September 22, 2008
"What we cannot escape," one Pentagon policy planner told us, "is a confrontation with Pakistan. Pakistan holds the key to success for us in Afghanistan."
Afghanistan: How Does This End?, Swoop, Sept 20, 2008
If one wants to make sense of the big bombing that hit the Marriott hotel in Islamabad yesterday, one has to look at the bigger strategic picture.
If you believe the usually 'western' media, the U.S. is still an ally of Pakistan and India is still a neutral country. In reality the U.S. and India are allied in a war against Pakistan and China.
Foreign policy elements in India and the in U.S. see China as their respective big strategic enemy. But both want - for now - avoid an open conflict. The center of gravity in this silent war against China are the hydrocarbon reserves in Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa and the transport routes for these.
The war in Afghanistan and the war in Pakistan can be seen as proxy wars between these three big powers over the energy issue.
China is developing the port of Gwader in Baluchistan on the south coast of Pakistan and transport routes from there into its mainland. The port will allow energy flow from Africa and the Middle East to China without Indian naval interference.
Just like China is in a strategic alliance with Pakistan, India is in a strategic alliance with Afghanistan. It is developing a road connection from Herat to a port in south Iran. While Pakistan supports some Taliban groups in their war against the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, India and the U.S. support other Taliban groups within Pakistan in fighting Islamabad.
The current aim seems to be to splinter Pakistan into smaller pieces.
Oh, that is not what the media say? The above is all baloney?
Attached is a collection of excerpts of recent news pieces and strategic papers. Skim through them with the above in mind.
From the U.S.:
[T]he Pashtuns, concentrated in the northwestern tribal areas, would join with their ethnic brethren across the Afghan border
(some 40 million of them combined) to form an independent
"Pashtunistan." The Sindhis in the southeast, numbering 23 million,
would unite with the six million Baluch tribesmen in the southwest to
establish a federation along the Arabian Sea from India to Iran. "Pakistan" would then be a nuclear-armed Punjabi rump state.
Drawn and Quartered, New York Times op-ed, Feb 1, 2008
If ever the national interests are defined with clarity
and prioritised, the foremost threat to the Union (and for centuries
before) materialised on the western periphery, continuously. To
defend this key threat to the Union, New Delhi should extend its
influence through export of both, soft and hard power towards Central
Asia from where invasions have been mounted over centuries. Cessation of Pakistan as a state facilitates furtherance of this pivotal national objective.
With China’s one arm, i.e. Pakistan disabled, its expansionist plans will receive a severe jolt. Beijing continues to pose primary threat to New Delhi.
Even as we continue to engage with it as constructively as possible, we
must strive to remove the proxy. At the same time, it is prudent to
extend moral support to the people of Tibet to sink Chinese
expansionism in the morass of insurgency.
Stable Pakistan not in India’s interest, Indian Defence Review, Sept. 2008
Pakistani policy analysts are convinced that United States has been a duplicitous ally during the past seven years, using the sincere Pakistani cooperation on Afghanistan to gradually turn that country into a military base to launch a sophisticated psychological, intelligence and military campaign to destabilize Pakistan itself.
The objective is to weaken the control of the Pakistani military over geographical Pakistan and ignite an ethnic and sectarian civil war leading to changing the status of Balochistan and NWFP, possibly even facilitate the break up of both provinces from the Pakistani federation.
Pakistan Reverses 9/11 Appeasement, Ahmed Quraishi, Sept 13, 2008
Mere rhetorical response to the mounting American gangsterism is no answer, when this adventurism has very deeper diabolical motivations to it.
It is for the failure of the retired general, who loved playing a slave to American warlords, to demand this action from the coalition forces in Afghanistan that our tribal region has become the lair of foreign-sponsored militants, who on the bidding of their masters have turned our once-peaceful tribal belt into a violent place and the rest of our country their killing field.
Mullen’s betrayal, The Frontier Post, Peshawar, Editorial, Sept 19, 2008
India is buying armaments that major powers like the United States use to operate far from home: aircraft carriers, giant C-130J transport planes and airborne refueling tankers. Meanwhile, India has helped to build a small air base in Tajikistan that it will share with its host country. It is modern India’s first military outpost on foreign soil.
"There seems to be an emerging long-term competition between India and China for pre-eminence in the region," said Jacqueline Newmyer, president of the Long Term Strategy Group, a research institute in Cambridge, Mass., and a security consultant to the United States government. "India is preparing slowly to claim its place as a pre-eminent power, and in the meantime China is working to complicate that for India."
Land of Gandhi Asserts Itself as Global Military Power, NYT, Sept. 22, 2008
Armed with a permit for global nuclear trade, India's prime minister leaves next week for the United States and France hoping to seal atomic energy deals and discuss cooperation in defense and counter-terrorism.
Atomic trade high on India PM's U.S., France tour, Reuters, Sept. 19, 2008
Senior Chinese military official Guo Boxiong pledged on Monday to further strengthen military exchanges between China and Pakistan.
In his meeting with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq PervezKiyani, Guo, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, appreciated the fruitful cooperation between both sides over the years.
China highly values its all-round strategic cooperative partnership with Pakistan, Guo said, vowing to join hands with the country to boost bilateral ties to a new level.
In response, Kiyani said his country treasures its traditional friendship with China and is ready to further boost cooperation with China.
China eyes closer military exchanges with Pakistan, Xinhua, Sept. 22, 2008
Taliban insurgents have attacked an Indian construction project in the western Afghan province of Herat, killing 11 Afghan policemen and wounding several others on a weekend
that saw most fighters lay down their weapons for U.N. Peace Day.
Indian construction project targeted by Taliban, Globe and Mail, Sept. 21, 2008
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Two local intelligence officials say troops and tribesmen opened fire when two U.S. helicopters crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan.
Intel officials: US copters cross Pakistan border, Reuters, Sept. 22, 2008
Pakistani military forces flew repeated helicopter missions into Afghanistan to resupply the Taliban during a fierce battle in June 2007, according to a U.S. Marine lieutenant colonel, who says his information is based on multiple U.S. and Afghan intelligence reports.
U.S. Officer: Pakistani Forces Aided Taliban, Defense News, Sept. 19, 2008
This U.S. media campaign has been going hand in glove for the past eighteen months with a wave of terrorism inside Pakistan targeting Pakistani civilians and government. The blame for these acts was laid at the doors of something called 'Pakistani Taliban’ which is, in major part, a creation of Indian and Karzai intelligence setups inside Afghanistan.
But the situation between Islamabad and Washington does not have to come to this. Islamabad can help tip the scales in Washington against the hawks who want a war with Pakistan. Not all parts of the U.S. government accept this idea and this must be exploited. Pakistan must make it clear that it will retaliate.
The only way to entrap Pakistan now is to either orchestrate a spectacular terrorist attack in U.S. and blame it on Pakistan, or to assassinate a high profile personality inside Pakistan and generate domestic strife that will make it impossible for the military to resist U.S. attacks.
Pakistan Reverses 9/11 Appeasement, Ahmed Quraishi, Sept 13, 2008
Who could be/is responsible for yesterday's big bomb in Islamabad?
May China have, beside Taiwan, additional conditions for the big bailout that relate with Pakistan?