Obtaining situation in Afghanistan


Regular Member
Jul 25, 2009
Afghanistan has now become the prime country of US interest. Out of 21000 US troops planned to be shifted from Iraq, three combat brigades (11000) have already arrived. Troop breakdown of ISAF 64500 in Afghanistan at present is as under: USA 31600; Britain 10,000; Germany 4050; France 3160; Canada 2800; Italy 2795; Poland 2000; Netherlands 1770; Australia 1090; Romania 1025; Spain 780; Turkey 1300; Denmark 700; Belgium 510; Norway 485; Bulgaria 470. There are token troops from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia Jordan and UAE. Besides, there are 12000 US troops outside sphere of ISAF and about 10,000 Indian troops stationed under the garb of providing protection to its road construction teams. US intend increasing its strength to 68000 by end of this year and also have plans to induct 150000 Indian troops.

The US wishes to stay in Afghanistan permanently because of its geo-strategic and economic interests. It is building underground facilities in Khost, Bagram, Kandahar and elsewhere to entrench their strategic forces. The US has also made up its mind to make India a key player in its newly chalked out Af-Pak policy in which Afghanistan and Pakistan have been converted into a single battleground. Biggest intelligence network set up at Jabal-us-Siraj north of Kabul is run by CIA, Mossad, MI-6, RAW and BND. Countries of interests to USA are Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian States (CAS). Main focus of the band is Pakistan where Balochistan, FATA and some parts of NWFP including Swat have been made restive. Iran and Xingjian province in China too have been made turbulent.

Jihadists from Iraq, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Arab and African countries have teamed up with Afghan Taliban and are fighting US led coalition forces in Afghanistan. Jihadists in all probability are supported by Russia. Since 2001, year wise casualties in Afghanistan is as follows: 12 US troops killed in 2001; 49 US soldiers and 20 others in 2002; 48 and 9 others in 2003; 52 and 7 others in 2004; 99 and 32 others in 2005; 98 and 93 others in 2006; 117 and 115 others in 2007; 155 and 139 others in 2008; 129 and 101 others till July in 2009. Total casualties of US are 759 and of others 516. Their details are: UK 191; Canada 125; Germany 33; France 28; Spain 25; Netherlands 19; Australia 11; Italy 15; Latvia 3; Czecks 3. Casualty ratio is up by 24%. During this period, ISAF incurred 12712 fatal losses on the militants.

ISSA Report of 4 June 2008 highlights failures of US Administration in stabilizing and unifying Afghanistan. It reveals RAW is using Afghanistan as a base for carrying out overt and covert operations against Pakistan in concert with CIA. It says USA has utterly failed in making Afghanistan a Taliban-free society and is putting the blame of its failures on Pakistan. The Report adds that the US half-hearted and ill-conceived actions and its effort to make Pakistan a scapegoat have bred instability in Pakistan. Its accusation that terrorism is pouring into Afghanistan from FATA is travesty of truth since terrorism has flowed into Pakistan from Afghanistan. War on terror which was entirely fought in Afghanistan shifted to Pakistan. Situation in Pakistan gets aggravated because of presence of 3.5 million Afghan refugees who trickled in after Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 and US occupation in November 2001. About 2.5 million are still in Pakistan. The Report sheds light on failure of USA to curb opium cultivation in five provinces of Afghanistan bordering Pakistan which is the main source of Taliban-Al-Qaeda funding. This menace had been eliminated by Taliban during their rule. Helmand and Zabul are the biggest poppy growing areas. After almost eight years of occupation, US military has failed to train Afghan army to be able to operate independently. There are 85 battalions in Afghan National Army. Out of these only one can operate independently at battalion level while 26 can operate in conjunction with ESAF support. USA has failed to divide the Taliban with a view to isolate extremist Taliban. Neither has it succeeded in drawing a cleavage between Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

USA is suffering from acute troop scarcity. It had to pullout troops from Iraq to stem fast deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. Nato countries are not prepared to send additional forces to strengthen losing battle since it is tantamount to reinforcing failure. 28500 US troops are locked up in South Korea under dire threat of assertive nuclear North Korea, which has defied USA and hurled threats of striking US troops in South Korea. Iran too is in a defiant mood and CIA effort to bring a regime change through June elections has backfired. Ahmadinejad has stabilized the situation and is back in the driving seat much to the chagrin of USA and Israel.. It has threatened to hit US interests in Persian Gulf and neighboring Gulf States as well as Israel in case Iran is attacked. Although US troops have pulled back from frontline duties in Iraq, security situation in Iraq is as bad as before. Nato countries particularly Britain, France and Germany have expressed their serious reservations about the war. Military commanders of these countries have stated that war cannot be won. Italy is contemplating exit strategy after 20 August elections in Afghanistan and so are some other countries. Canada too has signaled pulling out its troops. Even US leaders have now admitted that war cannot be won through military means alone and have started to contemplate exit strategy.

Obama tried to bring a thaw in US-Russia strained relations but succeeded only to the extent of getting passage for supplies to US-Nato troops in Afghanistan through Russian territory and Central Asian States for ongoing crucial battle. Rental price of Manas airbase has been raised from $17 to $60 million. He failed to convince Russian leadership to refrain North Korea and Iran from pursuing weapon graded nuclear program. The détente is temporary in nature and will not help in extinguishing the embers of reignited cold war. Russia had initially supported US invasion of Afghanistan but distanced itself from US war on terror because of American pernicious role in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.. Clashing economic interests are bound to keep the two antagonists in a hostile mode.

While southern and eastern Afghanistan is in effective control of Taliban, areas in the north from Herat to Mazar-e-Sharif to Badakhshan are controlled by non-Pashtun warlords. Taliban raiders often strike targets in western, central and northern provinces which till recent were relatively stable. Although Kabul and Kandahar are in control of government forces, three out of four entry gates of Kabul are under the influence of Taliban. Only the northern gate leading towards Salang tunnel is relatively safe and used for normal supplies. 75% of Afghan territory has come under the influence of Taliban which has made the US and allied troops bunker based. Ongoing operation in Helmand province where 10,000 US-UK troops are deployed is proving costly. In July 2009, 75 ISAF soldiers got killed of which 39 belonged to US army. In first two weeks of July, 57 soldiers got injured and several US soldiers captured. It was the bloodiest month for coalition forces since 2001. Month of August is equally bloody.

The new US commander Gen Stanley McChrystal who replaced Gen David McKiernan in last May is now actively pondering over the suggestion of his predecessor to seek 10000 additional US troops to train Afghan security forces and police and to make them combat worthy. He has confessed that Afghan Taliban have gained an upper hand. He plans to double the size of Afghan military and police so that it could take on frontline duties independently as in case of Iraq. He is worried about worsening security situation and mounting casualty rate of foreign troops and that too close to Afghan elections. US-Afghan stronghold Kandahar has also become vulnerable and he is contemplating beefing up current US strength to secure it. He is concerned about sophistication brought about by Taliban fighters in their fighting tactics mixing roadside bombs with ambushes. Drug trade which has sustained coalition forces military operations in Afghanistan and funded covert operations in Pakistan is another headache since it has also become a major source of funding Taliban resistance movement. One reason for operation in Helmand is to eliminate heroin labs and drug handlers. 50 alleged Afghan drug traffickers linked with Taliban have been short listed for elimination. Other reasons are to hold peaceful elections and to destabilize Pashtun belt of Balochistan.

The Taliban after announcing their shadow government as Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on 30 July, have vowed to disrupt Afghan elections. They have urged Afghans to boycott US orchestrated sham elections. Notwithstanding their threats, elections would take place as scheduled but voting turnout will be very low particularly in eastern and southern Afghanistan thereby putting credibility at stake. No presidential hopeful is in a position to win even 50% votes since vote bank within predominant Pashtun community is split between Hamid Karzai and Dr Ashraf Ghani and between Dr Abdullah and Qasim Faheem within second largest Tajik ethnic group. None is popular since they are seen as US lackeys. Presidential and provincial council elections would be a non-event since it would not help Americans in anyway.. Without winning the confidence of Mullah Omar led Taliban, peace in Afghanistan will remain illusive.
Pakistan News PakTribune.Com


DFI Technocrat
Mar 7, 2009
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When Holbrooke found out the number of Indians in the Afghani Embassy he laughed. It numbered between 6 to 7.

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