By Musa Khan Jalalzai
On 11 January 2017, unknown terrorists attacked important government installations and diplomatic compound in Kabul and Kandahar, which prompted huge fatalities and the killing of more than 100 Afghans and five diplomats of the United Aran Emirate (UAE). Terrorists also targeted Parliament in which 34 employees injured. This was a clear message of those who recently became strong stakeholders in the country. Some Afghan experts view it as foreign intelligence-led attacks-facilitated by some wolves within the Unity Government, some affixed to sweeping generalization that Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies are behind it, and some blamed Pakistan based Quetta Shura and the Haqqani network for their involvement.
There are many stakeholders who want to show their power and create space for them, but one cannot deny the fact that Afghan war criminals, ministers and member parliament also support terrorist groups, purveying them with weapons and money and transport their fighters to their destinations. This issue have already been taken in Afghan parliament so many times, but no law has been passed to bring these state sponsor terrorists to justice, or remove them from their posts.
Fifteen years after the US and NATO ousted the Taliban government, Afghanistan still remains one of the worse place for journalist, NGOs, Doctors, businessmen and women. The John Kerry government (Unity Government) hardly control 30% percent territory of the state, while Daesh and Taliban pose bigger challenge to the ANA and its associated private militias. After two decades of its withdrawal from Afghanistan, Moscow returned to the country with a strong Taliban group, GRU and an incarnated KGB (MGB) network to intercept the US and NATO expansion towards Central Asia, and eliminate the ISIS terrorist organization. Russia wants to apply the Syrian strategy in Afghanistan, and deploy strong intelligence units along the Afghan-Tajik, and, Pak-Afghan borders.
However, China also wants to ensure the security of its borders by deploying security and intelligence unites along the Afghan and Pakistan’s borders to intercept the infiltration of Uyghur separatists inside the country. Beijing and Moscow fear that there are serious grounds to expect that security situation in Afghanistan may rapidly deteriorate as the Unity Government’s legitimacy is in spike.
Now, with the emergence of Russia with a strong military might more than fifty nations and their intelligence agencies in Afghanistan have failed to effectively counter Russian and Chinese secret agencies? The Putin administration has invested heavily in Afghanistan and continues to reduce the political and military space of the United States and its NATO allies who neither stabilized the war torn country nor established a strong army. This inattention of international community resulted in the resentment of Afghan population towards their presence. China helped the United States in its war against the Soviet Union, but now helps Russia in its war against the United States.
However, Pakistan and Russia are moving towards an embrace, but looking at each other with suspicion. Pakistan faces isolation and dependent on Chinese economic support. Chinese involvement in Afghanistan is growing, and it has established good contacts with Afghan and Pakistani extremist organizations. However, in 2014, China introduced its own special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The recent Pentagon China-phobia policy, its containment of China, the emergence of new military and intelligence alliance among China, Pakistan and Russia, has become a hot debate in electronic and print media in South Asia. The increasing Chinese influence in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia and its strong presence in European and African market together with the aggrandizement of Russian economy and military industry have caused an unending torment for the United States and its European allies. The Pentagon authorities didn’t sleep a wink since the commencement of recent joint Russia-China-Pakistan rapprochement.
The recent establishment of a new military intelligence agency, ‘Defence Clandestine Intelligence Service’ (DCIS) and its focus on China raised many questions about the US presence in Afghanistan. he emergence of China as an economic and military power is no doubt irksome for Pentagon that wants to contain and confine both China and Russia to specific regions.
The Defence Clandestine Service, according to Pentagon’s report, will be working closely with both Pentagon and CIA, recruiting spies from Defence Intelligence Agencies and deploying them in most part of South Asia to closely watch the military and economic movements of communist China in South and Southeast Asia. The agency is struggling to maintain a strong presence in Afghanistan. In Xinjiang province, Uyghur Islamic Movement and other minor ethnic and political groups have established their secret networks, recruit and invite young people to their groups. Beijing is already facing constant threats from Tibet and Taiwan, the low-key conflict which has been simmering in the region since long. These ethnic and religious challenges are very serious for China’s expanding economic and military role in both Asia and Africa. The Obama administration wants to switch US national security focus away from Middle East to address long-term issues such as the rise of China, Russia and North Korea.
The Unity Government is not lessoning to the Chinese and Russian leader that Taliban should be accommodated in the political set up to bolster the fight against the ISIS terrorist group. The United States and its allies are increasingly worried that any deepening of ties between Russia, China and their own Taliban group, their supply of modern weapons, and the deployment of their intelligence units across Afghanistan may cause further intensification of civil war in the country. The US policy of killing and torture has now failed to draw on the cultural and historical lessons of local governance in the country. Undoubtedly, there are thousands innocent civilians who get killed in the US bombing in Afghanistan. The US army killed 42 people including 14 innocent patients and doctors in Kunduz hospital, and then argued that the $5 billion intelligence computer system was failed. This was, in fact, an ignominious joke with an occupied country like Afghanistan, where they are free to kill, torture, and kidnap civilians with impunity. A Persian proverb has beautifully illustrated this inhuman act in few words: “Don’t trust those who don’t trust God, and if you don’t recognize God at least know Him by His power.”
Musa Khan Jalalzai is author of Fixing the EU Intelligence Crisis