That is absolutely true. That was why I said that Pakistan would be the first target.

The cost of maintaining strategic depth in Afghanistan can only be reimbursed if India occupies Pakistan. And the only entities who will run to Afghanistan for "strategic depth" will be the Pakistani army if such a hypothetical scenario were ever to occur.

And, the PA had never worried about costs. It maintained the strategic depth up until end-2001. So long as the poor Pakistanis take impoverishment with a smile because their PA needs to conquer the mortal enemy and so long as the 3½ 'understand' the security paranoia of Pakistan, cost is easily reimbursed.

How far will the US fund Pakistan with a Taliban in power in Afghanistan declaring "Victory over the US"?

At this point, I believe that Pakistan is paving the way for the Taliban to surreptitiously seize power. Afghanistan will descend into chaos once again just like the years following the Geneva Accord when everyone was fighting everyone else. How will things develop remains difficult to foresee. However, history says Pakistan may be able to weather the storm. Even after the 1998 bomb attacks on American buildings in Kenya etc., Pakistan maintained its relationship with the Talibani Emirate and the US thought that they could use this conduit to talk to the Taliban. In 1963, the US again saw merit in Pakistan establishing a close relationship with PRC even while being part of anti-communist alliance and receiving arms and assistance on that score. As Cameron said, Pakistan is perfectly capable of speaking out of both ends of the mouth.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby vic » 02 Aug 2010 15:41

Pakistan will loose around US$ 5 Billion per annum in direct and indirect Baksheesh if US withdraws from Pak. If I was Obama, I would Withdraw from Afghanistan and cut off all aid to Pakistan. Then I will inform Pak, China & SArabia that if there is any terrorist attack on US soil then Pak will be nuked. If there is any terrorist attack on US Interests away from US soil then Pak will be carpet bombed. In both the situations all imports from China will be banned and America will let Saudi Arabian Royal family be toppled. Kill a few ISI officers and princes to make it clear that US is serious.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 02 Aug 2010 16:17

Christopher Sidor wrote:Of course a Taliban takeover might be bad for Pakistan, but that will be a small solace to us.


This thing - this "Smallness of Solace" (or should I say Quantum of solace? :lol: ) is what I am questioning.

Over the decades, India has seen off full blown assaults from the Pakistan army with tanks and aircraft, surreptitious assaults on mountains, continuous assaults by terrorist groups and everything else that Pakis throw at us. What is so special about the Taliban in Afghanistan that puts more pressure on India? Nobody has spelt that out yet.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Pratyush » 02 Aug 2010 16:26

Shiv, the quantum is, "The sky is falling". Nothing more, I don't for a moment believe that Taliban will be helpful for TSP. In fact it will be strategic death of TSP. But as usual the Pakis are too brilliant to see it.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Philip » 02 Aug 2010 17:23

There has been a significant change in how Afghanistan is perceived these days.It is no longer a hell-hole in the High Himalayas,a "knotty" problem of the Pamir Knot,what not! The discovery that Afghanistan has its uses beyond being a transit route for oil pipelines from Central ASia,where the US has invested in Kashgan alone upwards of $150 billion,that it has mineral wealth to the tune of trillions! Before one could gasp in stunned disbelief,one gasped a second time as the news that the Chinese had already started negotiating for mining contracts with the Afghan govt., reminded one as to which country held the title to being the world's fastest vacuum cleaner.

As long as there exists a strong possibility that Afghanistan will return to Taliban/AL Q rule and become yet again a haven for Osama and his ilk,the US will try and stagger its inevitable retreat in ignominy,hoping against hope that somehow the Afghan Army will prove to be a better fighting unit that the S.Vietnamese,who folded up when face to face with the Viet Cong.This is what the Pakis hope will happen,the folding up of the Karzai regime and its despatch into history's dustbin.To prevent that rom happening,the US will have to swallow its pride and instead consult and plan against that with the Russians and the anti-Paki/Islamist Central ASian republics and involve India in defeating Pak's perfidious plans.This also calls for the US to stop once and for all fornicating with the beardies of Pak and their uniformed tribe of armymen who control the diseased state.That is going to be the hardest act to perform.Unless the US abandons its drug addiction to Paki poppy-cock,it will continue to suffer losses on the Afghan battlefield and be drained economically thaks to waging this asinine war.One bombing run by B-52s over Islamabad will bring the cut-throats and curs of the Paki military and ISI to heel.But is the US and Uncle Obama upto it?

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby shiv » 02 Aug 2010 21:40

Sridhar wrote:Two, by selectively targetting non-Pakistani Al Qaeda commanders through target killing, the CIA and the ISI have ensured, wittingly or unwittingly, that the Pakistani influence has become stronger in the new setup. Thus, we have Ilyas Kashmiri of HuJI/Brigade 313 as the operational commander today.


Sridhar - great and insightful post as usual.

The above statement reminds me of an experience (or was it a nightmare?) I once had. I was surrounded by cockroaches. All over the floor. Some climbing on me - those brown winged guys and some flying crazily to land on my shirt. My hair stood on end and I had goose pimples. I picked up a broom and started whacking cockroaches left right and center. Yikes!!! :eek: Interestingly it turned out that the guys who were "attacking me" - landing on my shirt, crawling up my foot were the guys I whacked. Those guys who ran, or remained in the corners of the room I left alone. There were too many.

Somehow the Pakistani actions on the Taliban remind me of me and those cockroaches. They are hitting those that are the easiest targets. Some will escape, others will pretend to be non hostile. And they will all come and bite the Pakis back in due course. That I am sure of.

ShauryaT
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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby ShauryaT » 03 Aug 2010 06:29

abhishek_sharma wrote:However, if the American govt can execute these plans "silently" (as they do in Japan/Korea) then the American public wouldn't care.
This "Silent" plan was after a bloody multi year war, in which the US lost 10's of 1000's of soldiers. It will be a mistake to presume that the US will simply leave the area and another mistake to presume that the US will stay in Af-Pak the way they are doing now, for a long time.

The fact of the matter is the US is unwilling to commit the type of resources that will be required to bring in a societal change in the region. IOW: The threats from the region do not rise to a level, which warrants top attention of the US as a society. The goals are far more limited in the region, not being able to threaten US and/or allied interests and towards this the max commitment will be something on the lines of what we have today. The minimum will be along the lines of a CIA led and special forces supported action in the region, as evidenced at the start of the Afghanistan campaign, in the aftermath of 9/11. The "latent" consensus is around a scaling down of involvement and find a way to achieve US goals and lower its costs. TSP and the PA, will continue to be the lynchpin in this plan.

The PA may not be in complete control of the Taleban, but there is no one else, who knows them better than the PA. TSP is the most efficient land route for most supplies. Fighting TSP and the PA is not the war of the US and Indians wishing for such an event, are simply wishing that the US will fight India's war. The US will do no such thing. They will figure a way out to keep their interests protected and seek to lower the cost of involvement. If in the process, some version of the Taleban comes in or the PA needs a couple of billion extra to take care of its "genuine concerns" on the eastern front, so be it. This fallout is simply not a core US issue and as they see it. If a few more terrorist attacks in India is the cost of doing business with the PA, and we have a government, who is unwilling to escalate to protect India's interests then we have no one else to blame.

Christopher Sidor
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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby Christopher Sidor » 04 Aug 2010 21:10

shiv wrote:
Christopher Sidor wrote:Of course a Taliban takeover might be bad for Pakistan, but that will be a small solace to us.


What is so special about the Taliban in Afghanistan that puts more pressure on India? Nobody has spelt that out yet.


Taliban is a validation of sorts. A validation which till date was not present. Even after pakistan started supported khalistani terrorist in india from 1984 onwards, there was still an unsent truth, no terrorist organization or militant organization, till date had overthrown a legitimate government or achieved it goals. This is thrown out in case of Taliban.

Taliban also allows pakistan to focus sorely on india. with Afghanistan under its belt, it does not have to worry about its eastern frontier. A frontier where it has had more problems.

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Re: American "Withdrawal" from AfPak: Analyzing the Fallout

Postby ramana » 09 Aug 2010 23:03

ramana wrote:N.V. Subramanian writes:
Pakistan is headed for a Salafist-Wahhabi takeover after the Al-Qaeda/ Taliban win Afghanistan from the Americans..





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