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cyppok
30 Sep 12,, 00:10
Scenario: 3-5 years from now.

Full blown revolt in tribal areas and the newly established Afghanistani Army of independent Afghanistan decides to intervine. India and Iran are supplying Afghanistan via Border and the Uzbek rail link. Small anti-air is provide to eliminate helicopter air support and low flying jets as well as anti tank weaponry.

"Durrand War" to eliminate the Durrand established border heats up when an insurgency is launched in Baluchistan to divert the Pakistan Army from commiting full force at reestablishing control of FATA Tribal Areas and to eliminate the prolifiration of the front into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

As the front is established along a perimeter of 4-5 mountain valleys where pushing through for the Pakistani Army becomes very very hard and slow stalemate like condition permeate.

What do you think happens next? economic steps and international pressure and how it would be applied. Etc... just different perspectives on this.

Minskaya
30 Sep 12,, 12:56
Scenario: 3-5 years from now.
For starters, I don't think the Karzai government will survive beyond 2015.

zraver
30 Sep 12,, 16:25
For starters, I don't think the Karzai government will survive beyond 2015.


His government dies with him....

Bridgeburner_
30 Sep 12,, 21:50
Why would Iran support Afghanistan over Pakistan when it comes to the future of Afghanistan? India I can understand wanting to have a relatively self-determined Afghanistan, but Iran?

cyppok
30 Sep 12,, 23:20
For starters, I don't think the Karzai government will survive beyond 2015.

Doesn't have to be his gov't. In all likelihood it will be semi-autonomous generals of the crumbling/collapsed state with warlords pushing for it on the border.


Why would Iran support Afghanistan over Pakistan when it comes to the future of Afghanistan? India I can understand wanting to have a relatively self-determined Afghanistan, but Iran?

Culturally Afghanistan is closer with at least some Persian speakers.
Pakistan is theoretically a US client state and the ISI involvement in Afghanistan in some sense displaces Iranian influence.
Iran is building a railway to re-connect to Herat and theoretically it would connect through to Uzbekistan in northern Afghanistan and onto China. Economically this could lead to closer integration regionally.
Tajiks more or less speak Farsi/Persian about a quarter of Afghanistan population.


The evolution of this if it happens would be pushed and prodded by various interested parties inside and outside the region. Considering the landscape of those region it is possible for a very very long struggle and Afghanistan winning by blocking passes and valleys. In some sense Pakistan suffers from a smoldering insurrection within these areas on a daily basis in addition to its' own religious insurrections in non Afghan border areas.

Tronic
01 Oct 12,, 00:15
For starters, I don't think the Karzai government will survive beyond 2015.

Well, that's not exactly a bad thing. His government lost credibility post-2009, and it will be nice to see him go so we can better gauge the future of Afghanistan.

Officer of Engineers
01 Oct 12,, 00:22
The Pakistani Army is still the most powerful force in the area. They've been deliberately fighting with one hand tied behind their back and the other hand has been pointing towards India. When push comes to shove, I sincerely doubt that the Pakistani Generals would yield to a bunch of mullahs and the bloodletting that I've been saying about Afghanistan after NATO leaves would be child's play in comparison to what the Pakistani Generals will do to stay in power.

cyppok
01 Oct 12,, 01:00
The Pakistani Army is still the most powerful force in the area. They've been deliberately fighting with one hand tied behind their back and the other hand has been pointing towards India. When push comes to shove, I sincerely doubt that the Pakistani Generals would yield to a bunch of mullahs and the bloodletting that I've been saying about Afghanistan after NATO leaves would be child's play in comparison to what the Pakistani Generals will do to stay in power.

I think you underestimate the power of incompetence. Keeping a smoldering religious insurgency throughout the country to remain politically dominant is not a sign of strength. Sooner or later you can't put it out even if you wanted to, this is not just FATA and Khyber areas but other areas as well.


The Jihadist Insurgency in Pakistan | Stratfor (http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/jihadist_insurgency_pakistan)
On a tactical level, while the Pakistani army has a history of supporting insurgencies, it is ill-equipped to fight them. Even worse, despite the deployment of some 100,000 soldiers in the region, the bulk of security operations have involved paramilitary forces such as the Frontier Corps, which is mostly made up of locals who have little incentive to fight their brethren. Furthermore, Pakistan's intelligence capabilities already are compromised because of militant penetration of the agencies.


Religious Extremism destabilizing Pakistan | PK ARTICLES HUB (http://www.pkarticleshub.com/2012/07/22/religious-extremism-destabilizing-pakistan/)Notice the diversity of locations.
Pakistan (http://itribune.net/2012/06/11/pakistans-sovereignty-at-stake-by-us-insurgency-ji-chief-hassan.html)


Only in the month of May, around 300 persons were killed in the city. JI, however, would continue with its efforts in bringing the city back to its previous identity as the city of peace and harmony.

He said that the political parties in coalition government were responsible for crimes in the city. JI would play its role to help the people of the city to get rid of the extortionists and target killers.

While speaking on the occasion, Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman said that a slogan was raised in the city of fifth nation and people were provoked to sell their TV and refrigerators and buy weapons instead. Those that had raised the slogan of rights had converted the city into the heap of explosives.

However, all those slogans had died of their logic consequence and a culture of dead bodies in sacks was introduced.

He said that JI was the only political party that had the potential to bring the revolution and would cause that happen one day. The Military dictators and the civil rulers had ruined the country and the people’s issues were set aside. It was the need of the hour that the people of the city in particular and people of the country in general should rise united and elect honest leadership so that the country and the countrymen should travel on the path of peace and prosperity.

Laiq Khan said that participation of large number of people in the JI gathering was a sign that the people had rejected the politics of guns.

He said that Pashto speaking nationals were killed in the city but the so-called representative of the Pashto speaking community, the Awami National Party (ANP) was silent over that huge manslaughter of Pashto speaking people.

Osama Bin Razi in his address said that JI was the voice of the people and it would be the JI that would make people rise united against the injustices and corruption.

Muhammad Younus Barai in his address said that the rulers had converted the country into a US colony and it would be the JI that would change the situation.

Jamal Afridi said that the future of the country could only be safe and secure under the Islamic revolution.

Haleem Baloch said that JI was the only political party that represented all communities of the country.

I am sure its more contained than the media touts, my feeling is the strain of commodity costs and overall economic disintegration globally will play a part in destabilizing Pakistan. Compared to Afghanistan which is warlord stable comparatively in Pakistan internal local power vies with national power and religion is more or less utilized by both.

Officer of Engineers
01 Oct 12,, 01:08
I think you underestimate the power of incompetence.I know you are underestimating a 550,000 man army bent on genocide. Ask the Bangladeshis.

cyppok
01 Oct 12,, 01:25
I know you are underestimating a 550,000 man army bent on genocide. Ask the Bangladeshis.

The Afghans are armed. Mountain valleys with harsh terrain for mechanized vehicles. Lots of experience fighting the Russian, U.S., British, etc... superior forces.

You are underestimating the 180+ million people with quiet a few going religious fanatic, with a lot of them actually being in cities that have nothing to do with Afghanistan like Karachi and Lahore.

Officer of Engineers
01 Oct 12,, 01:43
Genghis and Tammerlane handled them pretty well.

Tronic
01 Oct 12,, 03:25
I know you are underestimating a 550,000 man army bent on genocide. Ask the Bangladeshis.

Sir, the Bangladeshis had the last laugh. I don't see why Afghanistan would be any different.


Edit: Maybe I'm misreading the direction of this discussion. Are we talking about the Pakistanis invading Afghanistan, or the Pakistan army fighting an internal conflict?

Officer of Engineers
01 Oct 12,, 04:05
It's the ANA invading Pakistan to support liberation movements.

cataphract
01 Oct 12,, 04:31
Something like this was tried by Afghanistan back in the early 1960s and the irregulars they supported got trounced by the pak army. The current insurgency in Pakistan stems from PA's unwillingness to smash it, not its inability.

Firestorm
01 Oct 12,, 06:18
Sir, the Bangladeshis had the last laugh. I don't see why Afghanistan would be any different.


They did, but not before more than a million had perished at Pakistani hands. And things would have ended very differently without Indian intervention. Now if India decides to take advantage of a war on Pakistan's western border and settle some scores, things might get interesting. But I just don't see that happening in the current climate and with the damocles' sword of nukes hanging above any Indo-Pak conflict. If the Afghans face the Pak army alone they will be routed.

Tronic
01 Oct 12,, 06:46
It's the ANA invading Pakistan to support liberation movements.

Ah, in that case I totally agree with you Colonel. ANA doesn't stand a chance. They'll be needing a lot bigger guns and air assets in order to be a match for the PA.

Ray
01 Oct 12,, 10:15
Important is the fact that even when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, they refused to recognise the Durand Line.

It is the Pathans on either side who will ensure what will happen when Afghanistan stabilises and is reckonable.

Agnostic Muslim
01 Oct 12,, 12:32
Scenario: 3-5 years from now.

Full blown revolt in tribal areas and the newly established Afghanistani Army of independent Afghanistan decides to intervine. India and Iran are supplying Afghanistan via Border and the Uzbek rail link. Small anti-air is provide to eliminate helicopter air support and low flying jets as well as anti tank weaponry.

"Durrand War" to eliminate the Durrand established border heats up when an insurgency is launched in Baluchistan to divert the Pakistan Army from commiting full force at reestablishing control of FATA Tribal Areas and to eliminate the prolifiration of the front into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

As the front is established along a perimeter of 4-5 mountain valleys where pushing through for the Pakistani Army becomes very very hard and slow stalemate like condition permeate.

What do you think happens next? economic steps and international pressure and how it would be applied. Etc... just different perspectives on this.

Afghanistan is already stoking/supporting the insurgency in Balochistan - there really isn't much more Afghanistan can do on its own on that front other than allowing its territory to be used by the US/NATO/India to train, supply and support Baloch terrorists/insurgents in the manner of the Libyan rebels.

Any spike in the Baloch insurgent movement would have to also contend with the ethnic dynamics of the large Pashtun population in Balochistan that would see its interests potentially threatened.

Even with a full blown insurgency in Balochistan, the terrain of FATA provides a natural barrier and obstacle to any large scale invasion/occupation, especially when the aggressor is a nascent, poorly equipped and largely undisciplined military as is the case with Afghanistan.

A stalemate along the Durand after a lot of fighting and losses would be the best outcome Afghanistan could hope for in the above scenario, as long as NATO and/or India do not officially enter the conflict on the side of the Afghans.

zraver
01 Oct 12,, 19:54
If its the ANA fighting against PA which ever side has the loyalty of the pashtun tribes will have the upper hand, not the number of tanks or guns

cyppok
01 Oct 12,, 21:43
If its the ANA fighting against PA which ever side has the loyalty of the pashtun tribes will have the upper hand, not the number of tanks or guns

Also people ignore my overall sentiment that the overall bifurcation of society creates an insurgency in non Afghan/border cities.

I think the problem with tribal loyalty is it is very fickle as long as there seems no power struggle over local control and how it is expressed the tribes value independence once that is threatened they turn on whomever threatens it. My sense is that implosion of national control in Afghanistan will turn tribes against Pakistan since they will no longer be fearful of national control of the former. Pakistan has a lot of destabilizing factors in addition to the tribes. Economic and commodity(food) costs are far more intrinsic in pushing locals to the edge turning to religious polity and fostering sentiment in the similar direction that Turkey went. Ergo the national government being too secular and thus the struggle for political power may oscillate between internal/external dynamics. At this point the Afghans have a chance.

zraver
01 Oct 12,, 22:43
Also people ignore my overall sentiment that the overall bifurcation of society creates an insurgency in non Afghan/border cities.

I think the problem with tribal loyalty is it is very fickle as long as there seems no power struggle over local control and how it is expressed the tribes value independence once that is threatened they turn on whomever threatens it. My sense is that implosion of national control in Afghanistan will turn tribes against Pakistan since they will no longer be fearful of national control of the former. Pakistan has a lot of destabilizing factors in addition to the tribes. Economic and commodity(food) costs are far more intrinsic in pushing locals to the edge turning to religious polity and fostering sentiment in the similar direction that Turkey went. Ergo the national government being too secular and thus the struggle for political power may oscillate between internal/external dynamics. At this point the Afghans have a chance.

A lot of modern powers have tried to exert control in Afghanistan and failed. The three main approaches seem to be gold or lead, kill em all and ignore them. The British tried multiple times and ultimately failed but enjoyed decades of realtive stability by employing a gold or lead approach. Work with us and we pay you, fight us and we kill you. This was not directed at the tribesmen, but at the tribal leaders. This is also the strategy used by the Taliban and to an extent by NATO. It is the most successful policy, though so far has ultimately failed.

The Soviets tried brutal repression and mass killings and it didn't work, they never got the leaders. Pakistan has tended to claim control over the land while ignorign the people and FATA/NWFP have become a cancer on the face of the earth as a result.

cataphract
20 Oct 12,, 01:51
Do you think the Soviets would have been more successful had they not faced internal problems of their own (such as economic stagnation)? Out of all foreign powers that have tried to control Afghanistan, Soviets have been the most ideally situated. Given even half of the modern American economy and the contemporary 80's Soviet military, I think they could have 'pacified' Afghanistan for good.

Double Edge
20 Oct 12,, 10:33
A stalemate along the Durand after a lot of fighting and losses would be the best outcome Afghanistan could hope for in the above scenario, as long as NATO and/or India do not officially enter the conflict on the side of the Afghans.
Sounds plausible.

Anyone disagree ?

cyppok
20 Oct 12,, 23:53
Do you think the Soviets would have been more successful had they not faced internal problems of their own (such as economic stagnation)? Out of all foreign powers that have tried to control Afghanistan, Soviets have been the most ideally situated. Given even half of the modern American economy and the contemporary 80's Soviet military, I think they could have 'pacified' Afghanistan for good.

I think both were doomed to failure for different reasons. My feeling is if they actually tried to carve it up into autonomous republics based on ethnic groups it would have worked giving each group some independence from the center with redress to the Soviets or Afghani center against another group. Ideological division across society didn't really provide solid backers.

The problem with Soviet and US intervention is both are trying to first control things top down (yes there was political support for both bottom up for USA and Soviets but it was in the minority and attritio-ed as the involvement increased.

There is a documentary on vice The Gun Markets of Pakistan | The VICE Guide to Travel | VICE (http://www.vice.com/the-vice-guide-to-travel/the-gun-markets-of-pakistan)
They revisited the area a few years after. The Pakistani military moved positions further back, Taliban took over the gunmarkets and they got shut down and the line of control moved in an unofficial manner no less.

There really is no stalemate its a fluid border if the Pakistani army doesn't control something the Taliban or other tribes move in to establish their 'order'. That is why the army is deployed and there are checkpoints all over, and they get blown up and whatnot. Because it is constantly contested, over and over. Once weakness or reluctance to enforce something in a region is sensed and prodded it either moves one way or another.

http://www.vice.com/vice-news/taliban-in-pakistan-1
Notice the "improvement" in 4 years (06-10) this is the update in 2010...

Double Edge
21 Oct 12,, 00:08
There really is no stalemate its a fluid border if the Pakistani army doesn't control something the Taliban or other tribes move in to establish their 'order'. That is why the army is deployed and there are checkpoints all over, and they get blown up and whatnot. Because it is constantly contested, over and over. Once weakness or reluctance to enforce something in a region is sensed and prodded it either moves one way or another.
But the Pak army has contained it for decades and that in itself is a stalemate.

The afghan invasion caused things to spill over but once that calms down post 2014 why isn't it logical to expect a return to the pre-2001 status quo. Unless you think the Taliban have been strengthened much more than before and are more powerful today than they were a decade ago. The Paks will just have to step up to balance them in that case. They will have no choice and will have to do it for themselves without anyone prodding.

cyppok
21 Oct 12,, 01:25
But the Pak army has contained it for decades and that in itself is a stalemate.

The afghan invasion caused things to spill over but once that calms down post 2014 why isn't it logical to expect a return to the pre-2001 status quo. Unless you think the Taliban have been strengthened much more than before and are more powerful today than they were a decade ago. The Paks will just have to step up to balance them in that case. They will have no choice and will have to do it for themselves without anyone prodding.

My thinking is in reverse to yours. I think the Afghan invasion first from the Soviets and now the US prevented the much more directed push into Pakistan. If the Taliban took over completely they could only look outward and slowly infiltrate lands they would think are theirs, which the tribal areas similarity wise are to a degree. Once they would go into full force infiltration it would be very likely that there would be a semi-hot civil insurrection going on.

My sense is post pullout after U.S. leaves there will be either a fracture among ethnic lines and regionalism or re-consolidation of national power along sustainable lines. If it is the latter the outward conflicts with Pakistan will heat up since then it would put impetus on the Afghan gov't to push for Pushtun rights outside the country to build up prestige and political capital.

Pak army has not contained it, merely enforced borders that are fluid ergo people could move through them. If people move through them are they really borders? what are they really containing? it isn't violence? a semblance of political pride I guess but not really pragmatic or useful.

Officer of Engineers
21 Oct 12,, 04:53
One thing that is overlooked. When the Soviets pulled out, Kabul started winning. In fact, they were expanding their control far beyond what Moscow ever accomplished. It was only through the fall of the USSR and Yeltsin cutting off funds and fuel that Kabul started losing.

What everyone is ignoring is that money works in Afghanistan just as it worked everywhere else.

Double Edge
21 Oct 12,, 11:20
One thing that is overlooked. When the Soviets pulled out, Kabul started winning. In fact, they were expanding their control far beyond what Moscow ever accomplished. It was only through the fall of the USSR and Yeltsin cutting off funds and fuel that Kabul started losing.

What everyone is ignoring is that money works in Afghanistan just as it worked everywhere else.
:biggrin:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkRIbUT6u7Q

Double Edge
21 Oct 12,, 12:06
My thinking is in reverse to yours.
No, what you're doing is giving more weight to a Pashtun self-determination movement. This forms the basis for your scenario. The threat to the Paks is Pashtuns on either side of the Durrand decide to band together and take a bite out of Pakistan.

The implicit assumption here is the US has failed to get a SOFA in Afghanistan. Consequently US aid to Pakistan dries up as US no longer needs any leverage over the Paks. Pakistan is on its own.

Vice SOFA is successful, the Paks hold onto a major portion of US aid and the Taliban are still directed towards the foreigners instead of at the Paks. The Taliban remain divided. This outcome is more attractive for everybody including the Paks. The money can only flow into Afghanistan so long as the investors are assured of the security of their investments. The world breathes easy as the sources for conflict are minimised.

But let's go with the former for the sake of your scenario.


I think the Afghan invasion first from the Soviets and now the US prevented the much more directed push into Pakistan. If the Taliban took over completely they could only look outward and slowly infiltrate lands they would think are theirs, which the tribal areas similarity wise are to a degree. Once they would go into full force infiltration it would be very likely that there would be a semi-hot civil insurrection going on.
Interesting, so the Afghan movement that started in 60s & 70s gets distracted in the 80s, divided in the 90s and distracted again in 00's. Your point is come post 2014, the Afghans will be free to make up for lost time.


My sense is post pullout after U.S. leaves there will be either a fracture among ethnic lines and regionalism or re-consolidation of national power along sustainable lines. If it is the latter the outward conflicts with Pakistan will heat up since then it would put impetus on the Afghan gov't to push for Pushtun rights outside the country to build up prestige and political capital.
This means the Paks are going to have to do whatever they can to divide, distract or otherwise blunt whatever is coalescing & coming at them. They are indeed looking at, as you put it, the potential of a semi-hot civil insurrection that could turn into an insurgency.


Pak army has not contained it, merely enforced borders that are fluid ergo people could move through them. If people move through them are they really borders? what are they really containing? it isn't violence? a semblance of political pride I guess but not really pragmatic or useful.
This is the part that matters. What do the Paks now do to control & contain the situation.

- If they continue to support raids into Afghanistan it could backfire.
- If they do nothing then the movement gains momentum and becomes a bigger problem.
- If they dump the Taliban, the Taliban joins the movement against the Paks.
- If they support the Taliban, its their money against that of the larger world.

cataphract
22 Oct 12,, 02:51
One thing that is overlooked. When the Soviets pulled out, Kabul started winning. In fact, they were expanding their control far beyond what Moscow ever accomplished. It was only through the fall of the USSR and Yeltsin cutting off funds and fuel that Kabul started losing.

What everyone is ignoring is that money works in Afghanistan just as it worked everywhere else.

What kept Kabul from "winning" while the Soviets were there?

Officer of Engineers
22 Oct 12,, 03:37
They didn't have a free hand on how to spend the money with Soviet advisors looking over their shoulders which included bribing one enemy Mujahadeen against another.

Soviet generals have thing against paying someone not to attack them.

Double Edge
22 Oct 12,, 11:50
My sense is post pullout after U.S. leaves there will be either a fracture among ethnic lines and regionalism or re-consolidation of national power along sustainable lines. If it is the latter the outward conflicts with Pakistan will heat up since then it would put impetus on the Afghan gov't to push for Pushtun rights outside the country to build up prestige and political capital.
That underlined bit is something i'd like you to explain further.

How does 're-consolidation of national power along sustainable lines' lead to 'impetus on the Afghan gov't to push for Pushtun rights outside the country' ? Does A necessarily have to lead to B and why.

How about if they want to bring the pushtuns in they will have to give the pushtuns a bigger say in power sharing. Until that point the pushtuns will continue to remain restive and open to the Taliban.



Pak army has not contained it, merely enforced borders that are fluid ergo people could move through them. If people move through them are they really borders? what are they really containing? it isn't violence? a semblance of political pride I guess but not really pragmatic or useful.
I think the fluidity of the borders is key to keeping the area relatively calm. The last thing the Paks want to do is enforce a strict border as that would just enflame sentiments on either side and increase the push to permanently erase any border that exists. This realisation has had to have played a major role in their reluctance to effectively stop militants crossing over in either direction during the Afghan war. Ergo the drone strikes.

The way it is now the people on either side are oblivious that a border even exists.

Agnostic Muslim
22 Oct 12,, 19:01
If the Taliban took over completely they could only look outward and slowly infiltrate lands they would think are theirs, which the tribal areas similarity wise are to a degree. Once they would go into full force infiltration it would be very likely that there would be a semi-hot civil insurrection going on.

The Taliban movement, especially in Pakistan, is an expansionist movement and not tied to Pashtun nationalism. I cannot recall a single Pakistani Taliban leader trying to utilize Pashtun nationalism as a rallying cry to garner support. The ideology of 'Caliphate' that is prevalent in many Islamist movements seeks to amalgamate various Muslim majority States into one, rather than break them up further along ethnic lines.

The dynamics, in terms of a Taliban push into Pakistan, would not be as simple as a mere 'deflection of pan-Pashtun aspirations into Pakistan'.

cataphract
29 Oct 12,, 22:35
If anything, the taliban are the anti-thesis of pashtun nationalism, which was secular. I wonder what the chances of a nationalist separatist movement's resurgence are, similar to what the BLA is. After all, ANP is already a political force in KP. Perhaps it could be created as a response to the fundamentalist TTP?