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

  1. #61
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    You think the Americans and the rest of western coalition is in Afghanistan to cultivate soverignity, democracy, free trade economy etc etc? ha ha
    That was the original idea, of nation building which i supported and still do. Neocon idea. I've seen the photos from the 60s, so it has existed before

    Now Trump says no more nation building so its get them on their feet so they don't host bad people, ever again. That's it. Leave after

    I don't buy the US will be stuck there for another sixteen years line. The ANA leads ops now with the americans in support compared to five years back

    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").
    Why is the US still there then ? pack up leave let the place fall.

    Why is India sinking upto $3 billion to date for the purposes of capacity building in a place with no future
    Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Oct 17, at 14:47.

  2. #62
    Senior Contributor anil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Why is the US still there then ? pack up leave let the place fall.
    What do you suggest?
    Do another Vietnam and exist?
    There are no American bases in Vietnam today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Why is India sinking upto $3 billion to date for the purposes of capacity building in a place with no future
    Optimism

  3. #63
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    "Comments" is not "pressure"
    Getting back to your original point

    You're implying whatever Trump and his cabinet have said of Pakistan is hot air. They either cannot or will not act on it because..

    Remember, the west cannot let Pakistan go else the balancing game will collapse.
    See, that's the pak bet. If they cooperate there will be no need to apply pressure and one expects the Paks to try every trick in the book to delay sanctions

    If attacks in Afghanistan are down year on year they will say they have kept their side of the deal while at the same time retaining assets for the future. This way they put off being defanged.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Oct 17, at 15:19.

  4. #64
    Senior Contributor anil's Avatar
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    What is Pakistan's role in western geo-politics?

  5. #65
    Senior Contributor anil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    You're implying whatever Trump and his cabinet have said of Pakistan is hot air. They either cannot or will not act on it because..
    The great game is not any trade pact or some other material deal that may be affected with changing presidencies. It is carried forward by policy makers uneffected and regardless. The Americans have been working with the Pakistanis since the 1950s and they are deeply involved in each other's affairs. You think Trump will write off everything and let the game collapse?

    As powerful as a president is, I think the policy makers are more powerful and they probably expect the new president not to disappoint them(the legacy).

  6. #66
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    So you are then implying what Trump and Mathis have said is hot air, just not directly. There never was a split or one about to happen, just a cooling off period

    It means Afghans and Indians need to be circumspect, that is until more concrete steps materialise

    As far as pressure goes we only know what appears in the media, what is said privately is another matter but we can deduce if there is a path change

    Am still optimistic : )
    Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Oct 17, at 23:04.

  7. #67
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    A battlefield of conflicting policies | The News.pk | Oct 08 2017

    Afghanistan will remain unstable until the US comes clean about its real intentions in the region

    A number of developments in the recent past suggest that Pakistan is under tremendous pressure to mend its ways in Afghanistan. From the US to India to Afghan national government and recently China, all are arrayed against Pakistan in the wake of Donald Trump’s recently veiled strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia.

    In which direction will Pakistan foreign policy on Afghanistan move? Will the past be Pakistan’s future or the country’s foreign policy will usher in a new arena?

    what we fail to recognise is that the US Afghan policy is riddled with contradictions. Put differently, the biggest source of instability at the court of Kabul is the US policy towards Afghanistan.

    We have seen that since 2001 the US has been playing both ends against the middle. As a result of turning a blind eye to regional state interference in Afghanistan, the US has implicitly given leeway to regional actors to pursue their narrow interests in Afghanistan only to strengthen the hands of Taliban

    Despite much debate it generated, Trump’s strategy falls short of what is essential for stabilising Afghanistan.

    The strategy has singled out Pakistan as the sole culprit of instability in Afghanistan. It has failed to recognise that, besides US dual policy, it is regional states — and not only Pakistan’s — interference that stands responsible for triggering instability in the country. Sadly, nothing has changed in the American policy even after the recent unveiling of Trump’s strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia which laid down Trump administration policy to defeat Taliban.

    Pressurising Islamabad to not support Taliban is an old riddle which keeps on revisiting. Pakistan has traditionally honed its skill of adapting to the US pressure without compromising on its means to realise the so-called national interests. Policy makers here appear to have realised American Achilles’ heel: that the US wants a ‘managed instability’ in Afghanistan. Same hold true for other regional states! Seen this way, apparent contradiction in Pakistan’s Afghan policy is the result of contradiction in America’s Afghan policy. China is a different story altogether, however.
    Managed instability...


    In recent years, Beijing’s policy in the Pak-Afghan region is mainly driven by its economic considerations. Whether BRICS’ declaration was a Chinese sop to India post Doklam border military standoff or China meant it might be a moot point, what is clear is that Beijing has demonstrated unrivalled skill to separate economics from politics in its dealing with other states. This policy is not without implication for Pakistan.

    There is a widespread perception that China is reluctant to give unqualified support any further to Pakistan’s alleged support to Islamist militants, including Indian held-Kashmir based militants and Taliban. As a result thereof, the mainstreaming of banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), as it launched Milli Muslim League in August, is the harbinger of change in tactics than militant ideology on the part of the militant outfit. The whole exercise appears to give a friendly façade to the militant entity so as to relieve international pressure without relying much on China. On the count of Taliban, China appears to be sitting on the fence, however.

    One factor determines as to what extent China may nudge Pakistan to follow a particular stance. In all probability, China, in order to execute its One Belt One Road project and build on its economic initiatives in Afghanistan, may throw its weight behind any group which has the capacity to impose order in the country. It does not matter much who, either Taliban or any democratic regime, rules Afghanistan though the latter is preferable because of the former’s previous association with Uighur militants back in late 1990s

    Under existing circumstances, Taliban, are not worth much preference for China. Neither is the Afghan national government which, for the last 16 years, has remained unable to stabilise the country. Thus, China, in all likelihood, may not force Pakistan to end its alleged support to Taliban.
    That is how China views Afghanistan

    What are the odds of change in Pakistan’s Afghan policy?

    There are two states, the US and China, that can help change Pakistan policy towards Afghanistan. A stable Afghanistan lies in the total cessation of all outside interference in the country. This calls for an end to US dual policy: either Taliban are an enemy or a friend. China, on the other hand, has neither any better option nor does status quo suits its interests. Whereas stable Afghanistan is in the interest of China, instability in the country has only helped prolong the US stay at the court of Kabul.

    Afghanistan will remain unstable until the US comes clean about its real intentions! In the given context, past is the future of Pakistan’s Afghan policy.
    Thought the US policy was quite clear about going after terrorists n matter where they live. There is no more any US dual policy as this author puts it

    Also understand why India sticks to capacity building projects it has. its is damn near impossible to charge us with anything nefarious while allowing access to the country and building goodwill with the Afghans, Taliban included
    Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Oct 17, at 23:46.

  8. #68
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Afghan president, U.S. general vow ambitious air war to defeat Taliban | WAPO | Oct 7 2017

    The elaborately staged ceremony at Kandahar Air Base marked the formal launch of an ambitious plan to modernize and expand the Afghan air force over the next five years. A variety of U.S. military aircraft including 159 UH-60 Black Hawks are being supplied by the United States, and a new cohort of Afghan combat pilots are being trained — or retrained after years of flying Soviet-era choppers — by American military and civilian advisers.

    The event was also aimed at reinforcing public support for the ongoing U.S. and NATO military mission here, following President Trump’s announcement in August of a new, open-ended policy that would add several thousand U.S. troops, focus on ending the war rather than nation-building, and follow the plan designed by Ghani and Nicholson to enable Afghanistan to defend itself within the next five years.

    But the deployment of the iconic helicopters will be gradual, with only six expected to be in full use with Afghan pilots by the end of next year. Meanwhile, the war continues to rage, with Taliban fighters active in many areas of the country, and military commanders across the country have said that increased air combat support is their most urgent need.

    Pilots need several years of training to fly the Black Hawks, a process that is just beginning, and repairs must be made by American contractors for now. Afghan pilots who currently fly other U.S. military aircraft, such as A-29 small fighter planes and MD-530 attack helicopters, have received several years of training at bases in the United States.

    American air instructors at the event said that they have confidence in the skills and experience of the Afghan pilots they are guiding and that they do not expect the transition to piloting new aircraft to be especially difficult. “I have been supremely impressed with the Afghan pilots,” said Lt. Col. Trent Alexander, a senior air trainer. “They are absolutely up for this challenge.”

    All of the Black Hawks being supplied to Afghanistan are from excess U.S. Army stocks, refurbished and updated before being sent here. The total average cost involved, one U.S. official said, is between $7 million and $8 million per aircraft. Of the 159 total, more than 50 will have machine guns and other equipment to provide air cover in combat.

    The Afghan air force currently uses about 40 Soviet-made Mi-17 helicopters, which are larger and less agile, on missions to evacuate wounded or dead soldiers, deliver supplies to conflict zones and provide air cover.

    Before the ceremony, several Afghan pilots said they were looking forward to the change. They described the Black Hawks as more modern, more stable and smoother to handle than the Mi-17s.

    “They are more reliable and they fly easier,” said Capt. Mohammed Saquib, 32, a helicopter pilot with four years’ experience. “We have a young generation that is ready to learn these skills. But what we want is to see this conflict finish in our country.”

    Afghan and American officials are relying heavily on expanding the air force and special operations forces because they are among the best educated and most professional members of the Afghan defense forces. The regular army and police have been plagued by a variety of problems, including illiteracy, corruption, high attrition rates and poor leadership, which have made them less effective fighting forces and more resistant to reform efforts.

    In a new report on lessons learned from rebuilding the Afghan defense forces, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction concluded that those efforts had been hampered by numerous major problems, including failure to understand and address “intangible factors, such as corruption and the will to fight,” overestimating the capabilities of regular government forces, and neglecting “critical capabilities” that take time to develop, including air force and special operations forces.

    The five-year plan developed by Ghani and Nicholson, in addition to bolstering these two elite areas of defense, will send advisers to work more closely with individual army and police units, and will continue improving military leadership by replacing ineffective or corrupt officials. Ghani has recently replaced a number of senior military officials, with some facing prosecution for corruption and others fired after several devastating insurgent attacks.

    Alexander said Saturday that in addition to respecting the Afghan pilots he is training, he has also been impressed by the dedication of some of their superior officers. He described a recent situation when a group of Mi-17 pilots were out on a late-night combat mission, and their Afghan squadron commander waited up anxiously for them to come back.

    “He was really invested in the mission, and in the men,” Alexander said

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    How long can Pakistan remain defiant ?


    Yet for some reason they seen unwilling to leave six years later ?
    America stays because it allows the US to sit on the border of Iran. isolates Pakistan, with India, Iran on the other sides. If you ask the mullahs in Tehran in terms of threat Pakistan=, US, Israel.

  10. #70
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    America stays because it allows the US to sit on the border of Iran. isolates Pakistan, with India, Iran on the other sides. If you ask the mullahs in Tehran in terms of threat Pakistan=, US, Israel.
    As i recall Iran cooperated with the US in the Afghan invasion despite the axis of evil speech

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    As i recall Iran cooperated with the US in the Afghan invasion despite the axis of evil speech
    Tehran has no love for Pakistan. It is not the first time https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-with-pakistan

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    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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  13. #73
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    However, a well-placed source told Daily Express that the dialogue will be held on the ‘basis of equality’ and that Pakistan might discontinue the talks if the US officials continued their old mantra to ‘do more’.
    According to sources, Khawja Asif clarified to his counterpart that Trump’s policy for Afghanistan was not acceptable to Pakistan and that Pakistan had rejected it outright
    And that concludes the opening round of negotiations with both hard balling the other


    Informed sources said the forthcoming visit of Tillerson to Pakistan is of high importance and that Pakistan has decided its strategy for this expected visit.

    “If the US foreign secretary demands for more action from Islamabad then there will be only one answer from the government: ‘No more do more’,” a source said, Pakistan is not going to concede to ‘do-more’ demand of any country including the US.
    The visit will be the start of round two


    Top Pakistano Jaish terrorist Khalid killed in encounter in J&K

    The terrorist country needs to be bombed back to the stone age.
    All summer i heard how this and that top militant from some outfit has been taken out. Its still quite fluid. Am optimistic.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 09 Oct 17, at 16:49.

  14. #74
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    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
    But can't you see two blocs forming

    Pakistan, China & Russia in opposition to India drawing closer to the US, Japan & Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    The great game is not any trade pact or some other material deal that may be affected with changing presidencies. It is carried forward by policy makers uneffected and regardless. The Americans have been working with the Pakistanis since the 1950s and they are deeply involved in each other's affairs. You think Trump will write off everything and let the game collapse?

    As powerful as a president is, I think the policy makers are more powerful and they probably expect the new president not to disappoint them(the legacy).
    What you're saying is the Americans won't do it

    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    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 above you interpret as won't

    What i hear from sceptics is the Americans can't do it. As in lacking in sufficient sticks and carrots to successfully compel the Paks to change track as has been demonstrated over the last sixteen years with two presidents. Or the result of such action is undesirable for whatever reasons

    Americans are unable to do so, which i question as they never really tried in the first place besides didn't they get Mush on board, he was compelled into joining GWOT. To assist in the toppling of the regime the Paks installed only five years prior. Attacking the Indian parliament didn't get them off the hook. The Taliban were out and at best they would be offered sanctuary

    This is the next phase. To get the Paks to now withold that sanctuary

    See what they are doing with LeT, trying to mainstream them. The writings on the wall already, otherwise why get them into politics. At some point they have to disarm them. But the paks won't vote for these types in big enough numbers to matter. They never have. Keep losing a few elections and then where is LeT. Finished, isn't it
    Last edited by Double Edge; 10 Oct 17, at 03:01.

  15. #75
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Keep hearing the Taliban control 40% of the country and these figures get repeated by the media

    SIGAR latest quarterly report

    Out of 407 districts, the Taliban control 11 or 2.7% of districts

    Taliban has control of 9% of population

    The Afghan govt controls 66% of the population

    The remainder of 25% of the people remains contested..
    Last edited by Double Edge; 10 Oct 17, at 03:54.

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