Obama’s choice: 17,000 extra troops for Afghanistan

February 18, 2009

President Barack Obama, in his first major military decision, has authorised the Pentagon to send an extra 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, saying the increase is needed to stabilise a deteriorating situation there.

Obama’s Afghan strategy has been discussed at length, including on this blog (most recently about balancing the need for regional support with the demands of countries like Russia for concessions in return, the military challenges of devising an effective counterinsurgency strategythe views of the Afghan people and Pakistan’s own struggles to contain a Taliban insurgency there.)

But here are a couple of recent articles that are worth reading.

In an article in the Washington Post, headlined “Not Even the Afghans Know How to Fix It”, writer Edward Joseph says that the Afghans cannot agree among themselves what is the best solution for their country. “And there’s the crux of the matter. Because if Afghans don’t know, then neither do we,” he says.

Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Astore asks in TomDispatch why there is so little public concern at home about the fate of U.S. troops – many drawn from poorer and immigrant communities in America — sent on repeated tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Instead of collective patriotic sacrifice,” he writes, “it’s clear that the military will now be running the equivalent of a poverty and recession ‘draft’ to fill the ‘all-volunteer’ military. Those without jobs or down on their luck in terrible times will have the singular honor of fighting our future wars.”

U.S. military reporter and blogger Michael Yon says he believes the U.S. army is more capable of fighting in Afghanistan than any other in history. But one paragraph in his article stands out with its deep sense of misgiving:

“The sum of many factors leaves me with a bad feeling about all this.  The Iraq war, even during the worst times, never seemed like such a bog.  Yet there is something about our commitment in Afghanistan that feels wrong, as if a bear trap is hidden under the sand,” he says.

With Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan still under review, it’s probably too early to draw any firm conclusions about his decision to send an extra 17,000 troops. But did he have a choice? Or is he walking into a trap?

67 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Good decision by US to increase troops. With Pak not ready to fight Taliban [or probably clandestinely supporting the extremists even!!] it’s the duty of US and NATO powers to fight the menace in Afghan through increased troops.

The key question is – will India join this endeavour by supplying its men? There is speculation India might send 100,000 troops to Afghan. Will Holbrooke succeed in pushing India to agree to this?

This fight against Taliban menace is a fight against extremism in which ALL world countries should pitch in. The Taliban want to strip us of rights and freedoms which we have acquired through thousands of years of fight and struggle by our forefathers. We can’t afford to give up these rights because of [lack of]actions of a few in AfPak.

Posted by Venkat | Report as abusive

Myra,

Taliban is a greatest menace to the civilized world and their presence in Afghanistan is definitely a threat to world peace , firstly Afghanistan’s position as one of largest producer of drug in the world , secondly its location : its border with oil rich countries of central asia . US must also take steps against Pak Army and ISI for their support to taliban and al-queda. As per Zardari’s own admission, that Taliban is getting more powerful in Pakistan with every passing day, US must take control of its nuclear arsenals before its falling in to the hands of Taliban and Al queda . People like Khan , and his cronies should be extradited and prosecuted for their crimes against humanity for proliferation of nuclear technology to rogue states ,which is indeed a greater danger to world peace and stability.

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive

[...] Pakistan: Now or Never? » Blog Archive » Obama’s choice: 17,000 extra troops for Afghanistan | B… blogs.reuters.com Myra MacDonald Tell Your Friends: [...]

“Obama’s Afghan strategy?” There is no such thing. Obama does not have the moral character or the mental intelligence to have a strategy for Afghanistan. There is a paragraph in the article about Obama’s blog. What a joke. Obama thinks diplomacy and working with regional powers will help America? The powers in that region won’t work together and certainly won’t work towards our interests. Obama is a fool.

The best that can be hoped for is that he will listen to capable Pentagon officials and give them what they need. What Obama is more likely to do is just USE the American military for his own political gains.

Its kinda surprising to see Obamas first choice is to send in more troops and not stopping aid money to pakistan. This makes me feel americans havn’t fully woken to the situation on ground in pakistan and its threat to the world..

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

@Its kinda surprising to see Obamas first choice is to send in more troops and not stopping aid money to pakistan. This makes me feel americans havn’t fully woken to the situation on ground in pakistan and its threat to the world..
- Posted by Anitha

Anitha: Time is not ripe for stopping aid yet pehaps. That will license Pak for dirty play–counterproductive to US/NATO. Necessary Evil?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Frankly I don’t see U.S winning in the short term, say a two year period. But will they stay the course in the long haul? That is very much debatable. The current economic crisis is going to need a lot of attention and resources and frankly, I feel with the passage of time, somebody in Washington is going to say ‘We’ll deal with the problem (terror in U.S) when it comes. Right now we need to get the boys home and shore up the economy.’
It’s possible that the current status quo may be maintained in Afghanistan, while the Taliban emboldened by the ease of capturing power in Swat may try to replicate this model in other areas of Pakistan. This may further split the Pakistani polity and more importantly the army on divisive lines. It may then just be possible for US, with the help of sympathetic elements by inducement, coercion or otherwise, get to the Pakistani nukes. If this happens, expect them (U.S) to pack up overnight and vamoose, letting the region stew in its own juice. It’s probable after a long hiatus (maybe a couple of decades or even more), even the most diehard Talibani supporter of today may see things differently. Only then will the change come. As for others in the region, India specifically, already at the receiving end, how does it matter that bigots with geopolitical aim of balkanizing India in present day Pakistan now have given way to religious zealots.

Posted by Munna Bhai | Report as abusive

Necessary Evil ?? i disagree Rajeev..
None of the US top diplomats or the nato countries or regional countries like India, Iran or even afghanistan for that matter have reacted to this backward development.. and the 17000 more troops is not new in reaction to surrender to taliban,,this was something Obama had planned even before he was elected..
Cutting down the aid money would have been a real positive sign from US in protest to the pakistani move, not doing that looks like US is secretly supporting the pakistan, taliban nexus.
US perhaps may not want peace in the region.

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

@Myra,

As I have said before Myra, the only way to win on the ground is with overwhelming numbers. There should not be 17,000 troops on the ground, but 170,000 troops on the ground.

Terrorism and extremism and our free societies, in which we can express our voices is very precious and dear to humanity, as I am doing right now. If we are serious about protecting that, sledgehammer might is the only way to conclusively finish something quickly and this would save lives in the long run.

Time and again, history has shown you cannot negotiate with Terrorists, I don’t know why we keep entertaining diplomacy with animals. Hamas is a perfect example of this and now Pakistan, the Taliban and the Pakistani government, they are all liars, cheats, backstabbers and two faced untrustworthy Islamicist expansionists.

They only understand force. How many times do we keep conceding allowing more innocent people to perish, while trying to embrace liberalism? As we lose ground, they become emboldened and apologists destroy continually the ground we seek to solidify.

I am no saying all Islamic countries are like this, but the ones that are, must be dealt with a very extreme, forward, direct and heavy handed approach.

The West’s diplomacy and constant talking is seen as a sign of weakness and lack of will to fight. I don’t think the West is serious enough about fighting terrorism and extremism.

That is why we need to keep developing better, more precise weapons. The Drones are just the tip of the IceBerg.

The Mission in Afghanistan, should have a 500,000 troop presence and the Taliban would be finished in 3 months and Pakistan could be fixed as well. The entire southeast asia region could see long-term stable security if a huge Multi-National Force like this could be arranged.

It is too bad NATO member countries are wimpy, they want protection, but lack the guts to provide any for anybody else.

Shame on NATO. We should ask Russia to come back.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Myra,

This Islamicist Genie in a bottle was opened by America and Russia and Pakistan during the 80′s occupation of Afganistan.

Therefore, these three are morally on the hook to put it back.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

It would seem that military action is the only one being taken, as though Afghanistan and its resiliant peoples are in a vacuum, disconnected from the process. Increased support in the way of developing self-sufficiency in the economy, rebuilding the infrastructure, winning minds and hearts through local community action developement is an imperative. There are now existing programs, but often disconnected from the Afghan government. Helping the Afghan government to develop meaningful administration, development of programs and infrastructure are every bit as important as troops in the south (where most of the trouble lies). In the meantime, helping the country to enable its own economic development to improve lives will be a powerful instrument against those extremists who preach hate and devisiveness.

Posted by David J Bellak | Report as abusive

This is a really bad decision.

Anitha, I like your conspiracy theories.
How about sending 10,000 odd Indian troops to Afghanistan? they come cheap huh? atleast some western soldiers lives will be saved as the Indians pick up the casualties. After all, India wants to become a regional power isnt it? Sacrifices need to be made, mere dreams will not get you anywhere.

Also, to correct you, Pakistan is not part of any “nexus”. Get your facts straight.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Even on this topic the Pakistan-obsessed Indians can’t post on anything except Pakistan.

Obama sending more troops is good choice, as US left the job half-done in 2002, and has never had enough soldiers to actually hold territory.

Myra,

Despite difficulties and risks, the decision to send more US troops to Afghanistan is the right one. Moreover, the US is not doing anyone a favor. This Taliban monster is the creation of the US and Pakistan. It’s their moral obligation to reign in the genie back in to the bottle.

The real question is does the US & its pawn, Pakistan, has the will and the resolve to dismantle the Taliban permanently? Or, should we wait until some other American asset is blown up by the Taliban peace-makers?

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

Anitha: There is some mild reaction from Britain and NATO and Pranab expresses unease.
http://thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=688 76
But US is staying quiet. Who knows why.
Quote “While Britain and NATO have said they are concerned by the deal, the United States has been muted in its criticism. When pressed by reporters at the State Department on Tuesday spokesman Gordon Duguid said the U.S. was seeking a “fuller explanation” from Pakistan. “As I understand it, Islamic law is within the constitutional framework of Pakistan,” he added. “So I don’t know that that is particularly an issue for anyone outside of Pakistan to discuss.”
You are right that Obama decided troops increase long ago. People in SWAT as well as some Pakistani bloggers do not mind this deal, Sharia law, saying if people are happy it is OK.
Peace deal or not, I will be surprised if US does not know the level of Pak-Taliban link. Either US wants disturbance in the region, as you said or is not ready to cut aid since it still feels that Pak is not indispensable yet (supply route and attacks and entering the border). US can ignore all this and Pak cannot do anything but it is obviously counterproductive and public will be against them. From Pak POV, although China gives aid, Pak cannot rely on China yet—so Pak also needs US. If US wants they can give a credible warning of intercepting all aids to Pakistan so that Pak stops all relationship with all terrorists/Taliban. But new supply routes are essential before it can be done. Also Obama is new in the office and will try his talk-first policy which he is already doing much before he became president. It is very much possible that US secretly supports Pakistan-taliban deal for preserving problems in the region and their influence or is dealing Taliban in SWAT is not considered as US/.NATO agenda and is a distraction from their POV. Also there are various shades of grey in Taliban from reconcilable guys to terrorists—isolating them??? But decapitated bodies lying around in SWAT with notes is hell. Sometime I wonder when everyone will start treating all terrorists as terrorists.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Myra,

Any word if India is going to get into this mess called “War on terror” by sending troops? I hope they don’t since lives of our Indian soldiers are not cheap.
Thanks

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Anitha:
wrt to your earlier post, “the US has deducted $55 million out of the $156 million bill set by Pakistan for rendering its military services to fight against Taliban and Al Qaeda in volatile bordering tribal areas adjacent to war-torn Afghanistan”. “Washington have said repeatedly that Islamabad was not doing enough to control Islamic insurgency in its ungoverned tribal region”. This is all because of kneeldown of Pakistan in SWAT.

http://www.khilafah.com/kcom/index.php/n ews-watch/south-asia/5102-us-cuts-pakist ans-aid-for-fighting-terrorism

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Correction:
“This is all after the kneeldown of Pakistan infront of Taliban in SWAT.”

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Another Correction:
“But this cut is nothing to do with the peacedeal”
sorry for the multiple posts.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Obama has said clearly that there will not be any “military only” solution. Diplomacy will be a key aspect of engaging everyone in the region.

I take that diplomacy here means basically giving these barbarians a choice to make. If the wrong choice is made, punishment will be swift. Obama does not believe in double talk. He is a clean and straight forward guy. He does not play politics.

All tribes in the region starting from Indian Punjab, all the way up to the Mediterranean are war mongering martial tribes. For thousands of years they have evolved by settling all disputes by force. Peace is alien to them. The reason why Islam spread fast in these regions is because it sanctioned military actions and fitted with their inner nature.

Adding more troops is a good plan. Wish there were more troops from the NATO allies as well. It is important to set up a 150000 strong hi tech force there to bring the place under control. Once the bad guys are captures, the mission does not end there. There must be a permanent base set up in Afghanistan under international control that manages all issues between the various tribes. Just like these people fear the Taliban, the force must be feared and respected. The British managed the entire region this way. None of these tribes messed with them as long as they ruled. They are a thousand odd years away from democracy, women’s rights etc.

After the first part of the mission is accomplished (getting Bin Laden and rooting out Al Qaeda), the next action should be to neutralize the Islamic bomb and missiles. Then the third action must be to split up these regions into small, autonomous nation states, divided along ethnic lines and managed under international watch. There should be no local military. It should only be an international military made up soldiers from the local nations, India, China, Afghanistan and NATO. The presence of this military should ensure that the roads and water ways are maintained free of bandits, narcotics eradication, and setting up and maintaining key infrastructure to help share the resources like water, power etc.

The cultures around these regions cannot manage themselves and get into isolation and conflicts very quickly. Therefore to bring a long term solution to the problem, their culture needs to be forcibly changed. Soviet occupation in Central Asia has definitely changed those regions for good. They do not have fanatic elements in their society. Their women get education and they are pretty modern. But one should always keep a watch over these cultures which have the tendency to go out of control fast. If the US did not go after the Soviets in Afghanistan, probably we will not be seeing all of this today. Communism with atheistic principles is a good antidote to the deeply ingrained religious fanaticism in these areas. It might have worked for the good of the region.

Those who cannot manage themselves are not mature yet and must be managed. This is like not letting mentally disabled people out in the open. They need to be kept under control and treated. It is unfortunate. But that is the way things have emerged in this region. All the rhetoric of Islamic brotherhood, Umma etc are talk and nothing else. These guys get at each others’ throat very quickly or they go after others if there is nothing else to do. Look at how they treated each other in East Pakistan or how they treat the Shias, Ahmedias and others.

The world should seriously look at re-colonizing these people for their own good.
Enough said.

Mauryan Said -”They are a thousand odd years away from democracy, women’s rights etc.:”

It reminds me of Winston Churchill talking about giving freedom to India.

Solution to Afghanistan has to be with Pakistan. Pakistan must first eradicate Taliban from its territory and US/NATO from Afghanistan. Development can only happen when there is peace. Hence Adding more troops to Afghanistan is a correct but partial solution.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive

Pakistan Needs ‘Marshall Plan’ to Fight Militants, Zardari Says after surrendering to Taliban.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=2 0601087&sid=am2TtUXR7cmI&refer=home

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

@ Global Watcher
Plz don’t be disappointed. 17000 is just the appetizer. Full meal will be served very soon. Initial estimate for Iraq was 30000, but went up to 160000.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Did Zardari kill Benazir?
For power or 100%?
He didn’t even allow any autopsy or investigation immediately. Scotland Yard and UN were allowed very limited power to investigate and operate.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnew s/asia/pakistan/4691176/Pakistan-preside nt-purging-Benazir-Bhutto-supporters.htm l

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

Ohh .. look .. the Taliban who sign the surrender deal says “He hated democracy and wanted supremacy of Islam over the entire world”.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp  ?page=20092\18\story_18-2-2009_pg1_8

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

Recently a Russian General warned America that it is stupid to fight in Afghanistan. Lessons learned after ten years of conflict. During this time the Russians slaughtered millions of Afghans and lost 15,000 men in the process. Read between the lines, this region is the graveyard of empires.
It is not worth the life of a single American Soldier. Nor the economic collapse of the United States. This way the oil barons get their trans-afghanistan pipeline at our expense.

Posted by Gus Beddingfield | Report as abusive

Pakistan decides to sacrifice Chinese muslims and their rights for Chinese aid ..

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/02/18/ world/worldwatch/entry4809534.shtml

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

Interesting .. Pakistani politicians and army are not only fooling the world but their own country too ..

http://features.csmonitor.com/globalnews  /2009/02/18/oops-pakistan-condemns-uss- drone-attacks-but-also-hosts-them/

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

Pakistan army, after killing 3 million Bangladeshis, urges Bangladesh to forgive war crimes. How about forgiving “Khmer rouge” too!!!

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/art icle/ALeqM5hPEvee9mxIRhytpD8hQspGRpZExg

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

Pakistan signs agreements with China to sacrifice Chinese muslims for Chinese aid ..

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/02/18/ world/worldwatch/entry4809534.shtml

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

Myra, Anitha, Rajiv, Chirkut, Amy, and other all those posting their views here :

Taliban and Al -Queda are the creations of US , Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to drive out Red Army from Afghanistan, subsequent to the evacuation of red army from Afghanistan, Taliban and Al queda captured power from puppet regime of Najeeb. Afghanistan is largest drug producing country in the world, as ISI and Pak Army are the principal backer of Taliban and Al-Queda, they offered their services in drug business with the help of India’s greatest don Dawood and his cronies, the drug money was used to promote the cause of radical islam through out the world as if they are custodian of islam and muslims world over have authorised them to champion their cause. The various terror acts in India ever since fall of Afghanistan are proof of such acts .

Post 9/11,when America realised that even they are not safe, Afghanistan and Pakistan started blinking on their radar , and then started campaign against terror .

Obama’s resolve to send additional 17000 troops is more than welcome , but as the whole world knows that the source of power of taliban and al-queda are in Pakistan, ISI and Pakistan army are the main backers , it is high time for Obama to create enough pressure on Pakistan to dismantle the terror schools , to take control of nuclear arsenals before its falling the hands of jehadi elements .

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive

According to the Center for Constitutional Rights roughly 20% of 250 detainees who remain at Guantanamo fear torture or persecution if they return to their home countries.
The Obama administration rushed in without thinking this process through, granted every new president has set out to change certain polices of their predecessor, likewise, every president has come to office facing unique challenges. This is now Obama’s deal, It was thought this move would improve the world view of the US, as it turns out no country wants these detainees, governments knowing the secret nature of these matters are now more concerned than ever. Only those who have political ties with Obama and so-called “sympathizers” agree with their release.
Eventually the blame game turns against them; sooner or later Mr. Pres. Obama will have to face this blunder head on because this was his ticket to the White House .
Liberals seem to think these detainees should be freed and released into the USA , however, a three-judge panel suggested they need to seek entry by applying to the Homeland Security Department (in charge of immigration). The court also concluded the detainees have no constitutional right to immediate freedom.
For those who are anxious to release these suspects they are saying “The ball is in President Obama’s court,” If he is genuinely committed to closing Guantanamo, one clear and immediate step he should take is release the Uighurs into the U.S.”, Mr. Obama may have forced himself to “take off his mask”.
This and the poor international reception of his “stimulus bill” has him off to a bad start, despite his worshipers and the media running damage control for him. Why are we promoting world war when we thought finally it was over (for us)?

News Flash bhind the scene Ohbama’s admiastration is allready shapeing futuer “handling” of war prisinors in a more Bush like context Also see http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/us/pol itics/18policy.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=detain ees&st=cse

Posted by GR | Report as abusive

Pakistan freed as many as 136 Talibans from jail in exchange for the Chinese engineer under Chinese pressure. Zardari goes to China in days to beg for more free aid and a happy China may grant a few hundred million dollars as soft loan. What price will US, NATO pay for the 136 freed Talibans? Does anybody care? How does the few hundred million dollars loan compare to the 12 billion dollars free aid given by US? Why not give similar deals to free American, Iranian and Afghan diplomats from Taliban?

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=857 46&sectionid=351020401

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive

anju2008 writes: “Taliban and Al -Queda are the creations of US , Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to drive out Red Army from Afghanistan, subsequent to the evacuation of red army from Afghanistan, Taliban and Al queda captured power from puppet regime of Najeeb”

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Taliban did not come into existence until after the last batch of Soviet troops marched out of Afghanistan.

After the Soviets left, several Afghan tribes tried to take control of Afghanistan and factional wars began. Refugees began to pour out into Pakistan again and this time the US was gone from the scene with its objectives achieved. Two years later the Soviet Union itself disappeared.

Pakistan began to help bring order to the chaos. It wanted an Afghanistan that was under its control. It began to support Gulb Ud Din Hekmatyar who was an orthodox man himself. But somehow it did not pan out. Then the Benazir government endorsed the plan to create a force made up religious students who only worked for the cause of Islam – Taliban was born. The Pakistani military and its ISI began to provide man power, logistics and ammunition to the Taliban and it began to deliver. It slowly conquered all of Afghanistan excepting a small pocket on the Northern side. The Afghans, tired of internecine wars, welcomed the Taliban as order was restored. Justice was immediate. Taliban wiped out all opium fields. For sometime, Afghanistan under the Taliban resembled the Swat valley of today. Then Al Qaeda moved in from Somalia and the rest is history.

Know this fact right – The Taliban and the Al Qaeda are not the creations of the US led coalition against the Soviet Union inside Afghanistan. The only mistake the US made was to use the Madrasas inside Pakistan to generate Jihadi clones to fight the Afghans. That paved the way for Taliban’s creation at a latter stage.

Sometimes lies told many times over begin to replace truth slowly. This is the danger with passionate and emotional people. They go blind and start believing in distorted stories.

Amy,

I’m not surprised that the 136 Taliban were released to save one Chinese. Pakistan is up for sale to the highest bidder – the US, China, Saudi Arabia – for the last 60 years.

No wonder, Pakistan is refered as a “rent state”. A country which charges a heavy price – cash, aid, weapons, debt write offs – in return for allowing to use its location in the sub-continent.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

Umair

Refer to your post below.
‘Anitha, I like your conspiracy theories.
How about sending 10,000 odd Indian troops to Afghanistan? they come cheap huh?’

Pls. understand that Indian troops don’t come cheap. The fact that India has chosen to undertake development projects in Afghanistan worth a couple of billion USD, shows the premium attached to lives of Indian troops.On the other hand Pakistani troops are another matter. The sods are killed fighting and getting pittance for their efforts. Best of all, US docks the payment (some 55 million)
USD) for the shoddy performance. As the former commie joke goes ‘They pretend to work and we pretend to pay them.’ Just substitute the word fight for work and you’ll get the picture.

Posted by Munna Bhai | Report as abusive

@bloggers

1) The U.S. needs to bribe the top guardians of the Pak nukes to give all their locations, even if it takes a billion dollars. In the long run, this will save lives an money. This is do-able with the level of corruption in Pakistan.

2) U.S. should unleash the full might of its most destructive thermo-baric weapons using the B-1B Lancer on the terrorist training camps and Taliban leadership, wherever it is. Keep the pounding running day and night for weeks if necessary until the targeting pilots trigger finger is swollen.

3) Send in Gurkha rifle to decapitate Al Qaeda Leadership and any remaing leadership.

4) Leave Pakistan, let it collapse, if it may.

6) U.S. drone all Pak madrassas and eliminate all religious extremists.

Sounds extreme, well it was also extreme when Hitler was about to take over Europe and the world, it took a heavy military hand by the U.S. and Russia and Allies to crush the Nazis.

Why would the same players not stand up and do the same today.

The Line is drawn here. Humanity, rationality, democracy, pluralism, thousands of years of human achievement, religious tolerance and moderation and secularity, rule of law and natural law is not up for negotiation or sale.

Islam has been hijacked by something deeply sinister and evil. The infected parts must be destroyed. Moderate muslims lack the courage to resist it and fight.

It is our duty to permanently crush those who challenge any of those aforementioned core and dear ideals.

Barbarism, brutality, irrationality, hate, chaos, evil has cast its shadow and found a new home in Pakistan. India beware!

A dark de-evolution of the human race is staring at us and will make its mark, if we fail to pro-actively and decisively act.

Pakistan is now staring into the abyss, is the rest of the world staring in the same direction?

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Mauryan:

@All tribes in the region starting from Indian Punjab, all the way up to the Mediterranean are war mongering martial tribes. For thousands of years they have evolved by settling all disputes by force. Peace is alien to them. The reason why Islam spread fast in these regions is because it sanctioned military actions and fitted with their inner nature.

–Explain to me that about Indian Punjab. Aggressive nature is understandable since they were at the front. They better not be passive. Punjab has Sikhs with both spiritual and military arms. Majority of 10 Gurus were peaceloving teaching co-existence to all. Last Guru (Gobind Singh) gave a military look to the religion to oppose Mughal aggressors (Aurangzeb specifically). His dad (Guru Teg bahadur) died for the cause of Kashmiri Pundits. Starting with last Guru, the tribes (if you want to use that word) people in the region did not let Mughals settle in that part.

The reason why Islam spread fast in these regions could be because Mughals entered from west through Punjab. Conversions must be high too at that time in that region. So many of my Pakistani Bros will be convert Muslims by sword.
Unrelated to your comment but relevant, the reason why British took over Punjab in the end was that they came from the the other direction. Major one again was the might of Runjit Singh who ruled in Punjab (Lahore capital) for long and ably and British avoided him as long as they could.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

well first he has to say why USA lifes are being wasted it looks like the Omaba bubble is just a bubble he brings nothing new just the same USA goes down the same road which goes no where nice one USA just shows black and white are stupid lol

Posted by steve | Report as abusive

Here is a new perspective adding Israel in the Afghan equation, see link:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.a sp?id=163348

Posted by Julius | Report as abusive

It is funny to see comments from Indian armchair pseudo-intellectuals. They are very innocently advising US to take control of Afghanistan and Pakistan. De-nucliarize Pakistan and do all the dirty jobs for India. Some are unhappy about aid given to Pakistan. I would say “If wishes were fishes I’d cast my net in the sea” lol.

Posted by naughtypakistani | Report as abusive

Rajeev, the cut of $55million aid was after Obama increased the aid money by 50% more than the Bush administration..

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

naughtypakistani,

If wishes were fishes then Pakistan would have been the advanced, modern, hi-tech, tolerant, intelligent, envied place on the planet as your precious Jinnah wanted.

What have you got:
(1) Mr. 10% as president.
(2) Over 30 years of military dictator rule.
(3) Taliban in Swat.
(4) US drone attacks from across the Afghan border.
(5) High flour, wheat and cooking oil prices that the ordinary man on the street cannot afford.
(6) Load shedding of power.
(7) Pakistan Army playing double standards with USA.
(8) Denial, Denial, Admittance (sack a minister) over Mumbai attacks.
(9) Asking Saudis for defferment on oil payments.
(10) Asking China (all weather friend) for loans.
(11) Asking IMF for a loan TWICE in less than 20 years.
(12) Asking Obama for more military aid with no conditions attached.

Asking for SO MUCH with very little in terms of world contributions.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

My friend bulletfish, we are at war with Alqaida+Taliban hooligans, and as a result we are loosing investments. Our economy was doing quite good about 2 yrs ago. Presently we wish only to eradicate the terrorist menace, the rest will go fine eventually. Do you think this wish is a fish?

Posted by naughtypakistani | Report as abusive

Rajeev, the cut of $55million aid was after Obama increased the aid money by 50% more than the Bush administration..
- Posted by Anitha

–Anitha, Interesting! I did not know that.
From all the discussion and the chinese element surfacing,I think it is time for US to act before reverse happens–USA becomes dispensable for Pakistan due to total Chinese aid. Is there such a possibility? I will not rule any thing out with Chinese in picture. But this could be balanced by China’s dependence on export to US and others as a source of their economic growth.

Right now, it is imp to handle Taliban and Pakistan, let Al-Qaida (OBL etc) die their own death. Some one suggested to buy Pakistani Nukes for $20 billion–would pakis do that? Denuclearlization is must with Taliban in picture. Imp. to choke Pakistan first before making this suggestion. I think USA should involve China also over Pak-Tal issue.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Nikhil wrote:
“No wonder, Pakistan is refered as a “rent state”. A country which charges a heavy price – cash, aid, weapons, debt write offs – in return for allowing to use its location in the sub-continent.”

Well, I would take that as a compliment. Pakistanis always play their cards smartly, infact if you ever read M. J Akbar’s recent column in Arab News and Khaleej Times thats what he stated. Islamabad is known for clever diplomacy, while all New Delhi can do is shout and react. Keep up.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

@” I think USA should involve China also over Pak-Tal issue.”
- Rajeev,India has no ememity with Taliban..Like china India also should make agreements with Islamists in pakistan who are like reps for Taliban..Supply them with war equipments become a wise war profiteer like US or China or Russia. That will make India safe as well as gain some influence with in Paksitan.

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

Anitha
your idea of India gaining influence in Pakistan is very fancy but impractical. India cannot wield an iota of influence in Pakistan, simply because Pakistan is not a weak nation. India is better off gaining greater influence in its own territory, who would want another Mumbai style terrorist strike on India. India’s reputation is already ruined, how far will India go in gaining influence within Pakistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

I agree Umair, mine is a fancy idea..but not impratical and you know it !!

@ pakistan is not a weak nation – yeah but it seems Taliban is much stronger then your nation

@ who wants another mumbai attack – Nobody because ISIs aim of stopping fight with Taliban is materialising thru other means, namely sharis in Swat !!

@ Indias reputation already ruined – No Sir..the mumbai attack ruined pakistan democracy..democracy is now kneeling down in front of terrorism, India forced pakistan to accept role in mumabi attack, who is defamed ??..9/11 didn’t defame US, nor did mumbai defame India.

@ How far India can go to gain influence in pakistan ? – we dont have to go far..pakistan is our neighbor !!Ha ha that was a joke. Really if India wants to gain that influence it can do more than china does simply because India has US, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan on its side.

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

Umair writes: “because Pakistan is not a weak nation. India is better off gaining greater influence in its own territory, who would want another Mumbai style terrorist strike on India. India’s reputation is already ruined, how far will India go in gaining influence within Pakistan.”

“Pakistan is not a weak nation” – This reminds of the funny looking Iraqi general who kept saying on Iraqi TV that there was no US invasion when the US troops were nearing Baghdad.

“Who would want another Mumbai style attack?” – Indirect acceptance that this attack came from Pakistan and the Pakistanis support it in their hearts. This looks like a cold threat. You had one Mumbai attack. And you can expect more.

“India’s reputation is already ruined” – Only inside Pakistan. One’s reputation gets ruined when what they say and do are not the same. This something Pakistan has been doing. First they said all attackers on Mumbai were not Pakistanis. Now they have come up to six. Soon they will have to acknowledge the truth. Zardari will make a deal with US to help hide his establishment’s involvement in Mumbai attacks for coming close enough to accepting the responsibility for Mumbai.

I am sure some American expert in this region will write in a future memoir about the truth of what happened.

Can someone pleae tell me why it is the job of America to POLICE THE WORLD ?
I’m not saying that something is not required here from an outside party…But why should American lives and American dollars be spent here ?
AMERICANS ARE DYING ! FOR WHAT !! ?

Posted by mojos1966 | Report as abusive

friends
This time I will do something which i never did in my earlier posts, I would support Umair to an extent.He is right when he say we should put out house in order first. and as far as Anitha’s suggestions are concerned I found them completely ridiculous. for the follwoing reasons
1) She is asking India to do the same mistake what pakistan did. One cant have a treaty or friendship with elements like Talsiban. Ppl who have supported them had to pay through their nose , history stands as a testimony.
2)China doesnt share a border with pakistan the way India does, so supporting taliban has different implications for us
3)China’s society is not as pluralistic as ours is and I hope you understand what i mean by that. So where as Taliban can find ideologicals support in some sections of Inida it wouldnt find so in china.
So i would request you all not to be irresponsible in your comments. U might be happy to see your neighbours house on fire but only so long that it doesnt spread to your home and for that you need to help him extinguish it rather standing a mute spectator or at worst putting fuel into it.

Posted by Prithviraj | Report as abusive

naughtypakistani,
This is not a fish, but a SHARK.
If you want to eradiacate AQ and Taliban then why roll over for them in Swat? They committed the the most barbaric crimes there and will not stand trial for it. So they use barbaric acts in order to achieve Sharia Law in Swat. Will those who commited these acts before the peace deal stand trial in a Sharia Court? No, they will not is the simple answer. They will be walking around in the population picking out journalists to murder and get their Mullah leaders to annouce that the murder was done by outsiders.

That M. Sufi said that he came to Swat region to bring peace. Did he and his thugs have to murder people trying to make a living from the region: Pakistani civil servants, Singers, Dancers…etc.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

@ India has no ememity with Taliban..Like china India also should make agreements with Islamists in pakistan who are like reps for Taliban..Supply them with war equipments become a wise war profiteer like US or China or Russia. That will make India safe as well as gain some influence with in Paksitan.
-posted by Anitha

Anitha,
I somewhat agree that India does not have enemity with Taliban. But Taliban considers India as enemy (obviously nothing pleases Pakistan the most). We just have to wait and watch and definitely not get into any mission there. We are not Pakistan and we don’t deal with beheaders of innocents.

@.India cannot wield an iota of influence in Pakistan, simply because Pakistan is not a weak nation.
- Posted by Umair

Umair,
Then this clears India/RAW of any influence in Baluchistan, the largest and the poorest Pak province. Baluch will love Indian support for their independence, what Baluch consider a just cause–India has got the resume to back it up to convince anyone with an “IOTA OF DOUBT”. Like you, I also thought that “Pakistan is not a weak nation.”, but the evidence shows the contrary and Pak is too busy with lots of stuff and is at its weakest best. But we are not getting into your internal mess and will let you deal with it.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

I wish to respond to the comment of mojos1966 with a few words. You should know as an American that your economy is largely based on war factories. As a result, it is vital for US to support this industry by playing the POLICE role to the rest of the world. It is as simple as that. US army does not send its trops to sustain the peace in the world. Anyone who believes that is simply another hypocrite.

Posted by iPapachri | Report as abusive

correction:
“without an “IOTA OF DOUBT”.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev
I can only laugh at your ignorance, Baluchistan has developed into a strategic hub of transportation and energy with development of Gwadar deep sea port. It is the most abundant in oil and gas along with other minerals.
@ Baluch will love Indian support”
-well, only if Pakistan will allow. Indira Gandhi is dead and East Pakistan is Bangladesh. A nuclear Pakistan will simply blow the crap out of anyone trying to destabilize Baluchistan. while India’s resume is filled with lot of dirty jobs it did in East Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it will never find itself in good standing.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Pakistans former Musharref, Afghanistans Karzai and Obama are all cut of the same cloth. They are all deceptive liars who hide actions which they approve from one another in order to get what THEY want … heaven forbid one does what he feels right regardless of the outcome and effect it has on others. ALL GUTLESS PIGS – and ours even wears lipstick after his cigarette! WHAT A JOKE

Posted by Mornin Joe | Report as abusive

@I can only laugh at your ignorance, Baluchistan has developed into a strategic hub of transportation and energy with development of Gwadar deep sea port. It is the most abundant in oil and gas along with other minerals.
- Posted by Umair
—Umair, I agree Baluchistan has Chinese-built Gwadar port and other natural resources and that’s the Pak interest. But not the people giving rise to increasing discontent among Baluchs.

@ Baluch will love Indian support”
-well, only if Pakistan will allow. Indira Gandhi is dead and East Pakistan is Bangladesh. A nuclear Pakistan will simply blow the crap out of anyone trying to destabilize Baluchistan. while India’s resume is filled with lot of dirty jobs it did in East Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it will never find itself in good standing.
- Posted by Umair
-Umair, you are seriously disconnected from the world. India’s status is the pride of Indian and envy of many in the world. This is What the world says about Indi. We don;t have to self-certify. India follows the rules of good neighbourliness, and reacts and shows its might proportionate to the dangers whenever presented. India is uninterested anyways in destblizing Baluch or other place in Pakistan. Former PM Inder K. Gujral shut down RAW’s counteroffensive branch in 199? on moral basis. For argument sake, there is only so much Pakistan can do against baluch once they are turned on. It is hillarious that you talk about NUKES everother sentence! NUKES cannot help you on your own land otherwise Swat would not be under Taliban.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@Umair,

In the eyes of the world, India has upped Pakistan millions of time over. It is time you quit living in denial, in your gated community in Lahore behind your computer doing tough nuke talk against India.

India has:

-IT leadership of the world, go to Silicon Valley, in US, not many Paks there
-Global Grade Military
-Huge Exports
-Bollywood Industry
-Inclusive, secular, plural, rule of law, democracy
-Equal rights for all (whether they use that for themselves is an entirely diff matter)
-World class Research and Technology development centers
-Brain power to the U.S. and the world
-Excellent food, now popularized in the Western Countries

Umair,

the list goes on, Pakistan is not really worthy of being mentioned on the same list, perhaps on a much lower list, which only Pakistani’s read.

OH…by the way, India’s Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars Last Night…I don’t believe Pakistan even has a real film industry or world reknown actors….

Umair, feel free to rot and fester in your own ignorance, while the rest of the world leaves you behind.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

@OH…by the way, India’s Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars Last Night…I don’t believe Pakistan even has a real film industry or world reknown actors….
- Posted by Global Watcher

Global Watcher: I would not have been interested in Oscar for this movie since it is produced and directed by Brits. But the fact that 2 Indians won 3 Oscars now makes me proud. Congratulations to AR Rehman for 2 oscars (for best score and best song) and 1 oscar for Resul Pookutty for Sound mixing.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@Umair, Ali, Paks,

Goto Youtube and look at “60minutes”interview with Zardari.

You dumb uneducated Paks just don’t get it. The taliban is not America’s war, it is Pakistan’s war.

I don’t see a single Pak standing up for their country against the taliban.

Fools sit by idly as they waste their time blaming India for everything.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

@Global Watcher

The Pakistan Army has been fighting militants for a long time. Just because you refuse to acknowledge their sacrifices and contributions, doesn’t mean there are none.

Your other points about Indian greatness are laughable. If India is really so great why are you bothering yourself writing about Pakistan every day ?

@rajeev

Indians have an inflated opinion of themselves, leading them to make foolish claims such “india follows good neighborliness”! Indeed thats what India was doing when it sponsored separatism in East Pakistan and Sri Lanka and supported Baloch warlords in West Pakistan.

Aamir,
I would rather have an inflated opinion of myself than bend over for the Taliban.

Pakistan is a PROUD BEGGER:
IMF: money (twice).
USA: military aid.
China: everything for friendship..aaaahhhh how sweet.

Do you acually PAY for any of this?

I will show you how inflated I am:

India +3 Oscars.
Paksistan -1 Swat.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

@bulletfish

Your inflated opinion of India leads you to continually make crazy claims.

India still gets foreign aid, and has been among the largest recepients of foreign aid throughout its history.

India also gets loans from international institutions like World Bank.

India also got the bulk of its weaponry and technology from the Soviet Union, by being a client state of it.

Of course an Indian won some Oscars, which I don’t see as any connection to politics or statehood.