Dec 17, 2009

Former Pakistan Army Chief: Obama Lacks Independence

An article in Veterans Today by General Mirza Aslam Beg, former Army Chief of Pakistan, challenges strategic thinking in Afghanistan, including President Obama's recently announced escalation.

As President Obama struggles with domestic criticism that his presidency lacks determination, a growing international chorus is hitting his foreign policy for its lack of commitment to peace.

An excerpt:

Obama announced the New Strategy for Afghanistan, and 'has come to the determination through a series of deliberations, and getting a strategy for how to go forward in Afghanistan' with the intention 'to finish the job.' He has thus ordered a surge of 30,000 troops, increasing the total US commitment to about 100,000, bolstered by 45000 NATO troops.

He hopes to finish the job in three years time and then withdraw. He defines the objectives as under: 'Our overarching goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future.'

The new mission will last at its peak for a period of 18 months after which 'our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan.' And then proceeds to say that nothing would succeed in Afghanistan without the help from Pakistan: 'We will act with the full recognition that our success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan.' And 'there is no doubt that the United States and Pakistan share a common enemy.'

Fourthly. Obama himself is the problem, showing lack of qualities of a leader of substance of the past successful presidents of the United States, who took bold and timely decisions, uninfluenced by the lobbies, which seem to have swayed Obama in a direction which leads him nowhere.

No doubt the new strategy is moving in a wrong direction. Foreign occupation will not be vacated and state sponsored terrorism will continue and peace in Afghanistan and the region will remain hostage in the hands of the oppressors. ...

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