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Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Afghanistan Mess & the power vaccum created by US

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Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Prakash Saxena is a graduate of UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He is an authority on eCommerce, eProcurement, eSign, DSCs and Internet Security. He has been a Technology Bureaucrat and Thought leader in the Government. He has 8 books and few UN assignments. He wrote IT Policies of Colombia and has implemented projects in Jordan, Rwanda, Nepal and Mauritius. Rajiv writes, speaks, mentors on technology issues in Express Computers, ET, National frontier and TV debates. He worked and guided the following divisions: Computer Aided Design (CAD), UP: MP: Maharashtra and Haryana State Coordinator to setup NICNET in their respective Districts of the State, TradeNIC, wherein a CD containing list of 1,00,000 exporters was cut with a search engine and distributed to all Indian Embassies and High Commissions way back in the year 1997 (It was an initiative between NIC and MEA Trade Division headed by Ms. Sujatha Singh, IFS, India’s Ex Foreign Secretary), Law Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Jail Project, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Data Centres (NDC), NIC National Infrastructure, Certifying Authority (CA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs), eProcurement, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MPA), Lok Sabha and its Secretariat (LSS) and Rajya Sabha and its Secretariat (RSS) along with their subordinate and attached offices like Directorate of Estate (DoE), Land & Development Office (L&DO), National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB), Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDO), National Building Organisation (NBO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), BMPTC and many others.

As the Pentagon declares a pullout from Afghanistan, the US corporate press is voicing concerns about an imminent terrorist resurgence, with CNN all but acting as an Al Qaeda mouthpiece, amplifying threats from nameless militants.

Defending his decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan, Biden said, “With the terror threat now in many places, keeping thousands of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country and across the billions [of dollars spent] each year makes little sense to me and to our leaders.”

“I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats,” he added. “I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.” The steps undertaken by Donald Trump must be appreciated.

Biden called on regional countries, particularly Pakistan, to do more to support Afghanistan. The international community, including the US, has often accused Pakistan of supporting militant groups in Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban, which have to some extent undermined Washington’s war efforts.

In a much-touted “exclusive interview” published on Friday, CNN spoke with two purported “Al Qaeda operatives,” playing up their threats of renewed attacks on the US while implying some connection to the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“War against the US will be continuing on all other fronts unless they are expelled from the rest of the Islamic world,” the fighters, kept entirely anonymous, reportedly said. CNN added that the terrorist faction is “planning a comeback after US forces leave Afghanistan.” This may be true in reality.

With former President Donald Trump’s deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan passed, the Taliban have warned that they may “take action” against US forces before President Joe Biden’s September 11 pullout date, which has been widely reported in the press. Saturday marked Trump’s planned withdrawal date from Afghanistan, which the former US leader announced last year.

With Biden pledging to withdraw American troops by September 11, 2021, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid declared that all bets are off between now and then.

“As withdrawal of foreign forces from #Afghanistan by agreed upon May 1st deadline has passed, this violation in principle has opened the way for [Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan] Mujahidin to take every counteraction it deems appropriate against the occupying forces,” he tweeted.

The Mujahidin of IEA will now await what decision the leadership of Islamic Emirate takes in light of the sovereignty, values and higher interests of the country, and will then take action accordingly, Allah willing,” he added in a follow-up tweet. By all account, the situation in Afghanistan is very grim and precarious.

Coming directly from the Taliban’s spokesman, Mujahid’s warning is about as clear as threats get in Afghanistan. Other warnings have been more dubious, as was the case last year after Trump struck a deal with the militant group and announced his withdrawal plans. And true to his words, he did not start any new war.

Immediately afterwards, the New York Times claimed that Russia was offering cash bounties for Taliban – linked militants to attack US forces. They want the Taliban to capture the US armament, which can be purchased by the Russian forces to make duplicate copies. Even China may have put their hat to get the armament developed technology for duplication in their own country. During the Afghanistan by Russia a live MIG aircraft was high jacked and delivered to USA by the help of Israel. China is world famous for stealing the patents, copyright and IPR from American factories and sometimes from planted Professors, who are on their roll calls.

The anonymously sourced story drew condemnation from Trump’s opponents in Washington and the national media, but turned out to be completely bogus. These are mind games which are played at this level.

Nevertheless, it spurred a bipartisan group of representatives to pass an amendment forbidding a withdrawal from Afghanistan before Trump’s term was up.

Similar stories warning of an imminent terrorist “resurgence” surfaced in the run up to the May 1 deadline, amplifying the concerns of US intelligence and military officials who aren’t on board with either Trump or Biden’s pullout plans.

The Taliban have not agreed to Biden’s withdrawal date, failing to show up at a peace conference in Turkey last month. Nevertheless, Mujahid told Reuters last month that Taliban officials are still in contact with the US, and were still discussing whether or not to hold off on attacks until September.

The Taliban are not like Al Qaeda nor do their same interest. When US invaded the Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban and helping to build up a new government but US has been in Afghan for over two decades have not achieved anything. The Taliban support mainly comes from Pashtuns People who were split apart by Britain. The Pashtuns are found from the Southern and Eastern borders of the Afghanistan, as well the Western border of Pakistan. This is where Taliban gets most of its support from the Ethnic Nationalism; Pashtun Nationalism. They want to make a Pashtun republic. This is same reason why Pakistan and Afghan are both afraid of it as well. When Pakistan became independent from India, it original start of promoting Pakistan nationalism on civic nationalism, not favouring any ethnic or tribal group in Pakistan. But during the Cold War Soviet Union supported a military over throw of the then Government and declared Afghanistan as Socialist state, during the overthrow government the man who was put into power was Pashtun nationalist who essentially threaten Pakistan’s territorial integrity.

The point of Al Qaeda, as laid out by Bin Laden, is not a single group with a single goal, but as the Arabic translation plainly tell us, to be “the base” for multiple related but not 100% similar groups, causes and goals. There is no single thing Al Qaeda wants because there is NO single Al Qaeda. There’s Al Qaeda in Iraq (now fracturing into AQI and ISIS), there’s Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQM), Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, also Al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa. The original Afghanistan franchise is also still present with the remnants of the Taliban in the Pakistan Tribal areas. Plus these franchises, literally they are franchises, they use the Al Qaeda name and sometimes share finances / fighters but they have semi – independent leadership and act towards separate goals.

Bin Laden stated goals where many, but the usual demands in his fatwa videos included: Removal of complete US soldiers and sailors from the Saudi Arabia soil, end of US support of Israel, the overthrow of several western friendly Middle East governments, and the replacement of them with a unified Islamic Caliphate or one super Arab – Muslim state in the gulf region. Others linked to Al Qaeda have also demanded the forced conversion of all non-Muslims, the replacement of civil law with Sharia religious law, the complete destruction of Israel, or for an Islamic Caliphate to extend beyond the Middle East and conquer the entire world. To accomplish these, Al Qaeda was supposed to be a linked network of terrorism support groups. The training camps in pre 9/11 Afghanistan hosted terrorists from all over the world. Al Qaeda would link financier X with group Y to move money. They would provide their franchise groups with better planning of attacks and strategy.

If all goes to plan and US forces leave Afghanistan in September, they will depart a month before the conflict turns 20 years old. They will also leave the Taliban in a stronger position and in control of more territory than at any point since the beginning of the war. Along with the US Troops, nearly 18,000 of the US contractors will leave this dreaded minefield back to their country.

Analysts warn that the US troop withdrawal all but ensures heightened instability in Afghanistan – with potentially troubling security implications for Pakistan itself. “Increased instability in Afghanistan will produce spillover effects – increases in refugee flows, a more robust drug trade, the heightened risk of cross-border terrorism – that Pakistan won’t want,” Michael Kugelman, an analyst with the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, analysed.

The changing dynamics in Afghanistan indicate that New Delhi may be considering opening talks with the Taliban. Addressing the intra-Afghan talks last year, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar reiterated his country’s support for an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled” peace process and refrained from offering any view on the Taliban’s participation. Perhaps Washington would also like India to follow this policy approach given that the group is poised to return to power in one form or another, and India’s engagement with the Taliban can ultimately serve the United States’ interests as well.

Last year, Zalmay Khalilzad, US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, called on India to engage with the Afghan Taliban and “directly discuss its concerns related to terrorism,” adding that Washington wants New Delhi to “take on a more active role in the Afghan peace process.”

I foresee the following after the US forces depart, but they may come back if situation become volatile.

2nd there will be heightened direct confrontation to control the area and thereby the cocaine trade.

3rd we may see the downfall of the Ashraf Ghani government as the gun fight will closer to the President palace.

4th come what may India will never send its boots to the Afghanistan as it will be against its policy to send its boots in any country, other than peace keeping forces in different parts of the troubled region. Expansion of its territorial boundaries is never its forte.

The condition of women in Afghanistan will deteriorate further as the Taliban and Al Queda do not want to further women empowerment and women education. They want to suppress their rights as they consider women as a property of pleasure and total control.

India will continue to go ahead with its policy of creating permanent assets in Afghanistan and its contribution to create water sources has been appreciated by the local population and has a soft corner for India.

India provides a world class health infrastructure to the inhabitants at very concessional cost and this will continue.

The United States does not lose wars; it only loses interest. From America’s point of view, Afghanistan is a poor backwater that becomes strategically significant only when a hostile power controls it. Both USA and Russia are to be blamed for the mess which these two superpowers created since the invasion of Afghanistan by the Russians.

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Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Prakash Saxena is a graduate of UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He is an authority on eCommerce, eProcurement, eSign, DSCs and Internet Security. He has been a Technology Bureaucrat and Thought leader in the Government. He has 8 books and few UN assignments. He wrote IT Policies of Colombia and has implemented projects in Jordan, Rwanda, Nepal and Mauritius. Rajiv writes, speaks, mentors on technology issues in Express Computers, ET, National frontier and TV debates. He worked and guided the following divisions: Computer Aided Design (CAD), UP: MP: Maharashtra and Haryana State Coordinator to setup NICNET in their respective Districts of the State, TradeNIC, wherein a CD containing list of 1,00,000 exporters was cut with a search engine and distributed to all Indian Embassies and High Commissions way back in the year 1997 (It was an initiative between NIC and MEA Trade Division headed by Ms. Sujatha Singh, IFS, India’s Ex Foreign Secretary), Law Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Jail Project, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Data Centres (NDC), NIC National Infrastructure, Certifying Authority (CA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs), eProcurement, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MPA), Lok Sabha and its Secretariat (LSS) and Rajya Sabha and its Secretariat (RSS) along with their subordinate and attached offices like Directorate of Estate (DoE), Land & Development Office (L&DO), National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB), Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDO), National Building Organisation (NBO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), BMPTC and many others.
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