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WASHINGTON – The Pakistani military intends to extend its influence back into Afghanistan once troops from the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization leave as planned at the end of 2014, according to report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
This comes despite NATO’s debate now over what troops will remain following the departure for training Afghan security forces.
The motive is what one analyst calls reestablishing “strategic depth” of the Pakistani military’s “imperial pretensions” in Afghanistan, according to Dr. Subhash Kapila of the South Asia Analyst Group.
However, Kapila and other analysts say that notwithstanding the military’s interest in pushing its proxy, the Taliban, to take back the country, Afghanistan will remain as a global and regional hotspot with destabilizing spill-over effects.
“This phenomenon chiefly arises from [the] Pakistan army’s compulsive strategic obsession of enslavement of Afghanistan on the implausible plea that Pakistan needs ‘strategic depth,’” Kapila said.
Ironically, regional analysts say that Pakistan really didn’t need to be involved in events in Afghanistan between 1978 to 2001 when it first was invaded by the then-Soviets and subsequently invaded and occupied by the United States following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States.
At that time, the Afghan Taliban had refused to turn over Osama bin Laden, whose terrorists were residing there their “guests.”
Another analyst, Syed Farooq Hasnat, former head of the Middle East section of the Islamabad Institute of Strategic Studies, asserted that Afghanistan had “little strategic impact on its own society,” referring to Pakistan.
Much of the problem in Afghanistan stems from Pakistan’s creation, the Taliban, which wants to take back the country from the U.S.-installed regime of President Hamid Karzi.
It was in charge of the country just prior to the October 2001 U.S. invasion of the country.
However, Iraq then became a major distraction from keeping out the Taliban and they began to return to the point that now they have reoccupied the country despite U.S. and NATO troop effort to rid the country of them.
Kapila, however, asserts that during the 1978 to 2001 period, the Pakistani military was pushed by the United States to intervene in Afghanistan “serving as the strategic handmaiden of the United States to further U.S. security interests.”
Indeed, at the time, the Pakistani army was in control of Pakistani policy.
“The Pakistan army in collusive military collaboration with the United States made Afghanistan a battleground victimizing the Afghan people for no complicity of their own,” Kapila asserted.
“…Ignoring the deleterious effects on regional stability of incorporating Pakistan army in U.S. strategic games in Afghanistan in the U.S. first and second military interventions, a large measure of blame for fanning Pakistan army’s imperial pretensions lie on the shoulders of the United States,” he said.
In the first Afghan war, U.S. military intervention was to inflict a Vietnam-style action against Soviet military presence in Afghanistan. The U.S. then relied on the Pakistani army “as a policy tool,” Kapila said, “fully aware that the Pakistan army military hierarchy would jump at the opportunity.”
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