Asif Haroon Raja |
America’s continued presence in Afghanistan as well as its increasingly aggressive “creep” over the Afghan-Pakistani border has been justified under the ambiguous and omnipresent threat of “terrorism.” In reality, the true goal is to contain the rise of China and other emerging economies using the pretense of “terrorism.”
China’s One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) project and particularly the fast developing CPEC has unnerved both the USA and India and has become one of the compelling reasons for the US to extend its stay in Afghanistan. The US is also making concerted efforts to make India the key player in Afghanistan.
2018 will be a crucial year for USA, China and Russia rearing to undercut each other, while Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran will have to remain vigilant to avoid getting trampled under the feet of prancing elephants.
The Pakistan-China ever growing strategic relationship in the wake of $62 billion worth CPEC, and China’s commitment to build Gwadar Seaport, with another port at Jeewani, possibly as a Naval Port, as well as dams, roads, nuclear plants, and military technology, are giving nightmares to US and India. The only card, the USA seems to have left in its hand to counter this growing relationship, is threats of destabilization, the subsequent stripping of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, and Pakistan’s Balkanization into smaller, feeble states. The option is scandalous and reveals the absolute depths of depravity from which the imperialist powers suffer from.
It is quite clear that the “War on Terror” is now a pretense and ostensibly to pursue a policy of regional hegemony with the express goal of containing China. This in turn, is part of a greater strategy covered in the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute report “String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China’s Rising Power across the Asian Littoral.”
Read more: The US failed Afghan policy – part 2
The corporate-financier oligarchs obsessed with their money game are quite willing to destabilize Pakistan, and risk war with nuclear overtones, and a possible confrontation with China and Russia. These hawkish oligarchs, within Trump’s administration, American-Jewish lobby, Israel, India and the puppet regime in Kabul are all egging on Donald Trump to strike Pakistan and he seems to be dancing to their tunes.
Hope of making India the policeman of the region is dimming. Middle East will remain in turmoil. North Korea, Iran and now Pakistan are not getting intimidated by the US bullying tactics and are determined to face the intimidator.
Since August 22, 2017, he and senior US leaders have adopted a highly belligerent posture against Pakistan. Series of threatening statements have been issued and Pakistan put on notice. Pakistan’s response that it has done enough and will not do any more, and that it is now the turn of USA and Afghanistan to do more is rational and logical.
It has rightly rejected the US paltry aid, stressing it needs respect and acknowledgement of its sacrifices, and adding that it can keep fighting terrorism at its own expense without American assistance. Pakistan has discontinued military cooperation and intelligence sharing with USA, and has other effective options to exercise in case the US opts for a unilateral punitive action.
Pakistan’s principled stance seem to have mellowed down the jingoism of hawks in USA and they have started giving reconciliatory feelers. Several top US military and civil leaders have sent messages assuring Pakistan that the US has no plan to carry out any unilateral military action and that it wants to continue working with Pakistan to combat terrorism and restore peace in Afghanistan. This stick and carrot policy is an old one but objectives of USA against Pakistan remain unchanged.
Asia-Pacific strategy coined by Obama has been abandoned by Trump as he has the Trans-Pacific-Partnership, while the new Indo-Pacific policy still stands on slippery ground. The reputation of NATO stands tarnished, the unity regime in Kabul and ANSF have become liabilities for USA.
China and Russia are asserting themselves as security and economic alternatives to the US unilateralism, this is important since the former two are ascending powers and the USA is a descending power. Europe is lost in its own problems, grappling with economic challenges. The Muslim world hate the interventionism of the USA and Israel, while an increasing majority of Americans consider Trump to be insane. The US is stuck in Ukraine and Syria, but it is Afghanistan that is fast turning into a graveyard for USA.
With its prestige badly soiled, the US is scapegoating Pakistan to hide its blunders. With no exit strategy, it is foolishly hoping that Pakistan will fight its war and convert its defeat into victory. Asia-Pacific strategy coined by Obama has been abandoned by Trump as he has the Trans-Pacific-Partnership, while the new Indo-Pacific policy still stands on slippery ground. The reputation of NATO stands tarnished, the unity regime in Kabul and ANSF have become liabilities for USA. Hope of making India the policeman of the region is dimming.
Middle East will remain in turmoil. North Korea, Iran and now Pakistan are not getting intimidated by the US bullying tactics and are determined to face the intimidator. 2018 will be a crucial year for USA, China and Russia rearing to undercut each other, while Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran will have to remain vigilant to avoid getting trampled under the feet of prancing elephants.
The writer is a retired Brig Gen, a war veteran, defense and security analyst, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. Takes part in TV talk shows, delivers talks and take part in seminars. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.