US take great risk in confronting strong, nuclear-armed Pakistan

ISLAMABAD:  In military terms, Donald Trump’s long-awaited newly-announced Afghanistan strategy looks very much like the old ones, which all resulted in complete failures, costing precious lives of the American soldiers and increasing the number of widows and orphaned children in the United States of America.

The US policies have wreaked havoc in the countries, wherever it sent its armed forces. “On the diplomatic front, he has taken a great risk in confronting strong, nuclear-armed Pakistan,” warns French media.

Trump‘s predecessor Barack Obama risked triggering a breakdown in the long US alliance with Islamabad when, without forewarning, he sent commandos into Pakistan in 2011 to kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.  Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are badly mistaken if they think that the US newly laid-out strategy to win the United States longest war, could increase pressure on Pakistan. Of course, Washington may hope in vain, but it does not come without risk of triggering a breakdown in the long US alliance with Islamabad.

Harsh US measures could provoke Pakistan and, if the government feels its Cold War-vintage pact with America is under threat, it could turn towards China, which has already come out in defense of Pakistan in the wake of Trump’s speech. And, much more than the implied threat to cut military aid to Pakistan, Trump’s request that India play a greater role in stabilizing Afghanistan has already been rejected by New Delhi.

The US experts agree, Pakistan is unlikely to step up its support for the Haqqani extremist group and the Afghan Taliban if that would mean the collapse of the Kabul government and driving out US troops. Instead, despite some of his more vainglorious rhetoric, Trump s revamped strategy could lay the basis for dealing with Afghanistan as a long-term chronic problem rather than an imminent threat. James Jeffrey, a fellow of the Washington Institute and former senior national security adviser to the George W. Bush White House, said: “There’s really no way to pressure Pakistan.” Pakistan has made the decision that keeping Kabul out of India s orbit is more important that clamping down on cross-border militancy and cutting aid would only be counterproductive, he argues.

Beyond Afghanistan, the United States has an interest in preventing Pakistan from going to war with India or collapsing and allowing its government or nuclear weapons to fall into the hands of extremists. And, while the US footprint is smaller now that it was at the height of the occupation, its forces still need access to Pakistani supply lines and airspace.

“There s really very little we can do,” Jeffrey said. “To cut all aid or, even more dramatically, to start striking the Haqqani network and all that … doesn’t guarantee that they’ll do what we say.” But Pakistan also has no interest in driving the United States out, and Jeffrey saw Monday’s speech as confirmation that Trump has come around to the idea of a strategy of “long-term containment.” “Other than the unfortunate reference to winning there – that’s something that nobody can promise because no one can achieve it — I think that this is basically sensible strategy,” he said.

By encouraging Indian involvement in Afghanistan, the US must be careful not to step on Pakistani toes.After 16 years of war, it is hard not to be skeptical about Trump’s chances of success. Seth Jones, a former senior Pentagon official and now director of RAND Corporation’s International Security and Defense Policy Center, sees room for a more stable future with a better balance of power. “Pakistan certainly doesn’t want Afghanistan to collapse and nor do they want an Afghan government that is strongly and closely tied to New Delhi,” he said. “I think what they’d like is a relatively stable Afghanistan, and one whose government — and some of the tribal and sub-tribal actors near the border — have at least decent relations with Islamabad.” And key to all of this, all experts agree, is that the US military remain in Afghanistan for the long haul.

The United States has invaded 21 countries since WW II. It has overthrown democracies in favor of brutal dictators. The United States complains about Russia interfering in its elections but, the United States has interfered in the elections of its own ally, Australia as revealed by the Falcon and the Snowman. The US invaded Southeast Asia killing millions. They set up a puppet regime in South Vietnam to excuse this invasion.

The U.S. government sells its military to the people as a peacemaker, an army of do-gooders defending the weak against the bullies. This is an extremely cynical and disrespectful kind of rhetoric aimed at the American people. The world knows better. Ronald Reagan even named a new generation of MIRV nuclear missile as “Peacekeeper”. That’s like calling an executioner, pain reliever. Her continuous involvement in several nations’ internal affairs, for example Vietnam, Iraq led to destabilization of those countries and those areas, and hence became more prone to violence and war.

Has all this been the work of the US last few Presidents, a willing Congress and a media? Do they decide whether a “war” is good or not based upon who is in the Whitehouse? The US governments destroyed peace by sending a portion of their population to war. At times the US wants all countries to be all democratic, at another time they want energy resources oil and other minerals. It is not the American people that are at fault, it is the fault of the military industrial war complex that desperately uses the technology. The population has little to say in the matter. Wars cause poverty and hardship. Why the US leaders are reluctant to accept this?