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U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies"
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TOPIC: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies"
#17281
U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 263
I'm sure that the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan MUST be mulling over an old Western expression right now:

With "friends" like the U.S., who needs "enemies"?

As the U.S. rampages across their nations, killing anyone who gets in front of their bullets or bombs; surely it is reaching a point where these governments have to ask themselves if ENDING their "alliance" with the U.S. would REDUCE the amount of U.S.-caused death and destruction in their nations?

As their "ally", the U.S. is able to freely move about in their nations, with little thought to defense. Ending that alliance would make the Americans a little more reticent about sending out their death-squads.

Understand that when Pakistan wants the U.S. to INFORM IT before sending troops ACROSS ITS BORDER that this is not a "request", it is international law. When Afghanistan tells the U.S. it wants all Afghan prisoners CAPTURED IN AFGANISTAN turned over to the Afghan government that this is not a "request", it is international law.

I have said all along that the War for Drugs in Afghanistan was (and is) an "illegal invasion", and every day the conduct of the U.S. military and the rhetoric of the U.S. government proves me right...



"U.S. and Its Allies Still Wrangling Over Afghan Policies"

www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-05/u-s-an...afghan-policies.html

More than two years after it embraced a revised strategy to end the war in Afghanistan, the Obama administration is still wrangling with its Afghan and Pakistani allies over two of the most important elements of the war plan.

In Kabul, Afghan leaders want suspected insurgents captured in special operations raids to be handed over to them immediately. Across the border, the Pakistanis want the right to approve in advance drone strikes on al-Qaeda, Taliban and other targets in their country. U.S. officials say that one risks losing valuable intelligence in Afghanistan and the other could tip off the enemy in Pakistan to impending attacks.

The negotiations reflect the differences and suspicions that divide the U.S. from the Afghan and Pakistani governments. Their support is essential to the NATO-led coalition’s hopes of withdrawing most of its remaining 128,000 forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, while retaining the leeway to pursue militants who threaten the U.S. and its allies.

“The U.S. objective in both of these negotiations is to try to ensure that the U.S. has the ability to protect its national security interests, especially against transnational terrorist groups,” said Caroline Wadhams, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress policy group in Washington. “The distrust makes it very difficult to give away any concessions” on either side.

President Barack Obama is under pressure, even from some of his more supportive Democrats in Congress, to accelerate the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
‘Lean Forward’

“It is time to lean forward on transitioning the responsibility for security to the Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan government,” said Representative Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, at a hearing last month with Marine General John Allen, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “I believe we need to look for ways to push this process to go as quickly as we can safely do it.”

The Obama administration wants to be able to fill the gaps in the capabilities or willingness of the military in Pakistan or the 352,000 police officers and National Army soldiers in Afghanistan to act, a U.S. military official said on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

In Afghanistan, the latest sticking point is how long the U.S. can hold Afghan prisoners captured in nighttime operations for interrogation before handing them over to local authorities, according to a U.S. official and a congressional staff member. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations.
Losing Intelligence

Handing over suspected Taliban and other insurgents captured in special operations night raids to Afghan custody immediately could cost the U.S. valuable intelligence because it often takes days or longer to extract and verify information from captured militants, said two U.S. intelligence officials.

Worse, said one of the officials, in some cases the Afghans may be eager to take control of such “night raid” prisoners before they can reveal the names or plans of collaborators in the Afghan government or security forces.

Operational security can vary depending on the professionalism of the Afghan forces involved. U.S. Army Colonel Chris Toner, who returned in January from a year commanding the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, in eastern Afghanistan, said he operated under the principle of “trust but verify” and knew his Afghan counterparts as “men of character.”
Operational Security

His area covered Paktia and Khost provinces along the Pakistani border. Khost Province was the site of a December 2009 attack on a U.S. base that killed seven Central Intelligence Agency operatives and wounded six others. The alleged attacker was a Jordanian double agent offering supposed information on al-Qaeda leaders.

“We did watch to see if there were any indicators that our operational security was being violated,” Toner told an audience today in Washington at the Institute for the Study of War, whose founder, military historian Kimberly Kagan, has advised the U.S. military in Afghanistan. “In the 12 months over there, I had no indications that it was.”

Calls for a continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014 may not settle issues of force size or legal immunity for prosecution, an issue that was the death knell for an agreement to keep U.S. forces in Iraq beyond 2011.

The Obama administration had hoped for a security agreement to cover such points last year, said Andrew Exum, a former U.S. Army Ranger platoon leader in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. is operating under a 2003 security agreement without an expiration date that lets either side withdraw at any time.
Stay-Behind Force

“Senior U.S. defense officials have spent a lot of time in Afghanistan quite recently hammering out what the size, disposition and composition of a U.S. stay-behind force would look like,” said Exum, a senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security, a policy group in Washington.

“It’s in the interests of Afghanistan to strike some kind of deal,” Exum said.

On the Pakistani side of the border, the U.S. intelligence officials said requiring prior approval from Pakistan for drone strikes in the remote frontier areas risks allowing supposed Pakistani allies to alert the targets in advance. They said no Pakistani official was informed in advance of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May 2.

“The threat picture is not going to get a lot better over the next couple of years,” said Seth Jones, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation in Arlington, Virginia, and a former special operations adviser to the U.S. military. “There’s a strong concern that the U.S. keep several of these groups off-balance, that it can continue to target, in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, a range of these groups.”


"U.S. and Its Allies Still Wrangling Over Afghan Policies"

www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-05/u-s-an...afghan-policies.html

More than two years after it embraced a revised strategy to end the war in Afghanistan, the Obama administration is still wrangling with its Afghan and Pakistani allies over two of the most important elements of the war plan.

In Kabul, Afghan leaders want suspected insurgents captured in special operations raids to be handed over to them immediately. Across the border, the Pakistanis want the right to approve in advance drone strikes on al-Qaeda, Taliban and other targets in their country. U.S. officials say that one risks losing valuable intelligence in Afghanistan and the other could tip off the enemy in Pakistan to impending attacks.

The negotiations reflect the differences and suspicions that divide the U.S. from the Afghan and Pakistani governments. Their support is essential to the NATO-led coalition’s hopes of withdrawing most of its remaining 128,000 forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, while retaining the leeway to pursue militants who threaten the U.S. and its allies.

“The U.S. objective in both of these negotiations is to try to ensure that the U.S. has the ability to protect its national security interests, especially against transnational terrorist groups,” said Caroline Wadhams, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress policy group in Washington. “The distrust makes it very difficult to give away any concessions” on either side.

President Barack Obama is under pressure, even from some of his more supportive Democrats in Congress, to accelerate the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
‘Lean Forward’

“It is time to lean forward on transitioning the responsibility for security to the Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan government,” said Representative Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, at a hearing last month with Marine General John Allen, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “I believe we need to look for ways to push this process to go as quickly as we can safely do it.”

The Obama administration wants to be able to fill the gaps in the capabilities or willingness of the military in Pakistan or the 352,000 police officers and National Army soldiers in Afghanistan to act, a U.S. military official said on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

In Afghanistan, the latest sticking point is how long the U.S. can hold Afghan prisoners captured in nighttime operations for interrogation before handing them over to local authorities, according to a U.S. official and a congressional staff member. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations.
Losing Intelligence

Handing over suspected Taliban and other insurgents captured in special operations night raids to Afghan custody immediately could cost the U.S. valuable intelligence because it often takes days or longer to extract and verify information from captured militants, said two U.S. intelligence officials.

Worse, said one of the officials, in some cases the Afghans may be eager to take control of such “night raid” prisoners before they can reveal the names or plans of collaborators in the Afghan government or security forces.

Operational security can vary depending on the professionalism of the Afghan forces involved. U.S. Army Colonel Chris Toner, who returned in January from a year commanding the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, in eastern Afghanistan, said he operated under the principle of “trust but verify” and knew his Afghan counterparts as “men of character.”
Operational Security

His area covered Paktia and Khost provinces along the Pakistani border. Khost Province was the site of a December 2009 attack on a U.S. base that killed seven Central Intelligence Agency operatives and wounded six others. The alleged attacker was a Jordanian double agent offering supposed information on al-Qaeda leaders.

“We did watch to see if there were any indicators that our operational security was being violated,” Toner told an audience today in Washington at the Institute for the Study of War, whose founder, military historian Kimberly Kagan, has advised the U.S. military in Afghanistan. “In the 12 months over there, I had no indications that it was.”

Calls for a continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014 may not settle issues of force size or legal immunity for prosecution, an issue that was the death knell for an agreement to keep U.S. forces in Iraq beyond 2011.

The Obama administration had hoped for a security agreement to cover such points last year, said Andrew Exum, a former U.S. Army Ranger platoon leader in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. is operating under a 2003 security agreement without an expiration date that lets either side withdraw at any time.
Stay-Behind Force

“Senior U.S. defense officials have spent a lot of time in Afghanistan quite recently hammering out what the size, disposition and composition of a U.S. stay-behind force would look like,” said Exum, a senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security, a policy group in Washington.

“It’s in the interests of Afghanistan to strike some kind of deal,” Exum said.

On the Pakistani side of the border, the U.S. intelligence officials said requiring prior approval from Pakistan for drone strikes in the remote frontier areas risks allowing supposed Pakistani allies to alert the targets in advance. They said no Pakistani official was informed in advance of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May 2.

“The threat picture is not going to get a lot better over the next couple of years,” said Seth Jones, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation in Arlington, Virginia, and a former special operations adviser to the U.S. military. “There’s a strong concern that the U.S. keep several of these groups off-balance, that it can continue to target, in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, a range of these groups.”
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Last Edit: 2012/04/06 10:56 By Jeff Nielson.
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#17284
Re: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 168
I think that once the US withdraws Afghanistan is going to be embroiled in another civil war as the Taliban start to re-capture most of the country.

I guess the small force that the Americans speak about may be based in Kabul so that the US and it's allies in Afghanistan can claim to still hold the country.
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#17286
Re: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 263
samix wrote:
I think that once the US withdraws Afghanistan is going to be embroiled in another civil war as the Taliban start to re-capture most of the country.

I guess the small force that the Americans speak about may be based in Kabul so that the US and it's allies in Afghanistan can claim to still hold the country.



Samix, I'm hoping (for the sake of the Afghan people) that "civil war" is too strong an expression for the post-U.S. transition. It's common knowledge that the Karzai government has had contact with the Taliban - just as the U.S. has been (desperately) trying to talk to them for the past two years.

However, while the Taliban basically refuses to negotiate with the U.S. (why bother?); I think it's highly probable that they WOULD seek to talk to Karzai. It certainly seems that Karzai's antagonism toward the U.S. is MORE than just public posturing.

So I don't see it as inevitable that there would be a(nother) bloody civil war in Afghanistan. Perhaps a "bloodless coup" would be a more optimistic scenario?

I think Karzai realizes that his "Afghan army" is heavily infiltrated, and in any civil war there would quickly be devastating defections AND widespread sabotage. Add to that the poor morale of this "army", and I don't see it as a credible opposition to the battle-hardened Taliban.
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#17287
Re: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 168
So I don't see it as inevitable that there would be a(nother) bloody civil war in Afghanistan. Perhaps a "bloodless coup" would be a more optimistic scenario?

I think Karzai realizes that his "Afghan army" is heavily infiltrated, and in any civil war there would quickly be devastating defections AND widespread sabotage. Add to that the poor morale of this "army", and I don't see it as a credible opposition to the battle-hardened Taliban.


Oh yeah, I hope the same too, my fears are the Northern Alliance, because with the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, the Shia-Sunni issue comes into play.
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#17291
Re: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 263
samix wrote:
So I don't see it as inevitable that there would be a(nother) bloody civil war in Afghanistan. Perhaps a "bloodless coup" would be a more optimistic scenario?

I think Karzai realizes that his "Afghan army" is heavily infiltrated, and in any civil war there would quickly be devastating defections AND widespread sabotage. Add to that the poor morale of this "army", and I don't see it as a credible opposition to the battle-hardened Taliban.


Oh yeah, I hope the same too, my fears are the Northern Alliance, because with the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, the Shia-Sunni issue comes into play.



Samix, if you could clarify the dynamics here a bit it would be helpful, because while I think many here are (somewhat) familiar with the TRIBAL dynamics in Afghanistan, many (including myself) are not especially conversant with the SECTARIAN issues in Afghanistan...

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#17298
Re: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 168
Well before I write further I should clarify that my knowledge on this issue is not very complete either and needs lot's of research(googling lol).

But, here are the rough points, The Northern Alliance is a coalition of many parties who are Shia and Sunni, the Taliban are Sunnis. The difference in the ideologies of the Shia's and the Sunni's is like oil and water, they do not mix almost anywhere.

Before the invasion of Afghanistan by the west, the Taliban had defeated the Northern Alliance and established their rule in most parts of Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance were relegated only to some parts of Afghanistan, even before the west came in there was constant power struggle between the two.

So when the west attacked Afghanistan, they used the northern alliance as their basic boots on the ground and supported them by air AKA Libya style and the Northern Alliance swept through Afghanistan defeating the Taliban. If you remember, it was actually the Northern Alliance who did the actual dirty work on the ground of fighting the Taliban. The MSM played gala videos from Afghanistan during the war where Northern Alliance fighters were "punishing" captured Taliban fighters. So Taliban has by now all love lost for the Northern Allaince. From Wikipedia

After the terrorist attacks of September 11 on U.S. soil that killed 3,000 people, the United Front succeeded in retaking most of Afghanistan from the Taliban with air support from the United States Air Force and small embedded NATO Special Forces teams on the ground in Operation Enduring Freedom. Despite fears of a return to the chaos similar to that of the 1992–1996 civil war, all the different UIF factions accepted the new interim Karzai administration led by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Northern_Alliance

So now when the US leaves I do not think that the Taliban and the Northern Alliance are going to gel well as far as I think, with Northern Alliance already making it quite clear, wikipedia tells me:
In late 2011 the National Front of Afghanistan (NFA) was created by Ahmad Zia Massoud, Abdul Rashid Dostum and Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq in what many analysts have described as a reformation of the military wing of the United Front (Northern Alliance) to oppose a return of the Taliban to power.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_(2001–present)

I am speculating, that all this while, the US may be delaying it's exit from Afghanistan because it feels that there is not strong enough armed resistance against the Taliban to protect it's poppy fields, and so if the US arms the Northern Alliance or as they are known now the United Front to the teeth to fend off the Taliban then Afghanistan may enter into another spiral of deadly civil war.
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#17301
Re: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 263
Yes Samix, no doubt the U.S. hopes it can conscript enough poor Afghanis into the military to form a credible resistance to the Taliban.

My question is this: given that the Northern Alliance was NOT a match for the Taliban (in any respect) before this invasion, can it really conjure up enough NUMBERS to be an effective defense force in post-U.S. Afghanistan?

Recall that even BEFORE the invasion the Northern Alliance had been severly infiltrated by the Taliban, and just as the invasion started it assassinated one of the Northern Alliance's leading generals.

To me, they are a "paper tiger". The U.S. can give them guns, give them rudimentary training, and ON PAPER they may look like roughly a match for the Taliban. However, in any conflict my OUTSIDE perspective is that the Northern Alliance and/or the general Afghan army would crumble quickly.
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#17306
Re: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 168
To me, they are a "paper tiger". The U.S. can give them guns, give them rudimentary training, and ON PAPER they may look like roughly a match for the Taliban. However, in any conflict my OUTSIDE perspective is that the Northern Alliance and/or the general Afghan army would crumble quickly.

Oh yeah, there is no doubt about this, I just hope that as you mentioned the bloodshed stops asap, the people I guess have already had too much!
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#17309
Re: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 263
Samix, what has been very interesting is the LACK of reports of any retaliatory violence by Afghans after the Quran-burnings, closely followed by the massacre.

It certainly seems like THEY consider those acts to be deliberate provocation - and they are not taking the bait...
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#17312
Re: U.S. continues to bully Pakistani/Afghan "allies" 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 168
It certainly seems like THEY consider those acts to be deliberate provocation - and they are not taking the bait...

Yes Jeff, and is it not ironic that a people who are supposed to be uneducated and illiterate, due to Taliban "not allowing" them schools and colleges are far smarter to understand the tricks of the US, whereas the educated and informed masses of the west do not understand the ride that their government takes them on everyday ?
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