Beyond the Cusp

February 5, 2014

Obama Initiates Countdown to Horrific Afghanistan Civil War

President Obama stated in his recent State of the Union Address, “When I took office, nearly 180,000 Americans were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, all our troops are out of Iraq. More than sixty-thousands of our troops have already come home from Afghanistan. With Afghan forces now in the lead for their own security, our troops have moved to a support role. Together with our allies, we will complete our mission there by the end of this year, and America’s longest war will finally be over.” The statement ignores the reality that though the participation of American and allied troops will have ended, the war in Iraq continues to escalate and the war in Afghanistan is heating up simply waiting for the Americans to completely depart from operations to begin a full blown civil war to decide who will take control in Afghanistan. Taking the open civil war engulfing Iraq first, one needs to realize that the Sunni center of the nation has fallen to al-Qaeda with their central power being in the Anbar Province and Fallujah, some of the names that represent some of the hardest won victories for the American troops during the Iraq War. The fact that all of the gains won by the sacrifice and dedication of the United States military troops and with the equally praiseworthy sacrifice given by their families have been squandered needlessly and without a second thought by the Administration of President Obama is enough to make any patriot ill. The truth behind this story is indicative of the entirety of President Obama’s lack of concern or attention of all things foreign policy.


The only requirement that fell at President Obama’s feet was to negotiate a continuance for a reserve force to remain in what is referred to as a Status of Forces Agreement. With such an agreement there would have been a contingency of American forces remaining in country with one mission, to assure that the hard won victories and the hard work putting Iraq on the road to becoming a functioning democratically based nation where the differences between people and groups are worked out peaceably through debate and political measures. Instead, without any American presence, the Iraqis returned to their historic measures of solving differences, the use of force and violence. The Shiites took control of the government after arresting or chasing off the Sunni members in the government which ignited the beginning of a civil war and the return of al-Qaeda to Iraq. The violence has been steadily building and Iraq threatens to become simply another front in the Shiite-Sunni civil war in neighboring Syria. The two sides will be backed by the same outside forces with Iran and the IRGC allied with the Shiites and al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in support of the Sunnis. This is exactly the same situation faced by the Iraqi people under Saddam Hussein with the tables turned with the Shiites now in control of the government suppressing the Sunni minority which were the oppressive government under Saddam Hussein victimizing the non-Sunni population.


There is one gain, one victory, made by the investment made with the blood, sweat and tears of the American efforts in Iraq which owes nothing to President Obama. This victory is in the northern providences of Iraq. These areas are under Kurdish autonomous rule who also formed their own military and took control of their own destiny. The Kurds probably faced the worst under Saddam Hussein and took responsibility for their own security and only participated in the government in a spirit of Iraqi unity. Now that the government no longer honors that unity, the Kurds have simply closed their southern border with the rest of the nation and created a virtual Kurdistan though they have yet to attempt to establish an independent nation. The world should now fulfill a promise made to the Kurdish people after the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I and allow the establishment of Kurdistan. The British reneged on their promise to the Kurds in order to incorporate the northern oil fields in a greater Iraq in order to obtain the rights for Getty Oil. The time has come to correct that wrong and finally make good on the promise to an ancient people and give them back their homeland and their culture.


In Afghanistan the story parallels Iraq as Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is currently refusing to sign a Status of Forces Agreement demanding that President Obama take whatever steps are required to assure his reelection as President before signing the agreement. This difficulty has come to be simply because President Karzai does not fear or respect United States President Obama. The loss of trust between the two men began when President Obama began to conduct negotiations with the Taliban attempting to arrange some sharing of power agreement behind President Karzai’s back. This resulted in President Karzai returning the favor and conducting his own secretive negotiations with the Taliban. Meanwhile, the Taliban figured out that there was trouble in Afghanistan’s future and that would enable them to return to power if they simply out waited the United States and swept in once the last American troops had gone home. So the Taliban broke off negotiations with the United States and strung along President Karzai and are apparently biding their time before turning Afghanistan into the next Iraq or Syria. There have already been signs of increasing violence in Afghanistan and it will likely only grow worse with time. Afghanistan has been a nation of often warring tribes since before Alexander the Great rode in and forced a peace by marrying off the daughters of a number of his generals to the many tribes and then forcing them to keep the others under control. This was Alexander’s attempt to untie the Gordian Knott, by cleaving it in half with a sword, not exactly tactful. Afghanistan can be expected to return to tumultuous violence soon after the last American and allied troop departs and there does not appear to be much that President Obama is going to do to alter the situation. As the Americans continue to return home, or be sent to Africa as some Afghanistan veterans have been diverted, the clock will slowly tick towards a civil war in Afghanistan.


Meanwhile, it appears that the slow and inexorable buildup will be starting across Africa with United States forces being deployed to Mali and thirty-four other African nations to train and prepare the indigenous military forces who are possibly facing potential violence. Gen. David Rodriguez, the head of U.S. Army Forces Command told the AP “If they want them for (military) operations, the brigade is our first sourcing solution because they’re prepared. But that has to go back to the secretary of defense to get an execute order.” Other troops will be heading to Libya, Sudan, Algeria, Kenya and Niger in order to prepare for advances from al-Qaeda linked forces. Additionally and ominously, American forces will be returning to Somalia, reportedly, in order to stand up to al-Shabab terrorist militants. Perhaps President Obama is on the leading edge of placing American troops in another conflict, this time across most of Africa enveloping much of the continent and not simply a nation or two as President George W. Bush accomplished. I wonder when these troop assignments will enter the regular news cycle or will the American public wake up one morning to reports of a conflict with across the African continent with total American involvement in over thirty nations. All this from the President who declared al-Qaeda on the run, finished as a force needing to be contained and the war on terror won and completed. Somebody may need to tell the Defense Department that the War on Terror is over so they can stop fighting it, or tell the American people the truth for once, pick one.


Beyond the Cusp


November 24, 2013

Afghan United States Treaty on Hold Until After Elections

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has agreed in principle to the deal hammered out concerning a residual presence for United States military personnel but has informed United States President Barack Obama that he will not be able to sign the agreement until after the upcoming Afghani elections in a few months putting off the application date into 2014. Needless to say, the spineless American President has accepted this demand without even a whimper. There is also the small matter of putting the agreement before the Loya Jirga, a council made up of over 2,500 tribal elders, for their approval which is a necessary step as they hold great influence, sufficient to unseat Karzai from the Presidency. The agreement is anything but a panoply of favorable restriction on powers the United States military personnel will be permitted to perform. The agreement basically turns one of the finest and powerful fighting forces on the planet into President Hamid Karzai’s personal riot control force. Some of the restrictions on the American personnel is that any mission undertaken must receive Afghani approval before being executed allowing for those within the Afghani government who are more loyal to the Taliban than the United States to warn any targeted Taliban personnel, the Americans are banned from entering any Afghani personnel residence making every single hut, home, apartment or other residence a safe hiding place for the Taliban and others who oppose the United States, as well as other restrictions making posing any threat to the Taliban and other terrorist interests virtually an impossibility.


The main reason given by Afghani President Hamid Karzai was, “my trust with America is not good. I don’t trust them and they don’t trust me. During the past 10 years I have fought with them and they have made propaganda against me.” While President Karzai was speaking a female senator interrupted him, shouting that any deal with the Americans meant betraying the country. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki spoke about the desires of the United States referring to the treaty stating that signing it “sooner rather than later is essential to give Afghans certainty about their future before the upcoming elections, and enable the United States and other partners to plan for US presence after 2014.”


But what is the reality behind president Karzai’s reluctance to ratify fully and sign the treaty now and wanting it to be delayed until after the elections? The reality is as obvious as it could possibly be, Hamid Karzai is basically demanding if the United States really wants him to sign the treaty then they had better make sure he wins reelection by any means necessary. He is basically pointing to the fact that his adversaries in the elections would likely not be treating anything to do with the United States favorably and would definitely demand that President Obama pull all American personnel from Afghanistan. The validity of his claims is unimportant because if even a few or even just one of his opponents in the elections for President opposes any American presence, then can President Obama really risk just waiting to see who wins and hoping for the best? Judging from much that President Obama has done concerning the policies of the United States in the Middle East he might very well not only gladly wait until after the elections but actually support an anti-American candidate behind the scenes. The sole reason that may prevent President Obama from such a nefarious move is that he has taken ownership in many speeches and comments over his Presidency and thus needs to show success at least on the Afghani front. Still, bending to the blackmail by Hamid Karzai that the United States turn a blind eye or possibly assist him in stealing the election, if that becomes necessary, just to preserve a treaty may be a price considered too high by a principled individual. I suspect President Obama will do whatever is necessary and provide President Karzai with whatever he requires in order to prevail in the upcoming elections much to the disgrace of the United States. This may be an election which will deserve some closer attention than would normally be normal for an election in Afghanistan. Any shady dealing should be investigated and if the United States State Department or the White House and its operatives have any part in influencing the Afghani elections then prosecutions should be considered. The reputation of the United States should not be sullied by such dealings as her reputation has suffered sufficient damage throughout the Middle East over the last almost five years.


Some notes on other fronts from the Middle East. Resulting from the pressures from President Obama and the State Department for the reinstallation of dethroned President Morsi and returning Egypt to Muslim Brotherhood rule rather than the current military rule which has thus far received the support of the majority of Egyptians, Wednesday came reports that Egypt reached a $4 billion arms deal with Russia designed to let Egypt at least achieve parity with the Israeli Defense Force. This deal is being underwritten by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia who are also on the outs with the Obama Administration over the surrender to Iran over their nuclear weapons program. With Turkey also turning away from the United States and Israel feeling like she has been cut loose and is on her own in preventing a nuclear Iran and actually being opposed actively with both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry doing everything in their powers to assist and back every demand and desire of the Palestinian Authority, the United States sole friend in the Middle East may be the Iranians who are sworn to a “World without America and Zionism.” Could it get any worse? Just wait, there are still three years plus for even more misadventures in foreign policy and especially the Middle East. We did say repeatedly that Obamacare and the economy were of little importance in the last American Presidential Elections and that the main concern must be focused like a laser on foreign policy. The reasons appeared obvious to us but apparently history is going to be given every chance possible to repeat itself. We just hope that somewhere there is another Winston Churchill and we believe one candidate is Canada’s own Prime Minister Stephen Joseph Harper. What a world where Canada, France, Australia and Israel are left to lead the free world and save the world from another Dark Ages.


Beyond the Cusp


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