Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 11, 2009

Context matters, never more than in AfPak

Filed under: International HLS,Strategy,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on October 11, 2009

Three bits worth your attention as a decision approaches related to the  US  strategy for AfPak:

The Sunday New York Times includes a piece by Scott Shane on Mullah Omar’s remarkable resilience as leader of the Afghan Taliban.  This come back, how it was achieved, and what it really means is at the heart of current strategic considerations by the White House.

Sunday’s Washington Post reports on the competition between Pakistan and India for influence in Afghanistan.  Understanding this aspect of regional geopolitics is essential to accurately perceiving Pakistan’s attitude vis-a-vis the Taliban. Please see Attack may Intensify India-Pakistan Proxy War  by Emily Wax.

Late Sunday, Pakistan time, it sounds increasingly likely that sustained  military operations will soon begin in South Waziristan.  Yesterday’s attack on Army General Headquarters and hostage taking, while supposedly aimed to deter, has instead spurred government authorization to claim the offensive.  See stories in DAWN, The Age, and The Telegraph.  

While I claim no special insight, some of those who do claim expertise, wonder if — once again — the Taliban-in-Pakistan have overplayed.  They say many in Rawalpindi were using the White House decision-making process to delay taking the offense in Waziristan.  The same circles have exploited controversial elements of the Kerry-Lugar aid package to foster further distraction. Soon winter snows will provide another excuse for delay.  But now the attack on Army GHQ is seen as requiring a response.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

October 11, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

IMO inability of Pakistani military to mount coherent response to the GHQ attack will provide new momentum to Pakistani Taliban movement as winter closes down another campaign season. But could be wrong. It will be hard to hide the fact that the Pakistani military talks a better game than it plays. And of course this is in spite of US military arms sales and foreign assistance increasing since 9/11. No real system of accountability in Pakistan for what has been done with those monies. If open accurate open source data exist would be quite interesting to review.

Comment by christopher tingus

October 12, 2009 @ 6:26 am

The brashness of mankind – The futility of AfPak as generations of disputes and scars, death by sword will not be undone by even the good intent and good will of the American making a genuine effort to lend their hand while also making an effort to thwart those who seek our demise and stage terrorism training from their yards and hearts filled with anger and easily influenced by those with manipulative intent….

Unfortunately, we do not understand the culture and we do understand the region or its people. We are not Afghans and we do not know the ways of those residing in Pakistan. Many of these folks do not know how to let go of generations of dispute, incapable of being able to repent, to forgive to make every effort to understand the other to be able to sit at a table and without clenching fist, listen first and then share perspective whether contrary or concurring with the other. Human nature. The unwillingness to be more tolerant, unyielding to another and in some instance, so justified.

The Russians ran away with their tail behind their back, the Americans will not be able to continue to fund its failed efforts to truly transform the evil into good.

Unfortunately it will be the Europeans who differ in perspective and self-agenda that will besiege these regional neighborhoods and long established mannerisms, convictions and disputed differences and the EU will assuredly bring much more instability to the region because of its policies and place all of us in peril. Once again the revival of Germany and its large industrial/manufacturing base pose much danger to the instability of mankind!

While the “Brutes of Tehran” who profess some belief in God to the populace turn their cheeks to HIS words and kill so easily and make every effort to amend the changes of history, to disregard reality – it is history that many are ignorant of as generation after generation fails to acknowledge the past and its lessons. Thank God for the insight and persistence of

It is not the Russians who failed or the Americans who have failed these nearly nine years in the region, it is those in the AfPak region who must decide one by one to change destiny and stand tall against the evil ways.

No form of government with its hand reached out to the “Brutes of Tehran” or the “KGB Putinites” – no one will appease the perverse and if one does not read history and heed the lessons and stand tall against the devilish ways of others, then mankind is doomed for continued plagues, disputes, anguish and suffering.

Unfortunately it will take – events – to bring a change to the rampant corruptness in Pakistan and to Afghanistan.

It will be the global community who will be affected by the dastardly deeds of hellish thugs who have no compassion for the preciousness of innocents who take Life by their own hand making judgement which no matter what the cause, no matter one’s religion, no other has the right to judge another and take Life which God has created.

Respect and dignity for one another despite differences has never been easy for mankind when daling with one another.

Arm raised and quickness to strike have always been the signature of younger men. The Middle East median age portrays such inexperience and lack of tolerance for even their neighbor pertaining to a local matter never mind other.

I was born in this wonderful country of parents who were born in this beloved country – America – of Grandparents who were proud as I of their Hellenic – Spartan – anecestry. My Greek Orthodox religious upbringing and speaking Greek is different than others and it is my Father who spoke of the fact that whether Hebrew, Christian or Muslim, no one necessarily had to assimilate by embrace, but at least all should be given respect and no one should impose their values on another. Respect one another! You are all, everyone a human being created by God.

The young Iranians so well educated, rich in history and contributions to the civility of mankind allow the “Brutes of Tehran” to kill innocents not only willing to spill the blood of their own – Neda – and to sentence to death those who protest the dastardly deeds of the bloodied hands of the regime, march the streets once again and throw down the sword of the ignorant who call themselves leaders and embarrass the richness and goodness of Persian history….

These thugs who call the Holocaust a myth…they have no credibility despite their own conceptions.

As Life sees the seasons pass and undestands what God has truly painted with his hand by beautiful sunset and smiles of children seeking little else than a secure hug and longing for Life while others take it without such right to do so for any reason.

we must not contend that all must embrace one another, however the honor of words and deeds are far more worthy than detonating a strap of explosives in the marketplace and in the latest, school children suffering death and serious life-threatening and Life altering injury….Children whose Life has been taken by indiscriminate thugs, not by any individual who truly believes in the spiritual Life.

The civilized world is supposed to attentively listen to those who take such inhumane measures contrary to God’s given ways. How tearful HE must be for such calamity.

Men have always failed in their ability to communicate, to take up fist and arms before seeking to consider other alternatives.

Whether it be the Palestinian or anyone else, the world with its nearly seven (7) billion souls seems to be held hostage by those who export drugs, pornography, and the evilness of policy making and implementation of political and religious dictates often for the benefit of the few, not the majority.

Like many of you, I have walked the streets of Jericho, Hebron, Cairo and so many places to see children and people in such hopeless anguish while the pillars of Dubai and other of the Arab League for instance do much to educate and bring harmony to the Palestinian always using this premise of hate and distrust which both the Hebrew and Arab hold of one another for generations. It is such a shame for each have so much to be proud of and their ancestors were far less fortunate for Life was even more challenging in those days.

So much opportunity exists today for so, so many…., but the same ‘ol ways. The Russians cannot change it, the Americans will not and the Chinese only bother to get involved if it is in their interest as they watch the west challenge cultures to change when such change can only come from within. From the mentoring and insight of elders and mentors.

Wether in Af/PAK or in Palestine or Israel and in so many places, man’s inability and unwillingness to strive to understand the other and to listen attentively has seen little change among tribes, villages, cities and countries.

Not too far away from the struggling Palestinian who is challenged daily by electrical outages, the scarcity of water and nutrition, the marble buildings in Dubai built for a King are becoming emptied as he economy worsens and instead of such, the monies could of helped the Palestinian, their owm family….There are many such examples.

The Arab League should be ashamed of itself. Where are the schools and the books, the training which the palestinian child needs to have to become competitive to contribute to elevating the Palestinian for example??

A presumption is that with the world’s exploding population numbers of those professing Islamic teachings and adhereing to such premises, the world will be dominated by Islamic influence. The harshness of the German-led EU will not allow it especially in seeing such sword rattling all the time and suicide bombing killing innocents. Now biological threat…the patience of those in chambers is being less tolerant for such dastardly behavior.

The Islamic world must demand more of its leadership whether in the Mosque or in its political leadership. It must raise the bar and demand more from its people. It must profess peace and harmony.

This bubble of optimism one sees in the global markets at this moment created by the same bright minds and deviousness of the central bankers and the federal reserve who have intentionally implemented policy to impoverish and subject the masses to “enslaved poverty” as I refer to it will see more depressing times ahead and gold prices skyrocketing.

If man truly sought the benefits of the majority, we would not have placed so many in such desperate times.

It is the void in political leadership and the commitment to economic diligence in reform and transparency beginning here on Main Street USA and in every Main Street no matter where which will inevitably bring chaos to the streets and to the good people who seek only to live Life as it should be in the eyes of the Lord. To bear arms is one’s right, to take up arms against another without provocation is unjust.

If one reads history, all governments have been corrupt and unjust since man’s first in Babylon and it is man’s greed, lust for power and a moment’s fame which he cannot suppress and seek the course which hels others rather than supports self-agenda.

Should we pull out of the region? Nearly nine years and are the Afghans or the Paks in better position to address their challenges? More troops, maybe yes! Less troops and more EU involvement on equal par, yes! It is time for those closest to the region to become contributing participants. Dialogue is much needed by those in the region.

Let’s have many more readers, many of you who are directly involved, experienved, and may have a better perspective share your views herein so that those of of us on Main Street USA and any other place can have others share their ideas. Even those in the region, your particpation to help us all understand would be appreciated….We truly care about one another and it si with hope that mankind in the 21st century will flourish!

Signing off from the fellas at the local coffee shop!

Christopher tingus
Harwich, MA 02645

Comment by christopher tingus

October 12, 2009 @ 6:44 am

Suggested reading, – Matthew 13:16-33 – “Hear the parable of the sower -”

God Bless America for it continues to be the Beacon of Hope – even with its shortcomings – a “Hope” to so, so many oppressed by those who chastise those who challenge, who strive to make our world a better place for all who seek good intent.

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