Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 13, 2013

The Afghan SOFA Farce Continues

Secretary of State Kerry was in Afghanistan to convince the Afghan President Karzai to sign a Status of Force Agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay in the country beyond 2014. While the long meeting was depicted as a success the main issue is still not agreed upon:
“Tonight we reached some sort of agreement,” Karzai said through an interpreter. “The United States will no longer conduct operations by themselves. We have been provided a written guarantee of the safety of the Afghan people. And a clear definition of invasion was provided.”

Kerry and Karzai broke an impasse in negotiations during two days of intensive talks in the Afghan capital, as an Oct. 31 deadline approaches for negotiating terms for some U.S. forces to remain in Afghanistan after combat forces depart in 2014.
“The one issue that is outstanding is the issue of jurisdiction,” Kerry said at an evening news conference with Karzai. “We need to say that if the issue of jurisdiction cannot be resolved, unfortunately there cannot be a bilateral security agreement.”

The U.S. wants Afghan immunity for its soldiers and that any prosecution of their crimes should be handle in a U.S. court. Karzai can not agree with that. He will call a Loya Jirga to decide and will also ask the parliament for a vote on the issue. The United States will therefore have to pay a lot of bribes to get the vote it wants. But even if it should get a yes, which I doubt, it would not solve the problem of continued hostilities. In his Eid message the Taliban leader Mullah Omar warned against such a vote:
The Kabul Administration and the invaders are not only bent on playing havoc with Afghanistan domestically, but are marginalizing the country at regional and global level by signing colonial agreements and thus procure reasons for continuation of the war. Therefore, the invaders and their allies should understand that the strategic agreement will accompany grave consequences for them. Though they may get these documents rubberstamped by a fake Loya Jirga but it will not be acceptable to the Afghans. Throughout the history, the real representatives and Loya Jirgas of the country have never signed documents of slavery. So those who would sign this (document), could not be called a representative Loya Jirga of the country. Their decisions are not acceptable. The invaders should know that their limited bases will never be accepted. The current armed Jihad will continue against them with more momentum.
That promised resistance is still looking strong and even seems to get stronger. A week ago, in what seems to have been a well prepared trap, four U.S.Rangers, considered to be elite forces, were killed and 13 were wounded in a raid on a well prepared house:
A Ranger regiment that included 36 troops and a canine unit were attempting to capture a high value target in Panjwai in southern Afghanistan. When the troops arrived at the home, U.S. military officials said, the unit did a typical “call out” asking for those inside to come out.

One man appeared. Reports from the battlefield suggest he dropped to his knees and lifted his shirt to show the U.S. forces that he was not wearing a suicide bomb vest.

As several members of the Ranger unit moved toward the man to begin questioning him, a woman wearing a suicide vest emerged from the house and blew herself up, killing several members of the unit instantly, along with the dog, and injuring others.
As U.S. army medics, explosives specialists and others in the unit moved in to help the wounded, 13 improvised explosive devices went off, killing and injuring more U.S. forces.

Thirteen IEDs plus a female suicide bomber were ready to welcome the Ranger raid. It was a serious intelligence failure to fall for such a well set trap. It again shows that the U.S. enemy in Afghanistan can keep the initiative and continues to be able to inflict significant casualties. Even with a smaller footprint U.S. forces on the ground would still be in constant danger. In the fifteenth green on blue attack this year another U.S. soldier was killed today.

What is the significance of Afghanistan that makes the Obama administration seek a continued U.S. participation in the war? After twelve full years no success has been achieved in Afghanistan while hundreds of billions have been spent on it. Why continue for longer at such immense costs?

Posted by b on October 13, 2013 at 16:18 UTC | Permalink


If Mullah Omar is so lucid, I wonder why he doesn't upset the US applecart properly, by declaring that Zawahiri and his 'al-Qaeda' are nothing but a global network of CIA- or Saudi-directed pseudo-gangs. Mullah Omar must have figured this out by now. The Russians have figured it out, though so far Lavrov seems to content himself with increasingly graphic hints about it, the latest being his statement that 'foreign agents' (unspecified) are using Afghanistan as a safe haven to teach Nusra members how to use chemical weapons, with a view to returning them to Syria and setting up another false flag massacre.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 13 2013 16:54 utc | 1

1) Russian humour.

From Russia Today

To what extent the situation in Afghanistan can jeopardize Russia’s security and the security of Russia’s neighbours? Do you think this is a serious challenge to Moscow?

It is serious because it is unforeseeable. We can see that the Talibs will regain a lot of their power in this area, which is Pakistan, Central Asia. And of course we know quite well that we cannot rely only on our own efforts. We were there, we know how difficult it is and our effort is not enough, definitely. But so far, what we can see is a regional effort and Russian diplomacy relies on the multilateral regional approach to Afghanistan, which includes India, Iran (which is a very powerful player), and Central Asian republics, and of course China.

Do you see the room for Russian-American cooperation in the field of security?

Why not? There are so many things which we can do and sometimes do together with America. And I would say that the public in Russia will be very much for that eventuality and would like it, in fact. But I cannot see what America can do there. If there is no agreement between Karzai and the American Government currently, if they leave the country and only keep a token presence there, then I don’t know what America’s interests there. There is nothing which is being proclaimed and understood clearly by the outside powers and nations.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 13 2013 17:07 utc | 2

“Tonight we reached some sort of agreement,” Karzai said through an interpreter.

WTF! How come?
Last time I listened, Karzai could speak better English than I do.
Or did I imagine that?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 13 2013 17:24 utc | 3

What is the significance of Afghanistan that makes the Obama administration seek a continued U.S. participation in the war?a

good question! the usa and it's god - money, became a war machine some time ago... it is most all of what the usa now represents.. military spending backed up with an empty ideology keeps it going.. the usa's actions, not it's words are pretty clear to read..

Posted by: james | Oct 13 2013 17:45 utc | 4

3) It was a press conference in Kabul, would have looked silly for Karzai to talk English and have it translated for Afghani journalists in the room, don't you think?

Posted by: somebody | Oct 13 2013 17:49 utc | 5

What is the significance of Afghanistan that makes the Obama administration seek a continued U.S. participation in the war? After twelve full years no success has been achieved in Afghanistan while hundreds of billions have been spent on it.
Why continue for longer at such immense costs?

There's a long answer to that question. But the short answer is they can't and won't, EVER, figure out how to get out in one piece. Vietnam only had one Giap. Afghanistan has dozens. The Yankees had approx 1000 bases and bunkers in Afghanistan and it is IMPOSSIBLE to evacuate them without creating defensive weaknesses.

If Captain Kirk parachuted into Afghanistan tomorrow and asked
"Who's ready to go?"
There's be a deafening, unanimous chorus of
"Beam us up, Scotty, for Christ's sake!!"

But Captain Kirk, being an imaginary friend, isn't coming.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 13 2013 18:00 utc | 6

6) The Russians managed to. They might tell the US how to if they cannot figure it out themselves.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 13 2013 18:16 utc | 7

@ 5. That's all well and good. But it's notable that Karzai didn't actually have much to say except that the talks aren't going terribly well ('some sort of agreement'). And even though he didn't say anything worth hearing, the Yankees got it 2nd hand, through an interpreter.
It's funny - although not in a way the Yankees will ever be able to laugh about.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 13 2013 18:30 utc | 8

If they lost Afghanistan as a pseudo-gang base they would lose their pincer grip on Pakistan.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 13 2013 18:36 utc | 9

@ 7. Yep. That's funny too.
The Russians grovelled and bribed their way out.
The Yankees would rather die and burn in Hell than admit they were wrong. LOL.

(See? How much shorter than 26 pages was that?)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 13 2013 18:49 utc | 10

8) No one speaks English with John Kerry except native speakers, Angela Merkel does not do it either.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 13 2013 18:51 utc | 11

"What is the significance of Afghanistan that makes the Obama administration seek a continued U.S. participation in the war? After twelve full years no success has been achieved in Afghanistan while hundreds of billions have been spent on it. Why continue for longer at such immense costs?"

The US knows that if it gives up its irreplaceable strategic base in Afghanistan it will never get it back. It is that simple.

The US never was in Afghanistan to extort revenge, punish the Taliban, pursue AQ, secure an oil pipeline route, promote education, teach English as a foreign language, save women from ill treatment, steal the mineral wealth, or any other of the reasons given. It was there because its strategic encirclement of China (and Russia not to mention Iran) is greatly advanced by having secure bases, and securing the lines of communication to its insecure bases in, former soviet, central Asia.

My view is that the US might agree to a less than full SOFA in order to keep those bases. The disadvantage would be in the domestic uproar that such an agreement could cause. But the reality would be that, between the small print of any agreement and US belief that "covenants without the sword are but words, and of no strength to secure a man at all" so long as they had the base they would do as they pleased, until expelled.

The alternative, with a Modi fascistic government on the horizon, could be an Indian army taking over US bases and acting in alliance with Washington.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 13 2013 19:05 utc | 12

Hegemony, at any cost, is their philosophy.

And "farce" is definitely the only assessment worth making.

Posted by: L Bean | Oct 13 2013 19:31 utc | 13

I doubt that Modi is that crazy. Do you think Indians would get the SOFA that is being denied to Americans? Even if they did, why would Indians want a share of America's (and the Soviet Union's) hard times? And what's in it for India that wouldn't come cheaper through friendship with Pakistan and China?

Posted by: sarz | Oct 13 2013 19:51 utc | 14

No one speaks English with John Kerry except native speakers, Angela Merkel does not do it either

Yeah don't think there is any set diplomatic protocol on when to speak English.

Putin has been known to speak English in informal meetings but never during formal meetings (on a related note Putin did address the Bundestag speaking German). However I've never heard Merkel speaking Russian (even though she once planned on becoming a Russian teacher). Scandinavian leaders usually speak English as does NetanYahoo. Doubt any French leaders would hold a meeting in English though.

Guess it depends on the rules of the nation state and on the preference of the leader.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Oct 13 2013 20:05 utc | 15

Karzai is a US puppet more likely Karzai wants Obama to persuade him to let US troops stay in Afghanistan....

Posted by: brian | Oct 13 2013 21:20 utc | 16

'The U.S. wants Afghan immunity for its soldiers and that any prosecution of their crimes should be handle in a U.S. court'

imagine the mafia demanding US courts give them immunity

Posted by: brian | Oct 13 2013 21:22 utc | 17

I agree with Bevin. It is inaccurate to say no success has been achieved. They are there, entrenched for 12 years, that is their success. On the road to full spectrum dominance.

They ain't leaving, ever. Wake me up when they move out of Germany.

Posted by: DM | Oct 13 2013 21:32 utc | 18

It may well be all a pointless game, as Bevin says ... Meanwhile, the 'occupation' proceeds as it has for 12 years ...

US forces kill two children in northeastern Afghanistan

An attack by the US forces has claimed the lives of at least two Afghan children and injured five others in the troubled northeastern province of Kunar, local security sources say.

The governor of Kunar Shuja-ul-mulk Jalala said the incident happened when US-led foreign troops opened fire on a house after Taliban militants fired rockets targeting a military base in the troubled region.

The Western military alliance has yet to comment on the fatal incident, which sent shock waves across the volatile region.

UN observers had reported in the past that Afghan civilians, including women and children, are the main victims of US-led attacks in the war-torn country.

Posted by: john francis lee | Oct 13 2013 22:47 utc | 19

"Why continue for longer at such immense costs?"

Hey, defense contractors have to eat, don't they?

Posted by: D | Oct 13 2013 23:11 utc | 20

I think the day after Us forces leave Afghanistan,

- the Iran-Pakistan-India oil pipe construction will begin
- Us will become irrelevant in central Asia (or all of Asia, except maybe this side of Himalaya)
- opium trade will be taken over by the secret services of other countries

plus, international jihadists and Cia drone pilots will lose their best playground

Posted by: claudio | Oct 14 2013 0:05 utc | 21

I think opium trade is the most relevant factor of the ones I listed above; Us bases, with diplomatic cover for transports, logistics, etc are the ideal bases for any kind of smuggling (not only in Afghanistan)

so Obama must have real pressure from the Army and the Cia to maintain bases there

Posted by: claudio | Oct 14 2013 0:21 utc | 22

We have been provided a written guarantee of the safety of the Afghan people.
(says kerry/kohn)

Digest that. It's bloody evident: This is still just about a show by and for completely delusional and law-ignorant zamericans.

Many dislike the idea of zusa keeping bases over there and, of course, everyone hates the incredibly insane and detestable zusa demand (which they try to enforce pretty everywhere) to have their "soldiers" outside of local law.

Well, I for one don't. Let them have those bases and let them have whatever guarantees they ask.

Why? Two reasons:

- An agreement with zusa is a formality that, as performed by zusa since decades, has no legal meaning or binding whatsoever. So, to promise to not kill zamericans and to the kill them is prfectly in line with zamerican proceeding.

- Both, the still building up Afghan army and all the non-state groups need practice, in particular target practice. Which is exactly what those zusa bases will serve for. And from what I can see, nobody (outside of nato rats and poodles) would seriously complain about killed zamericans. This is even more true if they were slaughtered for a good cause.

Furthermore one should understand that, although the western media whores bend it, all those attacks on zamericans *are part of the negotiations* between zusa and Afghan people.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Oct 14 2013 0:52 utc | 23

Poor America so much wants to get out of Afghanistan but if they do, we will be seen as yet again losing another war. Such a loss of face. Therefore, it is simpler to continue to bleed slowly so we do not have to confront an unpleasant truth -- losing sucks!

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 14 2013 1:00 utc | 24

B - your analysis is always interesting. The comments section is the largest collection of horse shit I have encountered on the internet. I suppose it is good therapy for those making the comments, but it increasingly reads like something bughouse.

Posted by: T Brady | Oct 14 2013 2:15 utc | 25

@25 You don't get out much, I guess.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 14 2013 2:21 utc | 26

Anyone heard a reasonable common-sense utterance from these pieces of shit in Washington as to what our goal in Afghanistan is???

Uhhh, I mean, when, and what, are we supposed to "win" for all the lost lives and billions spent?

Egads, how I loathe these posturing pompous assholes.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Oct 14 2013 3:48 utc | 27

"The comments section is the largest collection of horse shit I have encountered on the internet"

Well, thank God for your substantive and informative contribution.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Oct 14 2013 3:49 utc | 28

"Karzai is a US puppet ..."

No. He was INTENDED to be a US puppet. But just like the Chalabi clan in Iraq, he conned these asshole patsies in DC into financing his slitherence into power. All you gotta do is promise everything, and deliver nothing, to make the perfect "US puppet". These jackasses in DC seem to be pretty good at putting the puppets on stage, but when it comes to handling the strings they are bumbling idiots.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Oct 14 2013 3:56 utc | 29

18) Well, if the US offer Afghanistan NATO membership and something according these lines

The agreement provided additional supplemental agreements, beyond those contained in the NATO SOFA, specific to the relationship between the United States and Germany. The implementation and supplemental agreements to the NATO SOFA are in excess of 200 pages and cover the minutiae of day-to-day operations of U.S. forces and personnel in Germany.

Afghanis might be really interested. The German SOFA was negotiated at the beginning of the cold war, Stalin had offered German reunification and neutrality - similar to Austria.

Remaining troops in Afghanistan are a double edged sword: Yes sure, US generals and politicians would hate to show nothing for all the blood and treasure spent, as long as there are still bases everybody can pretend were worth the effort. On the other hand, the Afghan government is unlikely to negotiate a SOFA that applies indefinitely so everything would have to be renegotiated in regular intervals. Basically US troops would be there at the pleasure of the Afghan government.

US bases in Afghanistan mean anyone owning a proxy there can threaten the US. The US would retaliate by drone. That would endanger the Afghan government and continue the war. In the end the bases will be gone.

Clearly Karzai is not afraid of the US leaving. He is no US puppet

Posted by: somebody | Oct 14 2013 5:52 utc | 30

I would argue nobody in the region is interested in the US any longer

The inaugural session of the Dialogue begins in Moscow today (Wednesday) with Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani leading the Pakistan side. The decision to have this dialogue at foreign secretary-level was taken by the two countries last year. The dialogue could subsequently be upgraded to the level of foreign ministers, just like the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue.

Diplomatic sources told The Nation that the two sides will discuss bilateral economic, political, defence and security cooperation. Regional and global issues of mutual interests will also figure in the dialogue, including the Afghanistan situation. Notably both the countries have general convergence of views on key international issues including Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Iran and Iraq. Disarmament, counter-terrorism, drug-trafficking and global security are also among the key areas of convergence between the two countries at bilateral and multilateral levels.

For Islamabad the initiation of a strategic dialogue with Moscow assumes special significance as Russia is a major global power and is now effectively asserting itself as one of the five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council.

Pakistan has ongoing defence cooperation with Russia and prospects of it bolstering are evident by recent exchange of visits by the military top brass on both sides. In a significant development military Chiefs of both the countries exchanged visits for the first time recently.

Pakistan’s army chief Gen Ashfaq Kiyani visited Moscow last year and the Russian Air chief visited here earlier this month. Diplomatic sources refer to the exchange of visits as a signal of mutual interest in augmenting collaboration in the key areas of defence and security.

Pakistan and Russia have been exploring the prospects of enhanced bilateral cooperation through joint economic projects in the areas such as energy, power, railways, telecommunications and IT. Russia, which is one of the world’s leading energy producers, has offered Pakistan collaboration in oil exploration and its major transportation projects.
The two countries have had collaboration in the area of space and satellite technology and in the aviation field.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 14 2013 7:27 utc | 31

Contrast this with Kerry's visit to Pakistan - above article and the following quote are from August Kerry's visit preceded the 'strategic dialogue' with Russia.

The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says the resumption of the "strategic dialogue'' indicates that their relationship has improved since the low points of 2011 and is now on course to normalisation after nearly three years of bad blood.

The closed-door talks between Mr Kerry and Mr Sharif focused on the economy, Pakistan's energy shortages and security ahead of Nato's withdrawal from Afghanistan next year, officials said.

Mr Kerry insisted the US was "drawing down, not withdrawing" from Afghanistan and that he was confident Washington would reach agreement on future troop levels with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Mr Kerry also strove to ease tension over controversial US drone strikes against suspected militants.

CIA strikes killed up to 3,460 people in Pakistan between 2004 and 2013.

The troubled border region of North Waziristan is considered an al-Qaeda and Taliban stronghold and US drones regularly target the area.

Mr Sharif, who won elections in May, has demanded an end to such attacks, saying they violate his country's sovereignty.

Parts of the Pakistani government and military have often been accused of criticising the use of drones in public, but co-operating in private.

Earlier this year, Mr Obama said the strikes were part of a legitimate campaign against terrorism, but he also pledged more transparency and stricter targeting rules.


US officials travelling with Mr Kerry said Pakistan - although still formulating its counter-terrorism strategy following a spate of militant attacks - is likely to continue clampdowns on militants, but also engage them in talks.

The last visit by a US secretary of state was in 2011, after Osama Bin Laden was killed.

It does not make sense to kill people when you know you have to talk to them.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 14 2013 7:38 utc | 32

Plus - US counterterrorism in Afghanistan is getting absurd.

The United States recently seized a senior Pakistani Taliban commander in eastern Afghanistan, snatching him from the custody of Afghan intelligence operatives who had spent months trying to recruit him as an interlocutor for peace talks, Afghan government officials charged Thursday.

Latif Mehsud, an influential commander in the Pakistani Taliban, was taken into custody by U.S. personnel, who intercepted an Afghan government convoy in Logar province, Afghan officials said.

The dramatic capture enraged Afghan President Hamid Karzai and is a new irritant in already-
contentious negotiations for the terms under which a U.S.-led military coalition would remain in Afghanistan after the formal end of combat operations next year.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 14 2013 7:42 utc | 33

@ 13:"Hegemony, at any cost, is their philosophy."

@ 18: "They ain't leaving, ever." "Wake me up when they move out of Germany."

These remarks kinda' sum it up for me. I'm not holding my breath while I wait for the empire to crumble, although the globe would be a better place without it. I get the impression the ruling elites are in a holding pattern right now while they're tring to decide how badly they want to screw the workers in america.

Posted by: ben | Oct 14 2013 14:34 utc | 34

"After twelve full years no success has been achieved in Afghanistan while hundreds of billions have been spent on it. Why continue for longer at such immense costs?"

Because those "costs" ARE the success!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Earwig | Oct 14 2013 16:05 utc | 35

Does anyone see what lays ahead for Pakistan's relations with the TTP?

Posted by: Crest | Oct 14 2013 16:08 utc | 36

The TTP has most of the characteristics of an unstable network of pseudo-gangs, rather than a genuine resistance movement. In other words, it serves the US by suppressing genuine revolt in the FATA. So, in the implausible circumstance that the US were really to leave Afghanistan, the TTP would continue to function in the same way with respect to Pakistan, but the US would not necessarily have the same power to use it as a balancer. If the US left Afghanistan, there would no longer be very much to stop Pakistan acquiring Afghanistan as 'strategic depth' and throwing the Indians, Israelis et al out of there. Pakistan would become a lot wealthier, probably as an ally of China, and would finally be in a position to impose the rule of law throughout. But unless the US is defunded by its multinational backers and collapses as an imperial power, which I think is unlikely, none of this will happen.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 14 2013 16:35 utc | 37

I watched his interview a week ago. He told the reporter "The US is not going anywhere anytime soon. since they are here, why shouldn't we use them to build our infrastructure in return for their stay in Afghanistan.."

They can stay as long as they want, they will never defeat the Talibans unless they put a leash on pakistani dogs over the border to stop sending suicide bombers!

Posted by: shoes | Oct 14 2013 17:05 utc | 38

Funny, there is no money to pay the bills in USA. However the war grinds on, this is just throwing good money down the pisser, crapper, toilet, agh you know what I mean!
The poppy fields in Afghanistan are a huge cash cow and this money needs to be laundered. That is one reason I believe the USA remains in Afghanistan this instability is good for business, ok?!
I hope I made T. Brady happy, I'm here to make you silly boy.

Posted by: Fernando | Oct 14 2013 17:29 utc | 39

The Afghan Analyst network on the issue - Not Signed and Sealed Just Yet: Kerry and Karzai’s deal on the Bilateral Security Agreement

They don't really think its going to happen. The core of the issue is what is the threat to Afghanistan. The U.S. thinks its internal strive. The Afghans think it is Pakistan.

The foreign powers believe they have kept Karzai in power, defending him from the internal threat of the Taleban and bankrolling his state. He finds their continuing presence an irritant, believing the international forces, far from helping his country, have merely caused suffering to his compatriots. In his reckoning, the US and NATO went after the wrong enemy. Instead of addressing the real threat – as he sees it – from Pakistan, they have miscast the conflict as internal. This is a basic argument over the nature of the war: is it an uprising or foreign meddling using Afghan proxies? Does the Afghan state need help to defeat internal or external enemies? Do the foreign armies help support the state or would Taleban come home peacefully without the foreign aggravation?(4) These basic issues will not be solved by the signing of a BSA, however much it promises to respect Afghan sovereignty. The irritation on both sides will not go away any time soon.

Interestingly General/Ambassador Eikenberry is pointing to the same issue in his obituary of COIN and the U.S. adventure in Afghanistan: The Limits of Counterinsurgency Doctrine in Afghanistan - The Other Side of the COIN
That piece is okay but it comes through as a somewhat excuse of the mess the U.S. made.

Posted by: b | Oct 14 2013 18:11 utc | 40

37) Or Pashtuns can secede from Pakistan, Afghanistan has never recognized the Durand line.

Taliban are Pakistan Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists

Pakistan has been actively pursuing a foreign policy rooted in religious discourse vis-a-vis Afghanistan. This is also because Kabul was pursuing a foreign policy rooted in secular Pashtun ethno-nationalism, including its claims over the Pashtun territory of Pakistan. Secondly, Pakistani army, deeply concerned about its military imbalance vis-a-vis India, does not want a pro-India government in Afghanistan. Thus the nurturing of the Afghan religious figures, displeased by the secular pursuit of the successive governments of Afghanistan, came up as an ideal opportunity in the strategic calculus of the military establishment of Pakistan. Afghan religious figures, including Gulbadin Hikmatyar and Ahmad Shah Masood, were invited to Pakistan where they were trained by Pakistan military’s Special Services Group.

This happened well before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. All those trained religious figures were used as proxies in the war against Soviets in Afghanistan. Several kinds of Afghan groups, such as secular Pashtun nationalists, traditional tribal leaders and religious figures, were ready to resist the Soviet occupation of their country. Pakistan ignored the nationalists and traditional tribal leaders and exclusively supported the Afghan religious forces. The West, which had backed the Afghan resistance against the Soviets, provided military, financial, political and diplomatic assistance to the resistance, but had no physical control over the so-called Afghan Mujahideen. It was only the ISI that exerted the control, including training and flow of funds and weapons to the proxy fighters. It was the time when Pakistani generals, led by dictator Gen Zia, assaulted the Afghan (including Pashtun) identity and Afghan state with their policy of Strategic Depth, an assault that continues to this date in the form of the Taliban.

The Strategic Depth is proactive policy to install an indoctrinated Pashtun-dominated Pakistan-controlled government in Afghanistan that disowns Pashtun/Afghan identity and bans any Indian influence in Kabul. The policy also means strengthening Pakistan’s ties with the Arab world by cutting the country’s cultural roots in Persian and Indian civilizations. This especially includes a systematic tempering with the Pashtun identity to erase the cultural memory of the present and future generations of the Pashtun and replace it with an Arabized identity.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 14 2013 18:59 utc | 41

The truth is, anyone who is unjustly violated, be it an individual person or an entire nation, will harbor resentment and rage. And, it takes just one more small provocation to turn humans to mindless destruction and killing.

The news media try to trivialize the grievances of the Afghan people in order to justify the continuing presence of our Imperial troops. These are a people who've been invaded and violated so many times in the past couple centuries, it's no wonder they "rage against the machine" -- the US being their most recent tormentors.

It's long past time for American soldiers to be withdrawn from a country that should have NEVER been invaded in the first place. What we need to do is investigate and understand why our "government" has become the biggest warmonger nation on the planet -- spreading fear, death and terror to many nations, the very things we say we most despise.

Posted by: Cynthia | Oct 15 2013 18:45 utc | 42

PNAC co-founder Khalilzhad is in Kabul preparing to step into Karzai's puppet master shoes. Bilderberger Kerry is in Kabul preparing to extend USA military colonialism INDEFINITELY. Exhausted by 30 YEARS of continuous meat-grinder industrialized warfare, Afghans are either fleeing, or quietly accepting that expatriate Khalilzhad will be Afghanistan's next Chalabi.

Posted by: PeeDee | Oct 18 2013 11:00 utc | 43

The comments to this entry are closed.