On September 11, 2007, I wrote and published a blog article titled, “Bush to Kick Gen. Pervez Musharraf Out?“, and less than a year later, Musharraf was out of Pakistan as its President.
And I am now going to write about what’s been happening in Afghanistan for the past 8 years, which most of you may not agree with this analysis, but one must look at both sides to completely understand what might need to happen in order to end the current war in Afghanistan, because it’s not through the barrel of the gun that the war in Afghanistan will come to an end and finally bring the US troops in Afghanistan back home, to their families and friends.
Yesterday, September 30, 2009, President Obama met with 8 of his top cabinets, military generals and advisers, inside the White House’s Situation Room to discuss a new strategy and direction for the war in Afghanistan. And today, it’s being reported that Mr. Obama will take a few weeks to decide what new direction he will undertake for the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Some of the Top US generals in Afghanistan including McChrystal have asked President Obama for an additional 5,000+ troops to help curb the current escalation of violence and incidents caused by the ruthless and cunning Taliban fighters.
History tells us that, according to Stephen Tanner’s “Afghanistan: A Military History”, dating back to the 3rd century BCE, ranging from the occupations of Afghanistan by Cyrus, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, the British, the Soviet Union, and the recent rise, and fall, of the Taliban, no one, none of the above stated, dating back to about 2,500 years ago, has won the war against the Afghanis.
In the movie, Rambo III, as played by Sylvester Stallone, depicting his mission to supply weapons to the Afghan rebels, the Mujahedeen, who were fighting against the Soviet during the Afghan Soviet War. By paraphrasing, his co-star is heard telling Rambo how the Afghanis have always resisted and refused to be conquered by anyone, and that they never give up their land to anyone, no matter what the cost, they are willing to die for their land.
Following the heinous act of terrorism attack of September 11, 2001 on US soil, the U.S. and its coalition forces, NATO, raged Operation Enduring Freedom and toppled the unofficial Taliban government in Afghanistan which then housed Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda. And the US and NATO were instantly successful in toppling them, but have yet to capture or kill Osama bin Laden and most of the Taliban leaders, such as Mullah Mohammed Omar.
And for the past 8 years, the US and NATO have been on the defense, without much success in getting rid of and defeating the Taliban and Al-Qaeda members who have since fled and may be hiding in the deep and rugged mountains of Afghanistan or inside the Southern lawless of Pakistan.
What’s really the case with Afghanistan? Why can’t the US and NATO defeat the Taliban? What’s Obama going to do from here to defeat the Taliban? Will the increase of US troops in Afghanistan help make a difference in defeating the Taliban and bring peace and stability to the much devastated people of Afghanistan? Will Osama bin Laden finally be captured or killed once the Taliban have been defeated?
These are some of the many questions that most people around the world are asking themselves. But no one seems to have an actual solution of what to do, even the US top generals in Afghanistan are simply playing the chicken game of what to do next.
During the 2008 presidential election campaign, the then presidential candidate, Obama, promised that if elected, he will finally bring an end to the war in Iraq, and then moves the US troops from Iraq to Afghanistan in order to finally, once and for all, defeat the Taliban, capture or kill Osama bin Laden, and bring peace and stability to the people of Afghanistan.
But, let’s step out of the box for a minute and think about what the people of Afghanistan really want. Like most Iraqis, no matter who’s trying to help free them from the shackles of such as the Taliban, the Afghanis may regard you as an occupier of their beloved land, and thus they will always resist you. They will not honestly work with you, they will not listen to you, they will not honor their promise to work with you, and they simply look at you as an evil occupier, who doesn’t belong in their land. All they want is for you to leave and get off of their land.
The main problem right now that is currently treachery hindering the US and NATO, is that they just cannot find an easy way to defeat the Taliban. Simply because the Taliban fighters have perished their military uniforms and integrated themselves within and among the Afghani people. And that’s why the US and NATO forces have never been able to know whom they are fighting against.
And the Afghani people just never fully cooperate with the US and NATO forces to point out the Taliban fighters who are among them. It has gotten to the point that, anyone could be a Taliban fighter, who’s out to harm or kill the US and NATO forces with their improvised weapons. Thus no weapons of any kind will ever help bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.
In Angola, we have witnessed how civil war has ravaged the Angolan country for over 27 years as UNITA rebels, an anti-Communist rebel group, waged civil war against the MPLA, Angolan government forces. Not until 2002, when UNITA’s leader, Jonas Savimbi was finally killed by the MPLA, that Angola started to smell a sense of peace and stability, but only after UNITA disintegrated itself from an armed rebel group to an unarmed political organization and went to the poll, a general multi-party election, as an opposition party and is now a part of a democratic Angolan parliamentarian politics.
And, as President Obama currently reminisces on what strategy and direction to take in Afghanistan, increasing the US troops or NATO forces in Afghanistan will not make a difference. What Obama and his NATO allies must do is to craft a new strategy, to democratically politicize the war in Afghanistan, with the people of Afghanistan, to try to educate and explain to them about their new strategy, of not fighting arm to arm with the Taliban fighters but to bring them together with the Afghani government as a political party. To work with the government of Pakistan, and bring Mullah Omar and his Taliban group to a negotiating table with the government of Karzai, so that the Taliban can become an unarmed political organization, and join the government of Karzai to hold a democratic multi-party general election.
A better way to start out with this is possibly for Mr. Obama to allocate a certain amount of money as a grant to Afghanistan, unlike what Bush has done in the past, and allocate this money to the rebuilding of the Afghanistan institutions and marketplace for the general consumers.
Of course this process will take time, but Obama can work on it for the next few years towards this new strategy and resolution, to negotiate an integration of the Taliban group as an opposition, unarmed political organization within the Afghanistan government. And if that happens, then that will make Osama bin Laden come out of the hole where he’s been hiding for all these years.
Because wherever Mullah Omar is currently hiding, that’s the same place bin Laden is likely hiding, and if Mullah Omar peacefully joins a democratically elected multi-party Afghani government as an opposition party leader, unlike the recent election, then peace and stability may come to the people of Afghanistan and the US and NATO may then be able to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.
This is the only solution that can help end the war in Afghanistan, which may finally lead to the demise of Osama bin Laden. However, if Obama decides to tackle the Taliban with armed forces, then that will simply yield in the same way as the war in Afghanistan by Cyrus, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, the British, and the Soviet Union, which resulted in a simple withdraw of their troops without ever achieving their objectives.