کور / سياسي / Hard times ahead for Richard Holbrooke

Hard times ahead for Richard Holbrooke

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By: Qaribur Rahman Saeed

Richard Holbrooke, the architect of the Balkan peace accords, has newly appointed by the Barak H Obama’s administration as special envoy to execute a new Afghanistan policy. He is departing to the region on 3rd of feb.09.

At the same time, the administration has decided to send 30,000 more military might to Afghanistan to counter the daily increased threat posed by the anti occupation forces. With new military dispatch to the already destroyed and destructed country, the total number of the foreign troops will increase to more then one hundred thousand (the same number the Russian had during the peak of occupation of Afghanistan in 1980’s). The purpose is to control the already deteriorated security situation in the war torn country.

However, in 2003 the Rand Corporation estimated a successful peacekeeping intervention (of Afghanistan ) requires 20 occupation troops per 1000 head of population . In Afghanistan this would mean 500.000 foreign soldiers. Currently there are around 80,000. The shortfall logically leads to reliance on airpower.” “Afghanistan is now an air war.” The corporation added.

Andrew Bacevich, an international relations professor at Boston University, and author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, put it best in NY Times when he said,

“Crowe points out that by the military’s own standards, a successful counter insurgency could require 655,000 troops throughout Afghanistan, or, if the military simply wants to go after surge proponents like the 14 million Pashtoons, we’re still talking 230,000 troops.

Vice President Biden has grimly assessed there will be “an uptick” in casualties from the initial military escalation in Afghanistan. Already we have lost over 600 US soldiers–155 of which died in 2008 alone–to say nothing of the thousands of Afghan civilian casualties. Imagine how many more will die in this “uptick.”

The NY times quoted Mr. Bacevich as saying; There’s clearly a consensus that things are heading in the wrong direction. What’s not clear to me is why sending 30,000 more troops is the essential step to changing that… It could be that sending 30,000 more troops is throwing money and lives down a rat hole.”

Vice President Joe Biden says the nation should expect more U.S. military casualties as the Obama administration plans to send additional troops to Afghanistan.

BBC “World News America” recently announced a new poll revealing that only one-third of Americans support sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan”

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, who was instrumental in pushing for a troop surge in Iraq, warned that a troop increase in Afghanistan may not achieve the same results.

Gates himself noted that increased military presence must be accompanied by non-military solutions if progress is to be made in the war. The NY times added.

As a matter of fact the political and military situation in Afghanistan is going to the worst. The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by the US and UK Military might after seven years shows that, the occupation forces during and after the invasion were not able to keep the security situation calm but vice versa. The ongoing security stabilization went to the worst and even to the turmoil.

According to the political analysts there is no optimism for the stabilization in the future, even by the increase of international occupation forces as estimated by Rand Corporation or by Mr. Bacevich up to 655,000 troops.

The survey shows that the Afghan themselves became pessimistic about their future, because of the behavior and indiscriminate blind bombing by the NATO , American and British, air and ground forces, where until now, according to the survey, more than 80,000 innocent afghans have lost their lives. Most of these were killed during the marriages and wedding ceremonies, funeral processions and other common gatherings. However, this blind and ruthless killings are still continued by the US and UK who want to impose the so-called western style Democracy on the Afghan Nation.

In the result of these brutalities, under the umbrella of (Endure freedom ), million of the Afghans, more than 22 out of 34 provinces, have been displaced internally, who have desperate need for shelter, food and health care. However, the aid agencies along with WHO, have went out of the budget and asked the international community for another six billions US$. The current estimate issued by the UN agencies shows that more than 8 million Afghans out of nearly 30 million of total population is under the poverty line. If not helped that could create a human catastrophe in the history of Afghanistan. Besides, hundreds of thousands of refugees from Pakistan and Iran have been pushed and compelled to go back to Afghanistan, where no shelter or other humanitarian assistance, have been provided for them. Their children have been deprived from their basic rights of education and health care. Because of the hunger and poverty, there are News from provinces like Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz…, in the north of the country as well as from the provinces in the East and north east like Pakitia, Paktika .Where some of the parents have left or sold their children for 300 US dollars only.

According to the international news agencies, the Afghan government is run by the Mafia of Warlords, war criminals, smugglers, cultivators and supporter of Opium production. A number of NGOs (non- governmental organizations) have been created for the security reasons, with a huge number of mercenaries to protect the foreign missions, while they themselves are involved in terrorizing, killing, kidnapping, and drug smuggling. Reports about their activities and secret private prisons are regularly published in Afghan as well as in the international media. The central government of President Hamid Karzai is too weak, and could not handle or control the behavior of these criminals where most of them are wanted for war crimes and genocide for killing thousands of innocent Afghans.

A report which has a very “up to the point” analysis about the agony of occupation is published by CHRIS NINEHAM and JANE SHALLICE explains that:

“The 2001 US led invasion succeeded in overthrowing the Taliban, but at a terrible cost. Tens of thousands died and hundreds of thousands fled their homes. At the time the journal ‘international Security’ warned that because humanitarian assistance was disrupted by US and UK military strikes, millions of Afghans are at risk”.

Since then the situation has gotten worsen for most Afghans, the 2008 United Nations Development Report shows a decline in Afghanistan’s already dismal development index ranking of 2004

Only 3 countries in the world are ranked lower than Afghanistan
Life expectancy has fallen to 43 years since 2003 Compare to 2001.
Infant mortality rate has risen to 135 per 1000 births
Six million Afghans do meet their minimum daily food requirement
1 percent of the population have access to clean water
Adult literacy has fallen from the 2003 figure to 23.5 percent
Around 100,000 children are disabled and affected by the war
In August 2008 a group of 100 Afghan NGO’s reported that violence in Afghanistan has reached its worst levels since 2001 . Over 260 civilians were known to have been killed in July 2008 alone. And the number of attacks on the occupation forces was greater in both May and June of that Year than in any month since the so-called liberation. This increase in violence is partly caused by the Taliban and other anti- occupation groups, but it is also a result of the growing number of air strikes by international forces- up 40 percent on last year- and more military activity from NATO and the Afghan army. The NGOs reported extra judicial killings and brutality on the ground on the part of the occupiers. “

The daily bombardment by the occupation forces, even compelled the American installed president, Hamid Karzai to protest against the killing of innocent people under the umbrella of terrorism. Mr. Hamid Karzai recently on a visit of the killed people’s families , told to a gathering in Khost province, ” if he does not receive a response within that time, he would ask Afghans what he should do about international military operations.” The statement from the presidential palace describing the meeting did not elaborate.” Mr. Karzai has repeated his objection against these bombardment time and again, especially when the same events took place in Kapisa and Laghman provinces recently.

As Afghanistan is a lock country and doesn’t have facilities to the ocean ;therefore, the logistical ways for the international occupation forces in Pakistan as well as in Afghanistan have been attacked by the insurgents and, accordingly will be attacked in the future. No one can guarantee the safe passage of the logistic convoys even if it comes through the Northern areas of Kunduz province.

Besides, it looks like the relation between Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, and the Obama administration is not going well as it was during the Bush’s. The next presidential election of the country, If the situation was conducive, is going to take place in August 09, also will not solve the problem of the country. If the Obama administration change Mr. Karzai with anyone else , that, according to some analysts, will create the same kind situation as the Afghans have had in 1980’s, where Noor M . Taraki was removed by Hafizulla Amine and Amine was assassinated by the Russian invasion troops.

This is right that Mr. Richard Holbrooke, is the architect of the Balkan peace accords, but situation of Afghanistan is not like Balkan.

Here , in the country, the Afghan nation has became subjugated by the American invaded forces in their own country under the pretext of terrorism , while neither the Afghan nation has hand an any terrorist act , nor any Afghan was involved in the tragedy of 9\11. However, as media reported, Mr. W. Bush, the ex-president of US wanted to invade the country before the 9\11 tragedy. The reports published in the press explain that , bush had discussed time and again ,the invasion of Afghanistan with a neighbor country. Bush’s plan was to control the energy resources in the Asian countries via Afghanistan and, for this purpose, Afghanistan was a best place to be occupied .

Therefore, no one knows why the Afghan innocent people have been made scapegoats? Is there any Afghan to be blamed as terrorist? If you mean the Taliban, that was also the creation of the US and UK governments with the help of Pakistan and Saudi intelligent. But still none of the Taliban were and are not involve in the terrorist act against any country or individual out of their country borders.

It is also reported that the US administration wants to create the Local Militia force to quell the flame of insurgency against the occupation. However, the experiences of the Russian invasion showed that, neither the creation of Local militia nor the increase of forces will quell these flames. The only thing to shower water on the fire is to start negotiation with the anti occupation forces which have already sent their proposals for the solution of the problem. If Mr. Holbrooke wants to architect the Afghan Peace accords, he has to accept this sore realities and bring the opposition to the table.

In his open letter to president Barak Obama, Mr. Hekmatyar the leader of the opposition has also recommends that:

. “Myself and like me other people in the world are waiting to see that your success in the election of the united state to prepare a ground for changing the wrong policies of the United States. You could save the United State and the rest of the world from those dangerous threats that are created by George W Bush and his war mongering teams’ wrong policy. The continuation of Bush’s policy could lead the world to a very danger. Those policies of the Bush’s administration, has created such a hate against American that are impossible to be healed in several years.”

“I am telling you with honesty that the resistance in Afghanistan is not started by the Taliban or Al-Qaida. Even if you kill all member of Taliban and Al-Qaida the resistance will still continue as per it is.”

“This resistance has started by those Afghans that lost their family members by the bombardment of American forces. They have lost their houses, their mosques and their homes have been searched and they have been dishonoured”. Hekmatyar added.

This is recommended to Mr. Holbrooke that, this in not only the opposition parties to the occupation forces who have sent their proposals , but the Afghan intellectuals and well known scholars around the globe also had proposals for the peace initiative.

One of the great scholar and famous intellectual, based in France, Dr Mohammad Usman Rostar Taraki says:

“Under the pretext of terrorism , more than 36 countries have sent their well trained military might, with the most sophisticated latest technology, and stationed them in Afghanistan.”

“War against terrorism is out of the framework. Afghanistan has turned to a lab for the test of new weaponry, and there is conflict for the geopolitical benefits of involved countries in the region.”

In Afghanistan war against terrorism has been shifted to the war against the innocent population and inhabitants of the country. In fact the international military coalition is confronted with the national resistance of the Afghan people. If we realistically accept the realities on the ground the fighting is going to get longer than expected where it would bring more destruction to the already destructed country with more human loses.”

“Since seven years the international coalition uses the Afghan government for their own, well specified, causes.”

“As the government has established by the alien circles therefore, The Afghan side has no national strategy and will be deprived from the national strategy.”

“Therefore, Afghanistan should be taken out form the instability, occupation and alien authorities to the stability and independent authority , we have to take the country to transitional period:

1- Where in independent transitional government be established. To have this transitional period, the first step should be a dialog with the opposition (of the occupation forces).

A- first step should be confidence building amongst the conflicted sides, where the terminology of ( terrorist, bandits, rebel …..) should be taken out from the media and changed with peace and reconciliation ……”

B-Some of the prisoners of the resistance should be released as a gesture of goodwill , where the rest of them will be released during the continuation of the dialog.

C-Seize fire should be announced, and a commission which is formed from both sides will see over the seize fire, the chief of this delegation will be appointed by the United nation.

The Second phase:

There are three alternatives to start dialog : 1- Peace congregation, 2- international conference , which should take place under the auspices of the United nation . 3- Grand assembly.

Both the international coalition and the resistance should give guarantees that : With respect to independency of the Afghan territory , the international coalition should start withdrawing their forces from Afghanistan, where they should give guarantees for the non interference in the Afghan affairs to the Afghan side, and should promise humanitarian and economic aid to Afghanistan.

The resistance movement, after the withdrawal of international forces, should give guarantee to the international community , that they will sever their relations with the foreign and alien warlords as well as with the countries whom sported theme during the resistance.

The international conference will make an independence transitional government for a short period. A central strong independent government will be able to take out the country from the chaos and disorder to the stability. This transitional government also will be obliged to announce the election.

There are two alternative to bring the stability and security:

The first alternative is: in the war torn zone a joint security groups from the new government and resistance movement should be established. The second alternative is: the establishment of the peace keeping forces under the auspice of UN, where the forces of OIC countries, other than the neighbors of Afghanistan, will take part.

Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan and other freedom fighter groups under the leadership of Engineer Gulbuddin Hekmatyar have issued and sent their proposals for the practical and durable solution of the conflict.

Mr. Hekmatyar explains that:

“I am of the opinion to exchange views about the future of Afghanistan with the relevant actors.”

“These talks should begin at the earliest, i.e., immediately, in order to stop further bloodshed.”

“There is no other way. Otherwise the Afghan resistance against foreign occupation powers and the Kabul administration installed by them will grow, these talks have to begin, be it today or in five, ten or 15 years.”

He says, “we have to keep in mind a durable peace without interferences or dictation from the outside: a peace in which human dignity and the honor of the Afghan people are the foundation of life at the social and national level. A peace with equal rights and duties for all Afghan citizens, men and women alike, regardless of their ethnic or tribal affinities.”


“Withdrawal of foreign forces and definite timetable for their withdrawal. In the first step: Withdrawal is to begin with the relocation of foreign troops into their bases
Second step would be the initiation of the complete withdrawal of foreign troops including their secret and police services, mercenaries, and counselors.
At the same time a provisional Afghan government is to be set up without interference from foreign countries. It is to consist of personalities of proven integrity acceptable to all Afghans.
Even before elections there must take place an internal Afghan reconciliation. Internal Afghan reconciliation is very important for the reestablishment of unity and trust.
The provisional government will create a commission charged with the preparation of general, free elections. Such elections can take place after the withdrawal of foreign troops only, because free elections are not possible in the presence of foreign guns, tanks, and bombers. Nor in any direct or indirect foreign interference permissible, be it financially or via media.
These elections will result in a government accepted be the entire Afghan people and without need of foreign military protection.
As Afghan we are convinced that we can ourselves guarantee our security. If others are worried in this respect, we are ready to accept security forces from member countries of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), except forces from neighboring countries.
Afghanistan is not in need of foreign soldiers, mercenaries, and secret services. Rather Afghanistan needs physicians and hospitals, teachers and schools, professors and universities, engineers, tractors and building equipment. Prerequisites for a free and just Afghan society are first of all: Bread, water, health, education, and housing.

Necessary steps for creating confidence between the negotiators:

Military de-escalation and humanization of the conflict.
Release of prisoners.
Afghans assurance that, they will endanger neither their neighbors nor the world at large.
Assurances by our negotiations partners that they will not interfere in internal affairs of Afghanistan. A peaceful, sovereign and independent Afghanistan will maintain political, economic and cultural relations with all states of the international community, relation characterized by friendship, mutual respect and esteem “. The upper mentioned proposals are discussable and we are ready to put it with relevant interested actors.
The Islamic movement of Taliban have also issued their proposals on their own website, where they say: Until the foreign troops are stationed on our homeland, they will not discuss the peace process with anyone. The only way is complete and unconditional withdrawal of the alien forces from the country.

Therefore, to solve the Afghan problem is in the hand of the US authorities. If the US envoy for Afghanistan do not go thoroughly and deeply in the matter, and do not recognize the sore reality on the ground, he will not be able to get out the US forces from the Afghan quagmire, which has already digested two great empires, British and Soviet Union, and in fact he will be wasting his time.

Thus a very hard time is waiting for Mr. Richard Holbrooke.

The author is :

The peace and reconciliation council of HIA in Europe
Ex-spokesman For Afghan Prime Minister
Ex- Acting Minister for Ministry of Culture
Ex- Chief of Afghan News Agency (for electronic and print media)

تبصره نسته

  1. Dear Saeed, please have a look at your below sentence and think deeply wether , it is reallity or just capturing birds in the sky and this is because you had already been examined in this regard

    As Afghan we are convinced that we can ourselves guarantee our security. If others are worried in this respect

  2. Dear Saeed Sohib, a good and excellent article. It is true that if Afghans could not solve their problems themselves, it will be even impossible to be solved the problems through foreign forces. History showed and always showed that Afghanistan has never been occupied by invaders for long term and occupiers have always saw Afghanistan as their grave yard, if that was Gingiz khan or Alexandar or British or Russians or now Americans.

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