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Thread: US plan to improve Afghan intelligence operations branded a $457m failure

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Attacks on Kashmir are on the LOC which we return. Paks are losing in Kashmir. The paras are doing their job going after militants without any political interference. Hurriyat is under NIA watch. This will continue till some conclusion is reached
    Attacks in Kashmir is on the LoC, along the IB and inside Kashmir.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    If they have to move their forces east then there is no opposition to Afghans chasing any terrorists across their border. The drones will come through too. It isn't going to be as easy to get off the hook. In 2001 there was no ANA, the Taliban are on the back foot now

    So why will the paks invite a two front conflict
    This is the thing, Pak is not inviting a two front conflict. I guess the Paks don't think much of the ANA. But to secure high value targets, Pak would play this game, as they did earlier, knowing that the presence of US troops would deter the ANA from indulging in lone hot pursuits. And drones don't fly 24*7. The idea is to put troops on the eastern border citing fear of Indian retaliation, after a terorist attack in India, and letting the US play out the mediation. Sufficient time for terrorists to escape.

  2. #47
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    India should avoid bigger US strategic game: Karzai

    For a moment it felt like the DG ISPR was speaking. What's Karzai talking about? CPEC?

  3. #48
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    America Could Be in Afghanistan for Another 16 Years

    American forces could still be in Afghanistan sixteen years from now—or even generations from now—under the White House’s current strategy of maintaining an open-ended commitment to that war-torn nation.

    “I think we will be there in sixteen years,” retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John Allen told an audience at the Center for the National Interest during a lunch-time discussion on Sept. 13. “But I don’t think this is a sixteen-year loss on our part.”

    Allen said that American forces in Afghanistan could be “holding the line” indefinitely into the future under President Donald Trump’s new strategy. The United States drew down its forces very quickly during the waning days of the Obama administration, which inevitably led to the current state of affairs in Afghanistan. “President Trump has removed the end date and has given us an end state,” Allen said. “With this president committed to an outcome that is whatever he calls winning...then I think we can hold the line at the security level.”

    Holding the line at the security level would allow the Afghans to develop greater capacity in governance and greater capacity in economic development. “If we can get those two going—where we’re holding the line at the security level—and we’ve got a chance,” Allen said. “So we may well be there for another sixteen years, we’ve been in Kosovo for a very long time. We’ve had troops in the Sinai for a generation.”

    Allen also noted that the United States has been in the Republic of Korea and Japan for decades to “win the peace.” It took decades for South Korea to emerge from military rule and an extreme level of corruption as a fully functional democracy, but it eventually did thanks to the presence of American forces. Afghanistan might never become a fully-fledged democracy, but Allen argues that the only option is to stay the course. The alternative is to see the collapse of the Afghan government and the reemergence of an Islamic fundamentalist state. “I think the alternatives are just obvious in this regard,” Allen said.

    Amb. James Dobbins, a senior fellow at the RAND Corporation—who was also speaking during the panel—agreed with Allen’s assessment. Dobbins noted that that President Trump has approved for Afghanistan measures that were originally recommended to President Barack Obama in 2014. While Obama believed that the situation was hopeless and chose to withdraw, Trump has chosen to double down on winning a victory in Afghanistan, at least as he definines it.

    Trump has put his own stamp on the Afghan mission, defining “victory” as “crushing Al Qaeda” and preventing the Taliban from gaining control of that country rather than by building a successful democracy, Dobbins said. Though Trump is averse to nation building, he is continuing the policy of strengthening Afghanistan’s institutions, economy and stamping out corruption. “So there is an element of continuity there,” Dobbins added.

    Dobbins noted that while Trump himself has sounded skeptical about reaching some sort of peace deal in Afghanistan, reconciliation with the Taliban is essentially the centerpiece of American policy in that nation. That is partly out of necessity to retain the commitment of America’s European allies, but it is also the only exit strategy the United States has in Afghanistan. “That really only gives you one exit strategy, and the exit strategy is some kind of negotiated settlement,” Dobbins said.

    Dobbins said that such a peace settlement is a long ways off—as Allen also noted. Meanwhile, Russia and Iran also have a stake in Afghanistan and will necessarily have to play a role when a settlement does start to emerge in the future. But Russia especially, has never been comfortable with the American presence in the region, Thomas Graham, managing director of Kissinger Associates, said during his part of the presentation.

    Moscow was initially pleased with American actions to counter Islamist elements in Afghanistan and Central Asia, however, as time has gone on, the Kremlin no longer sees Washington’s presence as beneficial, Graham said. The Russians are particularly unhappy with Washington’s lack of focus on eliminating the production of narcotics in Afghanistan—which is a huge problem for both Moscow and the Tehran, Graham said.

    More fundamentally, Moscow sees the Taliban as the lesser of two evils as the threat from the Islamic State group starts to grow inside Afghanistan. Indeed, the single-minded American focus on defeating the Taliban to the exclusion of all else is problematic for Moscow, which sees ISIS as a far greater problem. “Because of the struggle between the Taliban and ISIS over the tactics and leadership of various terrorist groups, the Russians have tilted toward the Taliban,” Graham said. “It’s kind of ironic to see the Russians who were complaining about our support of the Taliban in the 1990s now aiding the Taliban.”

    Moreover, the Russians are hoping to bog down the United States in Afghanistan while they devise their own regional solution to the problem that excludes Washington, Graham said. “They don’t believe the United States has the staying power, that eventually we will tire of this,” Graham said. “It’s not in our neighborhood, it is in their neighborhood. They have nowhere else to go.”

    That ultimately is the question. Does the United States have the will to stay the course to remain in a war that could last for generations? Only time will tell.

  4. #49
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    This is the thing, Pak is not inviting a two front conflict. I guess the Paks don't think much of the ANA. But to secure high value targets, Pak would play this game, as they did earlier, knowing that the presence of US troops would deter the ANA from indulging in lone hot pursuits. And drones don't fly 24*7. The idea is to put troops on the eastern border citing fear of Indian retaliation, after a terorist attack in India, and letting the US play out the mediation. Sufficient time for terrorists to escape.
    What abut China ? does China get a say in this policy

    If they want to invest $100bn in a country, then said country's relations with others become important. The thinking is CPEC emboldens the Paks because they perceive China is on their side. China is frced to defend Pakistan because it has invested in Pakistan.

    Does China want to get entrapped in this game without a say. It will pit China against India which isn't seeing them in the best of light already

    I believe China will influence Pak Foreign policy

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    What abut China ? does China get a say in this policy

    If they want to invest $100bn in a country, then said country's relations with others become important. The thinking is CPEC emboldens the Paks because they perceive China is on their side. China is frced to defend Pakistan because it has invested in Pakistan.

    Does China want to get entrapped in this game without a say. It will pit China against India which isn't seeing them in the best of light already

    I believe China will influence Pak Foreign policy
    I guess not. China can patronize Pakistan in private however much it wants, but Paks will follow what has been their stated foreign policy i.e. terrorism.

    China has been asking Paks to act against terrorism in Xinjiang for years now, has there been a course correction? No. The Pak Army and ISI have their hands dirty in every global mess. I can understand Chinas' concerns about CPEC, this is why a 15K force is being created, to shield the Chinese and their investments from groups gone rouge to the Pak Armys' interests. That's about it. Another Chinese concern is US bombing Pak in future and there goes billions of dollars of CPEC investment or Indian Army marching towards Islamabad. Nobody has any leverage over the Pak Army a.k.a Pak FP and its suicidal tendencies. I see no reason why Pak Generals would give up billions of dollars they gather from the Pak economy.

  6. #51
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    If the US sanctions Pakistan then how can China continue with CPEC ?

    China does the talking in private. Doesn't want to become a primary target for these outfits. So there is a balancing act at play

    As for China influencing Pak policy, the example i think of is Lal Masjid siege over ten years back.

    It's not 2001 anymore, there are more players involved.

    Where is the guarantee that India will stick to the border this time. It can escalate.

    Moving away from the west border means the TTP can enter Pakistan without resistance
    Last edited by Double Edge; 07 Oct 17, at 16:18.

  7. #52
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    A year back Petraeus was asked whether the ISI was responsible for the war being as long and why the US didn't take any actions against the ISI and its support of militant groups. His reply is surprising



    He was never convinced there was as explicit support for the various militant groups by the ISI as is generally mentioned by certain journalists..

    He doesn't know where to exert pressure to produce meaningful results

  8. #53
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    India should avoid bigger US strategic game: Karzai

    For a moment it felt like the DG ISPR was speaking. What's Karzai talking about? CPEC?
    Lets see if we can figure it out

    "Every day Afghans told the US of the sanctuaries outside our borders. The United States knew they were there but couldn’t do much because Pakistan was an ally."
    So long as Pakistan remains major non-nato ally, the US cannot move against Pakistan. So wait for that label to get removed however long that milestone takes

    It was for this reason he remained skeptical, he said of the new US approach which he said was not "aimed at ending extremism" but because of a "bigger strategic game in the region in which Pakistan does not seem to fit in US designs or Pakistan has taken a different path to what they were doing in the past: they were an ally of the U.S. all along especially the two of them in promoting religious extremism. Now Pakistan has an economic integration plan, more closely aligned with China. Its more a power game than a fight against extremism that has re-aligned US politics in the region."  

    "The shift in the US policy is not to fight extremism but to bring pressure on Pakistan for other reasons. We don’t join that. We have no ill will to Pakistan - we want Pakistan to do well, we consider Pakistan a neighbour…for all the difficulties we have with it."
    Seems he is saying the US is going against Pakistan because Pakistan has joined China. Sanctuaries, Haqqanis, Taliban etc are a red herring. Pakistan is the target.

    So why isn't Karzai welcoming this new policy shift like the current Afghan administration if "every day Afghans were telling US of sanctuaries outside their borders" when he was in charge. A contradiction there.

    it is in this view that I am not happy with the new US strategy because that strategy lessens the possibility of a broader India-Chinese cooperation."
    By extension if India sides with the US in Afghanistan then India will be going against China too

    To which i wonder since when & how has/is India's policy in Afghanistan been at odds with Chinese policy in Afghanistan. It isn't but now whatever India does in Afghanistan is tainted because of closer American cooperation. This is the china pov?

    he was critical of the influential role that the US approach had had on its approach, citing efforts by Afghanistan towards the Manmohan Singh administration for help in its own military build up. India’s decision not to at that stage, he believes, was influenced by the US being against it. "It is this matter that makes us sensitive to the new alliance. If the U.S. changes course will India then follow again? India should not be moving from one pole to another. India should have a steady policy of a constant alliance with Afghanistan based on the fundamental interests of the two countries. I want an independent Indian-Afghan relationship…from our perspective when the US did not want us to have relations with India we did not conduct our policy towards India based on the wishes of the US …we conducted our own and that is what we expect of India towards us."
    We signed a strategic partnership with the Afghans in 2011, they wanted weapons, we were slow with giving them. He says it was US objections but i've always understood it was our over sensitivity about the Pak reaction. I don't understand why the US would object to us arming the ANA, if anything they would welcome it. Modi could care less what the Paks think. He led a campaign to isolate them at the regional level, now there is a chance of getting it done at a global level

    He also called for greater cooperation between India and China in their approach to the region, warning that the US policy on Afghanistan had direct implications for this. "These two vast massive civilization and entities worldwide…their friendship and their cooperation will benefit us immensely and the region…and they should both avoid falling into a trap set by others in the competition that is created…it is in this view that I am not happy with the new US strategy because that strategy lessons the possibility of a broader India-Chinese cooperation."
    India-China cooperation will happen when India feels more secure over China. Nalapat explained, a strong security relationship with the Americans was the precursor to a strong commercial relationship with China. China wants everyone in the region to bandwagon towards them. Not happening with India, this is called freedom of choosing who to interact with, the essence of independence

    "We want to be friends with the US we want to be allies for the US…but I have as an Afghan citizen I have immense opposition against the way they fight extremism, which is adding to the fires of extremism."
    He's had differences with the americans over this for a while, as far back as 2010 i think. He felt that the way the war was fought actually helped the Taliban recruit further. He raised a stink about it, the americans eased off. Taliban still continued to recruit. Now trump says he's removing those restrictions so its back to the old ways

    Already linked Ghani's thoughts on the way americans fight extremism with 'promiscuous use of force'
    Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Oct 17, at 02:20.

  9. #54
    Senior Contributor anil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    So long as Pakistan remains major non-nato ally, the US cannot move against Pakistan.
    Rise of global terrorism didn't change the great game. Pakistan's primary role in the game is being a card for the west that balances out india(its arch enemy). Terrorism control is Pakistan's secondary role(a side job) which it manages to use as a guided terrorism on India(and others in passive mode) under western security umbrella.

    India is in the Russian camp and will be for a long time due to basic strategic reasons. In this situation, the west cannot let Pakistan go as it'll alter the balance in India's favour. The Pakistanis are not happy with what they are getting(strategic security from the west) in return for their two roles they have been playing since the 1950s. They want more. This is where Pakistan's strategic partnership with china, nuclear weapons and CPEC comes to fulfilling their needs. Remember, the west cannot let Pakistan go else the balancing game will collapse. Meanwhile, india cannot counter China, unless it has the blessings and approval of Russia.

    Terrorism isn't as huge of an issue in the game as you make it to be.

  10. #55
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    So why is the US moving against Pakistan now then. Why all this pressure over secondary roles. I get your overall gist but there are some questions.

  11. #56
    Senior Contributor anil's Avatar
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    "Moving" due to what cause?
    Rather, what do you mean by "moving" here?

    What did the Americans do when they found ex-isi agents(non-state actors) being passively involved in the events that led to 9/11?

    What did the Americans do when the pakistani state unleashed it's proxies in Afghanistan and made it hopeless?

    What did the Americans do when Osama was found in Pakistan, clearly under the states protection?

    -------

    The correct answer is that all the above questions being asked are wrong.

  12. #57
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Why is the US putting pressure on Pakistan ?

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    Senior Contributor anil's Avatar
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    What do you see the Americans doing that warrants your usage of the term "pressure"?

  14. #59
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    It's coming, going with what Karzai says here

    The shift in the US policy is not to fight extremism but to bring pressure on Pakistan for other reasons. We don’t join that. We have no ill will to Pakistan
    Why have they decided to do that now

  15. #60
    Senior Contributor anil's Avatar
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    "Comments" is not "pressure".

    What do you think the role of Afghanistan is in western geo-politics?

    You think the Americans and the rest of western coalition is in Afghanistan to cultivate soverignity, democracy, free trade economy etc etc? ha ha
    -------

    Afghanistan has no future. Its actual role is a cross between a buffer zone and a possible forward base for the west(see Russia). Co-incidently, it also serves(see geo-strategic convergence) the role of Pakistan's geo-strategic needs(known locally as "strategic depth").
    Last edited by anil; 08 Oct 17, at 13:24.

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