The danger of defeatism in Afghanistan … Enthusiasm for the conflict is waning, but an early withdrawal will benefit only al-Qaeda, says Con Coughlin. One by one, the pillars that have underpinned our effort to win the war in Afghanistan are being demolished. The process began earlier this summer with the unceremonious removal of General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander of the Nato mission and the architect of the comprehensive counter-insurgency strategy that has been devised to defeat the Taliban. The general's dismissal, which President Obama demanded after the issuing of unflattering comments about his administration to a reporter from Rolling Stone, was accompanied by the formation of a new British Government that is decidedly lukewarm about the Afghan war. David Cameron might have made all the right noises on his first official visit to Helmand, soon after taking office, promising the troops that they could count on his full backing. But the views that he expresses in private tell a very different story. He regards our involvement in the war as a complete mess, and our prospects of success as remote. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Buckle down in Afghanistan.
Free-Market Analysis: This is a dangerous time in Afghanistan for the West. As we have covered in numerous articles, Afghanistan is a war that the West wants to win. This runs counter to the point of view of many in the alternative news community who believe that the West's effort in Afghanistan is merely part of a Long War. Another dominant social theme then would be, "Let the bloodletting continue along with the stalemate, which is what we're actually after."
From our point of view however, the powers-that-be running the war would be fairly foolish to count on an even more protracted war because public support for such a war is waning. We have written over and over about the war, in fact, because we think it is a critical piece of a larger power elite effort. The power elite, in its campaign for world government, must first create nation states that are amenable to the kind of world governance that this intergenerational, familial elite has in mind.
We have even postulated recently that the colonial era was not merely a random happenstance but a conscious effort at nation-building with an eye eventually toward consolidating these nations into a larger regional enterprise. Such efforts can be measured in decades and centuries, but since the elite at its topmost levels is intergenerational, these gambits can take place within a very long-term perspective.
If one accepts that the West attacked Afghanistan and Iraq for purposes of nation-building rather than as retaliation for a Muslim attack on 911 many things become clearer. It is no surprise, for instance, to find that one of the very first things that Western governments did on over-throwing the Taliban was to set up a Western-style central bank along with numerous commercial banks to disseminate Afghan money. Now the entire system is in danger of toppling and its structure has been revealed. It is an astonishing construct, showing quite clearly how the West likes to create its client-states.
The article we cited at the beginning of this article is written by one Con Couglin, who has been among the most hawkish columnists at the Telegraph when it comes to urging the fight against the Taliban. Coughlin is right to be concerned. From what we can tell, a new Hegelian dialectic is being offered by the power elite. It is one that establishes a much smaller military enterprise; and the result eventually may be a scaled down war
Again, any scaling back of the Afghan mission would be a considerable setback for the power elite. It will not be portrayed as that but we would have to consider Afghanistan as another failed gambit, which can join global-warming and central banking (and other promotions) as dominant social themes that the Western power-elite has fumbled in the 21st century.
In truth, having followed the war closely, we can state with reasonable confidence that there are two over-riding factors to the current failure of the war in Afghanistan. The first is that the Pashtuns, for all of their careful neutrality, are actively supporting the Taliban, which finds most if not all of its recruits among Pashtun civilians. The second reason why the war likely cannot be "won" is because the other major tribe in the reason, the Punjabi, are actively supporting the Pashtuns, arming them and offering the sanctuary in Pakistan.
What this means then, is a combined tribal might of some 180 millions of local Pashtuns and Punjabis actively or passively oppose the West. The Punjabis will probably never cease to harbor these Taliban because they provide essential leverage in Pakistan's effort to contain India by creating an Afghan government allied with Pakistan.
It is almost puzzling to watch NATO and the Anglo-American axis go through the motions of a "surge" designed to pacify Afghanistan. Having set up a banking system (now self destructing) the Western powers-that-be are constructing an Afghan army and civilian police from scratch along with government-in-a-box that is to be rolled out in Pashtun areas. But this surmises that the Pashtuns are merely concerned about security and have an affinity for Western style civilian governance. They do not, from what we can tell.
The other problem with this strategy is that because the Pashtuns themselves are not behind the West's nation-building effort, they are not participating in either the army nor the police build up. By creating forces of the realm that are built from ethnicities that the Pashtuns have traditionally combated, the West is merely setting the stage for a kind of endless, intercene war
We can see, from the above, that the difference between Iraq and Afghanistan is simple. In Iraq a battle was waged between outnumbered Sunnis against the Shia majority. In Afghanistan, the West is at war against the country's dominant national tribe, which has a safe-haven in another country, Pakistan.
Unless the West wants to dramatically escalate the war by launching formal hostilities against Pakistan, the limited war that the West is fighting in Afghanistan begins to look more and more like VietNam. America was loath to attack North Vietnam directly and thus the troops opposing America were continually resupplied and refreshed in both North Vietnam and Thailand.
The West will probably have to settle for half-a-loaf in Afghanistan. There is no way in our view that the Pashtuns (as we have written many times before) will easily acquiesce to the nation-building that the West has in mind. Though it is never reported, the Pashtuns fought a 50-year-war against the British in the latter half of the 1800s, which ended in a stalemate. The Pashtuns see the current central government as run by ethnicities, for the most part, that they have been in competition with for centuries and by a leadership that is nominally Pashtun but actually a corrupt puppet government of NATO.
The reason we continually stress these themes is because they do not generate much coverage in the mainstream press. The elite in our view wants to continue to prosecute the war for as long as it takes to fulfill unfullfillable goals. The idea in our view was to use 9/11 as a way to dominate both Iraq and Afghanistan with a view toward intimidating Iran as well. But Iraq from what we can tell is unraveling and Afghanistan is not close to being pacified.
Some in the alternative 'Net community will mutter darkly about how the intention of NATO and the West was never to win in either of these countries, but our analysis is far simpler and less sophisticated. These sorts of wars likely cannot be won, even though the power elite wishes to win them. Oil, strategic geographical dominance may be part of the larger picture, but as we have written before that is NOT the reason for these wars, which have to do with larger elite ambitions for global dominance.
In fact, the rush toward world governance, or a variant of it anyway, may be significantly impeded by lack of military consolidation in Afghanistan and increasingly in Iraq. The wild card of course, is Iran and a potential war between Persia and the West. There is also the likelihood of increased Shia-Sunni violence, especially if Shia Iran continues its aggressive support of Shia minorities throughout the region. This support is apparently destabilizing Iraq once again.
In such a volatile region, it is difficult to see the West imposing its will via a series of local conflicts. What may be called for is an all-engrossing military campaign, a kind of World War III prosecuted against both Shia and Sunnis. But we tend to doubt that there is much support for such a war, even were it feasible in today's nuclear environment. The Afghan war may wind down inconclusively. The Pashtuns, then, will have retained some control over their own destiny. The Western power-elite gambit may be set back.