WHAT NEXT?

By:Brig. Samson Sharaf(R) 

The visit to India was part of the APEC Arc that President Obama undertook culminating in 19 November NATO Summit at Lisbon. Many Pakistanis who felt that India was accorded preferential treatment need to acknowledge that it was as much part of the mission to garner support for the AFPAK Strategy as it is to seal and contain the Asia Pacific Rim from Russian and Chinese influence or to parry the failures of US policy in Afghanistan.

USA is fast losing long term allies in Afghanistan while the talk of an imminent ‘withdrawal with victory’ doesn’t help to keep its army focused on fighting. As the days pass, USA sees no definite event that could truly provide a firm date of withdrawal. The ten year old policy hinged on destroying Al Qaeda has failed and now must be revised to routing out hostile sanctuaries in Pakistan. Hence the present diplomacy can be seen as seeking greater support from the allies in the game of global domination as also secure sufficient space to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the broader frame work of global dominance, India is considered a long term strategic ally to patrol and identity with US interests in the entire Indian Ocean Rim. Role of Pakistan is restricted to its perceived destructive potential in Afghanistan and to combat and tame the militant outfits in its border regions and rest of the restive country. This message is loud and clear in the intense diplomatic chatter, leaks and interviews.

In words of Rick Rozoff of Global Research President Obama took this whirlwind visit to:

“Receive the plaudits of 27 North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and secure their continued fealty on issues ranging from the war in Afghanistan to a continental interceptor missile system, the continued deployment of American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, participation in the Pentagon’s cyber warfare plans and expanded military missions in the planet’s south and east…….. In the first half of November the quadrivirate in charge of U.S. foreign policy – President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen – all toured the Asia-Pacific area.…..The Pentagon has indeed marked this as its Asia-Pacific century”.

While Obama toasted and danced in India, Pakistan was conveyed mixed signals meaning that all had not gone well in the latest strategic dialogue. The regional emissary Mr. Richard Holbrook was quick to support the civilian supremacy and belittle a dictator who was once ranted as America’s most trusted and valuable ally. In his well planned interview, he credited USA with restoration of the judges and rule of civilian law. In the process, he took credit away from Pakistan’s civil society and political activists who forced the dictator into a comedy of errors and the legislators that combined to threaten the dictator with impeachment. Rather a a caution to the military, its primary purpose was to divert attention from the imbroglio that USA had landed itself to rue Pakistan’s military establishment as the villain.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) report on “US Strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan’ was blown apart by an article by Arnaud De Borchgrave in Washington Post by calling Pakistan a BOMBSHELL. Why and whose behest he did so in anybody’s guess. He coupled his opinion with an earlier off the record interview of a Pakistani Editor who gave his own version of what Pakistan’s security establishment was up to, along with a Pakistani narrative that suits the majority against the rising militancy.

Despite such bad accompaniments, the CFR Report is distinct in its implied threats to Pakistan as also holding out a sign of hope for the people of Pakistan.

The perceptions put forth revolve around three elements of insecurity. First, the like minded Al Qaeda type groups operate freely in Afghanistan and Pakistan posing a threat to USA, India and its allies? Secondly, prospects of a Civil War in Afghanistan threatening stability in Pakistan leading to an Indo-Pak conflict. The third relates to exploitation of Pakistan’s prevailing conditions by terrorists to seize power and take hold of the nuclear weapons and threaten the entire world.

As any strategist would understand, a threat analysis built on vulnerability is unrealistic and exaggerated. This is a scenario called ‘ugly instability’ that has been war gamed by USA many times and whose author is no other but a US opinion maker of Indian descent. The fact that India is central to all three insecurities manifests the importance USA is according to its newest ally in contrast to Pakistan. One Mumbai incident has become a perennial anti Pakistan rhetoric eclipsing numerous such sieges within Pakistan for which USA shows no concern. It also gives a peep into the intense US-India dialogue, in which threat from non state actors to India through the freedom movement in Kashmir is pivotal and factorized. The fact that USA is more sensitive to Indian security concerns than the fissures its policies create in Pakistan to breed a hate that could put the entire region in a tailspin.

It is evident that as USA gets bogged down in Afghanistan, it considers Pakistan a liability to its Central Asian Agenda. However, this liability is of USA’s own making as it does not wish to annoy India by according Pakistan a befitting role in the post USA Afghanistan. In the ultimate analysis, the cost of shrugging off this unwanted, nuclear armed reluctant ally could far outweigh the benefits of appeasing India.

The CFR Study has also considered options to deal with Pakistan.

The first is a stick with no carrots and out rightly rejected.

Secondly, a more hard-line approach than is considered politically destabilizing in the immediate and long term US interests.

The third option seeks to engage Pakistan through investments and partnerships more apt to produce desirable results.  This is an option that most Pakistanis including the recent US Survey in FATA have been envisaging. Supporting this third option, the task force finds that:

“The United States has two vital national security objectives in Pakistan: to degrade and defeat the terrorist groups that threaten U.S. interests from its territory and to prevent turmoil that would imperil the Pakistani state and risk the security of its nuclear program. It will be exceedingly difficult to achieve either of these objectives without the cooperation of the Pakistani state; this requires improving the quality of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship…. which includes the security of Pakistan’s population, the health of its economy, the capacity of its governing institutions, and the character of its relations with other states in the region (meaning India and Afghanistan)”.

Diplomacy of the past few months indicates the crucial status of Pakistan-US relations with each side unable to convince the other of its sincerity and loyalty. Beyond the initial points of convergence and political exigencies, the strategic objectives of both countries are now marred by mutual suspicion and circumspection. These in turn prolong the conflict both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

For the time being Pakistan shows no signs of tearing apart; as the conflict intensifies so does the cohesion within ranks and files of all Pakistanis galvanizing around a new national agenda alien to the corridors of power. Some Pakistanis have already begun to consider such an informed upheaval as a better alternative to a bloody revolution.

Michel Kreppon is an informed and learned opinion maker from USA. His note of dissent to the CFR report very aptly sums up the unrealistic assumptions of leaders both in USA and Pakistan.

“To hold out the expectation that, this time around, with such a heavy U.S. military presence in Afghanistan dependent on Pakistani logistical support, Washington can coercively manipulate Pakistan’s orientation…..seems unwise. Pakistan’s security managers have to come to their own realization that their policies have resulted in profound damage to their country. If they do not, the natural result, with no U.S. manipulation necessary, will be the continued mortgaging of Pakistan’s future, its distancing from the West, and its economic decline”.

(Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf is a retired officer of Pakistan Army and a Political Economist).

 

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Comments

  • S U Turkman  On November 21, 2010 at 8:23 am

    My comments are inserted below in reproduction of this article:
    ———–
    The visit to India was part of the APEC Arc that President Obama undertook culminating in 19 November NATO Summit at Lisbon. Many Pakistanis who felt that India was accorded preferential treatment need to acknowledge that it was as much part of the mission to garner support for the AFPAK Strategy as it is to seal and contain the Asia Pacific Rim from Russian and Chinese influence or to parry the failures of US policy in Afghanistan.
    .
    TURKMAN: Could you please tell us, why would USA need to contain Russian and Chinese ‘Influence’ in Asia Pacific Rim that is still thankful to USA because it was freed by USA in 1945 from Japan just like China also was? Could you tell us, why Army of Pakistan that has been swearing to USA that she is with USA since 1950’s is so jealous of USA?
    ————–
    USA is fast losing long term allies in Afghanistan while the talk of an imminent ‘withdrawal with victory’ doesn’t help to keep its army focused on fighting.?
    .
    TURKMAN: Losing 7 Allies in 9 years is a ‘fast’ loss? Why don’t you tell Gen. Keyani to become such an Ally fast also? Did those ally tweeted you that they would never be on the side of USA from now on? Are you embedded in US Troops that you know, it ‘doesn’t help to keep its army focused on fighting’?
    ———–
    As the days pass, USA sees no definite event that could truly provide a firm date of withdrawal. The ten year old policy hinged on destroying Al Qaeda has failed and now must be revised to routing out hostile sanctuaries in Pakistan. Hence the present diplomacy can be seen as seeking greater support from the allies in the game of global domination as also secure sufficient space to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    .
    TURKMAN: Do you hate USA that has saved Pakistan’s existence 4 times so far since 1965 so much? What has USA done to Pakistan to deserve your hate? Has she stolen you Goat. The only Global Domination she has is in importing 35 to 40% of whole world’s export. If USA was out for Global Domination for last 55 years, why is she the biggest Debtor of the world? Is this how one dominates the world?
    ———
    In the broader frame work of global dominance, India is considered a long term strategic ally to patrol and identity with US interests in the entire Indian Ocean Rim. Role of Pakistan is restricted to its perceived destructive potential in Afghanistan and to combat and tame the militant outfits in its border regions and rest of the restive country. This message is loud and clear in the intense diplomatic chatter, leaks and interviews.
    TURKMAN: Not really. If Pakistan keeps back-stabbing USA through her Mercenaries, the Taliban, Pakistan may not even exist in future to have a role.
    ———-
    In words of Rick Rozoff of Global Research President Obama took this whirlwind visit to:

    “Receive the plaudits of 27 North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and secure their continued fealty on issues ranging from the war in Afghanistan to a continental interceptor missile system, the continued deployment of American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, participation in the Pentagon’s cyber warfare plans and expanded military missions in the planet’s south and east…….. In the first half of November the quadrivirate in charge of U.S. foreign policy – President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen – all toured the Asia-Pacific area.…..The Pentagon has indeed marked this as its Asia-Pacific century”.
    TURKMAN: Yeah but either he or you forgot to mention that Obama wants Nuclear Weapons of Russia and USA reduced to 1,500. I guess, you hated to mention this fact out of your hate of son of one of your Black Moslim Brother, who is now President of USA and loves Pakistanis.
    ———
    While Obama toasted and danced in India, Pakistan was conveyed mixed signals meaning that all had not gone well in the latest strategic dialogue. The regional emissary Mr. Richard Holbrook was quick to support the civilian supremacy and belittle a dictator who was once ranted as America’s most trusted and valuable ally. In his well planned interview, he credited USA with restoration of the judges and rule of civilian law. In the process, he took credit away from Pakistan’s civil society and political activists who forced the dictator into a comedy of errors and the legislators that combined to threaten the dictator with impeachment. Rather a a caution to the military, its primary purpose was to divert attention from the imbroglio that USA had landed itself to rue Pakistan’s military establishment as the villain.
    TURKMAN: Oh sure. Pak Army definitely is not a Villain. It is clearly a Back Stabber.
    ————-
    The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) report on “US Strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan’ was blown apart by an article by Arnaud De Borchgrave in Washington Post by calling Pakistan a BOMBSHELL. Why and whose behest he did so in anybody’s guess. He coupled his opinion with an earlier off the record interview of a Pakistani Editor who gave his own version of what Pakistan’s security establishment was up to, along with a Pakistani narrative that suits the majority against the rising militancy.

    Despite such bad accompaniments, the CFR Report is distinct in its implied threats to Pakistan as also holding out a sign of hope for the people of Pakistan.

    The perceptions put forth revolve around three elements of insecurity. First, the like minded Al Qaeda type groups operate freely in Afghanistan and Pakistan posing a threat to USA, India and its allies?
    TURKMAN: B.S. There is no Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda Type Group operating freely in Afghanistan. Your secret Army of Taliban and Al Qaeda are operating freely in Pakistan because Taliban and JehaaDi Groups are a part of Pak Army and Pak Army also loves Osama. All Pakistanis know, without Pak Army’s backing and financing, neither Taliban nor Al Qaeda Training camps can exist in Pakistan.
    ————
    Secondly, prospects of a Civil War in Afghanistan threatening stability in Pakistan leading to an Indo-Pak conflict.
    TURKMAN: Sorry but Pak Army has failed to cause any Civil War in Afghanistan for the last 9 years so, nobody is scared of that. Pak Army has been pretending to make Pakistan destabilized through thousands of killings by its Taliban and JehaaDi Groups in order to keep getting more Charity of US Military Aid. It thinks its necessary otherwise USA would stop giving all the Charity like before in 1989, when USSR had announced she was leaving Afghanistan. Pak Army is now replacing Soviet Army with its own Taliban to keep getting US Charity. Very simple.
    ————–
    The third relates to exploitation of Pakistan’s prevailing conditions by terrorists to seize power and take hold of the nuclear weapons and threaten the entire world.
    As any strategist would understand, a threat analysis built on vulnerability is unrealistic and exaggerated. This is a scenario called ‘ugly instability’ that has been war gamed by USA many times and whose author is no other but a US opinion maker of Indian descent.
    TURKMAN: Not really. It was authored in GHQ and I have already explained the purpose of it. above. Pak Army is using Terrorism in Pakistan to blackmail the West and USA to get more Charity and Loans.
    ———
    The fact that India is central to all three insecurities manifests the importance USA is according to its newest ally in contrast to Pakistan. One Mumbai incident has become a perennial anti Pakistan rhetoric eclipsing numerous such sieges within Pakistan for which USA shows no concern.
    TURKMAN: Which such Sieges? Why have Pakistan not proven to the world those Sieges were caused by India then? Why should USA worry about killings of Pakistanis that are taking place on the orders of Pak Army, when Pakistanis themselves do not stand up against Army despite knowing all this?
    ———-
    It also gives a peep into the intense US-India dialogue, in which threat from non state actors to India through the freedom movement in Kashmir is pivotal and factorized. The fact that USA is more sensitive to Indian security concerns than the fissures its policies create in Pakistan to breed a hate that could put the entire region in a tailspin.
    TURKMAN: Pak Army can put the ‘entire region in a tailspin’? With what? Is the whole region an Animal and Pak Army the Circus Master with a long Stick? What tailspin Pak Army has not put Pakistan and Afghanistan in for the last 9 years?
    —————
    It is evident that as USA gets bogged down in Afghanistan, it considers Pakistan a liability to its Central Asian Agenda. However, this liability is of USA’s own making as it does not wish to annoy India by according Pakistan a befitting role in the post USA Afghanistan.
    TURKMAN: But then, why has Pak Army kept back-stabbing USA since 2001, when it already had a role? Why should Afghanistan be handed over to Pakistan, when she is supposed to be a free country?
    ————–
    In the ultimate analysis, the cost of shrugging off this unwanted, nuclear armed reluctant ally could far outweigh the benefits of appeasing India.
    TURKMAN: Why should not USA appease India after she has gotten sick and tired of appeasing thankless, back-stabbing Pakistan since 1953? Why should not USA get $ 50 billion Weapons Order from India instead of keep appeasing Pakistan that has given nothing back in cash since 1955? Why should not USA have good trade relations with India, who is buying everything cash, not like Pakistan, buying everything on Loan since 1955? Do 6 times more Humans live in India or not? Don’t Moslims almost as much as in Pakistan, live in India also? Oh no, they don’t count because they do not speak Punjabi, right?
    ————
    The CFR Study has also considered options to deal with Pakistan.

    The first is a stick with no carrots and out rightly rejected.

    Secondly, a more hard-line approach than is considered politically destabilizing in the immediate and long term US interests.
    TURKMAN: What US Interests are there in Pakistan?
    ———–
    The third option seeks to engage Pakistan through investments and partnerships more apt to produce desirable results. This is an option that most Pakistanis including the recent US Survey in FATA have been envisaging. Supporting this third option, the task force finds that:
    TURKMAN: Right, right. Begging is our Profession.
    ——-
    “The United States has two vital national security objectives in Pakistan: to degrade and defeat the terrorist groups that threaten U.S. interests from its territory and to prevent turmoil that would imperil the Pakistani state and risk the security of its nuclear program. It will be exceedingly difficult to achieve either of these objectives without the cooperation of the Pakistani state; this requires improving the quality of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship…. which includes the security of Pakistan’s population, the health of its economy, the capacity of its governing institutions, and the character of its relations with other states in the region (meaning India and Afghanistan)”.
    TURKMAN: I had already written that before your this wish list. So, I was right. Begging is our Profession.
    ————–
    Diplomacy of the past few months indicates the crucial status of Pakistan-US relations with each side unable to convince the other of its sincerity and loyalty. Beyond the initial points of convergence and political exigencies, the strategic objectives of both countries are now marred by mutual suspicion and circumspection. These in turn prolong the conflict both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    TURKMAN: Pakistan is a suspect and USA is a Victim. Its not ‘Mutual Suspicion’. Its thankless Pakistan’s ‘Nmak Hraami’.
    ————-
    For the time being Pakistan shows no signs of tearing apart; as the conflict intensifies so does the cohesion within ranks and files of all Pakistanis galvanizing around a new national agenda alien to the corridors of power. Some Pakistanis have already begun to consider such an informed upheaval as a better alternative to a bloody revolution.

    Michel Kreppon is an informed and learned opinion maker from USA. His note of dissent to the CFR report very aptly sums up the unrealistic assumptions of leaders both in USA and Pakistan.

    “To hold out the expectation that, this time around, with such a heavy U.S. military presence in Afghanistan dependent on Pakistani logistical support, Washington can coercively manipulate Pakistan’s orientation…..seems unwise.
    TURKMAN: Think of it …! If you are calling 1 lac US Troops ‘heavy’ US Military presence for half million Pak Troops, what is this half million troops presence for Pakistanis …!
    ———-
    Pakistan’s security managers have to come to their own realization that their policies have resulted in profound damage to their country. If they do not, the natural result, with no U.S. manipulation necessary, will be the continued mortgaging of Pakistan’s future, its distancing from the West, and its economic decline”.
    TURKMAN: What have you done in last 63 years for Pakistanis without mortgaging Pak Future that you are so worried now? Why did your Pak Army killed Pakistan’s future by ruling the country directly or indirectly for 48 out of 55 years since 1955? Why don’t you let Pakistan become a free country instead of keep sucking her Blood? Why you do not love Pakistan? Why you lost East Pakistan? Why you are trying to lose more Pakistan right now by backstabbing USA and terrorizing the whole world through Terrorists trained by you in your JehaaDi Camps arriving from all over the world?
    ————–

  • Syed Ataur Rahman  On November 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

    A suitable article. USA is now worried what will happen to India and its investment when its forces start to withdraw from Afghanistan. India must be contemplating new ways to destabilize Pakistan. The problem is none of these states can ignore Pakistan if a solution in Afghanistan is truly desired. Actually USA and India care two hoots for Afghanistan; ones worry is how to extricate itself from the imbroglio in Afghanistan and the other is shaken out of its skin worrying what will happen to its interests in the same country. Pakistan would be wise to have a solution that is acceptable to all the parties in Afghanistan. It should use its influence to unite the Afghan nation and ensure the future government there is pragmatic and neutral. The other nations must keep their hands off Afghanistan.

  • Inam Khan  On November 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    By exploding bombs in Pakistan,Tehreekey Taliban Pakistan is not gaining any thing.Americans won’t stop Drone Attacks as they cause havoc to Pakistan territory and its people.This is but strengthening enemies of Pakistan and Islam.When TTP attacks holy shrines,it seems their masters are other than Muslims………………………Inam Khan

  • a m malik  On December 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    s turkman
    your really are an a…hole
    am

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