Monday, November 17, 2008
clipped from: http://www.daily.pk/local/other-local/8161-pakistan-the-next-us-target.html
ome may find it surprising that the US now believes Pakistan to be more challenging than Iraq where the US has 150,000 troops, spent almost a trillion dollars and has incurred over 4,000 fatalities.
The neocon vision was that the capture of Iraq, a state that lies at the heart of the Middle East, would allow it to control not just the resources of the region but more importantly its geopolitics.
To justify a continued presence the US needs to keep Iraq weak and divided.
With a self governed Kurdish north, a Shia dominated central government and now US support for the Sunni tribes, General Petraeus has presided over a de facto partitioned state.
So, with Iraq closer to de facto partition, America can now turn its attention to Pakistan.
Barack Obama took the baton from Bush in his speech on July 15, in which he argued that more focus and resource were required on both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
the collective US intelligence community
“We assess the group (Al-Qa’idah) has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability, including: a safe haven in the Pakistan Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), operational lieutenants, and its top leadership.”
The pretext for war within Pakistan was therefore created; any attack on any US target from now on that was traced to the FATA would give the US casus belli to undergo a massive retaliatory attack within Pakistan
Firstly, using remote controlled Predator aircraft to attack targets within Pakistan almost on a daily basis.
Secondly, the US has spent $10 billion on Pakistan’s military since 2001
trying to make Pakistan’s Frontier Corps into a fighting unit for the US military
Thirdly, by promoting General Petraeus from heading up the Iraq campaign to become Central Command (CENTCOM’s) new head clearly indicates that Iraq has become subservient to Pakistan in Washington’s thinking.
Fourthly, the continued barrage of criticism of Pakistan’s failure to stem cross border insurgency prepares the ground for an eventual attack in Pakistan
eliminating the Pakistan sanctuary bases
to the FATA
North Western Frontier Province (NWFP)
province of Balochistan
Bush administration officials drafted a secret plan in 2007 to make it easier for US Special Operations forces to operate inside Pakistan’s tribal areas but that turf battles and the diversion of resources to Iraq held up the effort.
is located at the geopolitical crossroads of South and Central Asia
The US fears Pakistan, as it contains the key mix of Islam, nuclear weapons and people who are impatient for change and who do not trust the Americans.
The US objective for Afghanistan was never to defeat the Taliban or to extend its remit over the whole country
The Soviet Union in comparison had 300,000 troops in the 1980’s
The US and NATO presence at about 65,000 is almost laughable when facing a population of 31 million
Afghanistan is more a forward base combining Special Forces and CIA operatives backed up with airpower and a modest number of US ground forces.
Geo-strategically, Afghanistan has limited value for the US, other than to ensure no one else should control it.
2006 witnessed a significant rise in attacks and a 59% spike in the area under poppy cultivation, making the country a world leader in the production of illegal opium (90% of global production).
the US is seeking to do to Pakistan what it has done to Iraq, namely decimating its military capability and fracturing the country into separate entities.
when the US talks about reforming the Frontier Corps, this is about ensuring that they fight more effectively for the US
the US has a tactical relationship with Pakistan, it seeks a strategic relationship with India even to the extent of offering it unprecedented civil nuclear assistance.
if Pakistan eventually fragments
the US has a once in a generation opportunity to turn Pakistan into a balkanised hell hole.
Without Pakistan, logistics, the flow of supplies, fuel and other military hardware would soon stop the campaign in Afghanistan. There is no strategic interest for Pakistan to continue to support America’s war in Afghanistan.
Firstly, it allows 65,000 NATO and US troops to permanently occupy a Muslim country creating an anti Pakistani government in Kabul.
Secondly instead of having a secure western border, Pakistan has to have 100,000 troops permanently supporting the US effort thus taking valuable resources from it’s more vulnerable eastern border with India.
Thirdly, Pakistan has to face the blowback, of fighting not just its own citizens in NWFP and FATA, but fellow Muslims across the border.
Lastly, the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan have to realise that neither brutal dictatorship nor secular democracy can succeed in the Muslim world
Pakistan’s political class have no solutions
Only the tried and trusted Islamic system of the Khilafah (Caliphate) can succeed in the Muslim world.
Yet the world is entering a new paradigm in international relations. No longer will the Fed in Washington be calling the shots. No longer will the Dollar reign supreme. No longer is the US military invincible. What started with self evident truths in Philadelphia over two centuries ago has now morphed into implosion on Wall Street and an economic tsunami across the globe.
Thomas Ricks “Fiasco” says there is precedent for the emergence of a unifying figure in the Muslim world a modern day Saladin someone who can revive the region through combining popular support with huge oil revenues
So Muslims face a strategic choice either support the US led coalition or politically unify under the banner of Islam. Whereas the former guarantees national oblivion and further balkanisation, the latter should allow the Muslim world to flourish and meet head on the challenges of the 21st century
Posted by Jesus Reyes at 2:09 AM