Tuesday, February 26, 2013


By Brigadier(Retd) Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

America has not forgotten its old friend, the late Hosni Mubarak who had ruled Egypt with an iron hand putting leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist in prison . But times have changed. The Arab Spring brought up new leaders whom Arabs like and love too. We know that 25 per cent of all Arabs live in Egypt. So, Egypt matters.
The Obama Administration realised, that there was no point in backing the discredited generals loyal to the Mubarak regime as giving them arms would amount to pouring US dollars down the drain.
Consequently the Americans are now talking to the new Egyptian President, Mohammad Morsi of Muslim Brotherhood who was put in prison by Hosni Mubarak for his Islamist views and anti-American tirades.
Morsi has changed too. His education in California long ago and a study of global perspective helped him realise that the Art of Diplomacy means knowing and pracising concept of Compromise. He did not let the orthodox Islamist theory of keeping the Western world out of a bon-homie foreign policy. It is he who extended the hand of friendship to the United States and Obama was wise enough not to spurn the offer.
Now Obama and Morsi are happily smoking the Peace Pipe and the commerce between the two countries is growing.
Of course, it took a lot of convincing of boys back home in Washington DC to realise that the winds blowing from banks of the Nile was a changed one. There is now fragrance of peace and democracy. The days of oligarchy and aristocracy are gone, perhaps forever. Moreover, America has nothing to fear by befriending Arabs. The old rival, Soviet Union has disappeared from the global stage and its substitute, Russia is too involved internally in Chechnya and in building its economy to interfere with American plans of befriending Egypt.
Is this new policy of Obama Administration likely to be extended to the entire Arab world? Well, even President Obama is not sure about it and that too in the election year. His supporters predict his victory at the hustings but his rival candidate his not sitting idle. The last wo debates gave the incumbent President a thumbs up but that is not enough to say that his success in getting a second term in the White House is a sure shot.
Be that as it may, left to himself, Obama would like to carry on with the Peace plan in the Middle-East and befriend the entire Arab world. The specialists on Anarchy and Terror have realised that keeping the have-nots at arm’s length is just driving them into the arms of active insurgency and Osama bin-Laden style terrorism. So, the terror-specialists are of the opinion that keeping the Arabs out of the tent is potentially dangerous. So why not give them an elbow room inside the tent and keep your areas of interest out of harm’s way.
Indeed most of the Arab world is in turmoil at present. Syria and lebanon may be left to fend for themselves. The royal houses of Saudi Arabia and Jorden stand beholden to the United States for stability and are prepared to enlarge their shopping list on cash payment in hard currency to make America the sole beneficiary. Thus it would be in America’s interest, financial and political, to maintain status quo there.
One may safely predict that the insurgents and terrorists would not like to launch a frontal attack on positions where they are most likely to burn their fingers.
Turning our attention to Afghanistan and Pakistan post 2014 when the bulk of the NATO forces would have returned home leaving Afghans to fend for themselves, we find that there is a likelihood of  complete chaos and disorder prevailing all around. This prediction is not a product of a pessimist guiding a group discussion and forcing a line of action as per his pessimistic thought and the resultant action thereof. Indeed the American military strategists who had whole heartedly supported the line of action being pursued by President Barrack Obama wherein he had made a two-stage plan to be followed by action, have now no intention of eating the crow by revising the  strategy in Afghanistan in the closing  months of the decade long disastrous campaign that cost Uncle Sam rather dearly in terms of men, money and material.
Now it is too late to analyse afresh  the final military plan of the US armed forces that carried the stamp of approval and it meant   SURGE NATO TROOPS, DISSIPATE THE TALIBAN AND THEREAFTER WITHDRAW FOREVER. Well the Surge went off well, although it did not reach the optimum number. Nevertheless, the Dissipation of the Taliban remained a Distant Dream. The planned Withdrawal of the NATO forces is proceeding as per plan. The first and the third parts of the plan are fine but it is the botched up Second part of defeating the Taliban that did not take off the ground and is staring the NATO commanders in the face, rather menacingly.
The NATO top commanders have to translate their sound plans into action on ground  to avoid a Vietnam-type fiasco that overwhelmed a proper military withdrawal from Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City forcing the American GIs to run helter- skelter. The closing months, nay weeks of war on Terror in Afghanistan needs be kept under firm control and not let Islamic guerillas go berserk. The best weapon to subdue the Islamist troops is a liberal use of flame throwers or any other gun or howitzers that might burn the Taliban troops beyond recognition. The moment massive attack by flame throwers is in  evidence, the Taliban terrorists run helter-skelter so that their bodies are NOT burnt beyond recognition. In case their bodies are burnt completely, they would not be recognized on the Day of Judgement when Allah dispenses justice for the life thereafter.
It is wily Pakis that have been the major  source of trouble for the NATO in Afghanistan. Their military commanders have a suppressed desire to rule Afghanistan from the capital of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. They have their eyes fixed on the battle scenario post 2014 when the NATO, read Americans, would be gone for good. Then the Pakis would let loose their cruel forces to maim and kill fiercely independent Afghans and hold their sway from Oxus river (Amu Darya) in the North to the Hindu Kush mountains in the South-East and Kandahar in the South-West. They had tasted the fruit of their imperial designs when the USSR had withdrawn from Afghanistan lock stock and barrel after a decade long strife against the Mujahideens.
It is time the United States built an international opinion against Pakistan ruling the roost in Afghanistan. Indeed that would be disastrous for the global peace process and a booster for the Islamist terror movement at an international level.
Admiral Mike Mullen, now retired, had gone on record to say that Pakistanis are liars and must not be trusted. The Admiral was of the opinion that Pakis bite the hand that feeds them and who else could have a more bitter experience in this regard than the United States of America.
The United States of America owes it to the posterity NOT to let history repeat itself in the AFPAK region lest the Islamic Taliban terrorist hatch their evil plans there to destabilize the Free Democratic World.
Email:  sawantg.chitranjan@gmail.com         Mob. 0091- 9811173590.
Postal Address:  Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM (Retd), UPVAN  609, Sector 29, NOIDA INDIA.

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