• Monday, January 27, 2020

Out of Afghanistan - by Shuja Nawaz

Discussion in 'Afghanistan Defence Forum' started by pakistani342, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. pakistani342

    pakistani342 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Interesting read by Shuja Nawaz.

    My comments:


    Although an interesting read, I must say I am dismayed that Intellectuals of Pakistani Heritage such as Shuja Nawaz and Akbar S. Ahmad are not devoting at least some of their energies to reexamining the question: "Can Pakistan be insulated from Afghanistan" - if all hell does break loose in Afghanistan post 2014.

    Given how disastrous the fallout on Pakistan from a renewed internecine conflict in Afghanistan will be - it is imperative that Intellectuals at least consider a Plan-B, no matter how much of the dreaded out of the box thinking is required.

    It is amazing that the strategic community often elucidates non-viable schemes such as: "fix Kashmir to fix Afghanistan" yet ones that are more economical such as insulating Pakistan from Afghanistan find no patrons.

    The interests of the world do lie in Pakistan, a nuclear armed country with a population of 180 million that sits on the same benches as India, China and Iran and has a decent chance at success. Afghanistan's tragic future if quarantined will have no real bearing on the world at large.

    The Article:
    One thing is certain: very few of the so-called Afghanistan experts got it right. The cheerleaders, who thought Iraq would be a walk in the park, did not take into account the greater difficulty in operating in Afghanistan’s rougher natural and human terrain. Absent deep knowledge of the local society and a clear definition of aim, the invading force went through seasons of change, with greater frequency than even the change of coalition commanders. Continuity was absent in leading both the civil and military effort. This did not serve well the troops and civilians, who toiled in the trenches and suffered huge losses.
    TRENDING DISCUSSIONS
    Now, as the US-led coalition prepares to exit Afghanistan’s warfare and tries to craft a new role for itself, with uncertain and often difficult Afghan partners, it might be time to reflect on what we learned over the past dozen years. Two must-reads that have come out recently serve as a point of departure for this purpose.
    William Dalrymple’s superbly researched and splendidly told story of the First Afghan War, “Return of a King: The Battle of Afghanistan”, chronicles the confused and arrogant British colonial approach to Afghanistan, as they attempted sporadically to install the benighted Shah Shuja on the throne of Kabul. The tragi-comedy of errors left thousands dead and deeply etched the British memory of defeat. But they reprised their actions at least twice before exiting the region, leaving behind a detritus of conflicts that continue to this day
    There is also Akbar S. Ahmed’s insightful study of the Western way of war against resistant and resilient tribal societies, “The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam”, which adds intellectual heft to the call for the better understanding of societies that the technologically advanced West wishes to transform, often with the argument of war. Ahmed, who has returned to his own intellectual strengths found in his seminal work “Pukhtun Economy and Society: Traditional Structure and Economic Development”, leads us on a global travelogue of disasters, involving well meaning, arrogant foreigners trying to reduce complex, much older societies to stereotypes and malleable objects - without much success. For those brave enough to wade through his occasional lapses into anthropological jargon, Ahmed’s new book offers a rich education that has been missing in our discourse in the past decade or so.
    Essentially, what both Dalrymple and Ahmed have done is help us understand the role of traditional sources of authority in maintaining peace and stability in tribal societies around the globe. Yet, it is important to find ways of integrating them into the larger political entities of the state to which they belong, rather than being treated as “outsiders”, a concept captured by the term ilaqa ghair or “alien territory”. Force feeding tribal societies on the diet of imported ideas and systems can only produce conflict and resistance. Change must come from within. It must be owned and must transform traditional societies at their own pace and in line with their value systems.
    The coalition’s exit out of Afghanistan offers a chance for the West and for Pakistan to relearn the lessons captured by Dalrymple and Ahmed. Stop treating Afghanistan and the border agencies that comprise the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas as an appendage that must be changed from outside. Integrate them into the regional and national framework by creating an enabling environment that allows the inhabitants of these areas to shape their own future, as equals to their countrymen in the settled areas and in the cities of both countries. Leave Afghanistan to the Afghans to manage. And leave Fata to the Pakhtuns, who own it and who want to be treated equally by all Pakistanis. If not, risk the powerful forces of resistance rooted in centuries of tradition. In brief, the answer to the endgame in Afghanistan may lie in books -not in bullets or bombs.
    *** The writer is the director of South Asia Centre of the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington DC. This article has been reprinted from Newsweek.
     
  2. muse

    muse PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Integrate FATA - sure, we can all agree - but that is just one facet and is it the primary reason we, not just Pakistan, but the region and the world face the kinds of problems we do??Are bombings. insurgency, murders, lawlessness and such, really because these areas remain un-integrated?
     
  3. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    i posted both akbar ahmad's and suggested people to read dalrymple's book. the afghans have a sordid and un-justified claim to peshawar as their historical capital and thus want the pakistan's KP areas to be integrated in a greater afghanistan - this is never going to happen - the other demand of the afghan pashtuns is to integrate the areas of pashtun dominated afghan areas with pashtuns dominated pakistan areas to create a 'buffer state' of pashtunistan - this then will be the end of afghanistan as we know today with the tajiks and uzbeks wanting their own areas of power and influence - what happens in afghanistan after 2014 will be nothing less than complete 'chaos' and 'mayhem' - if 150,000 US/ISAF/NATO troops could not bring peace, how can then a handful of SOF units (as planned by the US) maintain law & order in afghanistan. pakistan's integrity will be severely tested esp. if we continue to 'not do anything' and keep thinking that 'all will fall into place' accordingly.
    in the afghan army post 2014, pakistan will find a sworn enemy as majority of the afghan army consists of uzbeks and tajiks. karzai is finished anyway but somehow he is trying to 'mend his ties' with the afghan pashtuns so that he may still influence what goes on in afghanistan after a new prez is elected - he holds dreams of being the unifying force ala 'king shuja' who will bind the afghan tribes together - good luck with this scenario.
    as far as i know we should seal the 'durand line' - fence & mine it - monitor it 24/7 - increase the border posts from the current ~250 or 850 to what is required - increase the numbers of the FC (trained in border security). this will also slow down smuggling of arms and narcotics. there are 18m arms of all types in civilian hands in pakistan, majority of them illegal.
    if afghan pashtuns want to visit their relatives in pakistan - get a visa from our embassies / consulates and vice-versa - pakistanis have relatives in india - they have to get visas and wait a long time - just like the rest of the world does - get used to the new world order....!!!!
    why this 'special treatment' to the afghans - they dont like us - never have....!!!
    we have just built a university in mazar-e-sharif or herat for US$18m....!!! good luck with that... spend this money on your own people for chrissakes....!!!
     
  4. Marwat Khan Lodhi

    Marwat Khan Lodhi BANNED

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    Is it even possible to fence and mine the 2500 km long durand line?
     
  5. Rajput_Pakistani

    Rajput_Pakistani FULL MEMBER

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    First of all border with Afghanistan is 2300km. Secondly, off-course this border could be fenced. If Chinese can built 6000km long Great wall, and that too around 3000 years ago, why cant Durand line be fenced?
    And fencing does not mean that all along fences would be erected. Certain parts could be fenced, other mined and other just watched over with border posts. Every thing is possible, specially when this border has become "mother of many problems" for Pakistan.
     
  6. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    first plug/fence and mine the known 40 or 45 entry / exit points. then fence the rest of the border. some areas are unaccessible anyway towards the north-west, we may not require fencing. need the WILL. unfortunately this is missing these days in our leaders / govt's.
     
  7. Marwat Khan Lodhi

    Marwat Khan Lodhi BANNED

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    The mountain terrain of durand line is different from china where great wall is located. You can build check posts but i dont know how one can erect fences on mountains.
    The durand line issue is not resolved between pakistan and afghanistan and is creating problems. You have pashtuns on both sides of border, some times of same tribe and you have talibans on both sides of border which are linked. TTP and fazlullah use Afghanistan soil to launch attacks on pakistani check posts while haqqani network use pakistani soil to launch attack on NATO/Afghan governament
     
  8. Rajput_Pakistani

    Rajput_Pakistani FULL MEMBER

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    Dear, Chinese great wall is all mountainous and difficult terrain. You can see its images over google.
    Any how, Durand line is not mountainous all the way. Its geography changes throughout its length. After South Waziristan onward towards north, the border is very difficult. In this area, movement is possible either through passes which lie between two mountains or someone climb the mountain. In this area the requirement is of Check posts only. Down from S. Waziristan right upto Iran border, the border could be fenced. Mountains could also be fenced checkout the pictures of South-North Korean border.
    On the other issue, Durand line is internationally recognized by international community as well as UN. Only Afghanistan claims it disputed based on very very weak logic. The details could take pages of pages, but following is the link to an article, i find very informative on this issue. Any person with neutrality read this article will come to conclusion that Pakistani stance on Durand line is purely legal and right.

    http://www.ips.org.pk/the-muslim-world/986-pak-afghan-relations-the-durand-line-issue.html

    Having said this, Pakistan should do what is right for her. Sealing the Durand line will further consolidate Pakistani position and we will be able to preempt any future mischief Afghani establishment may try.
     
  9. Sedqal

    Sedqal SENIOR MEMBER

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    If you are Monkey D. Luffy please tell me in you r opinion what are the chances that when (and if) Taliban get in power in Afghanistan they will start supporting insurgency in Pakistan via TTP.
     
  10. RazorMC

    RazorMC SENIOR MEMBER

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    Fencing is expensive and is like an open invitation for Afghans to steal the material. And mining is a humanitarian disaster waiting to happen.

    Decrease the number of entry/exit points and build more checkposts where possible to minimize unwanted crossings. No casualties, no negative attention and no more illegal Afghans.
     
  11. Marwat Khan Lodhi

    Marwat Khan Lodhi BANNED

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    100% chance. Afghan talibans do not consider TTP activities against Pak army wrong, they just want them to focus their energies on NATO instead of Pakistan....they have expressed one criticism on TTP i.e kidnapping for ransom and has deemed it unislamic (kidnapping for ransom was prevalent in waziristan even before advent of talibans). All factions of TTP regard mullah omar as amir ul momineen.
    Moreover these good talibans like hafiz gul bahadur group, waziri talibans are very unreliable, right now they are operating against NATO but if NATO withdraws from Afghanistan then their focus would be again pakistan. Mangal bagh of lashkar e islam was also counted as pro-army , now he has joined hands with TTP in tirah..
    Its haqqani network about which i am unsure, they have deep relationship with ISI.
    Afghan talibans would definately go for kabul when America withdraws...when they will be in comparitively in relaxed position in the absence of americans, their attention would be also on pakistan, a country which betrayed them, a country which worked for american interests. A country which needs proper sharia....Afghan talibans have learnt a lot from this decade long war with america, they know now how to play game of thrones....
     
  12. Sedqal

    Sedqal SENIOR MEMBER

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    Then why do you think PA is helping Taliban?
     
  13. pakdefender

    pakdefender SENIOR MEMBER

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    the afghan taliban were bombed out of power in just a few days , they took shelter in the bordering area of Pakistan due to the porous border

    america did not go after them inside Pakistan because of the nuclear factor , left on their own they proved a very worthless force in face of an organized military attack

    If Taliban come to power in afghanistan and become anti-Pakistan , then Pakistan has the option of supporting those who are anti-Taliban
     
  14. Sedqal

    Sedqal SENIOR MEMBER

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    And Taliban will have the option to help TTP through porous border, remember thousand cuts strategy>
     
  15. Marwat Khan Lodhi

    Marwat Khan Lodhi BANNED

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    Prolonged american presence, more american dollars? More adventurism in FATA? ..its hard to understand the logic of faujis, they are playing with fire.