Everybody is making a mess out of the AfPak theatre, including Washington, part 1 of 2
Pepe Escobar: The key to the Taliban riddle
Veteran Afghan jihadis keep the Obama administration puzzled, part 2 of 2
The Taliban Riddle
Deeply corrupt governments and warlords, as well as involvement by drug kingpins, have muddled the Afghan-Pakistani theater
As the security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan continues to spiral down, the Obama administration along with its European allies scramble for a concrete and long lasting solution that so far has proven to be disappointingly illusive. Factors that loom large in the battle to pacify and bring stability to this increasingly chaotic situation are many. A web of drug business, shifting alliances, and deeply corrupt central governments are some of these factors.
In a multi-segment story on the situation in Afghanistan, before the start of the upcoming surge in troops, Pepe Escobar offers his sharp commentary, calling the situation a riddle to be solved. In Part One, Escobar explains that many Afghans are fed up with the violence and would like to see more scholars and engineers, not troops because for many Afghans more foreign troops equate more violence. According to Escobar, the neo-liberal realists in the Obama administration are fed up with Afghan President Karzai–who is sarcastically referred to by many as the mayor of Kabul–and have already begun their search for a new puppet.
Escobar brings to the fore the intricacies of the situation within the Taliban and their shifting corrupt alliances as they continue to forge new deals with Pakistan’s widely despised President, Asif Zardari, the widower of the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. While Zardari continues to allow U.S. drones to kill Pakistani pashtuns, he continues to forge new alliances, so far three of them, with different Taliban factions.
In Part Two of this report, Escobar turns his attention to Afghani factions with Gulbudin Hekmatyar as one of the key figures who, along with the ousted leader of Taliban, Mullah Omar, want nothing short of a full withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan.
The end result, therefore, is the forming of an alliance made up of different Taliban factions fighting a single common enemy: the NATO forces. This leaves the central government in Islamabad and the feudalistic elite in Pakistan to do their business. Escobar then explains what measures the Pentagon and the U.S. Central Command have taken in light of above developments.