November 20, 2014

India Has An Economic Vision For Afghanistan, Pakistan Only Has Bullets And Bombs To Offer

An excerpt from, "India and Pakistan 'battle' for Afghanistan" by Shamil Shams, DW, November 19, 2014:
"There is nothing new about Pakistan's Afghanistan policy though. The country's military and civil establishment, analysts say, still consider the Taliban an important strategic ally, who they think should be part of the Afghan government after the NATO pullout. Observers say that the Pakistani military hopes to regain the influence in Kabul it once enjoyed before the United States and its allies toppled the pro-Pakistan Taliban government in 2001.

"Kabul is friendlier towards New Delhi now, whereas Islamabad continues to back the Taliban, as now officially admitted by Sartaj Aziz. Pakistan wishes to change this scenario and turn Afghanistan into its political backyard once again," London-based journalist and researcher Farooq Sulehria told DW."

Matt Waldman, a researcher on the Afghanistan conflict at Harvard University, believes that Pakistan won't relinquish its support for the Taliban until the regional dynamics undergo a transformation. "The evidence indicates that the Pakistan hasn't fundamentally changed its Afghanistan policy," Waldman told DW.

Siegfried O. Wolf, a political science expert at Heidelberg University, is of the same view. He told DW that he was convinced that several elements within the Pakistan security apparatus still believe that the Taliban could be used as a strategic tool to counter Indian presence in Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, New Delhi announced a two billion USD aid package for Afghanistan - the biggest India has ever given to another country.

While India has been active in rebuilding Afghanistan since 2001, Pakistan's role has been negligible in this regard, says Sulehria. "By backing the Taliban, Islamabad has contributed to the country's destruction. I frequently visit Kabul and I can say that Pakistan is very unpopular in Afghanistan. Sadly, Islamabad is not ready to change course," the expert added.
An excerpt from a speech by Indian diplomat G. Parthasarathy at the "2013 Securing Asia conference":
So what have we done? We've come to a basic conclusion. We want to integrate Afghanistan with the rest of South Asia, to provide access of South Asia to Central Asia, and to be a developmental partner of South Asia. What we're looking at within South Asia is a free trade area ranging from Kabul to Dhaka and Colombo, and externally westwards to the Maldives, to link up with India's larger policy of a free trade area extending through Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and up to Japan, an integrated market from Manila to Kabul. That is a vision which is the only way forward, not at looking at Kabul and Afghanistan isolated in a South Asia, India-Pakistan context."

November 18, 2014

Former Top NATO Official General Harald Kujat: Turkey Wants To Drag NATO Into Syria

"General Harald Kujat (born 1 March 1942) is a retired German general officer of the Luftwaffe. He served as Chief of Staff of the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, from 2000 to 2002, and as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 2002 to 2005" (Wikipedia).

"Turkey basically wants to drag NATO into this situation because the actual goal of Turkey is to neutralize Assad. And if a war broke out in Syria, then Turkey would of course take the opportunity. But alone it's too weak for that. That's the situation we are currently in. And therefore ISIS's actions and what's happening to the Kurds are subsidiary. It isn't in accordance with Turkey's geostrategic goals.

And it has to be clearly said that an ally who behaves like this doesn't deserve the protection of this alliance, an ally who doesn't intervene for protection in a such tragic situation doesn't deserve protection himself. And that's why I am very skeptical towards the mutual defense clause. Even if Turkey would provoke it, I doubt that NATO would be willing to declare the mutual defense clause in such a situation." - General Harald Kujat.  

Turkey wants to drag NATO into Syria. Source: MiddlEast Videos. Date Published: November 18, 2014.

Will ISIS Ever Get Its Hands on Battlefield Nukes?

"President Obama has been unwavering and definitive in declaring he will not deploy U.S. ground troops into combat to fight ISIS militants. Period.

But for the first time since the start of then anti-ISIS offensive dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve, the president volunteered a scenario which he said would change his mind.

“If we discovered that [ISIS] had gotten possession of a nuclear weapon, and we had to run an operation to get it out of their hands, then, yes,” the president told reporters at a news conference in Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday. “I would order it.”

There is no indication that ISIS currently possesses or could easily obtain a nuclear weapon, officials say.

Still, Obama’s declaration of a nuclear weapon in the hands of ISIS is a noteworthy new “red line” – and a very high bar for a U.S. offensive role on the ground." - Devin Dwyer, "Obama 'Would Order' US Troops Into Combat If ISIS Got Nuclear Weapon" ABC News, November 17, 2014.
President Obama would be a madman not to order soldiers to get nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, whether they be ISIS or anyone else. That's pretty much a no-brainer. Every person on the planet, from the Ayatollah to that Duck Dynasty dude, would stand behind him if an Islamist terrorist group ever got nukes.

But ISIS with nukes? That's not going to happen.

The greatest danger of nuclear weapons going missing and ending up in the hands of Islamist militants is not in Iraq and Syria, but in Pakistan. And the chances of that happening are below one percent. Never say never, as they say, but, still, it won't happen under the watch of the greedy generals in Pakistan. The Pakistani military knows its legitimacy will be finished if its ill-gotten nukes are ever stolen by Islamist terrorists. Their survival depends on their nukes staying secure.

Jihadis are too stupid to successfully steal nukes from Pakistan. The only way Pakistan's nukes end up in the hands of a radical terrorist group is if the Mossad or Blackwater or the CIA steal those nukes in a secret operation and hand them over to their chosen terrorists. They will then instruct them to pose with the nukes in propaganda videos, threaten Israel and the West, and shout and scream in the name of Jihad. They will then use this event to scare the bejesus out of the world, blame Pakistan for the nukes falling into the hands of terrorists, and advance their various political aims.

Of course, the chosen terrorists will never use the nukes on anyone because Washington and Tel Aviv will be in direct control of them from behind the scenes throughout the duration of the propaganda show.

But the threat will be there, and much of the world will believe it, at least for the time necessary for the CIA and Mossad to accomplish their goals. And if you think the Mossad and CIA are not diabolical or clever enough to pull off such a crazy trick then just look at their history. They do out of the box shit and make it look normal. Stealing Pakistan's nukes and handing them over to their chosen terrorists who will then use the nuclear platform to threaten Israel and the West will be another propaganda masterstroke for these evil bastards.

Caspian Report: Feasibility of the US strategy against ISIS

Video Title: Feasibility of the US strategy against ISIS. Source: Caspian Report. Date Published: November 17, 2014. Description:
Back in the month of September the American President, Barack Obama, said that the US intends to destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS for short. Obama managed to assemble an impressive coalition against ISIS, including countries such as France, Germany, the UK and even Saudi Arabia. But at the same time the coalition lacks certain key players. Notably Iran and Turkey. Furthermore the coalition’s military interventions are limited to airstrikes. So just how feasible is the military intervention against ISIS. And what will put an end to the transnational jihadist threat.

Indian Analyst To Pakistani Admiral On Indian TV: "Your army is the cause of all your problems"

The video below is from a program called, "The Newshour Debate" that airs daily on the Indian TV channel "Times Now." The host is Arnab Goswami.

On November 4, 2014, the show featured Indian and Pakistani military guests and revolved around the recent Pentagon report that charged Pakistan of using terrorist proxy forces in India and Afghanistan.

An excerpt from the video:
"Admiral, first point, the Americans were peeved with you because all of the money they were pouring in wasn't going into your society, but it was going into the coffers of your army, which was becoming fatter and fatter with the dollars and investing in institutions that were feeding your generals. You being a part of the establishment will know how that works. 

You are also talking about the fact that America has turned time to time for and against Pakistan. But it's a given fact of history that Pakistanis have always relied on three As: Allah, the Army, and the Americans. One of the As now has abandoned you. At the rate you are going you have to get real, sir, you have to get real and address the internal problems. Your army, Admiral, is the cause of all your problems, and the army's obsession of using terror groups and proxy warriors to further your agenda is something which you have to get them to address." - Mahroof Raza, Strategic Affairs Analyst, addressing Pakistani Admiral Javed Iqbal.
The Newshour Debate: Pentagon Nails Pakistan - Part 2 (4th Nov 2014). Source: TheNewshourDebate. Date Published: November 4, 2014. Description:
In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi, National Spokesperson , BJP& Political Advisor to Rajnath Singh; Mahroof Raza, Strategic Affairs Analyst; Col (Retd) RSN Singh, Former RAW Officer; Admiral Javed Iqbal, Defense Anlayst; Mayed Ali Khan, Chief Reporter, The News; Air Vice Marshall (Retd) Abid Rao, Defence Analyst -- discuss whether it is time to declare Pakistan a terrorist state.

November 17, 2014

Conversation: Examining China's Presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan

An excerpt from, "United States praises China's growing role in Afghanistan" Reuters, October 30, 2014:
The United States welcomed China's growing role in trying to ensure Afghanistan's stability on Thursday, saying a Beijing conference of foreign ministers on Afghan reconstruction this week shows its commitment to the region as Western troops pull out.

The comments, made by a senior State Department official, are rare U.S. praise for Beijing, which this week hosts Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on his first visit abroad since assuming office in September.

"China's view of engaging in Afghanistan over the course of these past few years has really changed significantly, and in our view, in a very positive direction," the official told reporters during a telephone briefing.

On Friday, foreign ministers from Asian and Central Asian countries will gather in Beijing for a fourth round "Istanbul Process" conference on Afghanistan, which China hopes will help boost development and security there. White House counsellor John Podesta will attend the meeting.

"It's a real demonstration of China's commitment to Afghanistan, to its role in the region and one that we greatly welcome," the official said.
An excerpt from, "China emerges as a key player in Afghanistan" by Tom Hussain, The National, November 17, 2014:
That is why China’s recent offer to facilitate a dialogue seeking peace and political reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban ought not to be thought of as a diplomatic punt, or dismissed out of hand as such. China is not a country that tends to thrust itself into complicated diplomatic situations as an arbiter. It would not have become involved unless the key players had asked it to, and assured it that they would act in good faith.

The origin of the idea is a mystery, but Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, set the diplomatic ball rolling in September by asking Saudi Arabia and then China to facilitate a reconciliation with Pakistan.

He acted intelligently by engaging couriers who are close allies of Pakistan. That sparked a parade of Pakistani officials to and from Kabul, with the powerful Pakistan military assuming the lead role in the bilateral re-engagement – a necessary demonstration of political will. As the international lead actor in Afghanistan, the US, too, has signalled its approval through secretary of state John Kerry.

The intense diplomatic activity culminated in Mr Ghani’s state visit to Islamabad on Friday and Saturday, and an agreement to work together to resolve their bilateral disputes and prevent an implosion in Afghanistan by politically engaging the Taliban.

That’s where China comes in. Its ambitions in Afghanistan are limited, clearly stated and rooted in its desire for stability on its western borders. As such, China has never been part of the problem, and is seen as neutral.
Video Title: Conversation: Examining China's Presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Source: STRATFORvideo. Date Published: November 17, 2014. Description:
Stratfor Analysts Rodger Baker and Kamran Bokhari discuss the foreign policy challenges that lay ahead for China in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the US winds down its engagement in the region.

How Pakistan Blackmails Uncle Sam With Nukes

Below is an excerpt from author C. Christine Fair's lecture about Pakistan's army at The Institute of World Politics on July 28, 2014.
"I argue in the book that if you sort of look at the temerity, the brazenness of Pakistan's use of these non-state actors, if they're plotted out, it very much aligns with the trajectory of Pakistan's expanding nuclear umbrella. So what does this mean for U.S. policymakers? It's hard for me to be incredibly optimistic about this place. As the power differentials between India and Pakistan continue to expand, Pakistan is even less capable of achieving its aims conventionally. In other words, Pakistan's non-conventional assets, Jihad and the nuclear umbrella, become ever more important. If you have any doubt about that I encourage you to look at Pakistan's pursuit of tactical nuclear weapons, what they actually call battlefield nuclear weapons.

This is actually a pretty genius strategy because are not only Pakistan's nuclear weapons intended to coerce India, they're also intended to coerce us. So, whenever there is a terrorist attack launched in India by a Pakistan proxy we call up the Indians, 'please don't do anything, please don't escalate, Pakistan is going to go crazy.' So, we actually sit on the Indians, and this is an important part of Pakistan's strategy because it shields them from baring the full cost of their policies, because we're basically giving the Indians an out from escalating by us putting pressure on them. The Pakistanis know that as long as they have this spectre of the Islamist barbarians at the nuclear gate we are never going to leave with our checkbook, which I think explains why we continue to put up with persistent outrages from the Pakistanis, because at the end of the day, we really are too afraid to let go.

So the Pakistanis know that we know that when these weapons are in their garrisons, they're fairly safe, but when there is a conflict, they're assembled, they're mated to their delivery mechanisms and they're forward deployed. And this is how they are able to suck the Americans into this conflict cycle. If there are no nuclear weapons, why do we care? The Indians would've just trounced Pakistan a long time ago. But we're worried when these things are forward deployed that's when they're vulnerable to theft. And if you've been looking at the various episodes where the Pakistani military has been targeted, relatively low-ranking officers are able to provide really important information.
So we're very worried about this, and they know we're very worried about this. The introduction of battlefield nuclear weapons shortens the timeline that they can get us all wrapped up into a swivet. So, they're very clever in how they use their nuclear weapons not only to coerce the Indians, and to raise the cost of any sort of punitive counter-measures developed against the Pakistanis, they also use them to coerce us to stay and continue writing the cheques." - C. Christine Fair [49:49 - 52:49 in this video].