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Books and Documents

War on Terror

With an eye on his re-election prospects, the Trump administration is in haste to reach a peace deal with the Taliban. Reminiscent of the Vietnam negotiations, the US, ostensibly trying to save the remnants of the Kabul regime...

 

The increasing spate of attacks in Afghanistan by the Taliban once again highlights the grim security situation and extremist group’s true intentions, amid the seventh round of peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in Qatar....

 

 “I call it [Afghanistan] the Harvard of terrorists.” Harvard University is the pride of the USA, and wished-for destinations of scholars. Rationale for bracketing it with terrorism evades common sense....

 

The six rounds of peace talks have yielded a tentative “draft agreement” on two issues: first, Taliban’s primary concern with withdrawal of “Foreign Forces”; and second, on assurances that Afghan territory will not become a base for use by international terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda (AQ) and the Islamic State (IS), to hurt the US or any other country....

 
Understanding NATO, Ending War
Understanding NATO, Ending War
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

‘The US military empire stands on hundreds of years of colonial exploitation and continues to support repressive, exploitative governments that cooperate with global capital’s imperial agenda. Governments that accept external capital investment, whereby a small segment of a country’s elite benefits, do so knowing that capital inevitably requires a return on investment that entails using up resources and people for economic gain….

More uncomfortable still is that the Bush administration used WMDs as a cover, with equal parts fear-mongering and strategic misrepresentation - lying - to exact the desired political effect. Indeed, some US economists consider the notion that the Bush administration deliberately misled the country and the globe into war in Iraq to be a "conspiracy theory", on par with beliefs that President Barack Obama was born outside the US or that the Holocaust did not occur....

The need for a negotiated resolution of the Afghanistan conundrum was also felt by President Barak Obama after the failure of his ‘troop surge’ but he wanted to bulldoze a settlement on the USA terms. The candidate Donald Trump shared the disgust of his predecessor about the US involvement in the unnecessary wars of the Middle East...

 

In the name of the war on terror in countries like Somalia, diplomatic activities, aid, and support for human rights have dwindled in favour of an ever more militarized American stance. ...

 

Mr. Baradar’s release and his subsequent elevation as the chief negotiator have raised hopes that Pakistan’s attitude to the peace process and its military’s antipathy to the Taliban leaders seeking peace has clearly changed...

 

Robert Bowers, a white supremacist stormed into the synagogue during Sabbath and fired upon innocent men, women, and children attending religious services, killing 11 and wounding 5. The shooting took place during a bris, a baby naming ceremony....

 
The War in Afghanistan Continues
Ajit Kumar Singh
The War in Afghanistan Continues
Ajit Kumar Singh

In August 20, 2018, two unnamed Taliban ‘commanders’ responded with the statement that their supreme leader Sheikh-ul-Hadith Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada had rejected the offer on the grounds that it too would only help the American-led mission. One of the ‘commanders’ added, “Our leadership feels that they [US] will prolong their stay in Afghanistan if we announced a ceasefire now.” They also asserted that the outfit would persist with their attacks....

 

For starters, Saxton retired almost a decade ago, but the Taliban, despite being “defeated” way back when, didn’t do the same. Today, they contest for or control about 44% of Afghanistan. That country also hosts many more terror groups -- 20 in all -- than it did 12 years ago. “Vicious Iraqi dictator” Saddam Hussein is, of course, still dead and gone, but in 2014, about a third of “the new, democratic Iraq” was overrun by Islamic State militants. The country was only re-liberated in late 2017 and the Islamic State is already making a comeback there this year....

 

Already, with the exit of Hamid Karzai, the strategic comfort that New Delhi had in Kabul stands diminished, and by extension, the kind of intelligence operations New Delhi may have had the option to conduct with deniability. Pakistan’s aim will be to reverse all the gains India has made at great cost over the years in Afghanistan. With strategic depth in Afghanistan that Pakistan has dreamt of becoming a reality, Islamabad will have more room to incubate and move around the various anti-India groupings...

 
Lessons from Iraq
Abdul Sattar

Since people in the West, especially Americans, have failed to rein in their ruling elite, they have opened more fronts to wreak death and destruction. Western-sponsored Jihadis have imposed a war on Syria that killed over 500,000 people, turning 11 million people into refugees and leaving 13.5 million at the mercy of humanitarian assistance. The war also cost $226 billion to the Syrian economy. The policy of the Western ruling elite didn’t just bring destruction to Syria but also affected Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Egypt and several parts of the world....

 

The likeliest outcome may be allowing the status quo to continue, even as all sides suffer under rising violence. Neither the government nor the Taliban are strong enough to retake control. Outside actors like the United States and Pakistan may be unable to impose their vision of victory, but they can forestall losing indefinitely....

 
ISIS: Relocating in Afghanistan
Dr Huma Baqai
ISIS: Relocating in Afghanistan
Dr Huma Baqai

If this is true, it is a disaster for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pitching one evil against another only complicates the conflict matrix and resolves nothing. Pakistan as is has serious concerns, with regard to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and patronization of Balochistan militants against it from Afghanistan territory....

 
The Ever-Expanding War on Terror
Ivan Eland
The Ever-Expanding War on Terror
Ivan Eland

The war on terror failed long ago during the George W. Bush administration; expanding it both on paper and in the field may look tough, but it’s just doubling down on a dubiously counterproductive policy....

 
Bangladesh's ‘War On Terror’ May Not End Any Time Soon
S. Binodkumar Singh
Bangladesh's ‘War On Terror’ May Not End Any Time Soon
S. Binodkumar Singh

The Sheikh Hasina Government hardened its resolve to root out terrorism from Bangladesh after the country suffered its worst terrorist attack on July 1, 2016. It has demonstrated the efficacy of determined and relentless action against terrorist formations over the past year and more. However, as terrorists adapt, exploiting new technologies and new tactics, the challenge is kept alive. Bangladesh's "war on terror" may not end any time soon….

 

So why then would the ICC bother to set up such a probe into Afghanistan? The answer is simply to salvage much-needed credibility for the court. Because of its lop-sided focus in prosecuting African leaders, the ICC has come under fire from African members for “double standards” and serving as a neo-colonial instrument for Western powers....

 

History is written by the victors, after all, and if myths about the Afghan civil war don't hold up, if the Mujahideen are revealed to be a collection of imperial-backed mass murderers, thieves, and nation-destroyers, of which Hekmatyar is the quintessential example, then new myths have to be created to justify their continuance in power and Western indulgence toward them. Of the few myths left, the communists would have been worse and the country wasn't ready still offer some comfort.....

 

The Centre for Constitutional Rights, rejected CACI's argument on torture - not only dismissing their discussion that individual tactics of abuse cannot constitute torture, but also critiquing the notion that what the plaintiffs endured - among other things being punched, slapped, kicked, doused with hot water, forced into stress position for hours, threatened with dogs, stepped on, etc over protracted periods of time, did not have a cumulative impact amounting to torture and subsequent trauma....

 

While Hamza’s call to arms might give al-Qaeda a shot in the arm and provide this terrorist organization another bin Laden to rally around, Hamza’s actions might be a bit short-sighted. The world has changed since Osama bin Laden plotted 9/11 and the attacks on the U.S. embassies. Bin Laden railed against the U.S. presence in the Middle East....

 

As a recent study by Yale political scientist Jason Lyall establishes, Afghans have an extremely strong group identity. The consequence of this is that harm inflicted by foreign forces in the country weakened support for those forces and increased support for the Taliban. However, harm inflicted by the Taliban does not translate into increased support for foreign forces.

 

The Afghan stalemate will only be broken when the various factions that make up the Taliban realize two things. First, that they are not strong enough to capture the major population centres of Afghanistan as they did in the late ‘90s; and second, that they are losing ground to a far more dangerous enemy in the form of ISIS than they face in the Afghan government. Until the Afghan security forces stop losing ground, the Taliban will continue to hope the government will crack....

 

A son of the super elite Afghan ‘exiles’ living in London, once ‘shouted’ at me, via WhatsApp, after I dared to criticize one of the officially-recognized gurus of the Western anti-communist left, who happened to be his religiously admired deity: “I’m completely amazed that you’d do such a thing. Then again, you’re Russian… And Russians held a strange superiority complex about dominating the whole Asian & African continents – even when nobody invited or asked them to. Historical examples are plenty… Don’t go to a country to report about what’s actually going on when you can’t even speak the language!” This was his tough verdict on Russia and on my work; a verdict of ‘Afghan man in London’,...

 


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