Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, January 26, 2020 08:09:33 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Asymmetric War

America Never Wanted Peace In Afghanistan

By
04th-Aug-2019       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

A. Rauf K. Khattak :
THE longest war in US history began in October 2001 and is still raging. This asymmetric war will remain a subject of study for analysts and in military academies across the world for years to come. The US was one of 59 countries (or more than a quarter of the world's nations) to deploy troops to Afghanistan or provide other aids to conduct the war or stabilise the country after the fall of the Afghan Taliban. By the end of 2010, American troops in Afghanistan surged to 100,000.
The 9/11 attacks sent the US government and the American public into a rage. Nobody attempted to contemplate the consequences of military action in a far corner of the world.
Steve Coll, journalist and author of Ghost Wars, has revealed some interesting facts about the Afghan war in his new book, Directorate S.
When war was declared, one of the generals involved claimed that all the forces' chiefs began asking where Afghanistan was. Then defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld admitted, "In some cases our analysts were working with decades-old British maps."
The CIA-led and Northern Alliance-assisted invasion was a big boost to American morale. The Taliban made a strategic decision to withdraw to the Pakhtun heartland without a fight. Operation Enduring Freedom suffered 12 military deaths and one CIA officer's death. The war was declared won. Beyond that, there was no institutional view of what should be done after the Taliban were ousted.
Then president George W. Bush's attention soon shifted to Iraq, and it remained his primary concern. Troops and funds were hurled into that theatre; little remained to be invested in Afghanistan. Contrary to their earlier justification for occupying Afghanistan, Rumsfeld wrote in his 2011 memoir, "We did not go there to try to bring prosperity to every corner of Afghanistan."
Even as early as 2002, a laughable amount was assigned for assistance to Afghanistan. Bush said that they were not fielding a nation-building army. Thirteen thousand troops were considered the right number at the time. Coll states that in 2003, the US National Security Council met to discuss Afghanistan only twice - thus squandering the opportunity to manage a post-conflict Afghanistan.
In 2003, the Taliban started appearing in the same places as they had in 1996. It was akin to watching a rerun of an old movie. By 2006, the Taliban were on the march. By 2009-10, an unpleasant truth had dawned on American analysts - they had lost the war.
"Initially the American investment in post-Taliban Afghanistan was deliberate minimalism, followed by tentative engagement, followed by massive investment only when it was very late to make a difference," according to Coll. By 2007, Bush changed tack saying that they wanted to establish a stable and democratic Afghanistan. CIA directives, however, still focused on Al Qaeda. They had no orders from the White House to help defeat the Taliban. The situation was further complicated by policy conflicts among the CIA, Pentagon, State Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Defence Intelligence Agency, and Central Command, writes Coll. The rivalry between the CIA and the army was particularly serious. Stanley A. McChrystal quipped, "They [the CIA] weren't as good as they thought they were and we [the army] weren't as bad as they thought we were."
Overwhelmed by the Iraq invasion and occupation, the Pentagon planners seemed to manage Afghanistan from pieces of scrap paper. "There was not a campaign plan," indeed, "not a plan, period," a retired lieutenant general commented. About eight different commands were counted at one point of time reporting to different bosses. The problem of fractured command was a serious one. The Marines, who were deployed before Gen McChrystal's arrival, Coll mentions, did not report to him. They reported to their leadership in Central Command, in Florida.
Former president Hamid Karzai may be called a quisling, but deep down he was a nationalist and paranoid about Pakistan's role in the conflict. He wasted no opportunity to say that to stabilise his country, the American fight lay in (erstwhile) Fata and Quetta. He was also livid about US forces' night raids and killing of civilians. Once, having dinner with vice president Joe Biden and two other senators, he started "popping off" saying that the US did not care about Afghanistan. "Your country has done nothing to help Afghanistan." This annoyed everyone. Biden slammed his fist on the table and said, "This conversation, this dinner is over," then stormed out of the room.
At the end of his second presidential term in September 2014, Karzai delivered a bitter farewell speech, "America did not want peace in Afghanistan because it has its own agenda and goals here."
It remains to be seen whether the unpredictable President Trump is able to deliver on this war.

(A Rauf K. Khattak, a former civil servant and former minister, writes for The Dawn)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Buildings should have built in fire safety measures


IT is possible to avoid any kind of fire-related incidents by spending only two per cent of the total cost of a building, an internationally renowned Bangladeshi fire safety expert has said. Quoting the expert's comments, The New Nation on Saturday in a report said many big fire incidents are ...

Entertainment »

Disha Patani opens up on working in B’wood


Malang released. From the poster to the trailer, every outing that has been released is receiving immense love for Disha’s skills. The hottest outsider to this industry here tells us what she thought when she was a child in front of a camera! Recalling her journey from being a camera ...

Sports »

Stokes sorry despite 'repeated abuse' - and 'Ed Sheeran reference'


AFP, Johannesburg :England star Ben Stokes apologised Friday for his angry exchange with a fan during the fourth and final Test against South Africa but claimed he was the victim of "repeated abuse".Stokes described his reaction at the Wanderers as "unprofessional".English cricket chiefs, however, claimed staff and players were also ...

Sports »

Federer says, 'epics' keep him motivated after Australian Open thriller


AFP, Melbourne :Roger Federer lives to win titles, but five-set thrillers like his epic against John Millman at the Australian Open are also a key reason why he is still playing aged 38.The Swiss master looked out for the count at 4-8 down in a nailbiting fifth-set super tiebreaker against ...

International »

Virus attack worring China


AP, China  :China's most festive holiday began in the shadow of a worrying new virus Saturday as the death toll surpassed 40, an unprecedented lockdown kept 36 million people from travelling and authorities cancelled a host of Lunar New Year events.The National Health Commission reported a jump in the number ...

International »

258 million kids not in school


AP, United Nations :The U.N. deputy chief said on Friday there is an "alarming" crisis in education, pointing to the 258 million children under the age of 17 who are not going to school - and only 49 percent completing secondary education.In addition, about 770 million adults are illiterate, most ...

Editorial »

Don't put extra burden on Hajj pilgrims’ shoulder


THE Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh and the Religious Affairs Ministry in a chorus criticised the Civil Aviation Ministry for taking proposal to increase airfare for each hajj pilgrim by Tk 12,000 from last year, terming it 'illogical" and "immoral". The HAAB leaders on Thursday at a press conference said ...

International »

Imran Khan calls for UN action over Kashmir dispute


Reuters, Davos :Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan called on Wednesday for the United Nations to help mediate between nuclear armed India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir."This is a potential flashpoint," Khan said during a media briefing at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, ...

Entertainment »

Shama Sikander sends her love for India’s Republic Day


India will be celebrating its 70th republic day and it’s an extremely auspicious occasion for us. In 26th January 1950, the constitution came into power and became the largest democracy in the world. Shama Sikander has her thoughts and plans set for this day and let’s go through it. Shama ...

Cricket »

We are confident to beat Pakistan: Mahmudullah


Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad said they remain upbeat to beat Pakistan in the first T20 International today (Friday) and gain the momentum for the whole series.Having said that, Mahmudullah insisted right at the moment the security matter, which has been the focal point of the series is not in their ...

Football »

Neymar sets up two goals as PSG cruise into League Cup final


Neymar set up the first two goals with curling set pieces as Paris Saint-Germain won their French League Cup semi-final 3-0 away to Reims on a chilly Wednesday night.PSG will face Lyon, who beat Lille on penalties on Tuesday, in the final at the Stade de France on April 4.This ...

Editorial »

Nobody is there to control them


CHHATRA League activists of Dhaka University's Sergeant Zahurul Haq Hall are at it again as they tortured four students for nearly three hours before handing them to police early Tuesday. The BCL men labelled them as Shibir activists and handed them to Shahbagh police around 3:30am in the presence of ...

City »

Chairman of Bangladesh Public Service Commission Dr. Mohammad Sadik, along with other members of the commission paying tributes by placing wreaths on the plaque 'Mrityunjayee' on the premises of the commission on Thursday on retirement of its two members Abul Kalam Azad and Prof. Dr. Shah Abdul Latif.


Entertainment »

Hina Khan learns to smoke for her role in web series, Damaged 2


We’ve heard of actors across the industry going all out when it comes to prepping up for their characters and roles. From Deepika, on getting a particular accent in Chennai Express to Aamir Khan learning how to tap dance for Dhoom 3, actors do everything possible to get into the ...

Editorial »

Govt faces hard time for needless expenditures coupled with corruption


THE Finance Ministry has asked all ministries and divisions not to seek additional fund in the current fiscal year in a signal that the government is tightening its belt amid a revenue shortfall, as per local media reports. The ministry furnished the instruction with regard to the operating and development ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news