Can't win in Afghanistan, then…

The Pak Banker - - Editorial5 -

Claims by US gen­er­als that "progress" is be­ing made in the war are false.

Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai put it bluntly last year, say­ing the US-led war was "in­ef­fec­tive apart from caus­ing civil­ian ca­su­al­ties." The new NIE may also re­state a 2007 re­port that found Iran had no nu­clear weapons pro­gramme.

Frus­trated Amer­i­can gen­er­als, fac­ing a fail­ing war and ru­ined ca­reers, are blam­ing Pak­istan for the war they can­not win.

There is no con­cern in Washington for Pak­istan's na­tional in­ter­ests or ex­plo­sive prob­lems in its tribal ar­eas. Washington wants Pak­istan to fol­low or­ders, pure and sim­ple. That's why the US is pay­ing Is­lam­abad $2 bil­lion per an­num. Se­poys of the Raj are sup­posed to fol­low or­ders.

Last week came news that US air, land, and mer­ce­nary forces would pen­e­trate ever deeper into Pak­istan. Wik­iLeaks show that Pak­istan's fee­ble govern­ment is qui­etly back­ing deeper US mil­i­tary in­volve­ment and tar­geted killings of Pak­ista­nis.

The Pen­tagon is gripped by the mis­con­cep­tion that " safe havens" in Pak­istan are fu­el­ing re­sis­tance to western oc­cu­pa­tion. Dur­ing the Viet­nam War, the Pen­tagon was sim­i­larly con­vinced that erad­i­cat­ing com­mu­nist safe havens in Cam­bo­dia and Laos were the key to vic­tory. By now, 50 per cent of Amer­i­cans op­pose the Afghan War. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is un­der grow­ing pres­sure from his Demo­cratic Party to wind down the war. Repub­li­cans and right-wingers, by con­trast, want it con­tin­ued - and fur­ther ex­panded into Pak­istan.

Most Amer­i­cans know less than noth­ing about Afghanistan or South Asia and have ab­so­lutely no com­pre­hen­sion of its com­plex­i­ties, size, or pol­i­tics. The few that do, like ex­perts in the State Depart­ment and CIA, are not lis­tened to.

The CIA, whose role is to sup­ply the pres­i­dent with un­bi­ased in­for­ma­tion, has be­come deeply politi­cised and bi­ased. Thank Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan for this. The yes-men he in­stalled at CIA told him and sub­se­quent pres­i­dents what they wanted to hear. This process cul­mi­nated dur­ing the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion when then CIA Di­rec­tor Ge­orge Tenet val­i­dated all the lies about Iraq to please the pres­i­dent and vice pres­i­dent. To­day, CIA has be­come a par­tic­i­pant in the Afghan War, with its own lit­tle army of mer­ce­nar­ies and rene­gades, and an air force of Preda­tor and Reaper drones.

As a re­sult, CIA's re­port­ing on the war has be­come se­ri­ously tainted by in­sti­tu­tional bias and ca­reer con­cerns.

Wars are won­der­ful for ca­reer ad­vance­ment. But you can't fight a war and re­main ob­jec­tive. As a re­sult, Obama is get­ting a lot of bad in­for­ma­tion from peo­ple with axes to grind. Pres­i­dent Obama de­clared last week that the US would con­tinue fight­ing Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. He is not telling Amer­i­cans the truth. CIA di­rec­tor Leon Panetta re­cently said there were no more than 50 Al Qaeda mem­bers in Afghanistan.

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