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In the 70s France and Pakistan had a signed agreement for a Nuclear Reprocessing plant. Despite the fact that funding had been arranged, France reneged on the sale under pressure from America. In the 90s Benazir Bhutto resurrected the deal and Paris promised to set up a Reprocessing plant for Pakistan. France again did not conform to its promises and did not supply the plant. Mr Sarkozy had “confirmed France was ready, within the framework of its international agreements, to co-operate with Pakistan in the field of nuclear safety.” “This is so the Pakistani programme can develop in the best conditions of safety and security,”the French spokesman. AFP “France has agreed to transfer civilian nuclear technology to Pakistan, That is a significant development, and we have agreed that Pakistan should be treated like India. President Sarkozy said, and I quote him, ‘What can be done for India, can be done for Pakistan as well.’,” “Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters Apparently France and Pakistan has reached a verbal breakthrough on Nuclear Technology and The French president at present is not ready to publicly proclaim that France will indeed build reactors for Pakistan. France will come be under tremendous pressure on this issue and may be planning to work through it in conjunction with the IAEA and other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. PARIS, May 15 (Xinhua) — France has agreed to offer Pakistan its civilian nuclear technology, French media quoted Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi as saying on Friday. (more…)

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Posted on April 25, 2009 by Moin Ansari

The impact of the JF-17 thunder deployment can be heard far beyond Islamabad and Peshawar. Pakistan has now joined the ranks of the very few countries of the world that can design, produce and manufacture airplanes. This positions Pakistan on new geo strategic map. Within a few years Pakistani exports of aircraft will exponentially grow into huge volumes. The revenue from the export of JF-17 thunders will be ploughed back into research and development and purchase the best technology money can buy.

FC-1 Fierce Dragon

After the 1965 war the US placed an arms embargo on Pakistan. Despite being a founding member of SEATO and CENTO, she faced the American sanctions. During the 1971 war Pakistan was under an arms embargo. During the 90s after winning the cold war for the USA, Pakistan was under US sanctions and an arms embargo. All this is now useless history. Pakistan will be able to produce as many planes as it needs–subject to production capacity constrains which can be ramped up if and when needed. The exports to many third world countries will expedite and enhance the production capacity of the Pakistan Air Force.

Now the Sri Lankans can have as many planes they want to fight the Indian sponsored Tamil terrorists. Now the Middle Eastern Air Forces can begin flying the JF-17 Thunders without begging the US. Now the small countries of Africa can own their own JF-17 Thunders without selling their souls to the Europeans.

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Can the Anti-Pakistan dawn.com halt Dawn’s slide towards irrelevancy and catalepsy?
Posted on April 18, 2009
by Moin Ansari

RUPEE NEWS

This is an obituary for abominable newspapers and despicable propaganda sheets like Dawn which pander to their Demi-Gods byond the shores of the Crescent and Star. Those who read these subversive Anti-Pakistan indoctrination papers, are aware of their seditious content. Hit by a devastating credibility gap, Dawn type of news outlets have been hit hard by a dilapidating recession, a drastic fall in circulation, and a landslide drop in readership. It is no wonder that these Pakistanphobic agitprops like Dawn are being ignored by Pakistanis and those who want to learn about Pakistan. Many browse sites, like those offered by Dawn, to sift enemy balderdash from fact, and then verifiy its veracity from other sources. Why would anyone read Dawn when AP, Reuters, and News.Google.com give readers a wide variety of news sources. Dawn of course doesn’t do a good job of covering Pakistan or presenting diverse views. It has an agenda dictated by Dollars. It is disgusting and most find it reprehensible to see the oafish Dawn print incorrect information about Pakistan and publish outright lies disguised as news. A few weeks ago Dawn incorrectly reported that the US Congress would not consider the package of aid for Pakistan. It then wrongly commented that Saudi Arabia would not support the Donors Conference. The reporting from Anwar Iqbal was actually a regurgitation of the story from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)–a conservative paper that espouses the Islamphobic and Anti-Pakistan Neocon point of view. Mr. Iqbal however left the juicy parts out. Saudi Arabia provides $5 million per day to Pakistan. The $5 million per day subsidy to Pakistan was mentioned in the original WSJ article. Why did Mr. Iqbal not mention these important facts when copying the original from the WSJ article? Iqbal and the WSJ was wrong. During the donors conference Saudi Arabia has pledged $700 million. What does this make Mr. Iqbal and Dawn. Liars and cheats? So we have seen Dawn lie about actual news on the occasions mentioned above. Why would Dawn lie? Why does Dawn call US drone strikes as “suspected”, and those killed as terrorists. Why is Dawn not sure that the missile came from a drone, but is very sure that all the kids and women which were targeted are terrorists. This may be a discussion in semantics, if it did not represent official US policy. The CIA does not admit and confirm the drone strikes, and always advertises the fact that it has been successful in eliminating “terrorirsts”. It is not hard to imagine that various newspapers lie based on their agenda. The New York Times lied about the WMDs in Iraq, and then has repeatedly lied about the atrocities in the West Bank and Gaza.

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Posted on April 14, 2009 by Moin Ansari

Noticias de Rupia | Nouvelles de Roupie | Rupiennachrichten | новости рупии | 卢比新闻 | Roepienieuws | Rupi Nyheter | ルピーニュース | Notizie di Rupia | PAKISTAN LEDGER | پاکستاني کھاتا | RUPEE NEWS | April 14th, 2009 | Moin Ansari | معین آنصآرّی | اخبار روپیہ |

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Posted on April 10, 2009 by Moin Ansari

Noticias de Rupia | Nouvelles de Roupie | Rupiennachrichten | новости рупии | 卢比新闻 | Roepienieuws | Rupi Nyheter | ルピーニュース | Notizie di Rupia | PAKISTAN LEDGER | پاکستاني کھاتا | Moin Ansari | معین آنصآرّی | اخبار روپیہ | April 9th, 2009 |

Manufacturing consent using Fake Videos: Chand Bibi of Swat was never spanked. Video not in Swat. The chasm between the so called elite and the common people is so great that there is no bridge. The inability of the Westernized elite is to comprehend the problems of the the poor Pakistanis is beyond comprehension. They are totally devoid of the compassion to realize the life and style of the poor and the struggling.

Wirting against Islam and against Pakistan is a profitable business. Many rake in the Dollars.

The extremist agenda of the fundamentalist pseudo liberals (WOGs): Forcing Atheistic Secular Humanism on the rest of us. The only way is “darmiyanah ravish“–the middle way.

Under the facade of schooling the locals, the British created the “Convents” to manufacture “Western Orientalized Gentlemen” (WOGs)–a cadre of aborigines who would speak and think like the English but would be local in color and ethnicity. The “wannabee goras” see no impact of the historical agression on Pakistani and Muslim societies. The WOGS, speaking their masters language squarely lay the blame of all ills on the local societies which are depicted as “tribal”. According to these WOGs, it is the poor and aggressive cave dwellers who are bent upon world domination and have an intense hatred of the West. Some of this paid character assassins try to propagate the false cliche “They hate us because of our freedoms.

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Noticias de Rupia | Nouvelles de Roupie | Rupiennachrichten | новости рупии | 卢比新闻 | Roepienieuws | Rupi Nyheter | ルピーニュース | Notizie di Rupia | PAKISTAN LEDGERپاکستاني کھاتا RUPEE NEWS | March 1st, 2009 | Moin Ansari | معین آنصآرّی | اخبار روپیہ |

A ware like everything has a beginning and an end. Some of the lessons from Vietnam for a successful ware were “defined objectives” and  “realistic goals” and a clear “exit strategy. We have none of the above in Afghanistan. The US administration has meandered from eliminating Al-Qaeda, to remaking the Middle East, to Liberating the Afghans, to making Kabul the thriving capital of Jeffersonian democracy, waging a global war on terror, to surrounding Iran, to taking over Central Asia, to preventing Russia from resurrecting its empire in Central Asia to preventing attacks on the homeland. Which one is it?

Hope is not a strategy, wishes are not goals, and prayers are not objective. Good speeches win elections not wars. Eloquence can convince voters but cannot change the realities on the ground. Simply knowing the name of Afghan towns does not make one an expert on Kabuli affairs. Blaming other countries for the defeat in Afghanistan is counterproductive to the venture. Brute force solves nothing.

The rhetoric from the White House is soothing, but the actions on the ground do not show any change of policy. the drones continue to bomb targets in Pakistan and there is much talk of war, arms and extermination of evil from the state that once  used to be called the Kushans.

There is much fanfare about a change in policy, but the CIA operations continue in Pakistan concealed under the secrecy of the night and the sealed lips of the Vice President Biden who refused to divulge the nature of the covert Marine, Command and CIA operations across the Durand Line. Like General Hamid Gul said recently, the CIA operatives do not come to Pakistan to play marbles.

  • We’ve been thinking very militarily, but we haven’t been as effective in thinking diplomatically, we haven’t been thinking effectively around the development side of the equation,” Obama
  • “Obviously, we haven’t been thinking regionally, recognizing that Afghanistan is actually an Afghanistan-Pakistan problem, because right now the militants… are often times coming over the border from Pakistan. Obama
  • “We should start by empowering the new civilian government in Islamabad to defeat radicalism with greater support for development, health and education,” McCain

There has been a epiphany in the White House which goes something like this “Afghanistan is linked to Pakistan, and we have to solve Pakistan first”. Duh! A Fifth grader in Islamabad could have told you that a decade ago. It took an $80 Think Tank industry and a change in administration to come up with this truth that has been self evident for several centuries. Lord Curzon learned his lesson and disengaged. Will Obama who has recently heard about the linkages between the Kabul River and the Indus learn the the same lessons? When will he become wise and hang it all up like Lord Curzon who withdrew his forces back to the Indus?

Many in the Democratic party that that by restarting the war in the Tora Bora, the will solve all problems of Afghanistan. Senator Kerry made this a launchpad of his campaign and lost the election and a chance to turn the ship of state away from economic catastrophe and military defeat in the Hindu Kush.

Some in the Republican Party think that the only answer to crushing the evil ones in The Pamirs is the American Charge of the Light Brigade into Pakistan. Unable to grasp the complexities of the poltergeist of they Khyber they are ready to risk a fire from the Nile to the Ganges. Using a page from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) they want to move massive armies to solve police problems. Listening to the Mossad, they want to unplug the insurgency by sabotage, craftiness, covert operations and overt threats and by use of brute force.

Some in the present administration are under the impression that by simply “focusing” on the Indus, the problems will simply disappear. The “Surgers” are like the republicans who want to carry Kipling’s White Man’s Burden and save the Pakistanis and the Afghans from themselves.

Getting out of Valhalla or new goals for war in AfPak: Can Obama’s “Neocon Lite” advisors sell old wine in new bottle

Revising Finance 101 for the Chinese Century: Political impact of Center of Gravity shift from New York to Beijing

Obama’s “Surgers” vs. “Exiters”: Exit strategy now or scrambled hasty retreat later

China sets conditions for bailing out US and buying US T-Bills

Swat and FATA for dummies: Who are the terrorists?

Zaid Hamid video on Swat

US goes begging to Beijing: India feels the pain

Why the US gave up India as a strategic partner

India’s worst nightmares come true: Long term strategic malaise

Fixing AfPak expedites the inevitable union between Pakistan and Afghanistan

Betrayels and Balckmail: Cloaking failure as success, Hiding the defeat, declaring Victory, Withdrawing from Afghanistan within 12 months

Kabul: The Final assault begins. How long can NATO hang on?

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Posted on February 17, 2009 by Moin Ansari Noticias de Rupia | Nouvelles de Roupie | Rupiennachrichten | новости рупии | 卢比新闻 | Roepienieuws | Rupi Nyheter | ルピーニュース | Notizie di Rupia | PAKISTAN LEDGER | پاکستاني کھاتا | Moin Ansari | معین آنصآرّی | اخبار روپیہ | Great Bargains in Central Asia:

Kyrgyz supply line & Manas base usage for halting NATO expansion to Georgia & Ukraine. We summarize the issues and the problems and then list the solutions. Preparing for a US pullout from Afghanistan in 12 months In 2001 the US was considered the liberator and was immensely popular in Afghanistan and even though there was a tiff with Islamabad on the Nuclear bomb, America was still popular in Pakistan. The elites in both countries were definitely pro-American–many educated and trained in the USA. There was tremendous goodwill left over from the First Afghan war. President Bush had an opportunity to use the weakened USSR to build bridges and spread American influence from Karachi to Kabul and then spread it to Baku, Samarkhand, Bokhara and right up to the Chinese border and beyond. How can you convert a population full of American fans into US policy haters? It is a classic test case of lessons learned in a tragedy of errors. What did the Neocons do and how did they do it? Instead of using a covert force of 5000 Navy seal to nab the evil guys, the Bush Neocons waged a global war on terror. They used daisy cutters on Afghanistan, nuclear tipped bombs in Iraq and drones in Pakistan. Abu Graib, Gitmo, renditions and torture have tarnished America and its image as the beacon of freedom. The fire is raging from the Nile to the Euphrates; From the Indus to the Amu Darya. All goodwill is gone. Today as a result of thee failed policies, 80% of Afghanistan is in the hands of wealthy drug-lords who have money and arms. Pakistan is seething with anger at the loss of civilian casualties in FATA and Swat. The writing on the wall for US policy makers is clear. How do they deal with it? They can continue the flawed policy of covert sabotage, and overt war or they can build a new Central Asia. * The war in Afghanistan is unwinnable (British and American Generals). UK Brig. Smith: “We’re not going to win this [Afghan] war” * The economic price of the war is untenable for the UK and the US. Afghanistan: The writing is on the wall. Can Obama read it? * The mini-surge of 30,000 troops is not materializing and has been reduced to three brigades only.Reality check on War in Afghanistan * The traditional supply route via Pakistan’s tribal areas and the mountainous Khyber Pass has become increasingly vulnerable to Taliban attack.Uzbekistan pressured the IMU is scared of Taliban reprisals on supplies to Kabul * US base at Minas is being “sold” to the Russians cutting off a possible route to Kabul. Russia asserts itself in Central Asia * 80% of Afghan territory is under insurgent control. US attacks on Pakistan have fueled the Afghan insurgency * The price of transferring “non-military” hardware through Russia is to give up Ukraine and Georgia back to Russia is too big a price to pay. Moscow’s pound of flesh for allowing base & supplies to Afghanistan * Failure and Defeat in Afghanistan: Inevitable Frustration & misdirected Payback for ally Pakistan * Hot War: A response to Cold Start. American attempts to use India to pressure Pakistan backfired as Pakistan moved its forces to the Eastern front. Pakistani response to India’s Cold Start Strategy * According to Bruce Reidel Mullah Omar promised safe passage to the Americans and was interested in joining the government if the foreign troops would leave.Kabul: The Final Spring Offensive? End of NATO? * Imran Khan predicts that the USA will leave Afghanistan in one year. Other analysts and “Taliban” leaders are willing to allow them 2 years. The Grand Bargain? Pakistan key to Afghan Great Game * Solutions to “Obam’as Vietnam” The 20th anniversary of the defeat of the USSR in Afghanistan is a poignant reminder to occupation armies that the Hindu Kush mountains are the “graveyard of empires“. The Khyber for 5000 years has witnessed the hordes of invaders come down to the Indus–but the Khyber Pass is a one way street. No invader has been able to go up the Khyber and occupy Pakhtun lands. The Mongols, Alexander, the British, the Russians all discovered it the hard way.NATO war: UK 1880 defeats in Afghanistan.The rising fire of Anti-Americanism has engulfed the land from the Indus to the Amu Darya. The American people have had enough of these “perpetual mimetic wars”. They want to throw the Orwellian “1984″ into the dustbin of history. How do Hillary Clinton, Bruce Reidel and Joseph Biden use Big brother’s “War is peace and Peace is War” philosophy to camouflage the campaign rhetoric? The challenge for the architects of the “new” Afghan policy is to place all blame on Karzai’s incompetence, NATA recalcitrance, and Pakistan duplicity:– then cloak failure as success, hide the inevitable defeat, declare victory now and withdraw from Kabul while they can– with some sense of respectability. Here is the rhetoric that we can expect. OTTAWA, Feb 17 (Reuters) – The situation in Afghanistan seems to be getting worse and a solution will require more than just military force, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday. “There are a lot of concerns about a conflict that has lasted quite a long time now and actually appears to be deteriorating at this point,” he told CBC television in an interview ahead of his visit to Canada on Thursday. Obama voiced appreciation for Canada’s military engagement in Afghanistan and gave no hint that he would ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper to extend the combat mission there beyond the mid-2011 date agreed by Parliament. “Very soon we will be releasing some initial plans in terms of how we are going to approach the military side of the equation in Afghanistan,” he said. “But I’m absolutely convinced that you cannot solve the problem of Afghanistan, the Taliban, the spread of extremism in that region, solely through military means,” he added. “We’re going to have use diplomacy, we’re going to have to use development, and my hope is that in conversations that I have with Prime Minister Harper that he and I end up seeing the importance of a comprehensive strategy.” (Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Frank McGurty). Reuters. Obama sees Afghan situation deteriorating. Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:53pm EST Several tectonic shifts have happened in the land of the Pamirs in the past few weeks. The reverberations from these earthquakes will be felt all the way to Washington and beyond. Facing the Khyber poltergeist & Ganges hobgoblin. The election campaign in Afghanistan has already started. Installing an Anti-Pakistan government in Kabul. Unable to venture beyond the confinement of his own capital, the mercurial Mr. Karzai was seen campaigning in Moscow and Delhi. The last days of the last “emperor”. The “Mayor of Kabul” is being replaced. Mr. Hobrooke rebuffed Mr. Karzai by not meeting him for three days. The snub was very evident by the itinerary of the American envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan (”K” for Kashmir is silent in his portfolio). Mr. Holbrooke like President-Elect Biden (a few weeks ago) mentioned the inefficiency of the government in front of the frustrated host. The Grand Bargains for Kabul The Grand Bargain? Pakistan key to Afghan Great Game. The secular Pakistani Awami National Party (ANP) which has been missing in action for months, finally stood up to be counted and has arranged a peace deal between the Swati militants and the Pakistani Army. Much to the chagrin of the West, there is celebration in Swat and people across the spectrum wants the fighting to stop.

SLAMABAD, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) — Britain said Tuesday that it had concerns over an agreement for the introduction of Islamic courts in parts of Pakistan’s   northwest. “We need to be confident that they will end violence, not create space for further violence,” said British High Commission spokesperson Jennifer Wilkes in a statement. “They need to be clear, robust and monitored long-term, and include enforceable measures on cross-border movement to tackle cross-border militancy,” he said.

Wilkes said that Britain also recognized the Pakistani government’s efforts to restore peace and security to Swat. “Swat’s problems require a comprehensive approach, bringing together security measures, development and governance. Any solution should also reflect the will of the people of Swat,” he said. Pakistan’s provincial government in the northwest and leader of a pro-Taliban banned Islamic group signed a deal Monday, abolishing un-Islamic laws and setting up Islamic courts in Malak and Division in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The courts will also be set up in the Swat valley where Pakistani Taliban have been fighting against the security forces over the past two years.

Meanwhile Sufi Muhammad, chief of the banned Tehrik Shariat-e-Nifaza Muhammadi (TSNM), Tuesday led thousands of his followers to Swat to convince the local Taliban to lay down arms and accept the agreement on Islamic laws. Muhammad, father-in-law of Maulana Fazalullah, the chief of Swat Taliban, will meet Fazaullah Wednesday, according to local press reports. Britain expresses concerns on Pakistan’s Islamic law agreement, www.chinaview.cn 2009-02-17 23:00:49

The “peace deal” will be sabotaged in due course by “the powers to be” who do not want to see stability in Pakistan. That is inevitable, however it buys the Pakistani government some time to sort our the players and put together a long term strategy on coping with the problems in the restive Malakand Division. Pakistanis see a difference between the insurgents fighting the Americans in Afghanistan and the insurgents within Pakistan. There is no stomach in Pakistan to bomb and kill their own fellow citizens. Much to the chagrin of the West, Pakistan has signed a peace deal with the Swat militants.Obama’s advisor predicts focus on talks and reconciliation

imageIslamabad: Maulana Sufi Mohammad, leader of the Tahreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM) and spiritual leader of Swat Taliban, has reached Swat valley to persuade his son-in-law and militant leader Maulana Fazlullah to accept the recently signed peace deal with the government.

Sufi Mohammad was warmly welcomed in Swat as he reached there from Timar Garah on Tuesday along with a convoy of supporters which consisted of hundreds of vehicles. Banners and posters by locals on roads and in bazaars welcomed Sufi’s convoy and his peace initiative.

Sufi Mohammad will persuade Fazlullah not to challenge the government’s writ, lay down arms and restore peace to the restive Swat valley where Taliban fighters have pitched themselves against the military troops for the last several months resulting in dozens of civilian casualities and a loss of billions of rupees to property and business. Leader arrives in Swat valley with message of peace. By Fasihur Rehman Khan, Correspondent
Published: February 17, 2009, 23:56

Tough lessons in geography. The US has been thrown out of Kyrgyzstan. Russia promised to pay double the rent of the base and also gave Kyrgyzstan double its national budget–cool cash worth $2 Billion. This creates a huge problem for America. Her supply lines are already been choked at the Kyber and harassed along the way. Russia is asking for its pound of flesh for allowing the supplies through Russian territory. Moscow is asking for an end to NATO expansion which may be a hard bargain for NATO and the US to accept. Kyrgyzstan in a well calculated move throws out the US bases. Anti-Occupation forces choke US Afghan war

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) — Kyrgyzstan will close an air base used by the U.S. as a staging point for operations in Afghanistan, potentially undermining President Barack Obama’s planned troop increase aimed at defeating the Taliban. For three years, the Kyrgyz government tried to renegotiate the amount paid by the U.S. to use the base, “but we encountered no understanding from the U.S. side,” Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev told reporters in Moscow today. The decision was made “in the last few days,” he said.

The U.S. Defense department said the base issue is still being discussed with Kyrgyzstan. Before Bakiyev’s announcement, President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia will lend Kyrgyzstan $2 billion and provide another $150 million in economic aid. The two countries reached an agreement on settling Kyrgyzstan’s debt to Russia, part of which will be written off and the rest repaid with assets. Obama plans to boost U.S. forces in Afghanistan under a strategy similar to the troop “surge” ordered by former President George W. Bush in Iraq. There are currently about 36,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Other NATO members have contributed another 32,000 troops to the Afghan mission, according to the alliance.

Base at Manas

The base at Manas Airport near the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek was established in 2001 and serves U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan. It gained additional strategic importance when Uzbekistan closed a similar base on its territory in 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s spokesman, Geoff Morrell, said today he believed the terms for continued use of Manas were still under negotiation.

“I’ve seen President Bakiyev’s comments, but we have received no formal notification from him or any other Kyrgyz official to close the base,” Morrell said in an interview. “We’ve been in discussions with Kyrgyz authorities for some time now, and we anticipate continuing those discussions to the point where we are able to resolve them to our mutual satisfaction.” Earlier, in a Pentagon briefing, Morrell told reporters that Manas is “a hugely important air base for us” because it provides “a launching-off point to provide supplies to our forces in Afghanistan.” Later, in the interview, he said it wasn’t the only means.

‘Multiple Supply Lines’

“We have multiple supply lines into Afghanistan, both by air and ground,” Morrell said. “While we would much prefer to continue operations in Manas and will work to make sure that’s the case, there are a number of routes by which we can continue to supply our troops and sustain our operations.” The announcement about Manas came on the same day that insurgents attacked and damaged a bridge on the U.S.’s main land supply route into Afghanistan along that country’s border with Pakistan. Insurgents have stepped up attacks on the route in recent months. As a result, Morrell said, the U.S. has sought to open alternatives into Afghanistan from the north. Medvedev said Russia and Kyrgyzstan would combine forces to help provide stability in Central Asia. He also reiterated Russia’s willingness to cooperate with the U.S. to bring order to Afghanistan.

“Our countries will also help operations in the region that are being conducted against terrorism, and we’re prepared for coordinated actions with coalition countries,” he said. Medvedev visited Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan, last month on the heels of a tour through the region by Army General David Petraeus, commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia. Petraeus said on Jan. 20 that the U.S. had secured “additional logistical routes into Afghanistan” through Central Asia as its main supply route through Pakistan becomes increasingly vulnerable to attack by the Taliban. Petraeus visited Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, skipping Uzbekistan, which in 2005 told U.S. forces to leave a base used as a transit point for supplies, troops and aircraft coming in and out of Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan to Close U.S. Air Base Used for Afghan War By Lyubov Pronina . To contact the reporter on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Moscow at lpronina@bloomberg.net

US Charge of the Light Brigade into Pakistan is a US failure and has to stop. The mini-surge has begun. Pat Buchananan reports that the 30,000 promised troops may not materialize and the mini-surge may only be confined to the regiments. Khyber Pass choked for NATO supplies

US commanders have been contemplating sending up to 30,000 more soldiers to bolster the 33,000 already here, but the new administration is expected to initially approve only a portion of that amount. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday the president would decide soon.

The new unit — the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division — moved into Logar and Wardak provinces last month, and the soldiers from Fort Drum, NY, are now stationed in combat outposts throughout the provinces. Several roadside bombs also have exploded next to the unit’s MRAPs — mine-resistance patrol vehicles — but caused no casualties, he said.Dawn

The brilliant intellectual and one of the most quoted men on the planet, Noam Chomsky and former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf say that there will be no change in American policy in South and West Asia. The results on the ground certainly do not show any change, however the realities on the ground may force the administration to come out of the thinktank cocoons and not simply react to conditions on the ground. President Barack Obama had a small window of opportunity where he could have made a difference. His silence on Gaza and continuation of drone bombings in Pakistan is fast depleting his capital. All this spells disaster for Obama.

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has approved a modest increase in U.S. forces for the flagging war in Afghanistan, administration, defense and congressional officials said Tuesday. The Obama administration was announcing Tuesday that it will send one additional Army brigade and an unknown number of Marines to Afghanistan during the coming six months. Officials speaking on condition of anonymity said the total is about 17,000 troops. About 8,000 U.S. Marines are expected to go in first, followed by about 9,000 Army troops.The new units are a Marine Expeditionary Brigade from North Carolina and an Army Stryker brigade from Fort Lewis in Washington state. International Herald Tribune. Associated Press writers Jennifer Loven, Lolita C. Baldor, Pamela Hess, Anne Flaherty and Lara Jakes contributed to this report.

The lack of troops shows a huge supply and demand problem in the US army and NATO forces. There are no additional troops to spare. So while the thinktanks dictate a continuation of the failed policies, the conditions on the ground dictate a lack of will at implementing the policies. This is a classic setup for failure. The USSR had 250,000troops plus another 150,000 irregulars in Afghanistan. 400,000 troops and a 150,000 strong Afghan Army was unable to keep them from being routed. The NATO troops do not venture out of their comfort zones. It is only the US army that pursues the insurgents. 60,000 soldiers in Afghanistan will be unable to quell the insurgency and reverse the march to Kabul.

There are external factors to the malaise. Another challenge would to assuage India, keep Russia at bay and try to maintain some links with the Central Asian Republics who have not fully returned to the Russian fold.. Moscow’s pound of flesh for allowing base & supplies to Afghanistan. The American War Strategy has been impacted by the changes in Kyrgyzstan. Cambodiazation of the Afghan war has not helped the US war effort.“American Taliban in Kabul?

Russia has been pressuring Kyrgyzstan amid unease at the US’s growing footprint in central Asia. US attempts to supply coalition troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan were in danger of suffering a major setback today after Kyrgyzstan signalled it was considering shutting down a key US military base. The central Asian republic is contemplating closing down the US military facility near its capital Bishkek. The Manas airbase – home to 1,000 US army personnel since 2001 – is a key staging post for coalition forces fighting in nearby Afghanistan. Both US and Nato commanders have expressed dismay at the possible closure. It comes at a time when Nato is desperately trying to expand its supply routes to Afghanistan via the northern countries of central Asia following a series of devastating attacks on truck convoys from Pakistan.

Russia has been pressuring Kyrgyzstan to evict the Americans, amid unease in Russia’s military at the US’s growing footprint in central Asia, an area Moscow regards as its backyard. The Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev was today in Moscow holding talks with Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev. Tonight, Kanat Tursunkulov, an official from Kyrgyzstan’s foreign ministry, told the Guardian: “Our president has said the [US] base is very helpful for the stability of the region and Afghanistan.” Asked whether that meant the president would now shut it down, he said, “There’s no comment on this.”

But Kommersant newspaper reported that Bakiyev is seeking a $450m (£312.5m) loan from Russia for his impoverished ex-Soviet republic, and the write-off of $180m in debts. In return, Russia “counts on a favourable decision on the destiny of the US Manas airbase on Kyrgyz territory”, the newspaper reported – possibly even tomorrow. Today, however, analysts said that Russia would not want the issue to jeopardise its relationship with the Obama White House. Rather, Moscow wanted to use the Kyrgyzstan base as a bargaining chip in a much wider strategic dialogue – over the future of the US missile defence shield in Europe, for example, and Nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine.

“Russia is inviting the west for a dialogue. At the same time it is showing off some of its trump cards. The Manas base is one of them,” Andrei Grozin, a central Asian analyst at the Institute for the Study of Post-Soviet States in Moscow, said. He added, “In effect Russia and China are saying, ‘We can get rid of this base. That doesn’t mean we want to do it now. We want to cooperate.’ But in return Russia wants concessions [from Washington] on missile defence and no invitation from Nato to Georgia or Ukraine.”

Yesterday Robert Simmons, the special envoy to Nato’s secretary general, visited Kyrgyzstan and urged its government not to shut the base. He described it as a “vital link in our fight against international terrorism”, adding, “The presence of the airbase is a large contribution to Nato operations.” The US military chief in the region, General David Petraeus, visited Kyrgyzstan last month to explore new transport routes to Afghanistan. He also toured Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Russia has offered to transport non-military supplies to Afghanistan. But Nato has yet to reach a comprehensive transit deal with Afghanistan’s immediate central Asian neighbours.

Since the 2001 war in Afghanistan, central Asia has been at the centre of a strategic competition between the US and Russia. The rivalry is reminiscent of the 19th-century conflict between imperial Britain and tsarist Russia, played out in the velvet mountains of the Hindu Kush, and famously dubbed the Great Game. In a significant victory, the Bush administration persuaded Uzbekistan’s authoritarian rulers to allow a US military base on its territory. In 2006, however, the Uzbek regime kicked the Americans out following a secret deal with Moscow. China is also a significant player in the region’s complex geo-politics. President Barack Obama has already signalled a shift in foreign policy – with the war in Afghanistan and a new relationship with Iran the two priorities in the new post-Bush era. He plans to build up US troop numbers in Afghanistan, possibly doubling numbers to 60,000 this year. But the traditional supply route via Pakistan’s tribal areas and the mountainous Khyber Pass has become increasingly vulnerable to Taliban attack.

Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, is in deep economic trouble. The small country faces rising unemployment, a growing trade deficit, and is struggling to pay its gas and electricity bills. The normally disunited opposition has got its act together and now threatens President Bakiyev. Closure of US base in Kyrgyzstan could alter Afghanistan strategy. Luke Harding in Moscow , guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 3 February 2009 19.50 GMT

Pakistan & drones. The PPPP controls the Senate, the National Assembly, and has coalition governments in three provinces. The Prime Minister belongs to the PPP and President Zardari essentially has all the powers that General Musharraf used to have. It is amazing the the New York Times calls Mr. Zardari’s government weak. “Shoot the drones”: Shireen Mazari. Even if the Pakistan Peoples Party government is able to last the firestorm over the drone bombings, it will be under tremendous pressure to withdraw the base facilities that hosts the drones. Halting the suicide bombers needs a holistic strategy and an immediate stopping of drones. If it continues the current policy, it will be thrown out of office in 2012 or before. Pakistan’s legitimate interests?. The “government in waiting” is the irascible Nawaz Sharif whose popularity has soared over this issues. How long can the “wink wink nod nod” farce of Drones go on? Imran Khan has also taken advantage of the confusion and his popularity has increased, specially among the Pakhtuns. Nawaz Sharif aligned with Imran Khan and the Jamat e Islami would not bode well for American interests in Pakistan. Pakistan’s “Do More” list for the USA. The Amir e Jamat e Islami recently visited Beijing and both Imran Khan and Mr. Sharif have been very critical of American policy in the region. Imran Khan in a recent interview saw the US withdraw out of Afghanistan in  years time. Sabotaging Obama: CIA provoking Pakistan into shooting the drones

Does Obama have the courage to implement the real solutions to Obama’s Vietnam (Afghanistan). Is the US ready to withdraw from Afghanistan. The US has been negotiating with the “Taliban” for several months now and a meeting was held under the auspices of the Saudi monarchs. Mullah Omar promised safe package to the Americans and was interested in joining the government if the foreign troops would leave. Convincing the US Tin ear–of the Pakistani point of view

The idea of becoming subservient to India is abhorrent. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. USA has not met with any appreciable success to divide the Taliban by winning over the moderate elements and making them share power. Efforts will be renewed to win over Mullah Omar who has hinted at sharing power provided a firm time-table of foreign troop withdrawal is announced. Two-year timeframe will be offered as in case of Iraq, which will subsequently be dishonoured. Negotiations for power sharing will be undertaken only when the US-Nato military tilts the balance in its favour to be able to bargain from a position of strength. This implies more bloodshed, not realising that more the provocations by US troops, fiercer will be the response from the militant forces. Its oppressive acts will accelerate rather than de-accelerate violence thereby making foreign troops based in Afghanistan that much vulnerable to attacks. Military power can win a war but cannot defeat terrorism, which grows like wild weeds. Terrorism is a product of injustice; without eradicating root causes which breed terrorism, the disease cannot be cured by applying force. Obama and his team must take into account the consensus that has emerged among the western analysts that dialogue based on sincerity of purpose and genuine efforts to remove root causes is the key to settle Afghan imbroglio. The Statesman. US converting defeat into victory in Afghanistan. The writer is a retired Brig and a defence and political analyst based in Rawalpindi. ah.raja@yahoo.com . Asif Haroon Raja:      Pakistan first: The devastating effects of appeasing India and kowtowing to the USA

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan run by Taliban Huge Migraine for India

Rescueing the Pashtuns of Afghania from Afghanistan

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Noticias de Rupia | Nouvelles de Roupie | Rupiennachrichten | новости рупии | 卢比新闻 | Roepienieuws | Rupi Nyheter | ルピーニュース | Notizie di Rupia | PAKISTAN LEDGER | پاکستاني کھاتا | Moin Ansari | معین آنصآرّی | February 4th, 2008 |

THE PATHANS: The Western Pathans: The Abdalis (Durranis), The Ghaljis. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1890-1980)> He lived a meager existence and died into oblivion, unrecognized, unpatronized and unaccepted by even his own people.

Afghan Tribesmen waiting for retreating Kabul BrigadePathans await the retreating British Army after the Battle of Maiwand

The silent majority remains supine and tries to ignore the hate-clans polemical diatribes. We are an emotional people. The pullulating millions should not be swayed by the rantings of a few, however on many occasions the young and the impressionable can actually be beguiled. The nurseries of hate produce the lone assassins and the suicide bombers, not by actually showing them how to murder and maim but, rather by creating an atmosphere of intolerance. The question before all of us is the same question that beduffled the nation in the forties; can the majority take cathartic action against this evil phalanx within us? Can the moderate and progressive forces see through the vacuity of the argument proposed by the fringe? If not the clans hate mongering will lead to us anachronism and obscurantism.

If we cannot expose the true agenda of the hate mongers, it will be opprobrium to our great heritage.  For the past fifty years a tiny miniscule minority is engulfed in pure unadulterated malevolence. This hate mongering clan brings up obscure arguments, and selects inexplicable references, and has tried to debase our history.  Those of us who have not caviled with the facts must challenge the gross inaccuracies over and over again. Let us all coalesce and destroy the cabal that thrives on the profits of feudalism, slavery, and the military industrial giants. Our teeming millions are steeped in penury. Can we improve their lot?

Most of this area, now called Pakistan, was under Ranjeet Singh’s empire (1799-1839), and even in notorious anarchic era of 1839-1849 the state was sovereign, maintaining unchallenged monopoly coercive  power, but lacked societal will and `ethical idea’ to enforce order and, ultimately, collapsed. If that was not a colonialist expansionist era, that state might have prolonged  for long despite the internal chaos.”

The following is a detailed description of how Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Shaheed e Millat Khan Liaqat Ali Khan, outsmarted their opponents and provided counter balance to the Congressional props in the Punjab and the Sarhad. Had the fifth column called the Unionist succeeded in their conspiracies with the Congress, there would have been no Pakistan.

THE FIFTH COLUMNS: FRINGE FASCIST MOVEMENTS OF THE SUBCONTINENT
There were the mainstream movements in the Subcontinent that represented the wishes of the people. There were also fringe fascist movements and fringe feudal parties that represented the vested interests of a few individuals. These fringe movements failed to win the hearts and the minds of the people. If the fascist movements had succeeded, there would have been no Pakistan. The Muslim League and the Congress won electoral victories and led the two countries to nationhood. The fifth columns represent a sad chapter in our history.

Most Indians aware of our history are ashamed of the fringe movements. Similarly most Pakistanis are ashamed of the fringe terror movements. Eulogizing the fascist movements based on ethnic origin may have worked in 1939 in Germany, but the world has rejected fascism and what they represented. The world has also rejected feudalism, though some vestiges of this dinosaurremain in certain pockets of the Subcontinent.

THE MUSLIM LEAGUE THROUGH SEPARATE ELECTORATES REPRESENTED THE MUSLIMS

The Indian National Congress and the All India Muslim had a point to argue with the British Raj. The Indian National Congress continued to argue that the Congress was the representative of all the people of “India”. The Muslim League argued the point that the Muslim League and the Muslim League alone represented the rights, and the aspirations of the Muslims of the Subcontinent. The Indian National Congress wanted to forge “India” into a nation, while the Muslim League argued that India had never been a nation, and that it had always been a conglomeration of nationalities. Even though the British called it “India’, there were actually more than 500 different countries in the Subcontinent. The Muslim League formed by Alama Iqbal and many other leaders in 1906 as a reaction to the imposition of Hindi-Devanagri script on the Muslims, and as an immediate reaction to the annulment of the partition of Bengal (which would have created the province of Muslim Bengal with a Muslim majority).

The mission of the Muslim League was to fight for the rights of the Muslims, and fight it did. It fought the Indian National Congress and it fought the British Raj. The story of the Muslim League is indeed a story of success. Under the able leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Khan Liaqat Ali Khan, the Muslim League was able to score many wins. From its nascent beginnings the League turned into a mass movement, and this strength was depicted in its successes. Even though the Muslim League was not successful in securing the province of Muslim Bengal, around 1933 the Muslim League was successful in
securing for the creation of the province of SINDH.

THE RADICALIZATION OF THE MODERATE CONGRESS: UNHOLY ALLIANCES
The Congress under the leadership of Motilal Nehru was a moderate right wing political party run by Harrow and Oxbridge bred Indians. To improve the base of the Congress so that it represented a broad base of Indians, some nonconformist elements were brought into the party. These ultraist elements radicalized the INC and moved it leftwards. By the time Jawaharlal became president of the INC the political ideology of the party had moved towards the Fabian and Socialist camps. Under Jawaharlal Nehru the Congress was polarized between its secular (Nehru), parochial (Patel) and religious leadership (Lal Laj Pai). Gandhi tried a dual tactic to isolate the Muslim League.

1)  On the one hand Gandhi was able to put up a great facade of tranquility by appointing figurehead Muslim “showboys” like Azad to the Congress Leadership. These figureheads had no real power and were over ruled on many occasions by the real Brahmin power brokers in the Congress.

2)  On the other hand the Indian National Congress tried to sow seeds of discontent and tried to put in wedges in the Muslim movement. The Congress tried to put up alliances with Muslim figureheads in the Punjab and in Sarhad The Gandhi tactics were to show the British that the Congress represented all Indians-Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Brahmins, Kahatriyas, Vaisas, Shudras and other Hindus. The INC opposed the creation of Pakistan so it strategically hunted for Muslims who would form alliances with the anti-Pakistan Congress. It found fifth columns in the Punjab and in Sarhad.

In India Wins Freedom by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Page 138) he says the following:

the Muslim League had been isolated and Congress, though it was a minority had become the decisive factor in Punjab affairs. Khizar Hyat Khan was the Chief Minister through Congress support and he had naturally come under its influence. In the Punjab the socialist Congress linked up with the feudalistic landlords who represented the Unionist Party. While both the parties were poles apart in ideology and interests, both of them wanted to defeat the Muslim League and somehow stop the freight train of the Muslim League. The Congress was socialistic and had propounded the complete decimation of the feudal system. The Congress was dominated by Hindus and largely represented the interests of the majority of Indians in India -the Hindus. This marriage of convenience between the Congress and the Unionists of the Punjab was severely criticized by the rank and file of the Congress and by Azad.

In India Wins Freedom by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Page 138) he says the following:

The alliance of Congress with the Unionist Party was in principle wrong. They argued that the Muslim League was a mass organization and the Congress should have formed a coalition with the Muslim League and not with the Unionist Party in the Punjab…sacrificing leftist principles in forming a coalition with the Unionist Party…..

In the Sarhad the Congress found an ally called Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Badshah Khan -the Frontier Gandhi)  who associated himself with the secular ideals of M.K. Gandhi. Thanks to the Punjabi populace (who felt repressed by the Unionists and gladly voted for the Muslim League) and some great Muslim League leaders from the Punjab who supported Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan, the Gandhi-Congress tactics of isolating and marginalizing the League failed at the polls, when after the announcement of separate electorates, the Muslim League repeatedly got more than 96 percent of the Muslim votes. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah out smarted the INC and their lackeys by forming liaisons in the Punjab and by bypassing the jirga leadership in the Sarhad.

The Pathans live along the border on both sides of the borderPakistan with Afghanistan–a confederation approved by King Zahir Shah in the 50s. After the death of Liaqat Ali Khan, or cecause of it, the plan fell apart. Many say that Liaqat Ali Khan, a Karnal–East Punjab born Nawabzada had Pathan ancestry and was killed because he wanted this union, and he opposed the US attack on Iran. Separate article on this site. This confederation is the long term solution to the Pashtun strife.

THE PATHANS

The Western Pathans: The Abdalis (Durranis), The Ghaljis

The Eastern Pathans: Usufzais

Pakistani (NWFP) Pakhtuns or Pashtuns: The Karlanri: The Afridis, The Khattaks, The Orakzai, The Bangash, The Wazir, The Masud, The Turi

by Moin Ansari

pakistan-including-afghania.jpgWritten March 6th, 1998.Updated May 14, 2008.. Pakistanis are a diverse group….

BADSHAH KHAN AND THE THE CHOICE FOR PAKISTAN: NWFP VS. PAKHTOONKHAWAH
In spite of the venomous propaganda spewed against Pakistan and Pakistanis and in spite of the Frontier Gandhi…it is a fact that the people of NWFP bypassed the wishes of Badshah Khan and the Pathans voted for Pakistan in  a referendum for Pakistan. They are as patriotic as any other Pakistani.

The recent developments in the Sarhad with reference to a change in nomenclature of the province has a lot to do with information and d misinformation. It is obvious to all that the province of NWFP has to change its name … that name is a legacy of the British raj when the province was in the North West Frontier of the Empire…..today it is not in the North West Frontier of Pakistan. In a democracy, if the provincial assembly wants to change the name, the center has little choice but to oblige.

The new names for the NWFP being proposed are:

Afgania, Neelab, Pakhtunkhwa, Pashtunistan, Khyber, Attock etc

Of all the name suggested, the ANP has sent Pasktunkhawa and Afghania to the Center. The Cnter seems to have approved the name of Pakhtunkhawa. The Sarhad has many minorities that are non-Pakhtun. These tribes do not want the province to reflect the name of the majority. If the Sarhad wnats to be called Pakhtunkhawa, this author does not have serious issues with it.

POST ‘71 ERA: FEDERALISTS VS. PROVINCIALISTS
In this post ‘71 era, we as a nation are leery of the provincialists and their agendas. To the majority FEDERALISTS…the agenda of the ANP is simple….change the name of Sarhad …then ask for the other Pakhtun areas to be merged with the “Pakhtun” province …areas of FATA and Baluchistan …then merge the Pakhtun areas of Afghanistan into the Pakhtun province. To the DEVOLUTIONISTS…the provinces should control their destinies…and the center has no right to interfere.

THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS AND NWFP
One does not find the following in Indian text books. See Stanley Wolpert (Nehru for details). The Indian National Congress of the 1940s had moved from the secular leadership of pan-Indians like Moti Lal Nehru to religious leaders like Gandhi. In order to bridge the split between the various Brahaminc factions, religious fanatics like Lala Rai were included in the Congress. During this phase almost all Muslims were drummed out of the INC. It was Gandhian policy to divide the conquer the Muslim majority areas like the NWFP.

Badshah Khan surely played into the INC ideals. He opposed Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan and the Muslim League. The Muslim League played an ingenious card. It bypassed Badshah Khan (The Frontier Gandhi) and got a referendum to vote for Pakistan. Badshah Khan was soundly defeated and the Pathans voted for Pakistan. The Durand Line in 1947 was declared the dividing line between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

THE ABOLISHMENT OF THE DURAND LINE IN EIGHTIES
In 1947 and beyond the Congressite followers of Badshah Khan continued to ask the Gandhi question “The Pathans should have had a choice between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India”. Firstly the Muslim League had correctly argued that the British had no right to ask that particular question, since they did not ask Bengal if it wanted to join Burma, and it did not ask Tamil Nadu if it wanted to join Sri Lanka. Thus the Durand Line became the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and it would have stayed that way for a while if the Soviets had not invaded Afghanistan. Since the 1980s the Durand Line has been a porus line for men and material, and today the question is being asked if it is truly a valid line? During the Soviet occupation of Western Afghanistan, some portions of Eastern Afghanistan (at least the Pashtun portions) literally became part of free Afghanistan, a part of Pakistan. 6 million Afghans came to Pakistan as refugees and stayed in Pakistan for years. One million Afghan children were born in Pakistan.

Thousands stayed back in Pakistan. After the take over of the Taliban, the Afghan state is sub state. Today many Pakistanis and Pathan ask the question. Should we abolish the Durand line and let all the Pathans live in the state of Pakistan? The controversy will surely never end…….however we can tell the story of the Pathans….

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Noticias de Rupia | Nouvelles de Roupie | Rupiennachrichten | новости рупии | 卢比新闻 | Roepienieuws | Rupi Nyheter | ルピーニュース | Notizie di Rupia | PAKISTAN LEDGER | پاکستاني کھاتا | Moin Ansari | معین آنصآرّی | February 4th, 2008 |

There are a lot of steps between the lip and the cup. Just a few weeks ago General Patraeus was boasting that he had found an alternate route for supplies to Afghanistan. The General was promptly snubbed by the Kremlin which denied that Russia had allowed ground access to US supplies through Russian territory. To makes matters worse for the US, Russia has upped the ante. It has now offered Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev $2 Billion to shut down the American Air Force base.

Planes at Manas Air Base are used for refueling operations in Afghanistan. (manas.afcent.af.mil)Planes at Manas Air Base after returning from refueling operations over Afghanistan (manas.afcent.af.mil)

Pakistan is not too happy with US supplies passing through its roads. Increasingly the insurgents are also attacking the convoys.

the Obama administration might have to consider alternative routes through Russia or other parts of the former Soviet Union. But the Russians were unhappy about the Bush administration’s willingness to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO, and they will probably not want to help with American supply lines unless Mr. Obama changes that position.

In addition to our guaranteeing that NATO will not expand further, the Russians seem to want the United States to promise that NATO forces will not be based in the Baltic countries, and that the United States will not try to dominate Central Asia. In other words, Russia wants the United States to pledge that it will respect the Russian sphere of influence in the former Soviet Union. They will probably want this guarantee to be very public, as a signal to the region — and the Europeans — of Russian dominance. This is one guarantee that Mr. Obama will not want to give.

There is also no certainty that countries in the Russian sphere of influence, like Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, would agree to let the United States use these routes without Russian permission. The New York Times

Rupee News has recorded this in much detail. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev sees and good deal and swapped the owners of the Air base for the right amount of cash. The US was offering $60 million per annum. Russia has offered $150 million.

Despite a soft sell and a lot of winking and nodding between Washington and Islamabad the palpable rage in Pakistan is at fever pitch. Public opinion in Pakistan wants to halt all supply routes through Pakistan to Afghanistan. The Shylocks of the Kremlin are exacting their pound of flesh for allowing the US supply chain through the arduous roads of the Central Asian Republics as well as Russian territory.

On Tuesday, Russian news sources quoted Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev as saying that he had decided to cancel U.S. access to the Manas Air Base, one of two regional air hubs for resupplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan used since the war began in 2001. The United States had lost the other, a base in Uzbekistan called Karshi Khanabad, in 2005 after the Bush administration criticized the Uzbek regime for human rights abuses. As a result, the U.S.’s reliance on Manas has increased to the point where it has become the “primary logistics hub” for the Afghanistan war, providing a staging ground for both troops and materiel, as Air Force Col. Randy Kee, the commander of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, told journalist Nathan Hodge in 2005. U.S. Could Lose Major Hub for War Efforts By Spencer Ackerman 2/3/09 5:59 PM. The U.S. might lose access to a crucial hub for supporting the war in Afghanistan.

The US Afghan occupation is very unpopular in Pakistan Tough lessons in geography

Anti-Occupation forces choke US Afghan war After the choking of the war, the insurgents will now target supplies in Uzbekistan and the Central Asia Republics Reality check on War in Afghanistan

That may come to an end. “Literally just days ago, the Kyrgyz government made the decision on ending the term for the American base on the territory of Kyrgyzstan,” President Bakiyev told Russian state television during a Tuesday visit to Moscow. The Russian government agreed on Tuesday to provide Kyrgyzstan with a $2 billion loan package, plus $150 million in direct aid — apparently part of a long-standing effort to dislodge the United States from an area it considers within its sphere of influence. By contrast, the United States pays Kyrgyzstan about $60 million annually for use of Manas.

Manas is home to a “24-hour operation” supporting the Afghanistan war, said Vikram Singh, a South Asia expert at the Center for a New American Security who served in the Pentagon during the Bush administration, hosting fuel tankers, cargo and attack aircraft and medical evacuation resources, among other materiel. “This is not a small operation,” he said, adding that the loss of Manas could lead to a reduction in the tempo of military operations. “There’s no way to quantify it, but if you’re a commander on the ground, you’ve got to think that there are several things that aren’t available to you.”

Anthony Bowyer, director of the Central Asia program at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, a nongovernmental organization focusing on strengthening democratic governance, called the possible loss of the base a “diplomatic victory” for the Russians. “There was tremendous political pressure on President Bakiyev by the Russian Federation” to kick the United States out of Manas, as the Russians are wary of long-term U.S. intentions to host large numbers of NATO troops near its southern border. U.S. Could Lose Major Hub for War Efforts By Spencer Ackerman 2/3/09 5:59 PM. The U.S. might lose access to a crucial hub for supporting the war in Afghanistan.

Matt Mahurin Illustration by: Matt Mahurin

In the absence of any coherence in the White House, General Patraeus has been running US policy. He has talked to various Central Asian Republics trying to bypass the Kremlin. Russia in a countermove has sidelined all of the machinations of General Patraeus.

Just two weeks ago, the commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia, Army Gen. David Petraeus, visited Kyrgyzstan and told reporters that the U.S. would retain the base. “The highest-ranking official I met with gave his assurances that the issue of Manas was not raised during his discussions in Russia about possible economic cooperation and assistance,” Petraeus said on Jan. 19.

At the Pentagon, spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters that the United States was still in negotiations to retain the base. “It is a hugely important air base for us,” Morrell said. “It provides us with a launching-off point to provide supplies to our forces in Afghanistan.” He would not comment on whether the United States would consider Russia’s efforts to dislodge it from Manas to be a hostile action.

The issue of logistics resupply has proven to be a difficult one for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a country characterized by mountainous terrain and few paved roads. Land-based supply routes for U.S. and NATO troops that run through Pakistan have come under increasing attack in recent months. On Tuesday, Taliban guerillas destroyed an important bridge through the Kyber Pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan used to resupply NATO forces.

Another Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Mark Wright, said the State Department had not informed the Pentagon of any changes in status to U.S. access to Manas and appeared to downplay the prospect of its loss. “We have multiple supply routes, both air and ground” to resupply U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Wright said. “It’s important not to put your eggs in one basket.” He said he would not “give specifics” on the amount of supplies moving through Manas or if there were alternative air supply routes that could handle a comparable load. Bowyer noted that Petraeus’s recent trip through Central Asia had also taken him to Tajikistan, raising that neighbor of Afghanistan as a prospective alternative to Manas.

A State Dept. spokesman, Rob McInturff, said that the agency “has not received formal notification to close the base directly from the [Kyrgyz] government.” McInturff confirmed that U.S. diplomats will “continue to discuss the base with the authorities” in the central Asian country, but said there were no efforts as yet to dispatch any additional U.S. senior officials to underscore the importance of keeping the base. He said that the Pentagon was “very highly involved” in the “ongoing discussions.”

John Pike, a defense expert with Globalsecurity.org, a military analysis organization, said that it was conceivable that Tajikistan’s numerous Soviet-era airbases could be alternatives to Manas. “The challenge is the politics,” he said, noting that the Russian invasion of Georgia this summer — a country that Moscow feared had drifted too far out of its sphere of influence — would make former Soviet republics “tred carefully” before signing deals to host U.S. military supplies.

Additionally, Singh noted that it wouldn’t be as simple as picking up from Manas and moving elsewhere. “There are lots of places that technically could” host U.S. forces, he said, but “there’s been substantial investment into upgrading [Manas] so it can support” the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. “It’s not just like saying, ‘Thanks — Dushanbe, we’re ready to go,’” referring to the capitol of Tajikistan.

“What this shows is how precarious it is running military operations in a landlocked country” like Afghanistan, Singh said.Afghanistan Supply Base May Defect to Russia. U.S. Could Lose Major Hub for War Efforts By Spencer Ackerman 2/3/09 5:59 PM. The U.S. might lose access to a crucial hub for supporting the war in Afghanistan.

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