Sunday, June 12, 2011

Awaiting Disturbance-Afghanistan, Pakistan & Israel

by Yevgeny Satanovsky

U.S. Middle East political and military doctrine is not casually considers Afghanistan and Pakistan as a whole - AfPak. Closely related historically, these countries represent a source of instability of world importance. The crusade against international terrorism has failed in Afghanistan. Today the situation in the region (compared to what it was ten years ago) is significantly deteriorated due to the growth of drug production, expansion of operational activities of terrorist organizations in Pakistan and India and the weakening of nuclear Pakistan with the possible disintegration of its medium-term.

The Taliban are ready to return to power

Government of Afghanistan corrupt, unprofessional, inefficient and open contact with the Taliban and drug traffickers. Most of the country's leadership, including relatives of the president, engaged in manufacturing drugs. The level of violations of the election, a result of which confirmed the presidency of Hamid Karzai, was so high that its legitimacy is close to zero. Support for Karzai, the U.S. administration has discredited American policy in the eyes of the local population and tribal elites. The regime has no chance of survival without outside help. Following the withdrawal of the announced dates of the western Afghan troops main contenders for power in the Pashtun areas will be the Taliban. Controlled by the former Northern Alliance in Kabul province cease to obey, even nominally. In areas densely populated Shiite Hazaras increased Iranian influence in the south-east - Pakistan, in some eastern and north-eastern regions - India.

During the active phase of military operations of the Western coalition Taliban and al-Qaida have not been defeated, and the destruction of their leaders was limited to second-line figures.The Islamists took the main force in Tribal Areas (FATA) and North-West province of Pakistan.Having turned to Al-Qaeda into an international brand, they extended the zone of influence "Green International" to the North African Sahel and Indonesia. The number of internally displaced persons in Afghanistan is great, but most are not registered with international organizations. Up to two million Afghan refugees in Iran and there are more than four million - in Pakistan (official data less at times). Borders with Iran and Pakistan is actually transparent and regularly crossed by nomads (more than 1.5 million people daily). Madrassas and mosques deobands wing (one of the fundamentalist currents in Islam) and refugee camps in the Pashtun areas of Pakistan - the main rear base of the Taliban in Afghanistan. In the Afghan-Pakistani border region, occasionally clashing with Taliban and local tribes, an Islamic "interbrigady", consisting of which there are many Muslim converts from Europe, USA, Canada and the former Soviet republics.

"We can not exclude that the troops of China, Iran and Pakistan will oversee several areas of Afghanistan"

Transactions of the Western coalition in Afghanistan have revealed weaknesses in the operational activities of NATO in the field. " We are not ready armies of the absolute majority of members of the alliance of countries (including the West German Bundeswehr) to sabotage and guerrilla warfare in rugged terrain. The main burden of combat operations, lay on the Anglo-Saxon bloc, especially the U.S. army, British and Canadian commandos. Uncoordinated actions of military and civilian authorities, the confrontation between the Pentagon and State Department led to the conflict a number of senior officers who commanded the troops of the coalition, with the current U.S. administration.Following the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan is significant, if not the vast majority of coalition force actions, including the destruction of opium poppy cultivation and drug labs, is a simulation-oriented PR. The same applies to the Taliban, whose activity is now reduced in anticipation of returning to power. Perspective of these developments confirm the official statements of Kabul and the western leaders on the need to negotiate with "moderate Taliban".

Consequence of advances Karzai with Islamists destroy the UN mission in Mazar-i-Sharif in early April this year. Weak training, lack of size and lack of motivation of the Afghan army and police rule out maintaining their separate fighting. Level defections and the involvement of Afghan security officials in criminal activities, including the transfer of weapons of militants and drug trafficking are extremely high.

Reducing the number of Western troops in Afghanistan with a high degree of probability lead to an explosive growth of instability not only in its territory, but on the borders, including border areas of Pakistan and Iran, because, like the withdrawal of Soviet troops in the late 80's, will be interpreted by radical Islamists as another victory.

Significant strengthening of Islamist same pressure in Chinese Turkestan and Central Asia is unlikely because of the buffer zone, which represent the northern Turkic-speaking province and Nuristan. The return of al-Qaida to pre-war level of influence in Afghanistan is impossible due to the outflow of its fighters into Iraq, the Maghreb, the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.There is a possibility in the case began in Afghanistan, a new phase of civil war returning from the foreign fighters in the homeland, including in Russia.

Basis of the economy of Afghanistan in the foreseeable future - growing opium poppies and cannabis and production of drugs based on them (about 95 percent of the world market of heroin). Staying in the territory of NATO troops will play a symbolic role. Instability, exacerbated by a demographic crisis (one of the highest rates of population growth at the lowest life expectancy in the Islamic world), can prevent the implementation of projects on the use of Afghan territory for the transit of hydrocarbons to world markets of Central Asia. We can not exclude that the troops of China, Iran and Pakistan will monitor several areas of Afghanistan.Not be ruled out as the final breakup of the country. It can play the role of a detonator, provoking similar processes in Pakistan.


Radicals attack

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is going through the environmental, economic and political crisis. Removing the army from power and having achieved the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf, the "democratic" coalition formed under the auspices of the United States and Saudi Arabia, failed to create an effective and stable government. Authority of President Asef Ali Zardari nominal. His conflicts with his chief opponent Nawaz Sharif and the leadership of the judiciary together with the corruption and clan system of party elites undermine the stability of the country, provoking separatist provinces. The president ignored the army and the leadership of the largest in the region - Punjab.

The country has high levels of anti-Americanism. Growing mood of protest caused by natural disasters: devastating earthquakes and floods in recent years. The economy is in a state of stagnation and without large-scale foreign aid can not be restored. Refugees from India (Muhajirs) integrated into society, their representatives entered the Pakistani elite, but the number of persons in the country were forced to leave in the last decade from their homes due to natural disasters and military actions against the Islamists (in Swat and other areas) is millions. Their level of security, including the problem of clean water close to the border of physical survival. Deepening ethnic religious conflict: the radical Islamists attack the Shiites, moderate Sunnis, the Ahmadiyya community, Christians, Parsis and Baha'is.

Terrorist activities of Islamic radicals seized the entire country, including the capital. Islamists are engaged in operations against the army and police in the immediate vicinity of military installations, including nuclear. The safety of Pakistan's nuclear complex (about 110 charges, all types of media, equipment, a full nuclear cycle, etc.), existing in a closed and controlled by a small group of representatives of the senior military leadership, has global significance. It is significant that the initiative of President Barack Obama on "global zero" and "nuclear-free Middle East", directed against the nuclear programs of Iran and Israel but not Pakistan (possibly due to the Saudi lobby). Absence from the international community an action plan in respect of Pakistan's nuclear program if it is compounded by the disintegration of stiff opposition to any discussion on this topic from the Pakistani military command.

Hypothetical movement of the entire nuclear complex PRI into Saudi Arabia in the case of a global crisis, the stability of Pakistan is currently hampered developments in the Arabian Peninsula and the possibility of the collapse of the CSA. Does not exclude a leak in the future of this complex in Iran, as well as fissile elements entering into the hands of Islamists close to al-Qaida.

The probability of the first scenario is high because of the precedent relating to the functioning "of nuclear black market", organized by AQ Khan, "father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb." The more so because its activity was detected by chance the IAEA, the network has not been disclosed, he is under house arrest. Politically, the country's leaders are Zardari and Sharif ruled the country in the 90 years that Pakistani technology, equipment and fissile materials were provided to a number of Islamic countries, including Iran.

The Pakistani army - one of the most professional in the Islamic world, "run-in" in military conflicts with India, well armed, she has a huge mobilization reserve - the only of its kind in the South East Asia. And in case of an external threat has the potential support from China.

Formally, as a U.S. ally in its confrontation with radical Islamists, Pakistan firmly opposes any coalition operations, including actions UAV, in its own territory. Western military intervention in conflicts on the territory of Pakistan is excluded, as will be seen by Pakistani AC as an aggression against the Pakistan Army (PA). Pakistan maintains a constructive relationship with Iran, along with IRGC confronting drug trafficking and separatism Baluchi, developing the export of Iranian natural gas and building cross-border infrastructure.

Cooperation with its security services as mujahideen during the struggle with the Soviet presence in Afghanistan and the Taliban in the 90 years has led to the formation of contacts and mutual interests between the Pakistani security forces and the Afghan Islamists.

The high level of separatism in Sindh, Balochistan and the border areas with Afghanistan, as well as the precedent of separation from Pakistan in the 70 years of East Bengal (Republic of Bangladesh) suggest the possibility of disintegration of the country in case of further weakening the central government. Returning to the army authorities to minimize this risk. Conflict with India over Kashmir was strengthened by the attack of Pakistani Islamist terrorists in Mumbai, the scale of which resembled the special operation, but another Indo-Pakistani War is unlikely as a result of the nuclear factor, and because of the gradual normalization of relations between Islamabad and New Delhi.

The special relationship between the PA and the Arab monarchies of the Gulf, especially Oman, KSA and UAE, are a consequence of major economic and military-political cooperation. PTS includes the presence of the Pakistani units in the armies of the countries of the Cooperation Council of Arab Gulf States (GCC), the participation of military trainers in their preparation for the PA, as well as funding (at least the Saudi) Pakistan's nuclear program. The basis of economic relations are trade, investment, the Gulf economy in Pakistan and hundreds of thousands of migrants from Pakistan, operating in all the monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula, an annual listing that their families make up a significant portion of foreign exchange earnings in Pakistan. It is not excluded that in the case of a direct military confrontation with the Arab monarchies of the Gulf of Iran Islamabad balance the issue of Tehran's military superiority (not engaging with him in direct conflict) and to mediate between conflicting parties.


Middle East "outsiders"

EU membership and the special relationship with Russia, strengthen the position of Cyprus and the Turkish occupation of the north - weakens. However, the escalation of the conflict on the island is unlikely. Dialogue between the communities of Turks and Greek Cypriots gives grounds for cautious optimism. Southern - Greek Cyprus has become for Lebanon, Syria and Israel to neutral territory in which the contact representatives of various political forces in these countries, including the warring parties and family clans. The economic situation of the North - Turkish Cypriots have improved with the weakening of the initiative of the UN blockade of the unrecognized state. Detection of the Cyprus offshore large deposits of natural gas and cooling of relations between Israel and Turkey have led to a rapprochement with Jerusalem, Nicosia.The outcome of the contacts have become leaders of both countries and the ban imposed by the Republic of Cyprus to use its territory to prepare anti-globalists and the Islamists "Freedom Flotilla" trying to organize an uncontrolled delivery of goods to the Gaza Strip.

Israel, despite its small size and population, military, political and economic superpower in the Middle East, the very presence of which in the region - the only factor that can unite conflicting Arab world. And for much of the population of non-Arab Islamic world, he plays a symbolic role of the common enemy.

Revolts and coups in neighboring and remote countries on Israel - a dangerous signal for the Jewish state. Unlike the West the Israeli leadership no illusions about the future relations with the "democratizing" countries, knowing what the region is fraught with the loss of stability. Mubarak's resignation and the "witch hunt" in Egypt, which killed most of his closest associates, including Omar Suleiman opened the way to power in this country, anti-Israel alliance of orthodox generals, "the Muslim Brotherhood and secular officials to revise the agreements and Egypt Israeli support for Hamas in Gaza and the normalization of relations with Iran.

Islamist alliance with Egypt and Iran, of course, weakens the security of Israel but the Egyptian military conflict with the Jewish state is unlikely and does not end in victory for Egypt. More dangerous for the situation of Jerusalem in Jordan. The fall of the Hashemite create the eastern border of the Israeli enemy a foothold, not separated from the interior of the country's Sinai Peninsula. No less dangerous is the PNA. Weak leadership in Ramallah without the direct support of Israel will be shifted as soon as possible after the planned fall at the UN declaration on the establishment of a Palestinian state. This will make the inevitable occupation of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) IDF to avoid the appearance there of the regime, controlled by Hamas. Intense shelling of Israel from Gaza is put on the agenda of destroying the infrastructure of Hamas in Gaza and is not ruled out the restoration of Israel's control over the territory and its border with Egypt - the so-called Philadelphia corridor.

Deterioration of the situation on the Lebanese border may in the short term to force Israel to launch a war of annihilation against Hizbullah. In both cases, priority will be the destruction of Jerusalem missile arsenals, and fortified in Gaza and southern Lebanon.

Problems of leadership of Syria and Saudi Arabia, paradoxically, weaken Israel's security is not less than the overthrow Mubarak in Egypt and the weakening of the Hashemite Jordan. In Syria, instead of avoiding war with Israel  Assad regime levers of government can seize provoking a clash Islamists break up a country with unpredictable consequences. The fall of the royal dynasty in Riyadh will open the way to power on the Arabian Peninsula al-Qaeda and Iran, which in any case means the emergence of the southern border of Israel's dangerous potential adversary.

Direct military conflict with Iran, Israel is now unlikely: computer attacks have been more effective weapons against Iranian nuclear facilities than an airstrike. Likely "proxy wars" against Iran, Israel and the retaliatory operation against Iranian recent satellites, including the destruction of the convoys of weapons supplied by Iran to Gaza and southern Lebanon.

Alienating the leadership of Israel with the current U.S. administration, the recognition by several European and Latin American states of Palestine within the borders of 1967, initiated by the Arab League and the PNA pressure on Israel to the UN and the EU worsen the diplomatic situation, which is Jerusalem. At the same time, the strong position of the ruling coalition, strengthening and weakening of the conservative left-wing in Parliament, the development in spite of pressure from outside the settler movement, the adoption of several laws, complicating the activities against the state, strengthen the position of Israel.

Balanced financial system, coupled with well-developed Israeli defense industry, IT industry and efficiency of agriculture - a guarantee of economic stability in the country. Forming a strategic partnership with Russia, the discovery of the Israeli shelf large gas fields and the opening of the country the third largest in the world oil shale deposits has allowed Israel to confidently pass the Middle East crisis, regardless of what time it will take and what territory will spread. In this case, the army and other security agencies of Israel are ready to military conflicts of any intensity with any possible opponent.


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