The First Draft: Musharraf Has Obama’s Answer on Afghanistan

September 24, 2009

If President Barack Obama wants some extra advice on what to do in Afghanistan, he need look no farther than Pakistan’s former President, Pervez Musharraf.

The retired army general, who seized power in Afghanistan’s next-door neighbor during a 1999 coup, knows exactly what the United States should do. INDIA/

Send more troops?
* “Yes, absolutely. A military man understands that. The space is too large and your troop level is low,” Musharraf said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

How soon should the decision be taken?
* “I think we should take it immediately. You should have taken it yesterday.”

What would you tell an American public that’s increasingly worried about casualties?
* “The message is certainly that we have to win. We must avoid as much as possible casualties. But when soldiers move and armies act, casualties will be there and we must accept casualties.”
AFGHANISTAN/
The war in Afghanistan presents a quandary for the Obama administration, which entered office in January promising to correct what it cast as the policy missteps of Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.

Bush put Musharraf’s Pakistan at the forefront of the U.S. war on terrorism by pressing Islamabad to act against militants in its Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border.

Musharraf did act. But he also struck peace deals in FATA, which U.S. military officials say allowed militants to regroup for cross-border attacks in Afghanistan that helped drive violence there to its highest levels since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has concluded that more U.S. forces are now needed.  The U.S. force level is already set to more than double to 68,000 troops by the end of the year, compared with about 32,000 last December.AFGHANISTAN/OBAMA

Some administration officials fear too large a force could begin to look like a U.S. occupation and set the Americans up for the same sort of defeat suffered by previous world powers, including the Soviet Union and imperial Britain.

Musharraf’s optimism about the chances of a 21st Century victory seems undiminished, however.
* “There’s always a first time,” he said.

Photo Credits: Reuters/Stringer India (Musharraf); Reuters/Ahmad Masood (U.S. Marines); Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Obama)

4 comments

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A complete withdrawal of all American troops from every country around the globe is a start. Next would be to stop supporting Israel, stop selling arms to other countries, stop the bullying and intimidation, abolish American terrorist organizations like the CIA, FBI, BATF, and IRS, withdraw membership and support from the United Nations, abolish the income tax, restore states’ rights, term limit of one year for all elected officials, abolish the Democratic and Republican Parties and drag the party leaders through the streets, and restore the gold standard.

Posted by Mufaso | Report as abusive

This guy, though wiley, devious, and arrogant, is no fool. And, he is hard on everyone’s patience. But he is “right”, for an altogether different reason. More American troops means more overland trans-shipment of military hardware and supplies and this translates into more money – billions for Pakistan and the military. This is a growth industry and naive American taxpayers are good for Pakistan’s GDP. So here is how it works: keep the madrassas pumping hundreds of thousands of mindless fanatical Pakistani boys into the numerous terrorist organizations (what is the value of 500 boys in the light of the great gain; strengthen the vital nexus between the ISI and the Taleban and the terrorist organizations and encourage local and foreign attacks and prepare to cry that you “are also a victim of terrorism”; differentiate between the bad Taleban (Afgans) that are fighting NATO forces, and the “good” ones that are in Pakistan and who make up the quasi and irregular units of the Pakistan army that attacks India; stage attacks on India (Mumbai massacre) and feign helplessness on one hand, and on the other hand, excoriate the Indians for their clownish knee jerk reaction; provide cannon and mortar cover to terrorists crossing the border into India to kill Muslims and blame the Indians for genocide; preserve Quetta, Multan, and Peshawar as sites for Taleban to regroup, refresh and be rearmed for return trips into Afganhanistan; clandistinely support attacks, via in-place terror cells, upon the UK, Germany, Canada, and the US, under the larger agenda of Islamizing by bloodletting the world as commanded by the Koran – the book of “peace”; and in so doing, Musharraf and the ruling oligarchy and clergy in Pakistan enrich themselves whilst winning a war that the west does not even realize that it is fighting. Pakistan is profiting greatly from America and its foolish politicians. In the meantime, Pakistan’s hate for Americans is red hot, and portends to be hotter yet. Why do you think that most Pakistani fathers and mothers name their baby boys “Osama” and not “Obama”? America is playing a dangeroous game with this man – the consumate chamelion – who at a moment’s notice is your bosom best friend and the other is your most dangerous irreconcilable enemy. But he so well personifies Pakistan, a country that has a twisted and megalomaniac view of itself and suffers from thousand imagined hurts, slights and injustices, that it has been commanded them to revenge. What a man and what a country! This is the world’s mega root canal.

Posted by Narine Singh | Report as abusive

Yes we, do have better equipment.

Posted by TCMSOLS | Report as abusive

The advice could not have been else but falterer as the troops escalation only reduces the mobility time and not the effective designs which are hatched by the ISI people. Something, which the General efficiently skipped to divulge upon.
The ability to process the intelligence and the persistent supply of ammunition to the Taliban have been from where? After they are not making guns and bombs in Pakistan. If any increase of military pressure is required then it is the Pakistani side of the Durand line where it is to be seen. And, as of recent the results verify this fact also. The intelligence network in the FATA areas and in southern NWFP needs to be strengthened for more precise demolition of the network of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces, which the General refuses to emphasize.
The other most important fact is that the success is visible only in terms of political stabilization of Afghanistan and not the military stabilization which the Karzai government has failed to achieve. The regions split in terms of politcal spheres of influence and the very fact is helping Taliban to reclaim success out of its simple strategies. The recent surge in the north has proved this. The new force is needed to put unified pressure on Taliban which has to be an indigenous Afghan force and a compulsory military service is not a bad idea when there is acute shortage of fighting units.
So, firstly there should be an increase in Afghan military strength and then it should be followed by the US enforcements.

Posted by Ambrish Dhaka | Report as abusive