Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Bajaur Mohmand Kyber Orakzai Kurram North Waziristan South Waziristan _______ Durand Line Population @ 3 ½ million people, mainly Pashtuns, most living in rural areas North-West Frontier Province (NWFP created 1905) Peshawar Kohat Bannu Laki Tank Dera Ismail Khan _______ Population @ 20 million people About 2/3 Pashtun Punjab Balochistan FATA & NWFP
Obamas New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan: Why we Fight The terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks are still active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Al qaeda still seeks to kill as many of our people as possible and is actively planning further attacks on the U.S. Homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan. Our men and women still fight and die there to ensure our national security – the safety of the American people.
Is This the Change We Hoped For? According to Obamas new strategy, the Bush Administration was correct in its recognition of the reality and the seriousness of the threat posed by al Qaeda. Where they went wrong was: In becoming sidetracked by the war in Iraq. In being overly cautious, too conservative, in not pursuing al Qaeda into Pakistan.
To implement an aggressive, comprehensive, and multi-faceted strategy that escalates our civilian and military effort in both Afghanistan and Pakistan (AFPAK). Obamas New Strategy
The Civilian Component NGOs and corporate contractors will help the Afghan Government serve its people. $1.5 billion in direct support to the Pakistani people every year over the next five years. Obama recognizes the corruption and waste that has characterized corporate contracts up to now and promises oversight and that the days of unaccountable spending, no bid contracts, and wasteful reconstruction must end.
KBR together with DynCorp International (another corporation guilty of abuses in the past) hold the 10 year LOGCAP contract worth $150 billion to provide a broad range of support services to U.S. and allied troops in theater. Obamas Contracts On Obamas watch, KBR has been awarded a $35.4 million contract to build a convoy support center in Iraq despite being under investigation for the electrocution deaths of two U.S. soldiers.
Accountability Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made clear that the use of private contractor security forces - mercenaries – will continue under the Obama Administration. Thus far there has been no accountability for past abuses and KBR, DynCorp, Blackwater (Xe), and Triple Canopy remain integral corporate players, Obama offers us little in the way of change and hope for increase oversight.
The Military Component Obamas... clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Accepts without discussion that we are as much at war in Pakistan as we are in Afghanistan. One of the expectations we had for an Obama Administration was a return to the rule of law and adherence to the Constitution that requires that war be declared not by Executive decree but by a vote of Congress. Terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda lack formal structure and function as loosely affiliated groups and individuals – what would victory look like?
Deconstructing Obamas Strategy Not only must we defeat, disrupt, and rid Afghanistan and Pakistan of al Qaeda, but Obamas strategy requires that we ensure that they be prevented from returning to either country in the future.
Implied Goals (IG) To ensure that al Qaeda be prevented from returning requires that : The Taliban must be met with force, and they must be defeated. The mission of the 17,000 troops recently deployed to Afghanistan is to take the fight to the Taliban in the south and the west... and go after insurgents along the border. IG#1:**Defeat the Taliban
The governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan must achieve the stability necessary to prevent a slide back into chaos. This in turn requires: The elimination of corruption. The establishment of an effective and honest western style democracy which supports the basic human rights of all Afghans – including women and girls. Prevent a Slide Back into Chaos IG#2: **Nation Building
The Pashtuns Though the Taliban are generally Pashtun, our mission will require, as well, the defeat and/or elimination of the less ideologically driven, though stridently independent and conservative, Pashtun Tribesmen (the dominant ethnic community in Afghanistan) who will fiercely resist the imposition of a western style democracy. IG#3: **Defeat the Pashtuns The name Afghan was given to the Pastuns by their Persian neighbors and means unruliness or upheaval. Pashtuns are Sunni Moslems.
The Real (Total) Mission The creation of an honest, western style democratic government that respects the rights of all its citizens. Defeat of the inevitable insurgency waged by the Pashtuns. The disruption and dismantling of al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The defeat of the Taliban.
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace conducted a review of our nations total combat readiness. He concluded: Military Reality After years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been an overall decline in our military readiness. Our military is stretched to its breaking point. Were our nation confronted with another crisis, our military would be incapable of responding effectively.
Without the reinstitution of the draft, Obamas strategy will likely require the continuation of unacceptable Bush Administration practices such as: Stop loss measures. Multiple deployments of exhausted troops with inadequate down time. It is likely that Obamas last deployment of 21,000 will include troops from the 10th Mountain Division and the 82nd Airborne Division who will be on their fifth deployment, facing dwell time ratios of less than one-to-one. That means they've spent more time in combat than they have at home with their families. Increasing the frequency and severity of psychological casualties, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide. The continued federalization of the National Guard. Un-Fairness Principle of Un-Shared Sacrifice
All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the farthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations. We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is to great for Allah. - - Osama bin Laden Economic Reality With the cost of the war on terrorism expected to exceed $3 trillion and our economy bordering on collapse, continuing the occupation and escalating the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is economic suicide.
Cause for Hope? Obama does indicate that he will not blindly stay the course... and review whether we are using the right tools and tactics to make progress toward accomplishing our goals. Should benchmarks not be achieved or progress made, Obama will re-evaluate and make appropriate tactical (tool) changes. But there is no indication that he will be prepared to admit that the effort, though noble, is impossible of beyond what we are willing/able to endure/pay in lives and treasure. Obama does not mention the possibility of withdrawing our troops and equipment and just go home.
Some Questions We Need to Ask. How long will we endure failure should we not be successful? Obama warns us that the road ahead will be long and difficult. - -
to squander in pursuit of our goals? How much treasure are we prepared
How many lives are we prepared to sacrifice? The Cost of War
Given the history of unrest and resistance in Afghanistan, the complexity of the problems in the region, the variegated and confused goals to be achieved, ***Are we convinced that our endeavor will not suffer a similar fate to those those who came before us? Is Victory Possible?
The Battle of Kabul and the retreat to Gandamak (First Afghan War, January 1842) The entire force of 690 British soldiers, 2,840 Indian soldiers and 12,000 followers were killed or in a few cases taken prisoner. The 44th Foot lost 22 officers and 645 soldiers, mostly killed. Afghan casualties, largely Ghilzai tribesmen, are unknown. Soviet-Afghan War December 1979 - May1988 Some 160,000 Soviet troops strengthened by 200,000 soldiers of the afghan Communist army was unable to crush the Pashtun/Mujahideen resistence. The Graveyard of Empires 13,310 Soviet soldiers died, 35,478 wounded and 311 are missing.
Are we convinced that President Obama, finding himself embroiled in an unwinnable war, with too much invested in treasure, lives, and reputation to just pick up and walk away, will not share the fate of another Liberal Democratic President whose dreams for a Great Society became mired in the quagmire of endless war. Legacy
For further information on this presentation or to invite VFPLI members to speak to your group or classroom, please contact: Veterans For Peace Long Island Educational Series The Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan Camillo Mac Bica, Ph.D. Coordinator, Veterans For Peace Long Island P.O. Box 3 Commack, NY 11725 631.987.3338 http://www.vfpli.com