Reports from Afghanistan indicate that the president of Afghanistan, the head of Pakistan’s military intelligence service, and Pakistan’s army chief all met recently with the al Qaeda-linked leader of the Haqqani Network, one of the most dangerous terror groups operating in the country.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai; General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan’ top military leader; and Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the chief of Pakistan’s notorious Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, are reported to have met with Sirajuddin Haqqani earlier this week to negotiate an end to the insurgency, according to Al Jazeera. The location of the purported meeting was not disclosed.
A spokesman for President Karzai denied the reported meeting with Siraj, and Major General Athar Abbas, Pakistan’s top military spokesman, also denied knowledge of any meeting, Al Jazeera reported.
Reports of rapprochement between President Karzai and the Taliban, brokered by the Pakistani government, have abounded for the past several months. The three major factions of the Afghan insurgency – the Quetta Shura Taliban, led by Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Haqqani Network, and Hezb-i-Islami, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar – are all based inside Pakistan and have close links to Pakistan’s intelligence service. Pakistan claims it can rein in the Taliban factions and cajole them into renouncing al Qaeda.
Karzai is reported to have lost confidence in the Americans’ ability to defeat the Taliban, and has turned to Pakistan to broker a deal with the three major terror groups, all whom have close ties to al Qaeda. Karzai has met with ISI chief Pasha at least twice in the past several months, according to the The Washington Post.
Other Afghan officials have met with representatives of Hekmatyar, and Karzai’s brother is reported to have met with Mullah Baradar, Mullah Omar’s second in command before he was detained in Pakistan with five other top Afghan Taliban leaders. Pakistan’s detention of the top Afghan Taliban leaders early this year is believed to have been carried out by Pakistan in order to give it influence and control over the pace of negotiations. These detentions began occurring shortly after President Obama announced on Dec. 1, 2009, in a speech to West Point cadets that the US would begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by July 2011.
Pakistan has seized on the US government’s announced timeline for the beginning of troop withdrawal in July 2011 and has stepped up its efforts to broker a deal that will see its proxies gain political power in Afghanistan. For much of its history, Pakistan has sought to sponsor anti-Indian terror groups in Afghanistan and Kashmir as part of its ‘strategic depth’ against the South Asian powerhouse.
Some US officials support negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, and two senior advisers to General Stanley McChrystal, the ousted commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, have claimed that the Haqqanis and Hekmatyar are reconcilable.
The British have also indicated that the time for negotiations with the Taliban is now. General Sir David Richards, the British Army Chief of Staff, said the time for negotiations with the Taliban is at hand.
“From my own, and this is a purely private view, I think there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be looking at that sort of thing [negotiation with the Taliban] pretty soon,” Richards told the BBC.
Negotiations spark concerns of an Afghan civil war
Karzai’s negotiations with the Haqqanis, Hekmatyar, and the Afghan Taliban have sparked concerns among ethnic Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Hazara, the groups that formerly made up the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance and who serve as the majority of the government and security forces. Former members of the Northern Alliance are openly talking of battling the Taliban if they are given a role in the government.
“Karzai is giving Afghanistan back to the Taliban, and he is opening up the old schisms,” said Rehman Oghly, an Uzbek member of Parliament and former Northern Alliance commander, told The New York Times. “If he wants to bring in the Taliban, and they begin to use force, then we will go back to civil war and Afghanistan will be split.”
Amrullah Saleh, the former chief of the National Directorate of Security, resigned weeks ago, in part because of President Karzai’s desire to share power with the Taliban. Saleh, a former leader in the Northern Alliance, has been critical of Karzai’s negotiations and has said that Pakistan openly controls the terror groups that conduct attacks in Afghanistan.
“It will be a waste of time to provide evidence of ISI involvement,” Saleh told Reuters. “They are a part of it. The Pakistani army of which ISI is a part, they know where the Taliban leaders are — in their safe houses.”
Background on the Haqqani Network
The Haqqani Network has extensive links with al Qaeda and the Taliban, and its relationship with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency has allowed the network to survive and thrive in its fortress stronghold of North Waziristan. The Haqqanis control large swaths of the tribal area and run a parallel administration with courts, recruiting centers, tax offices, and security forces. They have established multiple training camps and safe houses used by al Qaeda leaders and operatives, as well as by Taliban foot soldiers preparing to fight in Afghanistan.
The Haqqani Network has been implicated in some of the biggest terror attacks in the Afghan capital city of Kabul, including the January 2008 suicide assault on the Serena hotel, the February 2009 assault on Afghan ministries, and the July 2008 and October 2009 suicide attacks against the Indian embassy. American intelligence agencies confronted the Pakistani government with evidence, including communications intercepts, which proved the ISI’s direct involvement in the 2008 Indian embassy bombing. [See LWJ report “Pakistan’s Jihad” and Threat Matrix report “Pakistan backs Afghan Taliban” for additional information on the ISI’s complicity in attacks in Afghanistan and the region.]
The Haqqani Network is led by Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son, Sirajuddin. Jalaluddin is thought to be ill and is considered the patriarch of the network. Siraj runs the daily operations and is the group’s military commander.
Siraj is one of the most wanted Taliban and al Qaeda leaders in the Afghan-Pakistan region. The US military has described Siraj as the primary threat to security in eastern Afghanistan. He is the mastermind of the most deadly attacks inside Afghanistan, including suicide assaults in Kabul, and he is the senior military commander in eastern Afghanistan. He is the leader of the Taliban’s Miramshah Regional Military Shura, one of the Afghan Taliban’s four regional commands [see LWJ report, “The Afghan Taliban’s top leaders“].
Siraj is considered dangerous not only for his ties with the Afghan Taliban, but also because of his connections with al Qaeda’s central leadership, which extend all the way to Osama bin Laden. Siraj is a member of al Qaeda’s Shura Majlis, or top council, US intelligence sources told The Long War Journal. In a tape released in April 2010, Siraj admitted that cooperation between the Taliban and al Qaeda “is at the highest limits.” On March 25, 2009, the US Department of State put out a $5 million bounty for information leading to the capture of Siraj.
Despite Siraj’s ties with al Qaeda, and the Haqqani Network’s use of suicide attacks, some top US military commanders have stated that Jalaluddin Haqqani, his father, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, another supporter of al Qaeda, are “absolutely salvageable” and ripe for negotiations.
“The HIG already have members in Karzai’s government, and it could evolve into a political party, even though Hekmatyar may be providing al Qaeda leaders refuge in Kunar,” Major General Michael Flynn, the top military intelligence official in Afghanistan, told The Atlantic in April 2010. “Hekmatyar has reconcilable ambitions. As for the Haqqani network, I can tell you they are tired of fighting, but are not about to give up. They have lucrative business interests to protect: the road traffic from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to Central Asia.”
Sir Graeme Lamb, a senior adviser to General McChrystal, echoed Flynn’s view on Hekmatyar and Haqqani, and discounted the groups’ close ties to al Qaeda.
“Haqqani and Hekmatyar are pragmatists tied to the probability of outcomes,” Lamb also told The Atlantic. “With all the talk of Islamic ideology, this is the land of the deal.”
A Haqqani Network leader known as Zakim Shah serves as the shadow governor of Khost province. Khost, Paktika, and Paktia provinces are the main strongholds of the Haqqani Network in eastern Afghanistan. The Haqqani Network also has a presence in the provinces of Logar, Wardak, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Zabul, and Kabul.
The Haqqani forces in Paktika province are commanded by Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a senior lieutenant to Sirajuddin Haqqani. A US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal that Sangeen also commands forces outside of Paktika and that he has become one of the most dangerous operational commanders in eastern Afghanistan.
Last summer, Sangeen took credit for the kidnapping of a US soldier who apparently stepped away from his post at a combat outpost in Paktika on June 30, 2009. US forces in eastern Afghanistan launched a massive manhunt for the soldier, but failed to find him. The soldier is believed to be held across the border in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan.
US and Afghan forces hit the Haqqani Network hard in the summer of 2009 during a series of raids in Khost, Paktika, Paktia, Logar, and Zabul. Major battles were fought in mountainous regions as the joint forces assaulted heavily defended Haqqani Network “fortresses.” The raids failed to dislodge the Haqqani Network from the provinces.
The Haqqani Network has also been heavily targeted by the CIA in the covert air campaign in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Siraj has been the target of multiple Predator strikes. His brother, Mohammed, who served as a military commander, was killed in a February 2010 strike in North Waziristan.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.
Wow, one hellfire would have solved a bunch of problems.
Karzai and Pakistan are playing US for fools. too bad about no hellfire.
It needs to be stressed that Karzai is no asset in the war against terror, rather he is a literal pariah in such.
I wouldn’t trust Karzai for nothing. There are most likely AQ/Taliban moles high up in his administration including maybe even Karzai himself.
I feel what’s needed in Afghanistan is the equivalent of a “Sunni Awakening.” If we can turn the low-level (the “good”) Taliban of true Afghan descent and even some of the mid-level Taliban of Afghan descent against the “bad” foreign occupier Taliban and upper-tier Aghani Taliban, I think this can be accomplished.
As far as Pakistan is concerned, I say do to the Pakistani Talib what AQ tried to do in Iraq; which is to literally turn them against one another and allow them to destroy themselves. With the proper strategy and intel (with surreptiously manipulated IED’s and detonators), this can be accomplished also.
This has evolved into a war of intel. Get out of the conventional force structure strategy and “grandfather” in a special ops/intel strategy.
We have to allow the good Afghan people to lead the way in this thing. This is what worked against the Soviets and also worked during our initial involvement in 2001-2002. You have to be an insurgent yourself to fight a counter-insurgency.
And, for God’s sake, keep suspended or at the very least keep severely curtailed any high altitude air strikes. I’m saying don’t carry them out in any populated areas or if there is even a remote chance of innocent civilians being killed by them.
Have we fought a proxy war against Pakistan the last nine years as they control/run the insurgents!
“It will be a waste of time to provide evidence of ISI involvement,” Saleh told Reuters. “They are a part of it. The Pakistani army of which ISI is a part, they know where the Taliban leaders are — in their safe houses.”
– That about says it all.
Someone just missed a big chance to solve multiple problems at one blow. A legitimate target and unavoidable collateral damage.
Why are American dying to impose this corrupt fool on the afghan people? Karzai is so stupid he stole an election he would have won anyway.
These four would have loved a crate load of mangoes.
“As far as Pakistan is concerned, I say do to the Pakistani Talib what AQ tried to do in Iraq; which is to literally turn them against one another and allow them to destroy themselves.”
Agreed. We stand a better chance if we outwit them, then if we use brute force. I believe the Israelis used to do this, and they probably still do- turn the sides against each other, and let them sort it out.
While Pakistanis may continue to claim that they are safeguarding their interests in Afghanistan, the U.S. will likely view this announcement as backstab – and more.
In fact, Pakistan’s open sponsorship of the Haqqani Taliban group (the proxies) may signal its final turn as an openly adversarial state of the U.S..
One can’t help but notice some erring similarities in the war on terror and the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
In the present case the Soviet Union is replaced by the Axis of Jihad (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran).
The quagmire in Vietnam (that of fighting the proxies) compelled the U.S. to figure out a better way of defeating the erstwhile Soviets.
At this point Afghanistan has the feel of a quagmire for the U.S. It is going to be interesting to see if Gen. Petraeus comprehensively revises the U.S. strategy toward the region (For all the talk of sticking to the “strategy,”
” The U.S. government’s Rewards for Justice Program is offering up to US$5 million in reward for information leading to Sirajuddin Haqqani’s capture.”
The whole thing is a pig’s breakfast.
Time to do what we should have done all along….support India because when Pakistan & India go at it…Pakistan will lose big time.
Pakistanis will goto any length to protect their terror networks, which is why they are now negotiating with karzai. America and the world will be better protected if they deal with pakistani military and their terror network, not to mention their brain-washed locals directly. cut pakistan’s connection iran, stop the aid, bring down sanctions and let the military and terror fight each other.. the terror menace unleashed by the pakistan is tiresome and threatens the whole world.
President Karzai and the Taliban and AQ all know that America lacks staying power and the will to win. These are history lessons from Korea and Vietnam. Hunker down; await ultimate inevitable politically-driven withdrawal and . . . Wallah! . . . it’s back to the good old days pre-9/11/2001 when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan and under Taliban cover AQ can resume its goal of destroying the U.S.A. via smuggled-in atomic bombs obtained from Pakistan.
Anyone who thinks this is not an existential war for America is just trusting to luck. I’d prefer to move all U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan and take on the Taliban there and AQ in the Waziristans in old-fashioned conventional combat and let the World howl and squeal at the U.N., cause the World will do no more than that. In the end, we’d be winners and ironically there would be far less “innocent civilian casualties” once we destroy the enemy instead of exercising “heroic restraint”.
Iam in total disbelief, why are our sons, brothers sisters there for?? Iam mad as hell too..unreal.
James: Right On brother! The spec-ops approach is the way to go. Since these taliban/AQ schmucks started this whole thing, and thought it was funny to wipe out 3000 people in NY, and destroy so many people…..I think it’s fitting we give it back to them – hard.
The problem with that is; the side you want, rarely ever comes out on top of such a sorting. That’s something the Israelis have already learned the hard way (Fatah vs HAMAS).
If civilian casualties are really such an issue, then why hasn’t the entire nation of Afghanistan risen up enmasse and strung the Talib up by their mass murdering heels? The Taliban has directly caused more civilian casualties then all of the Coalition forces combined (feel free to look that up, you’ll find much of the evidence documented right here on this blog).
We don’t stand a better (or any) chance to outwit the enemy as long as we remain in a passive reactive mode. No war has ever been won by being solely on the defensive (since the introduction of gunpowder).
Brute force wins wars. Nothing else does or ever has.
Move the entire Coalition into the FATA. Take Quetta, take Karachi, burn Miram Shah to the ground and salt the earth where it once stood.
Afghanistan will have peace (the Talib survivors will be fighting in the FATA instead). The Coalition’s logistics lines will be shorter and easier to secure. The Pak military/intelligence shadow government will fall like the house of cards it is.
I’m calling BS on this one – No way this was a face to face meeting -Siraj wouldn’t attend and allow his OODA loop to be directly entered – Nor could Karzi do this on the low – His PSD is still us….
“General Sir David Richards, the British Army Chief of Staff, said the time for negotiations with the Taliban is at hand.”
That statement reminds me of a Brit appeaser who said “Peace is at hand” just before Hitler invaded Poland.
“Brute force wins wars. Nothing else does or ever has.”
I disagree. Gandhi proved that brute force does not always win wars.
“That statement reminds me of a Brit appeaser who said “Peace is at hand” just before Hitler invaded Poland.” That would be Neville Chamberlain after the Munich Agreement was signed.
keep on crying dude you are well within range.
there is nothing u can do on your own….now u want USA as your knight in shining armour.
these are freedom fighters not terrorist,once dust in afghanistan is settled we are comming to get you….we are not going to forget kashmir.
I would also add that we need to be very clear on our goals and intentions.
We will not allow the Taliban in its present form to take over Afghanistan. We will do what it takes to incapacitate them. If the world wants to limit civilian casualties, then they better start working on the Taliban to surrender. If they do not surrender, the effect of the future is on them. The US can not and will not stand by as the Taliban openly support our demise and carry out attacks against us or any country.
If the world wants peace, they need to start working on the evil empires around the world, and I got a clue for you. Its not the United States. Let me be clear. We do not want war but will not submit to Islamic terroists or facist dictators no matter what country they are hiding in.
TMP makes a good point (one that came to mind when I heard this).
On both sides it looks like an insane prisoner’s dilemma for an F2F: AQ get to rub out the Afghani pres (if Siraj sets it up) and Karzai gets to wipe out Siraj (if he leaks it to the Americans … they could do it post meeting).
This would be an uniterated prisoner’s dilemma so the only sane thing to do is to defect (i.e. kill the opposition when you get a chance as that’s what they do to you). Unless they really believe that they will meet again and again and actually have a future together. In that case they might decide to cooperate and have representatives meet. But not the top two meeting F2F.
The other option is an electronic meeting? Another difficult one given the NSA capabilities in theater. I suspect were are intercepting everything that comes out of the Afghan government (as I’m sure we don’t trust them) so that’s got to factor in with the Haqqani’s (even if Karzai doesn’t leak a location the US might find out itself). I can’t see a Haqqani going for this.
As for talking to the Taliban: remember our original problem is with AQ and global Islamism. We could care less about Afghanistan if it didn’t harbor people who directly (or indirectly) attacked us. So we are interested in a subset of the Taliban (Mullah Omar and the others on the shuras) but the ones further down the line we care less about. But the idea that we can pull out of Afghanistan in an Iraq-like manner is not going to fly either.
Other groups have ended other ongoing conflicts with compromises (e.g. Northern Ireland). The kill ’em all approach is never going to work.
Finally the Pakistan government is not going to give AQ nukes directly. I can’t even see the nutters in the ISI doing this either. You can do forensics on a nuked site that tells you a lot about the device design. If a bomb that goes off in the USA or Europe or against a US target anywhere that looks like a Pakistani nuke the Pakistanis are well aware that the US will determine who made the bomb and of the military and economic retribution that will come their way (and it probably won’t be a nuclear strike except if we have to destroy some very deep targets). The result will be that they loose their nukes and probably their lives too and Pakistan might even loose their identity. See what we did in Afghanistan for 3000 dead? Pakistan (I hope) is well aware that nukes are pretty useless weapons for a state except to deter nuclear attack. If you use one then you’ve already lost. I hope that they are using a PAL system on each device with appropriate control from the top of the government to actually allow a device to be used only when authorized. I suspect they know what an Islamist could do in Pakistan with one of their own devices for blackmail: after all if you have one device why not leverage it to get the whole country and it’s arsenal first?
Keep on he topic. This is not about Kashmir and If I remember correctly you guys have not taken Kashmir in last 60 years and I don’t think you can ever do that. Keep dreaming dude while Taliban keeps blowing you inside AF-Pak.
Hillbilly – Range of what? Illiterate drug-dealing woman beating pedophiles with tinkertoy practice bombs in their underware? An army that has never won a war? A nation that doesn’t control half of its own land?
You fear me Hillbilly, or you wouldn’t have singled me out of this comment thread. And well you should, because if this was my show the war would already be over and your sad excuse for a nation would already be divided up between India and Afghanistan.
i am not the one who is complaining ,no coulda woulda or shoulda for me….you may call me a smug but i am relaxed,i got my heiniken and best afghan hash….i know for sure that talibans would be accomodated in kabul , i hate to live under their rule, and pakistan will keep on getting the goodies for free from USA…..india will keep on complaining
Pakistan doesn’t have strong lobby in US and we dont need one bc we know very well how important we are for Americas international diplomataic dance……we can not replace israel as america’s golden boy but we have 2 sugar daddie i,e. USA and China……our leaders will keep on screwing ( bill u can change this word if its not appropriate)us and USA and China will keep on supplying us with the oxygen to survive….CHILL OUT…..life is too short to fret about things that u cant control.
Pakistan is a basket case,A bigger version of Gaza relying on International handouts to survive.Thats why they export jihadism so they can receive funds pretending to fight it!India is a growing success/super power whilst Pakistan is a backward 3rd world mess.You must be proud of that fact!
We the people know it once Obama knows it that you are just International blackmailers we will split you into four regions and let you fight amongst yourselves which you are good at!
Ps.I thourght muslims cant drink alcohol!
hillbilly, if i were to say that you were charging at the windmills, i would dignify your remarks and poverty of mind.
And oh yes, you cannot replace anyone as america’s ‘golden boy’. Lahore is not just a place in Paqistan. Which is why you have two “sugar daddie” and the hole, sorry whole, of the Taliban. Good students aren’t they.
And on your latter comment, i don’t come to LWJ to learn about parasitical behaviour, but since i’m chilled, i consider it an added bonus. Thank you for that glimpse of your Pathetikstan. Carry on…..dude.
Dear Hillbilly – I must say that I rather enjoy your comments and the funny threats. Curious though, why did you leave Saudi Arabia off of the list of sugar daddies? Or is that just a close family friend that visits a lot?
Gotta love hillbilly’s comments. S/he is absolutely correct in that if matters continue the way they are today, Pakistan’s military will be the winner for having successfully played all sides for the fool. And Kashmir would certainly be next on their list. However, despite clueless Cowboys and hapless Indians, the best laid plans of hillbillies and generals do not always work out as planned. In fact, one can guarantee that it will blow up on their faces as it has for every adventure that they embarked on since the formation of Pakistan. An emboldened Taliban is most certainly going to take on the failed Pakistani state well before it tries to wrest Kashmir from India. And all that hash and booze will be a distant memory under the Taliban. Enjoy it while you can, and start stocking on burkhas for the brave new world ahead.
Greg – That was 1919, Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 which would seem to have proven him conclusively wrong on a personal level. The Partition of India 1947 was brute force personified with as many as one million killed and another twelve million or more displaced. Perhaps you could find a better example for your contention?
(…yet Israel is considered a threat to world peace…)
Only speed can effect the brute force rule. The faster its over the fewer the casualties, all around.
Hillbilly – Enjoy the buzz while you still can. We’re gonna cut you off sooner rather then later, (we do change our collective minds every four or eight years). Word is the Chinese aren’t real amused with your (nations) antics these days either. Can you say Uighur? I know you can.
Since we are “civilized” we will let the Pakistanis get away with thier game. I would love to see US armor running roughshod to meet up with the airborne and Marines coming from the sea..one day we will have a catastrophe and all signs will point to Pakistan. We will hopefully retaliate and finally break up an “unholy” state.
Charu, good comment there. Pakistan needs to be saved from itself.
Maybe thats why the hillbillies want to go to India, so that they can continue with their hash and booze.
“That was 1919, Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 which would seem to have proven him conclusively wrong on a personal level.”
I’m not sure what you mean and I don’t follow your logic. Your previous statement was that “Brute force wins wars. Nothing else does or ever has.” Gandhi advocated passive resistance against British Rule, and the British finally gave up and left, in spite of the fact that they brutally murdered many people and it took them several years to leave.
So, now your new rule is “Only speed can effect the brute force rule. The faster its over the fewer the casualties, all around.” This makes no sense…
“Perhaps you could find a better example for your contention?” The story of Jesus comes to mind. Brute force didn’t exactly snuff that religion out, did it?
Greg – Gandhi’s passive resistance is not the reason why the British Empire gave up India, or the rest of its empire (the costs of WW2).
Nor did Gandhi’s passive resistance much impress the Muslim population of India at the time (see Muslim League).
All that Gandhi’s passive resistance achieved was to extend the suffering of India for many decades. Suffering that in many ways continues to this day (Bangladesh, Pakistan).
Chandra Bose had the right idea. At the wrong time and with the wrong allies.
It’s not my rule and it never was, and it is far from new. It’s as old as mankind itself.
Yes, brute force did snuff out the Christianity of Jesus’s time. What we see today bears little or no resemblance to what Jesus taught and practiced, at all. Who owns Jerusalem? Constantinople?
I note that this is now a dead and somewhat moot thread.
Gandhi had very little to do with the British leaving; rather, it was mutiny in the armed forces (majority Indian) that forced the British to realize that they could no longer stay.
If you wish, read more (including the fact of Gandhi’s loyalty to the Empire until well past his fiftieth birthday) at the link provided (primarily in the fourth essay).
T Ruth, I believe that it is too late to save Pakistan. It is a failed state that has nothing going for it except its obsession to destroy India, and its sugar daddies who each have their own reasons to keep it alive. The whole rationale for Pakistan’s existence was to carve out some space where Indian Muslims, especially those who believed that they were the inheritors of the Mughal empire, wouldn’t be demographically swamped by the majority Hindus. Never mind that the Mughal empire was on its last legs before the Brits snuck up behind the Sikhs and the Mahrattas and staved off the inevitable. Unfortunately, Islam is not sufficient to bind a nation, and it is certainly not compatible with democracy or a measure of tolerance that is required for modern states to progress. Just like how Muslim fundamentalists rail against the West out of impotence as they fall behind further and further, Pakistan’s Punjabi Junkers get more and more rabid in their desire to bring down India, even if it would take them down with it. They continue to believe that they can harness the Islamic rage that they have stoked, and that Afghanistan will provide them with a suitable replacement for the loss of Bangladesh; along with greater depth and manpower, to allow them to defeat India through irregular warfare. This is the core rationale behind everything that the US currently faces in Afghanistan, and it will never change – no matter how irrational and self-defeating it appears to be to everyone else. Short of inflicting a crushing defeat, as was done to Germany and Japan at the end of WWII, and de-fanging the Pakistani army, the region and the West (and perhaps even Israel) will continue to face the consequences of Pakistan’s recourse to jihad to achieve its delusional goals.
“Brute force wins wars. Nothing else does or ever has.” Perhaps we are thinking about this wrong. If brute force wins wars, then the British Empire would have done away with Gandhi and his followers way before 1947, or even WWII, right? My point is that they didn’t, so brute force does not necessarily win wars. Besides, Nazi Germany didn’t win, and they were pretty brutal…
Why do you feel that Gandhi’s passive resistance extended the suffering of India for many decades? Wasn’t it the brutality of the English and their inability to subjugate another culture the cause of this suffering?
I’m not familiar with Chandra Rose, but thanks for the information.
“Yes, brute force did snuff out the Christianity of Jesus’s time. What we see today bears little or no resemblance to what Jesus taught and practiced, at all. Who owns Jerusalem? Constantinople?” So, you don’t believe in the Resurrection? Did the brute force used by the Roman Empire have anything to do with their downfall? Do you believe that the Roman Empire won because they used brute force against the Christians, which led to the downfall of the Roman Empire. If “we” use brute force, will it lead to “our” downfall. Should it lead to our downfall? You tell me, who owns Jerusalem and Constantinople?
Perhaps you are saying that the Christians today are not like the ones originally taught by Jesus. Maybe you are saying that the Christians today are like the Romans Jesus resisted, so that the Roman Empire won. If this is what you are saying, then maybe you’re smarter than I previously thought, and maybe I misunderstood you.
“I note that this is now a dead and somewhat moot thread.” And yet, you still respond…
But please do because I’m curious to know how you respond to my above comments.
The statement at issue is “Brute force wins wars. Nothing else does or ever has.” You don’t say whether or not you agree with this. It’s fine that you believe that Gandhi had little to do with the British empire leaving, but my point is that the British Empire could not use brute force to win that war by subjugating the Indian culture. They tried, but it didn’t work as they expected. I’m not sure if you agree with this or not.
Greg – “Perhaps we are thinking about this wrong.”
“The statement at issue is “Brute force wins wars. Nothing else does or ever has.” You don’t say whether or not you agree with this. It’s fine that you believe that Gandhi had little to do with the British empire leaving, but my point is that the British Empire could not use brute force to win that war by subjugating the Indian culture. They tried, but it didn’t work as they expected. I’m not sure if you agree with this or not. ”
Brute force is always an effective option for winning a war, in certain circumstances. However, as you imply, there are different ways, and of course brute force may be counterproductive or at the very least ineffective, again depending on the situation. The British never used much brute force; what they were experts at was using psychology, creating an anglicized Indian elite divorced from, ashamed of, his ancient Hindu heritage. They did this through education, part of which involved incorrect interpretations of Hindu scripture (Veda). They also starved to death millions – such practices surely helped keep them in power; a malnourished population likely will have difficulty fighting.
As for Gandhi – please at least read essay four at the link to see how little significance he had. The threat – though not the actual use – of violence is what got the British out of India. Violence had a role, even if it was not brute force. I will admit that nonviolence tactics were used to good effect during the Indian independence struggle, well before Gandhi arrived in India. Its just that violence was used at the same time, and also had its role.