September 17, 2008
As many readers realize, the alliance between the USA and Pakistan in the global war vs. terrorism has been a tenuous one. It was dependent on President Musharaff staying in office and on residual goodwill that was created when the USA and Pakistan mutually armed the Afghans so they could drive the Russians from Afghanistan. Because Pakistan has many “tribal regions” which it barely governs and because of widespread Islamic radical sentiment in those regions, the American-Pakistani relationship has been a difficult one. This relationship is now coming apart.
The September 13, 2009 issue of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran an article entitled “Pakistan army chief warns of possible clash with U.S.” That doesn’t sound like much of an “alliance” does it? The article cites that the Pakistani army commander warned the US that American forces could come under Pakistani fire if US troops conducted any more cross-border raids into Pakistan. The article further cited that Pakistanis were “stunned” by reports “that President Bush had secretly authorized the new policy of incursions into Pakistan…”
The first link below (a Reuters report) details an account that “Pakistani security officials” claimed that Pakistan’s military units already have opened fire on American military units. This report was officially denied by both the American and Pakistani governments, but these official denials were “contradicted by Pakistani civilian officials and villagers” in the area where the incident apparently occurred. The article cites local sources as indicating Pakistani army units and armed tribesmen both opened fire on American forces, but also notes Pakistan’s awkward situation as Pakistani army units are fighting armed tribesmen in other regions of Pakistan. Such confrontations may now be motivated by Pakistan’s desire to regain control of its border provinces more than any desire to cooperate with Americans in fighting terrorism.
The second link below (from Fox News) is a September 16, 2008 story reporting that the top US Military officer, Admiral Mullen, “flew to Pakistan for an unannounced visit” over the deteriorating relationship between the American and Pakistani militaries. The sudden arrival of Admiral Mullen in Pakistan after the incident reported by Reuters argues that it likely did happen and that the situation was so urgent that only Admiral Mullen’s personal presence could defuse the growing American-Pakistani crisis. One Pakistani general is quoted as saying that if American force are detected inside Pakistan: “the orders are very clear…open fire.”
While these reports are troubling, they are not surprising. The American-Pakistani relationship is deteriorating even as the American-Indian alliance is growing. Pakistan and India are historical enemies, and America cannot stay “allied” to both of them for long. It seems clear from the negotiated US-Indian nuclear weapons pact and growing American-Indian military cooperation that the USA has chosen to ally itself with India. Pakistan has noticed this reality and is pulling away from America (Russia will be welcome Pakistan with open arms into the global anti-American alliance being built by Putin). Also, as I’ve noted in previous blogs and writings at this website, Pakistan was a likely candidate to join the Gog/Magog alliance based on the biblical prophecy in Ezekiel 38. Ezekiel 38:5 prophesies that “Cush” (rendered “Ethiopia” in the KJV) is destined to be part of the Gog/Magog alliance in the latter days. My previous writings noted that the “Hindu Kush” Mountains (named after the forefather of the Cushites) are located in the Afghan-Pakistan region, arguing that both nations are largely Cushite in origin. If so, both nations can be expected to be on Russia’s side in the end-time World War III prophesied by Ezekiel 38 (see my article in the Articles section of this website for more details).
This has huge ramifications for the American war in Afghanistan. If Pakistan ceases to cooperate with American forces, the Afghan War is all but over. America will eventually be forced to withdraw its forces from that nation. Look at a map of the region, and you will see that American forces in Afghanistan will be isolated and without any sure supply line if Pakistan opts out of an alliance with the USA. Afghanistan is bordered by Iran, China, Pakistan and the “-stan” nations of Central Asia. Iran is an avowed enemy of the USA, and the “-stan” nations are being intimidated by Russian pressures and its invasion of Georgia into reverting to Russian vassal-states which will require American bases in their nations to be shut down. China is hostile to America and if Pakistan shuts down cooperation, the game is over. Amazingly, both presidential candidates in the US elections are calling for increases in American forces in Afghanistan! Don’t they see the handwriting on the wall?
Indeed, Americans need to ask a critical question: Why are we still waging a war in Afghanistan? What vital US interest is at stake there? Afghanistan is not a NATO nation, it has no oil and no vital US geographical interest is at stake there. It is very detrimental to US security interests to wear out our army and equipment fighting there and it is also accelerating a possible American financial collapse due to the gargantuan expenses of the Afghan war. After the events of 9/11, why didn’t the USA simply destroy the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and leave? Afghanistan isn’t even a nation. It exists only on maps. In reality, it is a hodge-podge of regions controlled by rival warlords.
This brings up the question: Who is really “winning the war in Afghanistan?” The Taliban is making a strong resurgence and the small US/NATO forces are far too inadequate to control or pacify Afghanistan’s regions. I suggest that the real winner of this war is not the combatants who are bleeding each other white financially and taking casualties. The real winners are Russia and China. Russia benefits because US forces are so overcommitted around the world that Russian forces are free to invade Armenia and possibly other nations in the Caucasus and in Russia’s “Near Abroad” without a meaningful American military response. China is lending the USA much of the money the USA needs to fight the Afghan War so China benefits by gaining more debt-leverage over the US government. Russia and China both benefit as their militaries are rested and building their strength. The USA’s military is over-extended, its troops are exhausted, the USA’s military equipment is being worn out and the USA’s budget is being broken due to the war costs. It hardly seems like “rocket science” to realize that Russia and China are benefiting from the Afghan War which the US continues to fight even though there is no vital US interest at stake in that mountainous and medieval region. America’s costly pursuit of a some amorphous goal in Afghanistan is reminding me of the self-destructive and obsessed quest of the fabled Captain Ahab in pursuit of Moby Dick, the White Whale. However, given the sad state of the modern American educational system, there are a lot of young Americans who may not even understand this analogy.
One thing is certain: the longer the Afghan War continues, the more Russia and China are benefited and the more America’s military and economic strength will wane. It couldn’t have worked out better for Russia and China if this unfortunate outcome for America had been planned this way. Maybe it was. Perhaps Vladimir Putin figured out a way to exact revenge vs. the USA for the ignominious outcome in an earlier Afghan War inflicted upon Russia by the USA a couple decades ago. Russia (then the USSR) at least realized that a point had been reached that it was time to “cut its losses” and leave Afghanistan to its perpetual warlords. The USA still hasn’t grasped that the same point was passed years ago for the USA in Afghanistan.