Page 1

By Zaid Hamid, Shahzad Masood Roomi

Š 2012 BrassTacks. All Rights Reserved

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Š 2012BrassTacks. All rights reserved. This document is protected by copyright. No part of it may be reproduced, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the written permission of BrassTacks. The information in this document is furnished for informational use only. Great care has been taken to maintain the accuracy of the information contained in this document. However, neither BrassTacks nor the authors can be held responsible for errors or for any consequences arising from the use of the information contained herein.


What is Af-Pak? US Position in Afghanistan Today Pak – US Relations Politico-Economic Environment for US/ NATO in Afghanistan Critical Analysis of Pakistan's existing response strategy The way forward References

1 6 10 13 16 21 23

What is Af-Pak?

“Asia is a body built of clay and water Afghanistan is the heart in this body! If Afghanistan is in turmoil, the whole of Asia would be in Turmoil If Afghanistan is in peace, the whole of Asia would be in peace.” Allama Iqbal “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” Sun Tzu


Pakistan has gravely miscalculated the threats, aims and objectives of Af-Pak. If Af-Pak is not killed by Pakistan, then Pakistan would be killed by it. The first quote mentioned above is a stunning, almost prophetic, geo-political vision of Iqbal is starkly visible today as the entire region; especially Pakistan is faced with an existential threat from the Afghan theatre. While the rapid and violent reshaping of the Muslim Middle East is being orchestrated by the Neo-Cons in the mainland Arab world, the occupation of Afghanistan by the western forces is directly threatening the Muslim heartland in West Asia, greater Khurasan and the Central Asian regions. The second quote of the master Chinese strategist of 500BC defines the basic principle unveiling the secret of decision making about fighting a war. Its relativity to Iqbal's quote and to the current situation stems from the prevailing strategic confusion in Pakistani policymakers, both in the civilian and the military spheres, about the future discourse of the so-called war on terror, on critical issue of NATO supplies, on the role of Pakistan in sustaining the Af-Pak, which is primarily a hostile war doctrine against Pakistan itself, and the capabilities and capacity of the Pakistani nation and the armed forces in dealing with any expected threat of a high intensity war against a coalition of US/NATO and India. Pakistan does not know the weakness of its enemy nor know its own lethal potential to protect its interests in this explosive environment, hence the fatal sequence of blunders

Pakistan has so far suffered 100,000 casualties in this aimless war, both dead and wounded, from every walk of life. Pakistani casualties are many times more than that of suffered by the US, NATO and the Afghan forces combined. Economy has suffered over $ 70 billion in losses, both men and material and the social fabric of the society has been violently torn apart. The entire country has been turned into a battle ground but still the regime in Islamabad does not plan any policy analysis on the Afghan theatre and the fatal threats emerging from it. The “strategic blindness” of the leadership has created an abysmal existential threat environment for the state and the nation. ******************** What is Af-Pak? In March 2009, the Obama administration came up with a radical Af-Pak strategy under the name of “A New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan” to bring “stability” in Afghanistan by declaring Pakistan as a part-active battlefield. Af-Pak policy defined the following points as its main vertices. These are basically the propaganda points to justify the doctrine. 1.

Al-Qaeda and its allies have moved to Pakistan.


Pakistan is an active military combat zone along with Afghanistan.


A high profile attack anywhere in the world in the future will be launched from Pakistan.


Al-Qaeda's “safe havens” in Pakistan are a danger not only for the US, but for the entire world.


Pakistan's performance against Al-Qaeda and its allies would be monitored by the US otherwise Pakistan will not get any military aid from Washington.


The Policy proposed a multilateral solution involving nations with conflicting interests, like inviting India, for stabilization efforts in Afghanistan. Pakistan-Afghanistan: Af-Pak battlefield

Killing the Af-Pak

by the policy makers in Islamabad.


Killing the Af-Pak

The undeclared facets of Af-Pak policy which have devastated Pakistan: th


Af-Pak was deployed at a time when the already deployed 4 Generation War (4GW) had “softened up” Pakistan enough, through a collapse of economy, judiciary, executive and law and order, for a physical high intensity invasion to be launched in tandem with Indian Cold Start. The government of Pervez Musharraf was forced out earlier and the corrupt and compromised regime of Zardari was in power, army was heavy involved in putting down rebellions in various parts of the country and the media was well and truly on board with the hostile forces to wage a massive, ruthless and vicious information and psy-war on the state, army, ISI and the people. Af-Pak by US/NATO was meant to take the war against Pakistan to new levels of annihilation by actively getting involved militarily to act as force multiplier to the existing 4GW.


The support to insurgencies of TTP and BLA were increased to wage a massive war of terrorism, sabotage, subversion and anarchy within Pakistan – helping the CIA/RAW to not just inflict heaviest of losses on Pakistan army but also to create the perception that Pakistan's nuclear weapons are not safe and may fall into the hands of the terrorists as Pakistan was rapidly turning into a failed state.


In addition to supporting the insurgencies, CIA also launched a ruthless drone strikes strategy inside Pakistan to eliminate “Al-Qaeda” with no legal mandate. Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in these strikes.


Drone strategy ignited Pakistani tribes against the Pakistan Army for being an ally with their killers. The emotions were then quickly exploited by the CIA/RAW created TTP to further mobilize local tribes against Pakistan army and the Pakistani state.


Serious doubts were created by this strategic and bloody drone strikes campaign on the capabilities of Pakistan armed forces to protect its citizen from any external aggression.


There was a dangerous surge in suicide bombing and attacks on the armed forces and security agencies after the Af-Pak was deployed fully.


Pakistan Army had to shift extra troops to its Western borders from Eastern border where India is preparing Cold Start doctrine against Pakistan.


Pakistan was maligned for supporting terrorism in neighboring countries as a policy. A ruthless campaign was launched in international media against Pakistan Army and ISI.


The US made a troops surge inside Afghanistan, in 2009, to combat insurgency but also began a military buildup in provinces bordering Baluchistan.


India launched their Cold Start in tandem with Af-Pak to exploit the geo-strategic opportunity created under 4GW and Af-Pak. Pakistan is well and truly encircled by 3 hostile military doctrines, which are fully deployed, operational and causing maximum damage to


Killing the Af-Pak 4

Deployment of US forces along Pakistani border under Af-Pak 2009 the state, army and the people of Pakistan. In the early winters of 2011, Pakistan army had gained significant victories against the TTP and had pushed the insurgent group into the Kunar province of Afghanistan where a freezing winter awaited the dislocated and beaten terrorists. Though the US army and Afghan government had created a safe haven for the terrorists in the region, the harsh weather and the blockade of the border by Pakistan army had created a serious crisis for the TTP. CIA/RAW wanted to push them back into Pakistan. But there was one problem – Pakistan army had sealed the borders. TTP lacked the military muscle to attack and dislocate the Pak army. There was only one option – NATO and US had to do get involved. US launched Operation Sayaqa on two Pakistan Army check posts in Mohmand Agency of FATA on the night of 25th November 2011. Even US investigations have vindicated the Pakistani version of the incident that the US forces were well aware of the locations of two Pakistani check posts where 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by the US special forces and US air force one by one[2]in an unprovoked attack which continued even after US officials were informed about the incident. Pakistan's Director General Military Operations did not mince words to say that the Salala attack by NATO was meant to give passage to the TTP terrorists to enter back into Pakistan. Pakistani response was fierce and an unexpected one for the Americans. The US/NATO supply routes were blocked and US was forced to vacate the Shamsi Base. Since then, the American operations in Afghanistan have been practically halted and expenditures have sky rocketed due to relying on expensive Northern Distribution Network (NDN) for military supplies. The US forces are under tremendous logistical pressure as US war supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan remain blocked for the last 6 months while Taliban have launched their devastating spring offensive against a crippled NATO and US army.

Killing the Af-Pak 5

Within Pakistan, the scenario is much more complex and violently divided over the issue of NATO supplies. n Pakistani

government is ready to open the blocked NATO supplies despite the fact that parliament has passed a resolution after the US attack on Salala check post defining new terms of engagement with the US, few of which include: o

No weapons to pass through Pakistani land or air space.


No drone would be launched against Pakistan.


An apology over the NATO attack.

But the U.S. has refused all major demands of the Pakistani parliament. Drone strikes have continued and the US has openly refused to apologize. NATO wants their weapons and fuel transported to them as well. The mood within the nation and in the rank and file of the armed forces is hostile against opening up the supplies and the government is extremely nervous about the possibility of violent fallouts within the country if a hasty judgment is enforced against the national will. On this issue, the military leadership is also in the spotlight and the nation is expecting them to side with the popular sentiments. The respect, integrity, credibility and dignity of the armed forces leadership is now at stake. Never before the nation and its leadership has differed so violently on any issue before.

NATO Supply lines – stuck in Pakistan

It is no more a simple question of drawing up of terms and conditions of opening up of NATO supplies alone. The entire social, moral, emotional, political and religious authority of the national political and military leadership is on trial here and the entire fabric of the nation is now violently polarized over this emotional and sensitive issue of siding with the crusaders for killing the Afghan Muslims and on supporting the Af-Pak for a war of annihilation against Pakistan itself.


US Position in Afghanistan Today Killing the Af-Pak Strategy Options for Pakistan

US is facing a military and political disaster in Afghanistan. This is the biggest US vulnerability. Following points are immediately to be noted:

n US cannot win the war against Taliban. n US need Pakistan for any military or political solution of the Afghan theatre. n US

remain desperately dependent upon Pakistan for its supplies. There is no alternate to Pakistan.

n US is not in a position to wage another high intensity war against Pakistan especially without

the military hardware stuck in Pakistan. Almost 3500 armored cars, trucks and heavy transport equipment as well as 5000 containers full of weapons, ammo and supplies constitute that invasion hardware.

Military: The entire US military strategy to suppress the insurgency and resistance in Afghanistan through excessive brutal force and troops surge has failed completely. US officials in Washington have been issuing the statement of “improving� situation in Afghanistan since last 3 years but situation on ground is entirely opposite. n The on ground tactical situation of US/NATO forces in Afghanistan today is a replica of what

Soviet forces confronted in the 1980s. Even some American military analysts believe that the situation has gone from bad to abysmal.[3]

Killing the Af-Pak

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total


US 12 49 48 52 99 98 117 155 317 499 418 104 1968

UK 0 3 0 1 1 39 42 51 108 103 46 18 412

Other 0 18 10 7 31 54 73 89 96 109 102 31 620

Total 12 70 58 60 131 191 232 295 521 711 566 153 3000

Death toll of US/NATO forces in Afghanistan.


n An

acute increase in death toll of the US/NATO forces was witnessed after the announcement of Af-Pak which proves beyond doubt that Af-Pak has destroyed the initial successes against Afghan resistance.

n There was no incident of releasing of any Taliban fighter from US/NATO jails before Af-Pak

but now it has become a normal trend. During the last two years 20 prisoners, declared bad guys by the US officials, have been released secretly from military prison to cut deals with Taliban. [5] n This April

Taliban launched the biggest attack on Kabul city hitting multiple targets in an coordinated assault. This attack has exposed the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the US/NATO forces in the “safest” city of Kabul.[6]

Kabul under attack - Taliban’s spring offensive (April 2012)

Killing the Af-Pak

Public: The US failure in Afghanistan is not limited to the military strategy but the war of winning hearts and minds of Afghan locals have been lost too and the public perception of the US/NATO as the saviors has eroded completely even among non-Pushtun factions of Afghan society.


The failed Petreaus solution -- A Pashtun village -- Before and after n If

the military brutalities of the US/NATO forces against the common Afghans were not enough to destroy the credibility and acceptability of the ERFs by the Afghans, the recent incidents like urinating on Taliban fighters dead bodies, burning of copies of Quran, killing of Afghan civilians by American soldiers has done this for sure. No society would ever approve such atrocities particularly the Afghan society where religion and strong tribal [7] values have profound impact on collective thought process and social bearings.

n Recent

revelation of existence of anti-Islam military training courses of Pentagon, like "Understanding the Threat to America", has infuriated not only Muslim around the world [8] but the US troops also think this trend is completely “Un-American�.

Political: On political axis, the entire US scheme to bring a halt in ever expanding Taliban influence and military assaults through political maneuvering is in tatters as situation has gone out of control and new dynamics are indicative that country is going to be divided into multiple ethnic zones as the American forces did in Iraq before leaving it. n US

desire to bring Taliban on the negotiation table has resented the National Front of Afghanistan (NFA) that was created by Ahmad Zia Massoud, Abdul Rashid Dostum and Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq. It is basically the military wing of the United Front (Northern Alliance) to oppose a return of the Taliban. These developments took place when Americans

Killing the Af-Pak

tried to enter in negotiation with the Taliban bypassing the Afghan government last year. n Uzbik

and Tajik elements in Afghan government feel threatened by the US desire to bring Taliban in the government. The recent assassinations of pro-peace negotiators, Professor Rabbani and Maulvi Arsala Rehmani, are an indication that powerful players in the Kabul regime do not want any peace deals with Taliban.

n Taliban


are firm on their stance of keep resisting the occupied forces until their complete withdrawal.

n Karzai is the only hope for the US but he is incompetent and corrupt. n Some of the Congressmen are also afraid of the Taliban's return and are opposing any deal

between the US and the Taliban. U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert wrote, "These leaders who fought with embedded Special Forces to initially defeat the Taliban represent over 60percent of the Afghan people, yet are being entirely disregarded by the Obama and Karzai [9] Administrations in negotiations." After these paradoxical complexities, a new scheme is under deliberation in the US to give control of some the selected provinces to the Taliban and keep the Northern Alliance limited to non-Pushtun provinces. This scheme is starkly similar to what Patreas did to Iraq in order to overcome the resistance and now Iraq has been virtually divided into 3 countries; Shia Iraq, Suni Iraq and Kurd Iraq.


Pak – US Relations

Right now, the bilateral relations between the two “allies” are at an all times low. After the Salala incident both the political and military leadership came under tremendous pressure from the masses and the Jawans to react firmly against the US aggression. Pak-US relations have now turned into complete diplomatic crisis. The US is in panic and once again has decided to use proven carrot and stick policy to force Pakistan in reopening the supplies. With no military muscle or national will available to launch another war against a nuclear armed nation, Psy-ops and bluffs are major tactics being deployed by US at the present. With a corrupt and hungry government in Islamabad, US through it would be able to maneuver its way through but the resistance from the Pakistani nation has stunned both the US and the Pakistani governments. n The

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, while standing in India, accused Pakistan for sheltering Al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda's current chief.

n The

US initially did not invite Pakistan to attend the Chicago conference on Afghanistan. Though nothing substantive will come out of this conference as the US has already brokered a deal with Karzai government to extend the presence of the American forces on Afghan soil to an unspecified time period after 2014.[10]So it will be immaterial what will be promised or said during the Chicago summit regarding Afghanistan and future of US/NATO forces withdrawal.

n Recently

a bill has been moved in House Armed Services Committee of the US Congress [11] which seeks a 90% cut in US aid to Pakistan along with ban on trade.

n Additionally another bill has been presented seeking deduction of $50 million from US aid

to Pakistan on death of every US troop in Afghanistan. Pakistan Terrorism Accountability Act of 2012, if approved by the US congress, would enable the US officials sitting in Washington to decide if a US soldier killed in Afghanistan on the other side of the globe met

Killing the Af-Pak 11

his fate at the hands of “terrorists� sponsored by ISI or not. [12] Despite all the pressure and the bluff, the fact is that the US remains hopelessly dependent upon Pakistan's help and support for its survival, supplies, withdrawal or peace negotiations. Right now, Pakistan's only vulnerability is the presence of the PPP government in Islamabad which is in ugly haste to resume the supplies than protecting Pakistan's honor, dignity and freedom. Strengthening internal cohesion within Pakistan Army NATO supply resumption would also have serious implications for the Pakistan Army and also between the masses and the armed forces is the most critical need of the hour. And the most audacious aspect of this dirty American war is the creation of a dangerous divide within Pakistani military between the top brass and the junior officers who are giving the ultimate sacrifices in a war to defend Pakistan which cannot be won by military means alone in the absence of political, diplomatic, media and judicial backing and support. Let's consider the following facts also: 1.

Pakistan is fighting internal insurgencies in Baluchistan and FATA.


In mid to long term, Indian Cold Start doctrine is a clear and present threat on Eastern border.


The US is going to stay in Afghanistan for unspecified time period. This means Kabul will be ruled by a pro-Indian and anti-Pakistan government for long period of time.


Western analysts are creating the hype and waging a info-war that security of London Olympics depends entirely on the elements in [13] Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Thousands of NATO containers full of deadly weapons have already vanished in Pakistan and those weapons have ended up in the hands of insurgents in Karachi, Baluchistan and FATA.


Concealed behind the diplomatic cover, CIA and JSOC are running a parallel intelligence network inside Pakistan, even conducting their own operations of assassinations, sabotage, subversions and terrorism.


Afghan resistance does not fight Pakistan and considers the TTP as terrorists but does not fight the TTP as Pakistan does not recognize the Afghan resistance.

JSOC presence in Pakistan confirmed

There is a realization within the top military brass of Pakistan Army about the dual standards and games being played by the Americans in Afghanistan. It is known that US is shifting blame of her failures in Afghanistan to Pakistan.


It has been also realized that the US wants Pakistan Army to get engaged in military operations against Afghan Taliban.[14] But despite these revelations there is no change in policy to conduct “WoT”.


Washington and Delhi's “Do-More” mantra continue to put more pressure on Pakistan in order to secure more concession from Islamabad.

Under the current threat environment and security challenges Pakistan Army must contemplate on the long term fatal implications of resuming the NATO supply lines without seeking iron clad guarantees over the withdrawal date of US forces from Afghanistan. Resumption of NATO supplies would not only enhance the physical threats to the country under combined 4GW-CSD-Af-Pak threat matrix but would also challenge the credibility of the armed forces to protect the honor and the dignity of the nation as well as its own. Apart from that a very demoralizing message would be conveyed within the rank and file of the armed forces which may turn mutinous under the present levels of anger in the forces against NATO and US. But if Pakistan decides to follow the public sentiments on this critical issue and keep the supplies blocked wouldn't the US/NATO put Pakistan under sanctions and may enter Pakistan again to hunt other Al-Qaeda leaders as they did on May 2nd 2012? Yes, they can. But the issue must be seen in larger context.

Friends or Foes?

Pakistan suffers more by being part of this campaign than being away from it. With losses of over $70 billion dollars in material and losing over a 100,000 dead and wounded for being part of this illegal war, no amount of US “aid” can compensate for the pains of the Pakistani nation. It would be pertinent here to revisit a statement by former US President Richard Nixon. Nixon talked of a statement by Ayub Khan in his memoirs “In the Arena”, when the Shah of Iran was murdered and died alone in Syria, being abandoned by his American friends, in his funeral not one American came, Nixon recalled the words of Ayub Khan, that the enmity of America is bad, but her friendship is suicide. It would be useful if the present political leadership of Pakistan learn from the experiences of the former Pakistani military President. *******************************

Killing the Af-Pak



Politico-Economic Environment for US/ NATO in Afghanistan

At home, US and NATO governments and their militaries are also in a desperate situation. This is also critical to understand as this economic collapse directly affects the military capability and war making capacity of the US and NATO against Taliban and Pakistan and gives incredible leverage to Pakistan to hard bargain with these ERF.


US economy was one trillion surpluses at the beginning of WoT and now it is in more than 14 trillion deficits.


US military budget is under pressure and more cuts in spending have been introduced. The 2011 Budget Control Act requires the Department of Defense to reduce its expenditures by about $487 billion over the next decade, $259 billion of which must be cut over the next five [15] years.


Euro crisis has blown out of control due to multiple economic collapses. There is total and complete meltdown in NATO countries. The economic managers across the Europe (NATO countries) are searching for the silver bullet – the magic policy pill to salvage them from an imminent economic disaster. Even a country like Germany failed to protect itself from the impact of the Euro-zone crisis.[16]


Britain has announced a military budget cut resulting 5000 sailors of British Navy losing their jobs in first phase of downsizing.[17]

In presence of these economic indicators from the US and Europe, it will be nearly impossible for them to launch a military aggression against a nuclear armed Pakistan. Furthermore, any such eventuality will destroy the US missions in Afghanistan as well. n NATO – US are not on the same page as far as withdrawal of forces is concerned. While US

Killing the Af-Pak

has signed a long term strategic agreement with Afghan government to stay in the country beyond 2014,NATO, on the other hand, has decided to hand over the security to the Afghan nationals and plans to begin a withdrawal process by mid of next [18] year and complete it till end of 2014. n European

economies are desperate to disengage from the war as soon as possible.


Another war, especially against Pakistan, is not an option for the NATO economies!

Regional Dynamics: Victims of Eurozone – Falling one by one! and China are not happy with NATO withdrawal in 2014 but their uneasiness stems from the threat perceived by Moscow and Bejing about Islamic insurgencies in Chechnya and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Both countries are happy at getting the Americans bleed in Afghanistan while also containing the Islamic militancy through it. But on the other hand, they both do not want to see too much US influence in the region. Russian foreign ministry is not satisfied with the US presence in Afghanistan after 2014 and is seeking explanation of this planned extended stay of US forces in Afghanistan.

n Russia

n Russia is also yet to decide if she must attend the Chicago conference or not.


Above economic, geopolitical and strategic developments explain that why Americans would not able to attack Pakistan in the absence of the stuck up military hardware and would continue to rely on the 4GW and the Indian elements to keep Pakistan Army busy in protracted asymmetric irregular wars within its own borders stretching it thinner across the entire swathe of the country amid ensuing political, economic and judicial chaos. It is the American desire to cut a supply corridor through Baluchistan to Afghanistan and that is achievable only if: n The 4GW reaches its critical stage to create urban anarchy in Pakistan. n NATO supplies, weapons and fuel are restored. n Indians launch their Cold start to distract and engage the thinned out Pakistan army.

Here again, the critical question of restoration of NATO supplies take an added and urgent dimension where a mistake would be too deadly to comprehend.

Killing the Af-Pak

Indian Factor: The future dynamics US-India strategic partnership must not be ignored. n The long term interests of a nuclear armed Pakistan and the US cannot have any convergence st

particularly when the Americans are strategic partners of the Indians in the 21 century.


n Washington is looking towards Delhi playing a larger role in Asia and South Asia to counter

weight China. Americans also want India to play a key role in Afghanistan. To achieve both of these objectives, Pakistan must be decapitated (read denuclearized). n The

US is selling high-tech offensive weapon systems to India to build Indian capacity of CSD on a fast track.

n The US has hinted to support India in the UN Security Council along with accepting her in

the nuclear club.

India – World's largest buyer of arms for Cold Start n The

US and Indian interests on Pak-China relations converge as well. The recent GilgitBatistan unrest must be analyzed with this fact in mind. th

Despite being tangled in a complex 4 generation war within its own borders, Pakistan's Afghan confusion within the political government and military leadership has created an unprecedented threat environment in which the differentiation between friend and foe has been lost due to the persistence with the failed policies adopted by the Musharraf regime which landed Pakistan into the current chaotic situation. *******************************

Critical Analysis of Pakistan's Existing Response Strategy


Pakistan has been unable to stop the drone strikes. Now these drone attacks are igniting hatred against Pakistan among the most patriotic tribes of FATA. Wikileaks have exposed the complicity of Islamabad in these attacks. If Iran can bring down the US drones there must be no reason why Pakistan cannot do the same.


Indian presence in Afghanistan is dominating and overwhelming. This is the culmination of epic failure of Pakistani diplomacy with the US over protecting vital national security interests. Appeasement policies towards Washington and Delhi have put Islamabad in compromising position both on Kashmir and Afghanistan. Pakistan offered the assistance to the US in 2001 just to keep Indians out of Afghanistan but after 10 years it is the Pakistan who has no role in Afghanistan while Indian Army is training Afghan National Army. Indians and Americans are dealing with the Afghan factions while Pakistani diplomacy remains inactive, reactive, disoriented and directionless.


Army is still fighting a reactive war within Pakistan's own borders and taking causalities. It has not been able to dismantle the bases of TTP or choke their supply lines in and from Afghanistan. Islamabad's current COIN and counter terrorism strategies are devoid of any realization of facets of 4GW waged by hostile intelligence agencies using Afghanistan as the base area. It is not a military war. It is war strategy to exploit the political, judicial, media, economic, ethnic, linguistic, sectarian, tribal and ideological divides within the target country to create environment of urban civil war and social anarchy where minimal external force is required to mop up the failed state. Controlling the executive, economy, media and judiciary of the target nation is more important than sending in the armies. The insurgents and rebels engage and bog down the army of the target nation while its own government brings about a controlled demolition of the state and the army because of inaction, treason, corruption and failed governance. Yugoslavia and former Soviet Union are classic examples. Armies can't fight 4GW. Only strong government and nations can! Crux of the matter is that installing a weak government in Islamabad was the prerequisite for the

Killing the Af-Pak

success of 4GW and this is exactly what happened as result of the infamous NRO. Pakistan is not in the present political and legal abyss due to the conflict between the TTP and the Pakistan Army rather it is the presence of the most corrupt and dishonest government in Islamabad which is responsible for the ensuing crisis and chaos on every level, collapsing all state organs.

17 4.

As a declared policy, Pakistan has not been able to initiate any direct dialogue Final outcome of Pakistan's existing anti-terrorism policy or talks with the Afghan Taliban, while the entire world is engaging them directly. Pakistan should have initiated the Islamabad peace process and taken lead in bringing the warring Afghan sides together as it used to do in the 80's. By only following the western and foreign initiatives on Afghanistan, Pakistan has deliberately left the void which is being rapidly filled by the hostile countries like India or US.


Pakistan has also not been able to isolate the Afghan Taliban from the TTP due to point number 4. TTP is not facing any pressure from the Afghan Taliban despite the fact that Afghan Taliban do not approve of TTP's war against Pakistan. Pakistan Army presented itself as a nationalist force in the tribal areas where TTP used religion and Pakistan's alliance with the 'Kuffar' as pretext to recruit and train fighters and suicide bombers. For the Pakistan army, taking the moral, religious and spiritual high ground was most critical in this war against the religious fanatics and thus taking the help of the Afghan Taliban would have been invaluable in defeating the TTP insurgency.


Pakistan went into the global war on terror without demanding a global definition of terrorism or even defining the phenomenon at national level. Consequently, the difference between the terrorist and the freedom fighter was severely blurred. This diplomatic and political blunder not just haunted the Kashmir struggle; it still prevents Pakistan from separating Afghan Taliban from Al-Qaeda or the TTP at official levels. Till 2005, Pakistan was not able to see through the plans of CIA/RAW but even after the realization it took too long


There is no neighbor of Afghanistan in NATO while SCO has almost all the neighbors of Afghanistan in it except Pakistan. Still Islamabad, during the last 10 years, never tried to approach SCO for playing active role in Afghanistan. Pakistan's single axis foreign policy has been haunting Pakistan since its creation but inexplicably there are no signs of any change in this imbalanced foreign policy which literally has turned Pakistan into a US client state.


No high level diplomatic engagement with Uzbek and Tajik elements in Afghanistan. It seems like the ghosts of 1990s are still haunting Pakistan's public diplomacy approach to Afghanistan which since then remained completely focused on Pushtun faction of Afghan populace only. Afghan Mujahideen groups of 1980s were fragmented on the ethnic lines and since then there have been no real effort to bring Uzbek and Tajik factions under Pakistan's diplomatic fold.


The critical and core question of what to do with the presence of ERFs is still unanswered. Pakistan is still not debating or demanding the ERF withdrawal from Afghanistan. Before the arrival of US and foreign forces in Afghanistan, there was a civil war in the country but no war had spilled into Pakistan nor there any insurgencies in FATA or Baluchistan. It is the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan which is hurting Pakistan. Before 2001, there was no Pakistan Army on the western border. No conflict should be protracted to indefinite time without any clear purpose. Despite death and destruction of economy, law and order and internal cohesion Pakistan never mobilized the diplomatic and political means to seek a withdrawal date from Washington. There can be no peace in the region or in Pakistan as long as ERF remain in Afghanistan. This is the core issue which most unfortunately Pakistan is still not addressing. The current discussion in Islamabad and FO is on the fate of the NATO supplies but there is no talk about the legality and morality of presence of NATO in Afghanistan and its implications for Pakistan. Even the terms and conditions set in the new parliamentary resolution are extremely low level and cheap without taking into account the payment of almost $20 billion dollars of arrears in Taxes and unpaid land and air usage charges by the NATO and compensation for over $70 billion in material and economic losses not to mention the 100,000 killed and wounded in the imposed war.

The crux of the above facts is that Pakistan has landed into this critically delicate position due to Islamabad's inability to review and revise the terms of engagements with US in WoT despite full awareness that Musharaff era policies have brought the country to an abyss. On the next page the current threat matrix is given which starkly explains what Pakistan did gain through aforementioned strategic blunders during the last 11 years.

Killing the Af-Pak

to accept the fact that TTP is an ideologically, politically and logistically separate entity from Afghan Taliban.


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Threat Perceived


Nature of Conflict / Threat

Impact On Pakistan Army

NSVAs (TTP and other religiously motivated militant groups) Sub-Nationalists / Separatists (BLA/BRA)

Insurgency, LICs, Suicide Bombing, Subversion, Attacks on defence installations, kidnapping


Political, Military


Political and ideological sedition, ability to sabotage the rail and road infrastructure at critical points in Baluchistan Violent fragmentation of civil society on sectarian lines, penetration of extremist ideology in lower ranks of Armed forces. Serious law and order situation in major urban cities Would impact Pakistan Army’s ongoing anti-terrorism operations and future preparations. Can lead to a serious cut in funds for R&D and procurements. Media outlets with foreign funding and involvement presenting a hostile view of Pakistan Army’s COIN operations. Military buildup in Afghanistan, Surgical Strike inside Pakistan, Drone attacks, Destabilizing internal security by providing NSVAs with an excuse for their anti-state war behind the façade of Jihad, Psy-ops, US/NATO can impose sanctions under the pretext that Pakistan Army is complicit in eliminating terrorists’ hideouts. Massive Psy-ops against Pakistan army to destroy the credibility as a professional defense force. Execution of Cold Start, Coercive diplomacy, media ops, supporting NSVAs against Pakistan Army,


Political, Military


Terrorism, Serious Law and Order issue

Governance, Administrative


Urban Terrorism Non-Kinetic



Governance, Administrative


Psychological Warfare




Military, Diplomatic

Direct & Indirect




Non-Kinetic, Psychological



Conventional, SubConventional, Non-Kinetic

Military, Political , Diplomatic

Direct, Indirect

Sectarian Groups

Political Militant Wings Economic Meltdown

Local Media


Extra Regional Forces (ERFs) in Afghanistan

Economic and Military Sanctions

International Media


Threat Matrix for Pakistan – 2012

It is easy to predict the strategic implications of the continuation of current disastrous policies. Not only that the continuation of the current confused and disoriented Afghan policy would intensify the 4GW but it will also strengthen the Indian presence in Afghanistan and her Cold Start Doctrine will advance very rapidly to the operational readiness level. If Af-Pak is allowed to prevail and consolidate itself and NATO supplies are released, there is a clear and present danger of attack on Pakistan from the Western front also by the US/NATO forces in pursuit of Al-Zawahiri this time. This would allow India to launch the CSD even without getting full operational status. India would keep Pakistan Army busy on the Eastern front while the US/NATO would be launching raids and air strikes from the Western front with an additional objective of cutting a strategic corridor through Baluchistan. With existing crisis of 4GW, this realistic situation will truly be a security nightmare for Pakistan army. Factually speaking, Pakistan is on the verge of it already.


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Future Dynamics with Existing Strategy:


The Way Forward

But despite this precarious situation, Pakistan holds some key cards which if played wisely can turn the tide. No doubt the solution would be radical, harsh, aggressive and rapid and only a strong and patriotic government in Islamabad along with Pakistan army would be able to implement these proposed solutions which, under current threat matrix, are the only way out of this strategic quagmire. So, bringing in a strong, patriotic and dedicated government remains the prerequisite of any way forward. Current regime is a security threat and must be ousted without any further delay. 1.

Pakistan will have to demand for exit date of US/NATO forces from Afghanistan and must mobilize all political, diplomatic channels to achieve that. That is a MUST do task and a critical one as well. Killing Af-Pak will not only secure Pakistan's western front but would also halt the Indian Cold Start as well. Indians would never dare to initiate a conflict with Pakistan unless US/NATO launches an assault on Pakistan as well or the 4GW crosses a critical threshold and Pakistan Army collapses under the burden of situation. This is what Indians are counting on but once Af-Pak is dead and US/NATO ousted, the entire edifice of 4GW would collapse as well allowing the Pakistan Army to fully focus on the Eastern front. Pakistan is in a position to win this war without fighting it in the actual battlefield as master strategist Sun Tzu said, “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill�. In case of failure of evicting the ERF or not killing the Af-Pak, Pakistan Army will have to fight hundred battles against impossible odds. If the NATO supplies are released, this narrow window to kill the Af-Pak would be closed. This is the last chance Pakistan has and there is no margin of error!


Pakistan will have to aggressively involve in Afghanistan to engage both Taliban and the Northern Alliance and bring them in Islamabad for a peace initiative. Once brought on board by Islamabad Afghan Taliban can be deployed and engaged to neutralize the TTP and Indian assets in Afghanistan as well. Afghan peace process must be led by Pakistan on our terms. Iran and Turkey as well as China would be more than willing to join, making the initiative a solid start for Pakistan and allies.

Pakistan Army will have to hit the TTP bases inside Afghanistan in hot pursuit in preemptive strikes. War will have to be taken to the enemy. No country in contemporary world tolerates terrorists' bases in neighboring countries. Turkey, in August 2011, carried out strikes and raids in Iraq against bases, hideouts, command and control centers, training camps and logistical facilities after PKK took responsibility of a bomb blast and threatened Turk government to carry out more such attacks. [20]It is time for Pakistan to adopt this zerotolerance policy towards TTP and its infrastructure on Afghan soil next to Pakistani border.


NATO supply restoration must be out of the equation. In fact, this military hardware must be seized as compensation for the losses suffered by the nation. Pak army can then raise 9 new armored infantry divisions. Resumption of NATO supply would mean suicide for Pakistan.


Indian presence in Afghanistan and their covert war and encirclement must be retaliated both in Afghanistan and in the mainland India. This is the only way to prevent the Indians from pursuing their own version of “death by thousand cuts� policy against Pakistan through Afghanistan.

Conclusion: Af-Pak must be killed once and for all which would automatically halt CSD which is supposed to be launched in tandem with the Af-Pak after a critical threshold of 4GWis achieved. Last 4 years have been a complete disaster for Pakistan's foreign policy which now needs a major paradigm shift in line with the changing geopolitical landscape in Eurasia. Russia and China have become two most important nations for Islamabad to bring about a balance in Pakistan's 65 years old Washington-oriented foreign policy. The present scenario is indicative that the critical threshold of 4GW has already been crossed as all the state organs have collapsed under corruption, bad governance or sabotage. Pakistan Army is the only hope left but it is also under tremendous pressure due to the state organs failure. The sequence of steps and strategy which needs to be deployed must keep in mind that no solution or response can be built without bringing in a patriotic government in Islamabad urgently. Af-Pak must be killed. Army alone cannot kill the Af-Pak. But Army can bring in a patriotic government which can mobilize the nation and support the army to achieve what is considered impossible today. Together it can be done. Must be done. Else, prepare for a meltdown, civil war, anarchy, failed state, invasion and dismemberment. Either the Pak army follow the response sequel we have recommended or be prepared for the fatal sequence prepared by the enemy. It is not difficult to decide if the choice is between a difficult decision and a fatal one. Pakistan Zindabaad. *******************************

Killing the Af-Pak



Killing the Af-Pak

References: (1) Art of War. Sun Tzu Quotes on Binary quotes U.S. Probe of Border Attack Hardened Pakistani Suspicions by GARETH PORTER, th Counterpunch, January 26 2012 (2)


(3) Truth, lies and Afghanistan: How military leaders have let us down (4)

US secretly releasing Taliban prisoners from Bagram prison, The Telegraph, published May th 7 2012 (5)

(6) Talibanlaunches largest attackon Kabul in 11 years , Guardian , published on April 12th 2012 . US coalition forces admit Afghan civilian deaths, AFP via Yahoo News, Published May 11th 2012.



(8) The US military's 'anti-Islam classes' , Al-Jazeera website, Published May 12 2012 ml (9) Afghan Northern Alliance Allies Betrayed by Obama Administration; Meet with U.S. Congressmen in Berlin , January 9, 2012 (10) Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the United States of America and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. (11) Reopening of NATO supply routes included in long list of demands: US bills seek ban on trade; 90pc aid cut, Daily Dawn, Published 10th May 2012 (12) Pak 'terrorism accountability' bill introduced in US Congress, The Indian Express, published May 12th ,2012

Killing the Af-Pak (13) A frontier far away holds the key to our Olympics security , The Telegraph, By Con Coughlin, Published on May 7th, 2012 (14)

Pakistan being made a scapegoat: army officer,Daily Dawn, published May 9th 2012.

(15) Budget Control Act of 2011, (16) Germany's Economy Is Badly Exposed – Analysis by J.D. Foster of The Heritage Foundation, May 10th 2012. (17) Minister warns military cuts will go ahead despite spare £8billion, published May 15th 2012. (18) Russia attacks Nato Afghanistan withdrawal plan, The Guardian, April 19th 2012. th

(19) Post-2014 U.S. Military Presence in Afghanistan 'Needs Clarification', April 26 , 2012. th

(20) Turkey strikes Kurd rebels in Iraq for third night, published August 20 ,2011.


About BrassTacks: BrassTacks is a unique Independent and Private Pakistani Security Think Tank and Defence Analysis Consulting Group specializing in cutting edge and groundbreaking research on International, Regional and National Security, Political and Economic issues. Contact information is given below: BrassTacks: House # 686, Askari Road, Askari III Chaklala Scheme III, Rawalpindi Phone: 051 – 5598046-7 Cell: 0321- 5001370

About the Authors: Zaid Hamid The author is renowned defense and security analyst with vast experience and insight on Afghan war, geostrategic and global politics. He is also founder of BrassTacks. He can be reached at

ShahzadMasoodRoomi The author is defence and strategic analyst at BrassTacks. He can be reached at


Zaid Hamid : Killing the Af-Pak !  

و رفعنا لك ذكرك صلى الله عليه و اله وسلم السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته