President Putin was the first foreign head of state after 9/11 to convey his sincere condolences to President Bush, for the skeptical Soviet veterans of the CIA Ghost War in Afghanistan, it took a suspension of disbelief to consider Al-Qaeda, the OGA’s favorite jihadist outfit in the days of yore, as the main and only perpetrator of this heinous crime against the American people. Without a smoking gun, the official storyline about the true cause of the 9/11 disaster was inconclusive; numerous botched attempts to suppress mounting evidence to the contrary or discredit it as a loony conspiracy theory only further ignited sinister suspicions about ‘an inside job.’
THE PREPAID EXPENDABLES!
In US foreign policy deliberations, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Cold War ‘allies’ were nothing more than pre-paid expendables in a long-distance proxy war of attrition, to be discarded as spent cartridge shells.
by Eugene Khrushchev
Dr. Robert Gates, the top CIA spook who used to be at the helm of the Ghost War against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, in his reincarnation as the DOD chief in 21st century, expressed a reserved regret that the United States had precipitously abandoned Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Right: Gates at the CIA – Earlier Days
It was rather a disingenuous statement: the United States couldn’t have abandoned Afghanistan and Pakistan, because it never had any long-term commitment for this particular duo – before or after the Soviet pull-out.
In US foreign policy deliberations, these Cold War ‘allies’ were nothing more than pre-paid expendables in a long-distance proxy war of attrition, to be discarded as spent cartridge shells.
A glaring display of the cynical approach to bilateral relations and gentlemen agreements – Uncle Sam doesn’t abandon places, it only betrays allies – was a rude awakening to American sidekicks who aspired to be treated as equal and respectable partners.
A generation later, the US of A still hasn’t formulated any comprehensive strategy that wou!ld transcend the patron/client fly-by-night transactional approach.
Small wonder that the post 9/11 re-engagement of Pakistan and Afghanistan by the USA has been met with deep-rooted anti-American resentment in the region.
WILSON’S WAR2 : CHAOSISTAN, BELLUM OMNIUM CONTRA OMNES
In Washington DC an arduous quest to conceptualize chaos theory beyond the realm of mathematics has been at the heart of iconoclastic aspirations to tame entropy in foreign affairs as a sine qua non for the New Global Order, made in the USA for the USA.
Inspired by management consultant guru Tom Peters’ seminal book, “Thriving on Chaos: Handbook for a Management Revolution”, the stewards of US National Security have bestowed upon the world the beta versions of the new foreign policy paradigm: ‘managed chaos’ propagated by Zbigniew Brzezinski, to be followed by another derivative, ‘creative chaos’, attributed to Condi Rice.
The place where the theoretically lofty vision faced the crash test in reality was Afghanistan, with the results falling in full accordance with the law of unintended consequences as the can of worms was yanked wide open without any meaningful idea of how to ‘thrive on’, ‘manage’ or ‘be creative’ about the ghastly content.
When General McChrystal was the US Commander in Afghanistan, in his sales pitch revelation to the Commander in Chief, he deftly coined ‘Chaosistan’ to evoke the terrifying sensation of preordained apocalypse – lest the surge of salvation failed to get authorized.
He should have known better: that’s exactly what ‘the freedom fighters’ turned Afghanistan into – Chaosistan – when they interpreted the US freedom agenda as a free license to kill, kidnap and pillage: anybody, anytime, anywhere.
They claimed to be ‘holy warriors’, the Mujahideen, but their unholy acts of unbridled violence and despicable atrocity against the Muslims of Afghanistan were completely incompatible with the intrinsic notions of Islam and Jihad.
The armed anti-government opposition had a historical opportunity to embark on a path of peace and prosperity for the sake of creating the UAE – Untied Afghan Emirate – as an Islamic alternative to Islamism, socialism, capitalism and all other -isms – admired by everyone, feared by no one.
However, for more than 10 years, under the aegis of the CIA & ISI, with Saudi Arabia financing and Wahhabist indoctrination, the Afghan and Arab recruits in Pakistani boot camps had honed a different type of skill set: insurgency HR management (propaganda, intimidation, torture & assassination), IED product placement (infrastructure destruction & demolition), business development (opium poppy cultivation and drug trafficking) and hit-and-run guerilla tactics.
Afghanistan – Another Day, another Bombing
Left to their own devices, the CIA-sponsored ‘liberators’ happened to be no more than a bunch of rival tribal militias – run by land and drug war-lords – hell-bent on ripping the country into grisly narco fiefdoms.
Ahmad Shah Massoud, the famous Lion of Panjshir, as the spiritual and military leader, was the only patriotic warrior who had the vision and wisdom to save the war-ravaged country from sliding into the abyss of omnivorous anarchy.
But even the revered Hero of Afghanistan didn’t have a silver bullet to reverse the momentum and arrest the excruciating erosion of nationhood or the abrogation of law and order.
WILSON’S WAR3: JIHADISTAN, THE BLOWBACK
Charlie’s Last Words
What was dismissed by the USIA disinformation campaign as Soviet propaganda against noble ‘freedom fighters’ has ricocheted as a self-fulfilling prophecy of the post-mortem Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
The moral decay of the Islamic State of Afghanistan and the rise of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was a sweeping transition from the dollar-driven decadent disorder of rapacious warlords and druglords to the fulminating fundamentalist order of the Taliban.
The common denominator for both regimes, under the guise of the similarly misleading ‘Islamic’ and ‘Mujahideen’ noms de guerre had been their bare-knuckle Islamist and jihadist self-identity, inherently inimical to the puritanical peace-loving preaching of Islam.
Superficially, as the saying goes, ‘All Pashtuns are not the Taliban, but all the Taliban are Pashtuns’. However, the issue is much more complicated than that.
Firstly, the Taliban are not in any way, shape or form a national liberation movement of Pushtunistan. Secondly, the Taliban’s definition has been liberally interpreted and perceived as a generic insurgency against the Karzai regime and the foreign occupation led by the US.
The Taliban is a jihadist network of predominantly Deobandi Pashtuns, including Haqqani and Hekmatyar offshoots, with Salafi / Wahhabi Arab “message force multipliers” on both sides of the Afghan / Pakistani border.
A vestige of the anti-Soviet insurgency betrayed by the CIA, the Taliban were reconstituted and rejuvenated as the ‘veritable arm’ of the ISI to fix the anarchy of American ‘freedom fighters’ and install an Islamabad-friendly government in Kabul.
Even after the UBL declared global jihad against the USA and redeployed Al-Qaeda to Afghanistan to partner the Taliban, Uncle Sam, habitally quick on the draw and trigger-happy, was suddenly playing a slow-mo gun-shy babe in the woods.
Thus, multiple requests by the JSOC for carte blanche to terminate without remorse ‘the clear and present danger’, the CIA’s prodigal asset cut loose, had been effectively stonewalled – that is, until 9/11 hit the USA out of a clear blue sky.
WILSON’S War4:WHEN CHICKENS COME TO ROOST
While President Putin was the first foreign head of state after 9/11 to convey his sincere condolences to President Bush, for the skeptical Soviet veterans of the CIA Ghost War in Afghanistan, it took a suspension of disbelief to consider Al-Qaeda, the OGA’s favorite jihadist outfit in the days of yore, as the main and only perpetrator of this heinous crime against the American people.
Without a smoking gun, the official storyline about the true cause of the 9/11 disaster was inconclusive; numerous botched attempts to suppress mounting evidence to the contrary or discredit it as a loony conspiracy theory only further ignited sinister suspicions about ‘an inside job.’
The 9/11 Commission, hand-picked by the Bush administration, tried to make the CIA and the FBI designated scapegoats for failing to anticipate and prevent the sneak attack on the US homeland.
No doubt, the absence of the US National Security ISR fusion center, excessive compartmentalization and a lack of interoperability between US intelligence, counterintelligence and law enforcement agencies, had effectively neutered the early warning system against imminent threats, whether domestic or foreign in origin.
However, in the broader historical context of US policy making, whatever the federal agencies do or don’t do – R&D of STD/HIV in Africa, LSD in America or narco-insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan – the buck stops right at the White House.
Wilson’s War 1, which was sanctioned by the POTUS and launched by America in 1978 as an anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan by a proxy force from Pakistan, boomeranged with a vengeance as the anti-American jihad, the mutated Wilson’s War 4, launched by the usual suspects against their own master.
Both former and current White House officials have yet to come clean and admit that it was the Machiavellian foreign policy of their own making which triggered a chain of events that led to the 9/11 tragedy.
OPERATION ENDURING FUBAR
The 9/11 tragedy could and should have catalyzed deathbed repentance and soul searching for the US Chief Executive and his predecessors. A collective catharsis at the White House might have revealed that:
- Foreign policy should not be shaped by the exigencies and expediencies of bipartisan internal politics with moral authority and intellectual integrity being swapped for narrow-minded bigotry, messianic exceptionalism and pharisaic duplicity;
- International relations are a much more complicated and enduring endeavor than a linear quarter-mile drag race; therefore, supercharging the Pentagon power plant with trillion-dollar injections is detrimental to US stability and security and will invariably backfire;
- To substitute strategy for tactics is a cardinal sin for any commander in chief; to employ the right tactics for a wrong or nonexistent strategy – winning battles to lose the war – only postpones the inevitable debacle and makes it more expensive and humiliating; to pursue the wrong strategy with the wrong tactics is the worst endgame possible.
- Until that enlightening eventuality comes true, US foreign policy, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan, keeps mangling the wrong thing wrong, dealing with the devil – ‘freedom fighters’ turned jihadists, warlords and druglords – for the sake of spreading chaos as an excuse for establishing a permanent ‘small footprint’ military presence, time and again.
Editing: Jim W. Dean
Writer Eugene Khrushchev is a Veterans Today Editor a retired colonel of the Soviet army.
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