US war against Pakistan?

Instead of intimidating the pro-Taliban Pakistani Pashtuns, limited US air strikes flown from secret US bases inside Pakistan have ignited a firestorm of anti-western fury among FATA’s warlike tribesmen and all Pakistanis are now united in their opposition to any US strikes into their nation and enraged at the United States for supporting dictator Pervez Musharraf. In doing this, the US still emulates Britain’s colonial divide and rule policy by offering up to $500,000 to local Pashtun tribal leaders to get them fight pro-Taliban elements. However the big question still looms large over the horizon in Pakistani borderlands. Will these old colonial tactics succeed in today’s world as well??





by Eric Margolis


The killing of 11 Pakistani soldiers by US air strikes last week showed that the American-led war in Afghanistan is relentlessly spreading into Pakistan, one of America’s oldest, most faithful allies.

Pakistan’s military branded the air attack “unprovoked and cowardly.” However, the unstable government in Islamabad, led by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which depends on large infusions of US aid, later softened its protests. This is in good part because the PPP leader, Asif Zardari, is being shielded from judicial corruption investigations through a quiet deal with President Pervez Musharraf  and Washington to thwart reinstatement of Pakistan’s ousted supreme court justices.

The US, which used a B-1 heavy bomber and F-15 strike aircraft in the attacks, called its action, “self-defense.”

What actually happened on the wild Pakistan-Afghanistan border remains murky. But there are reports that US and Pakistani troops engaged in a direct clash and heavy firefight that was ended by the American bombing.

In recent months, US aircraft, Predator hunter-killer drones, US Special Forces and CIA teams have been launching attacks inside Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Afghan border. The Pashtun tribes inhabiting this traditionally autonomous mountain region are ardent supporters of their fellow Afghan Pashtuns who form the core of Taliban and reject the current Afghan-Pakistan border, known as the Durand Line, as an artificial creation of British imperialism – which it undeniably was.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been openly advocating major ground and air attacks by US forces into Pakistan. American neoconservatives have been denouncing Pakistan as a “rogue state” and a “sponsor of international terrorism,” and are calling for US air and missile strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and reactors.

But instead of intimidating the pro-Taliban Pakistani Pashtun, limited US air strikes flown from secret US bases inside Pakistan have ignited a firestorm of anti-western fury among FATA’s warlike tribesmen and increased their support for Taliban. Pakistanis are united in their opposition to any US strikes into their nation and enraged at the United States for supporting dictator Pervez Musharraf.

The US is emulating Britain’s colonial divide and rule tactics by offering up to $500,000 to local Pashtun tribal leaders to get them to fight pro-Taliban elements, causing more chaos in the already turbulent region, and stoking old tribal rivalries. The US is using this same tactic in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This week’s deadly US attacks pointedly again illustrate the fact that the 60,000 US and NATO ground troops in Afghanistan are incapable of even holding off Taliban and its allies, even though the Afghan resistance has nothing but small arms to battle the west’s high-tech arsenal. Further evidence was supplied by an audacious Taliban raid on Kandahar prison, which liberated 450-500 Taliban prisoners and humiliated Canadian and NATO forces policing the region.

US air power is almost always called in when there are clashes with Taliban or other anti-western forces. In fact, US and NATO infantry’s main function is to draw Taliban into battle so the Afghan mujahidin can be bombed from the air.

Without the round the clock overhead presence of US airpower, which can respond in minutes, western forces in Afghanistan would risk being isolated, cut off from supplies, and defeated. A sizeable portion of NATO manpower in Afghanistan already goes to defending bases and supply depots. However, NATO’s long supply lines that bring in fuel, food, and ammunition across FATA from US-run bases in Pakistan are increasingly under attack. Forty giant fuel tankers were recently destroyed at the Torkham border crossing.


But these deadly air strikes, as we have seen in recent weeks, are blunt instruments. Guerilla wars are all about controlling civilian populations. The US air attacks often kill as many or even more civilians than Taliban fighters. Dead civilians are routinely described away as “suspected Taliban fighters.”

Mighty US B-1 heavy bombers are not going to win the hearts and minds of Afghans. Each bombed village and massacred caravan wins new recruits to Taliban and its allies.

Now, the US and its NATO allies are edging ever closer to open warfare against Pakistan at a time when they are unable to defeat Taliban fighters inside Afghanistan due to lack of combat troops. The outgoing commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, US Gen. Dan McNeill, recently admitted he would need 400,000 soldiers to pacify that nation. The US and NATO have a combined force of around 60,000 troops in Afghanistan.

“We just need to occupy Pakistan’s tribal territory,” insists the Pentagon, “to stop its Pashtun tribes from supporting and sheltering Taliban, and shut down Taliban bases there.” US commanders in Vietnam used the same faulty reasoning to justify their counterproductive expansion of the Indochina War into Cambodia.

A US-led invasion of FATA, as urged by Secretary Gates, will simply push pro-Taliban Pashtun militants further into Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier province, drawing overextended western troops ever deeper into Pakistan and making their supply lines all the more vulnerable. Already overextended western forces will be stretched even thinner and clashes with Pakistan’s tough regular army may become inevitable.

Widening the Afghan War into Pakistan is military stupidity on a grand scale and political madness. It could very well end up a bigger disaster than Iraq. But Washington and its obedient allies seem hell-bent on charging into a wider regional war that no number of heavy bombers will win.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.



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8 replies to “US war against Pakistan?

  1. There apparently are no easy solutions there.

    It seems that the new US president is open to exploring all available options or so it appears, at least, from the appointment of Richard Holbrooke as special envoy.

    I think that the US launching an all-out war against Pakistan is a very remote possibility.

    1. The step taken by President Obama is in the right direction; however, the ultimate solution to problem of Afghanistan would be a dialogue till the end. Till now US tried its utmost to win the war in Afghanistan by force but unfortunately she hasn’t succeeded in its endeavor. On the other hand the discontent amongst Afghans (majority of whom think NATO forces as an occupation army) do not provide the support which a civilian population provides the armed forces to bring the war to its logical end. Due to their vested interests, the Bush lobby and the neocons made the US to land in the same “daldal” which at one time made the Soviets send their forces into Afghanistan.
      At the moment the best thing to do is to find a solution to Afghan problem through a dialogue. War should be the last resort. Unfortunately Bush administration took war as the first preference to solve issues like Iraq and Afghanistan. After their failure to achieve their purpose there, it now wants to try this solution in Pakistan as well.
      The problem is highly complicated in Afghanistan and FATA area of Pakistan. Unfortunately an element of extreme interpretation of Islam is another irritant which have made the whole situation a mess of every thing.

    1. Time will tell who will ultimately be tucked, sucked or bugged by whom. I think all actors on the AFPAK theater of war, the Pakistani Taliban, Zardari Government, Uncle Sam and his allies including India & the west are underestimating the war on one hand and overestimating themselves on the other hand.

      Ye tamasha dikhayay ga kiya kiya scene,
      Parda uthnay ki muntazir hae nigah

  2. Who is over or under estimating is not the question required to be answered in the present scenario of Afghan war.The fact is that world can not afford the defeat of allied foces in the hand of Jehadee forces and hence more resistance will allow the use of more lethal or even dirty bomb for the mass eradication of redical Islami forces and jehadee.

  3. America will be destroyed.
    obama murderers of children in Palestine
    Death to Israel
    Death to Israel
    Death to Israel
    Death to Israel
    Death to Israel
    They are Hitler’s family
    They are Hitler’s family
    They are Hitler’s family

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