Skip to main content

U.S. Afghan and South Asian Policy Suffers From Strategic Stagnation


http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/15/u-s-afghan-and-south-asian-policy-suffers-from-strategic-stagnation/

LAWRENCE SELLIN

Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve

3:16 PM 06/15/2017

While Washington D.C. frets over military stalemate and troop levels, American policy in Afghanistan and South Asia is about to be overtaken by events, which potentially could render the U.S. strategically irrelevant for a generation or more.

Even the dimmest foreign policy analyst should recognize by now that the U.S. and NATO cannot succeed in Afghanistan without a significant change in the strategic environment because Pakistan controls the operational tempo of the war and the supply of our troops.

Furthermore, the South Asian strategic deck chairs are being rearranged by regional powers in such a way that the U.S. will be left standing when the music stops.

The future of South Asia is now being determined by two contending economic alliances, China-Pakistan and India-Iran-Russia, neither of which envisions the U.S. as a participant.

In other words, given the trajectory of strategic developments in South Asia, the U.S. will have little or nothing to show for its enormous expenditure of blood and treasure in Afghanistan.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and, more broadly, the Belt and Road Initiative are China’s attempt to extend its strategic reach to the Indian Ocean, East Africa and the Middle East. That approach is similar to what China is doing in Southeast Asia, building artificial islands in the South China Sea as military and logistical bases. Similar Chinese bases are being built in Djibouti and Gwadar, Balochistan, Pakistan’s southwest province, which will allow China to extend its military reach to the entrances of the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, respectively.

In competition to CPEC, Iran and India, both allies of Russia, are implementing a similar project in the Iranian port of Chabahar, which is about 45 miles west of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea. Road and rail links will connect Chabahar to other parts of Iran and then on to Central Asia, Russia and Afghanistan, where the estimated $3 trillion in untapped Afghan mineral resources can be exploited.

The U.S. has only one card to play – Balochistan.

Balochistan, rich in natural resources, is an ethnically mixed transnational region spanning southwestern Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan, where the Baloch people, who have their own language and culture and have a reputation for secularism and tolerance, constitute the majority of the population.

A large section of ethnic Balochistan, independent at the time, was forcible incorporated into Pakistan by an invasion of the Pakistani Army after the partition of India in 1947. Since then, Balochistan has been the home of a festering insurgency waged by Baloch nationalists against the governments of Pakistan and Iran.

The ports of Chabahar, Iran and Gwadar, Pakistan are Balochi.

Balochistan’s natural resources have been plundered by Pakistan and Iran. Pakistani nuclear tests were conducted there without the permission of the Baloch people and the region has been subjected to military oppression for decades to extinguish ethnic aspirations and to maintain Balochistan as a de facto colony of Pakistan and Iran.

Pakistan has used Balochistan as an incubator and operational base for the Taliban and other terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, a fully owned and operated subsidiary of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI. Having adopted radical Islam as an element of its national policy, Pakistan has become a willing or unwilling host to The Islamic State, which is now conducting terrorist operations in Balochistan.

The Baloch people are natural allies of the U.S. and an independent Balochistan could dampen regional terrorism, offer a more reliable sea-land link to Afghanistan, oppose Iranian regional hegemony and counter Chinese military expansionism.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired US Army Reserve colonel, an IT command and control subject matter expert, trained in Arabic and Kurdish, and a veteran of Afghanistan, northern Iraq and a humanitarian mission to West Africa. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-china-europe-railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…

China's Raise as a Maritime Power

China's Rise as a Maritime PowerOcean Policy from Mao Zedong to Xi JinpingTAKEDA Jun’ichiSenkaku IslandsApr 23, 2014 PDF Download1. IntroductionThe international community has been viewing China's recent moves relating to the seas as representing "maritime expansion," and the Chinese themselves have come to talk about making their country a maritime power. In the political report he delivered in the autumn of 2012 to the eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which stands at the top of the country's power structure, General Secretary Hu Jintao declared, "We should enhance our capacity for exploiting marine resources, develop the marine economy, protect the marine ecological environment, resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests, and build China into a maritime power."1 This was Hu's final report as the top leader of the CPC; after delivering it he stepped down from his posts as general secretary and chairm…