Saturday, July 14, 2007

Death By Thousand Cuts:

At start of 80s, this world witnessed how a military Might, One of the two World super powers of that time, ruined in front of much weaker, but determined opponent, in a long War in Afghanistan. The famous war remembered as Afghan Jihad, started in early 80s, was slow in the beginning, but later stretches it's lines throughout the country. "Hit and run" one day in Helmand, 2nd day in Khost, third day in Mazar-e-sharif, cutting supply lines time to time, trapping soldiers inside mountainous valleys, destroying helicopters every week. It was a long war, in which a much weaker Afghan Mujahideen become the cause of death of USSR, a death known as “Death by thousand cuts".
Today, history is repeating itself; another Super power trapped in a same situation. What we witness today is that most of the things are same as they were in past, there is same determination among the lines of Mujahideen, no matter how long will it take, they are ready. There is same military might in front of them, but there is one thing different, now they are fighting on two different fronts this time.

Return of Taliban:

After start of Iraq war, US deployed most of its men power in Iraq, and Iraq was and still is main point of concentration due to ever escalating violence from the first day of this American adventure. Today with military death toll 4000 so far, Iraq is still main concern for US, But 2006 become a horrible dream for US and its policy maker when this world saw a "Return of Taliban" in Afghanistan. This time second generation of those who kicked Russians out is ready to kick Americans out and is fighting with same determination as their elders. Again, 2007 is moving towards the most deadly year for coalition. US is definitely finding itself in an awkward position as now US has to increase number of troops in Afghanistan because NATO countries are not willing to send troops in the hostile areas of Afghanistan, and as the causalities mounts, it looks like that they will not in future.

Pakistani Military forced to have a peace agreement with the local Taliban after losing 1000 of their men in Tribal Areas of Pakistan. This deals made Tribal Areas of Pakistan heaven for Taliban across the border. It is also an interesting point that as Afghanistan is surrounded by Russia, Iran, China and Pakistan, none of these countries like American presence in Afghanistan. US openly accuse Iran and Pakistani ISI, for helping Taliban but the game may have some more hidden players. Pakistan don't want a pro Indian government In Afghanistan, that is why ISI is now again taking a U turn, this time favoring Taliban once again. Iran knows that as long as US soldiers keep dying in Afghanistan and Iraq it will be impossible for US to think about attack on Iran, so for Iran it is more favorable if they help their old enemies.

The return of Taliban is unexpected for this world as well as US. A peace deal of Taliban with Pakistani government was another blow of 2006 for US. 191 NATO troops killed in 2006, along with 4000 people including local police, Afghan army, civilians and Taliban. This Death toll is not only 5 times more than 2005 but also making 2006 the most deadly year for foreign troops, with September 2006 with most deadly month of War in Afghanistan, coming after 5 years of occupation. As US commanders predicted about more violence in coming years, 120 Coalition soldiers so far died in Afghanistan this year as 2007 is moving towards the deadliest year. The fact that NATO countries are not willing to add troops will force US to increase troops in Afghanistan, making more targets for Taliban that will increase number of deaths of US soldiers. The rate of “1 coalition death in 6 days” in 2002 becomes “1 coalition death in two days” in 2007. Canadian government having suffered 66 casualties, all of them in last 2 years is facing a domestic unrest and pressure against the presence of their troops in Afghanistan. It may lead them to be a first country to leave Afghanistan, creating some new problems for US.

Blood in Iraq:

In Iraq it was January 2005 when US lost 107 of its soldiers, and since than, for almost two years , no month cause deaths more than that, but only till this May, that now becomes the deadliest month since November 2004, with 126 US soldiers killed. One can predict the future of American soldiers in Iraq by the stats that in first quarter of 2006, 148 US soldiers died, that increased sharply in the last quarter of the year, when death toll become 286,that is almost double. In 2nd quarter of 2007, each month cost more than 100 lives with 331 deaths in total.

Transfer of Technology:

Over 64 airplanes and helicopters are down only in Iraq, and over 20 helicopters and airplanes are down in Afghanistan. Afghans are learning many things from Iraqis, and they are very good in learning, as once an American commander said during Soviet war that, "Stringer is a good weapon, but it is best when in the hand of Afghan". Now, Afghans not only use their traditional "hit and run", but also use IED's and more deadly suicide bombings, never used in any war before this year. In 2006, there were 117 reported suicide bombings targeting Afghan army and coalition forces.

No doubt US is a Military super power, with huge technological advanced weapons as compared to Mujahideen, but how long will it sustain "hit and run" and suicide attacks in Afghanistan on one hand, and deadly IED's and silent bullets from Sniper's in Iraq on other hand. For both Afghanistan and Iraq, men power for Mujahideen is not a problem, for Iraq, Arabs from all Arab world are coming in, and for Afghanistan, Pakistan, with 160 million population is there to supply men power, among with Uzbekistan.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, 2006 give all of us only one message that all the stats, facts and figures are pointing towards a much more horrible year for America. There will be some more deadly cuts waiting for the Giant Elephant in 2007 and 2008, lets see, when will the Elephant fall?

No comments: