Thursday, September 22, 2011

U.S. has lost the war in Afghanistan because of its own failings, scapegoating Pakistan is an easy way out.

Ten years on, U.S. is failing miserably in Afghanistan. Not because it does not have the resources, the manpower or finances (well finances they no longer have), but because of its arrogance and lack of direction.

From day one it played in the hands of minority Northern Alliance, against majority Pashtuns. This was a disastrous policy and it has taken U.S. nine years to reluctantly begin to realize the folly.

According to former CIA officials Osama bin Laden was within sight and earshot and could have been finished off at Tora Bora, but he was deliberately allowed to escape, perhaps Iraq war was already on the agenda for the bunch of war criminals led by George W. Bush. The Afghan war could have ended within six months and the trillions of dollars that have been wasted over ten years bankrupting the U.S. could have been saved. Why does the Congress not investigate this, rather than waste time on meaningless partisan bickering?

However despicable the Taliban's domestic policy and attitude towards women, they did not attack the United States. By making them its enemy, U.S. took on a well armed group that does not fear for life. U.S. was advised time and again to negotiate with Taliban to bring the war to an end. But with its military might, how could a super power like U.S. negotiate with a bunch of rag tag warriors? This is exactly how the Vietnam war was lost and this is how the Afghan is now being lost.

It has taken U.S. ten years to start a dialogue but only with Taliban of choice. This is too little too late. Had a proper dialogue been undertaken nine, eight, seven or even five years ago, Taliban may have been ready to talk peace. Now they know that U.S. is beat and ready to quit, they may not be keen on a dialogue.

To blame Pakistan for the attack on U.S. Embassy in Kabul is preposterous. U.S. still cannot see reality in the face and to heap the blame on Pakistan is an easy way out. However, it is time for U.S. to admit its failure and utilize Pakistan's help to start a meaningful and a conclusive dialogue with all Afghan factions so as to hand over Afghanistan to Afghans, sooner rather than later.

Ten years of U.S. war has ravaged that miserable country. The alleged war crimes committed by U.S. forces and contractors at Bagram prison are probably far worse than Abu Ghuraib, only this time a lid has been kept on them so information has not leaked out. Hopefully one day, the U.S. military generals and policy makers will be hauled before the International Criminal Court to face their come uppance.

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