Afghanistan – Corruption or Defeat?
Can we recall our respective illustrious leaders saying that more troops had to be made available for the forthcoming Afghan elections to make sure that it remained democratic and fair? Can we recall the increase in troop fatalities in the lead up to those elections and how our leaders condemned those attacks all in the name of democracy? Can we all recall that soon after the Afghanistan election our respective leaders said that the election was democratic, successful and were pleased with the results? Can we recall just days after the results were made available that the UN had agreed with opposition members that in actual fact the whole election campaign was rife with corruption? Can we recall that again our leaders took sides and agreed with the UN and demanded a run off? Can we then remember Karzai backing down and agreeing to another run off? It was around this time that the commander of ISAF forces asked for a massive injection of troops and that if we did not do this the war could well be lost.
Then we had a cat and mouse game going on between Obama, Brown and Karzai. The President said that he would not put his troops in harms way until their was a democratic government in Afghanistan. This was immediately followed by Brown repeating almost word for word the same quote. Whilst all this was going on the ISAF Commander was seeking an urgent response to his request. This was followed by members of Congress also demanding that this hesitation be resolved in order to protect our troops in Afghanistan.
Things then took a dramatic turn when the leader of the opposition backed down and stated that he would not be contesting Karzai? Suddenly we had those same leaders congratulating Karzai on his victory and Ban Ki Moon making that special flight to Kabul to personally congratulate him? So much for the sacrifice of our troops all in the name of democracy!
After the dust had again settled we saw a massive increase in ISAF fatalities along with a barrage of accusation made against the British Government regarding the lack of logistical support such as helicopters etc. Then at last we saw that the general public where starting to see that this war was rather futile and turning into another Vietnam. The final straw came when 6 British Soldiers died at the hands of one of the Policemen that they had trained.
Throughout the last couple of months we have heard both Obama and Brown repeat the same statement after the death of even more troops that “This will only strengthen our resolve” we have also seen key senior commanders repeating the same spin and even an array of carefully selected ex Afghan commanders appearing on television to say that this war can be won.
Mr Brown again used the same old statement to the British public that we must continue the battle in Afghanistan to make sure the streets of Britain remain safe. It was also very soon after this political drive that he again repeated that the main area of concerned was Pakistan and the border region and yet from the ISAF perspective this area has little or no activity. It was also repeated yet again that only around 100 Al Qaeda remain inside Afghanistan.
If one looks at the Afghanistan Provinces adjacent to the current Pakistan conflict zone we find that only 139 troops in total have died since the start of the war to date and of these only 26 have died this year. It must be remembered that this area in the past has housed Al Qaeda and Taliban Militia and is the area that is likely to again received militia that are being pushed over by the Pakistan Army. Why isn’t this area receiving the same attention as the region either side of the pipeline route…..at the end of the day this war was supposed to be all about Al Qaeda?
One does not have to be a Field Marshall to understand that you take the battle to the area of concern and if possible attack the enemy on at least two fronts. Consequently we have the Pakistan Army fighting in mass with around 30,000 soldiers into the insurgent stronghold of South Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan (as marked on the map). It was estimated that around 10,000 militants and foreign fighters exist in the region. The Pakistan Army stated that this was a full-scale ground offensive against Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents. The headlines after day two of this operation read as follows: “Pakistan hits Taliban, urges NATO to seal border” the article went on to say that the remote and rugged South Waziristan is a global hub for militants.
It’s ironic that the US forces have only returned to the adjacent Afghanistan province for a two day operation this month after an absence of over three years. One can see the frustration by Pakistan in being pushed by the US and UK to resolve terrorism in their country which was as a direct result of US forces pushing the problem over the border. Now we see Pakistan troops have the potential to push them back into Afghanistan and no one will be on the other side to deal with the return of the problem.
I continue to ask the question “Why are we still in Afghanistan? Why are there so many troops and more required? If the main terrorist activity is in the region indicated why are NATO troop’s fighter such a long distance away from those they have been tracking down for such a long period of time? Is there some other hidden agenda such as the TAPI pipeline? Let’s just take a brief look again at the map above to show where the main problem areas are in regard to these so called terrorist and also see where all our troops are dying and for what?
One can see that there is significant activity along the pipeline route with the highest death rate. The main enemy (according to the US, UK and NATO forces) are those that were driven over the border, but this factor doesn’t appear to cause any concern. How many times have we seen a surge in certain areas to then see them pull out and watch the Taliban return to the area that so many people died for? If it was so important to remove the enemy from the area why wouldn’t you stand your ground, defend and protect it?
As we can now see the Pakistan Government were harassed by the US to do something about terrorism in the northwest but for what purpose, to again attack the militia and have them cross back over the border into Afghanistan and if so who will stop them re grouping and killing more soldiers?
There are so many things that really do not make sense.
We have listened to Gordon Brown repeat time and time again that we have the right strategy in Afghanistan and we will not turn our backs on its people. He makes it clear that the purpose is to remove Al Qaeda and Taliban and continue training Afghans until they are strong enough to take back military control of their country. He again places an emphasis that we must persevere in the effort to keep our street free of terrorists and yet no Taliban have attacked the US/UK.
Only when the death toll continues to rise and only when senior military officer start to be critical of government does he now start to show signs of weakness. We have always known there has been an acute shortage of helicopters to which he repeatedly denied. He backed this belief up by asking one of the commanders if the lack of helicopter were instrumental in the deaths of 6 British troops recently and then issued a statement that in this particular case there were helicopters available to cover the task. Now only this week he announced a sizeable increase in helicopters being made available to the troops in Afghanistan by spring next year and a much higher ratio in flying hours. This obviously told us the public that there was definitely a shortage of helicopters. My question would be why they have to wait for so long and how many more troops will die because of the lack of supply and logistical support.
One cannot totally blame the Prime Minister because the responsibility for such operations, supply and logistics remains under the control of The Secretary of State for Defence who has an array of Sub Ministers, Defence Department Staff and Department of Defence to guide him. It would be an opportune time to look at some of the past and current gentlemen that have held this vital position. We certainly would have to go back a long way before we were able to find any person that was truly worthy of such a position. Historically we can start with George Robertson, Geoff Hoon, John Reid, John Hutton (very short lived) and finally the current and most ineffective Bob Ainsworth. Many of these so called astute gentlemen told so many fairytales and deceived we the public.
Now we unfortunately have to get back to Gordon Brown who has now turned the failings of the war effort into a case of “Corruption in Afghanistan”. Both he and Obama are now saying exactly the same “We will not allow anymore troops to get into harms way until Afghanistan has sorted out its own Corruption” I have to say hey both sound like conjoined twins. Now it appears that at last they are starting to accept that this is another Vietnam and Brown for the first time gave a slight indication of possible defeat.
So could this be the first sign of an exit strategy by using corruption in Afghanistan as the means to an end? What happened to the war for democracy? What happened to the statement that “We have the right strategy? Do they believe that the only ones involved in corruption were the Afghans? If Iraq is to act as a template for such a statement I can assure you that corruption is rife at all levels on all sides with the added bonus of deceit at the highest level.
It would be appropriate just prior to the pullout for Obama and Brown to hold a press conference in Kabul and wait for the barrage of shoes that will head their way (even if they do happened to be second hand shoes that are worn by a nation in extreme poverty) It would be a goodwill gesture for all International NGO’s around the world to start collecting shoes to act as a back up supply for the press conference and any surplus could be made available for a shoe throwing rally in Washington and London.
The President that promised change to the people of the US has reversed almost every promise made and is showing clear signs of become a person who will surpass George W Bush………Obama promised his people change but change didn’t come. Instead Wall Street was allowed to orchestrate the financial meltdown under the watchful eye of both Bush and Obama with the worlds best financial expert in Britain watching on. This rape of taxpayer’s money continues to rise and guess what? $6.8 Trillion has gone missing from the vaults of America without trace and no enquiry. The Federal Reserve Bank continues to rule the President and US Government by strategically placing its operatives next to Obama in senior advisory roles. The Federal Reserve Bank does not have to answer to any US law and therefore has a free hand to do what it likes.
Why is it that taxpayers are bled of all their reserves to prop up those who intentionally allowed this to happen then within a year show huge profits and continue to hand out payments to their staff. Those institutions then either have governments as shareholders or they pay back the loans. Likewise the governments who have taken taxpayers money and also borrowed from China, Middle East or wherever eventually pay back their overdraft.
My question is that if we the public have to then suffer by extra taxes over the next 5-10 years of so to cover this huge IOU then when do the taxpayers get paid back?........the answer is simple…..they never do!.......but that’s another story for another day. Oh I forget, before you leave the war zone I would like to thank you on behalf of the people of Afghanistan for contaminating the country with weapons containing uranium components and killing off the genetics of Afghanistan (people – land – crops – water) ……just like you have done in the Balkans, Kuwait and Iraq. Maybe we should also extend this thank you for the supply of weapons to Israel, allowing further contamination of Lebanon and Gaza (Palestine) and thus also contaminating Israel itself and beyond.
It was reported today that a possible NATO airstrike may have killed Afghan soldiers as well as Afghan police when they mistakenly hit a joint base housing coalition troops and Afghan security forces. 8 Afghans were killed and 22 injured which included 5 US troops. The UN Representative and other unnamed international figures have been very critical of the Afghan Government who has now accused them of interfering in Afghanistan internal affairs. President Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown have added their weight to the criticism. I think we can all see that this may well form the basis of a defeat and a phased pullout using corruption as diversionary tactic.
From my perspective – “Admit you were wrong” - “Admit defeat” - “Pull out” and bring the troops home. In doing so you will save trillion of dollars that is so vital to our respective countries economy and help us overcome this economic collapse that you have allowed to occur. In passing I would also like to add that in doing so you will reduce the military carbon footprint that according to your front man Gore is so vital for our survival…..buy hey that’s another propaganda story we can cover another time……keep watching this space.
Peter Eyre – Middle East Consultant 8/11/2009