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Scott Sullivan:Gates-McChrystal
Option perpetual escalation


Escalate by adding  40,000 US troops.  US will make a commitment to nation building and protection of the civilian population.  Assuming significant US victories, the Taliban will then move their bases to Pakistan.  The US will then be prepared to move the fight to Pakistan as the Taliban flees Afghanistan. 

CONs.  This strategy represents an escalation of the existing failed policy of “clear, stabilize, and hold.” Gates and McChrystal are wrong on today’s policy with Afghanistan, where fighting is up 60% from last year.  How do we know that Gates and McChrystal ‘s plan will  work this year?

Moreover, DoD does not know if US military escalation in Afghanistan will drive the Taliban and al-Qaeda closer together or further apart.  In the same way, the US does not know if US military escalation will drive the Taliban and its al-Qaeda and Pakistani sponsors closer together or further apart. 

If the answer is closer together, the US would be forced to take responsibility attacking the Taliban and al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan.  The US would then have to finance open-ended responsibilities for nation building and military security in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 Biden Option – US EXIT AND DEFEAT

Divert large numbers of US troops from war fighting to the accelerated training of Afghan troops.  Accelerate the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.   Meanwhile, US would prevent new Taliban offensives, following US troop withdrawals, by a significantly greater US reliance on US drones.

CONs. US drones will never be able to take the place of US troops in deterring new Taliban offensives in Afghanistan.  This is because the drones are best utilized against discrete high value targets, not as a weapons system for countering Taliban attacks on US troops and Taliban ground offensives.

Moreover, Biden will fail because he lacks a political strategy for breaking up the Taliban-al Qaeda-Pakistan Axis, as US troops withdraw from Afghanistan. Finally, Biden and Gates-McChrystle will fail because they fail to pick up Russia and China as allies who can take over Afghanistan as the US withdraws. 

Finally, Biden and Gates will fail because they ignore the problems created by rise of a new Iranian pro-Nazi and pro-German revolutionary Islamic Imperialism.  In other words, Biden and Gates are unable to visualize Iran and Germany as threats, and cannot visualize the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Osama bin Ladin as new and important allies to meet this Iran- Nazi threat.

Option Three – the US must engage Russia and China to lead the global anti-Nazi front, which includes Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Osama.

The Taliban, al-Qaeda and Osama may be open to US large scale cooperation for three reasons.

First, the US now has a president who has ties to Islam and to US Communists.  He may be receptive to radically new approaches for containing Iran, including cooperation against Iran by Obama. Osama, and Putin.

Second, the US and al-Qaeda are already participating in a strategic anti-Iran and anti-Kurd Axis to protect Mosul, which is Iraq’s most important city in northern Iraq. 

Third, the Chinese Communists can help answer the Taliban’s existential question of "Who am I."  Is Taliban right wing or left wing?  Is Taliban a revolutionary Arab nationalist party or an Arab revolutionary Islamist party.  Is Taliban more closely aligned with Saudi Arabia than with Iran and even Pakistan (this seems to be the case).  If so,why?

Most importantly, today the Taliban and al-Qaeda might welcome advice and small scale forelgn aid from the US and China.  In fact, the last time the Taliban and al-Qaeda ruled Afghanistan they pursued a go it alone strategy on foreign aid aid that soon isolated all of Afghanistan from the world economy and led to widespread poverty throughout Afghanistan.

 As Afghanistan’s economists pointed out at the time, Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders seemed uninterested in plaons for economic development.  Moreover, Taliban and al-Qaeda did not seem to be drafting foreign policy plans to end Afghanistan’s poverty and isolation.  In short, Taliban and al-Qaeda may now realize they need significant outside expertise to prevent a new economic isolation of Afghanistan.


Meanwhile, China – supported by the US, Russia and the Central Asian states of the Shanghai Coordination Organization (SCO) -- shall seek Obama’s permission for China to promote SCO engagement with Pakistan and Iran.  Above all, China shall ask Pakistan to help the US co-opt the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

 At the same time China and Russia will promote Iranian integration into SCO security planning, including Iran’s eligibility to join the SCO mutual defense treaties, provided Iran is in compliance with UN directives eliminating Iran’s nuclear weapons programs.

 


Scott Sullivan is a former Washington government employee and was the Senior Advisor for International Economics at the Crisis Management Center of the National Security Council, 1984 - 1986. Petroleumworld not necessarily share these views.

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