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Imran Khan’s visit to the USA by Brig.Gen(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Imran Khan’s visit to the USA

Asif Haroon Raja

Trump’s Double faced policy against Pakistan

 

 

 

 

 

Double Faced Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Trump has been maintaining a highly belligerent posture against Pakistan as was evident from his policy on Afghanistan and on South Asia and his random statements accusing Pakistan of harbouring Haqqani network and Afghan Taliban and holding it responsible for the instability in Afghanistan.

On the one hand, Pakistan is accused of sheltering and supporting Afghan militant groups, and on the other hand, USA is in parleys with them since last year and beseeching them to a ceasefire and end the war. Pakistan is pressed to bring them to the negotiating table.

Trump administration has been openly siding with the Narendra Modi regime as was evident in Pulwama incident and the events that took place in the aftermath. Besides suspending the Close Support Fund (CSF) and military cooperation, the US has hung the swords of FATF and IMF to add to the economic woes of Pakistan, which is caught in a deadly debt trap. 

Stick and Carrot Policy

In the ongoing war on terror, the US civil and military leaders have been using the stick against Pakistan viciously and dangling few carrots to entice Pakistan to keep doing more. This policy is evident from the series of harsh statements made by US military commanders operating in Afghanistan, CENTCOM Commander and Pentagon, and in the same breath eulogizing role of Pakistan Army in the war.

In line with this wicked policy, Pentagon recently expressed its desire to maintain strong military-to-military ties with Pakistan due to shared interests. This policy statement has been made in the wake of the visit of PM Imran Khan (IK) to Washington this month.

History of Pak-US Military Ties

Peeping into past, Pentagon and GHQ have maintained cordial ties right from the days of Ayub Khan’s rule despite hiccups in a government-to-government relationship which suffered from ups and downs.

Military ties nose-dived in 2011 on account of Raymond Davis incident in January, followed by stealth helicopter attack in Abbottabad in May, Memogate scandal in October and finally the Apache gunship helicopters attack military posts in Mohmand agency in November.  The last act forced GHQ to sever all military and intelligence cooperation with the USA as well as stoppage of NATO supplies. This non-cooperation remained enforced till Washington apologized in July 2012 and supply routes were re-opened. But the level of distrust didn’t decrease. India and puppet regime in Kabul kept widening the mistrust.

Distrust was a result of an accumulation of a series of prejudicial acts of USA in the war on terror. While it bestowed favours and rewards to India and Afghanistan generously, it remained tight-fisted towards Pakistan and whatever it doled out in the form of grants and loans were tied to the condition of doing more.  While the wrong acts of India and Afghanistan were looked the other way, or defended or condoned, in case of Pakistan, it was blamed for every trouble in the two countries as well as in Occupied Kashmir. It could never furnish a shred of evidence to corroborate its accusations.

The reason behind the USA’s Biased Approach

The reason for this biased approach is that the US military, as well as the US governments whether of Republicans or Democrats, have always been closer to India than Pakistan even when India was a camp follower of former USSR and Pakistan was the most allied ally of USA.

Pakistan was initially taken on board in 1954 when India and Afghanistan refused to become part of the defensive arc meant to contain communism in South Asia and the Middle East. Pakistan suffered after joining western pacts since it earned the animosity of many countries. Above all, the pacts couldn’t save Pakistan from getting bifurcated in 1971.

Next time, Pakistan’s need was felt by the USA in the 1980s to support the Afghan Mujahideen in the war against the Soviet forces. Once all its objectives were achieved without deploying a single soldier, Pakistan was discarded and put under sanctions and its arch-rival India befriended.

Pakistan was once more taken on board after 9/11 to fight the US war on terror after giving repeated assurances that wrongs of the past will be atoned by building a relationship on the basis of mutual respect and understanding. Those were false promises; Pakistan was again duped and snared.

USA, India and puppet regime in Kabul supported by NATO and Israel became strategic partners and made plans to denuclearize Pakistan and make it a compliant state using indirect strategy.   

Under the garb of friendship and puny monetary benefits, Pakistan was systematically bled through paid proxies and drones, and discredited through false accusations, false flag operations and media war.

Throughout the 18-year war, Pakistan has been given a raw deal. The reason is that Pakistan besides being a Muslim State, it is a nuclear power with strong armed forces, it is closely aligned with the US main rival China, and in collaboration with China is building CPEC. Full operationalization of CPEC will change the whole complexion of geo-economics in the region, beneficial to China and Pakistan, and detrimental to USA and India. Pakistan refuses to accept Indian hegemony in South Asia and to become an influential player in Afghanistan.

Conversely, India is a strategic partner of the USA since 1990. The US has desired that India should fill the vacuum in Afghanistan after its departure, act as a bulwark against China, and become a policeman of the Indo-Pacific region.

With these aims and objectives, India is promoted and glorified, while Pakistan which doesn’t fit into the US calculus is undermined and discredited. Successive administrations of George Bush, Obama and Trump adopted an inimical policy.

Pentagon and CIA play a main role in colouring the perceptions of White House, State Department and the Congress. Jewish and Indian lobbies in the USA also have a big hand in keeping Pakistan in bad books of USA.        

In the backdrop of too many divergences and too few convergences in Pak-US relations, there is little room for shared interests as stated recently.

The only pin which is keeping the US attached to Pakistan is Afghanistan, where the US has got badly stuck and finds itself cornered and bereft of strategy how to fight and win or to exit safely.

Pakistan becomes relevant since it is the only country which is placed at an advantageous position at this critical juncture. It is relatively better poised to exert influence over the Taliban and to arrange safe and honourable passage of the occupying forces.

Since the US is desperate to pull out at the earliest, and also hope for a friendly regime in Kabul, it has still not abandoned Pakistan. The day Pakistan loses its relevance and becomes a redundant player in Afghan imbroglio, Washington will ditch Pakistan as it had done in 1990.

Changed Realities

The US is well aware of the changed ground realities.

It is no more as powerful as it was in 2001.

Russia has resurged and China is at the verge of becoming the leading economic power.

Taliban are closer to the victory stand and are no more isolated and shunned.

Taliban have gained superiority of orientation on the battlefield due to which they are happily placed to negotiate from a position of strength.

Taliban have garnered military support from Russia and Iran, and diplomatic support of China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and Germany.

Afghan Unity Government and 350,000 ANSF have become liabilities for the USA.

In all probability, US troops will be pulled out by end of 2020.

Syria is another theatre where the USA is most likely to suffer humiliation after it pulls out its forces.

India has failed to disable Pakistan’s nuclear program or overawe it.

Pakistan’s missile and nuclear capabilities have vastly improved and can keep India deterred.

Pakistan is the only country which has produced spectacular results against terrorism despite heavy odds while all others failed.

The US is also aware of Pakistan’s sense of disillusionment and its inclination to get closer to Russia.  

The USA is in a Dilemma

On one hand, it is stuck in Afghanistan and is entreating the Taliban to ceasefire and help in ending the 18-year war. On the other hand, it is confronted by defiant Iran in the Persian Gulf where no Arab country is prepared to send its ground forces or to provide a land route to US-NATO forces for fear of Iran’s retaliation.

The US needs Pakistan’s help on both fronts since more recently, Pak-Iran relations have taken a dramatic turn for the better, which is much to the discomfort of US, KSA and India.

Pakistan’s Significance

The prospect of losing influence in Afghanistan and Central Asia completely is giving nightmares to policymakers in Washington. They have belatedly realized that Pakistan is the only country which besides helping in finalizing a political settlement with the Taliban and in arranging safe exit, it can act as the bridge for the USA to gain access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.  

It is in context with these hard realities that the US has once again been forced to lean on Pakistan and of late has been giving friendly signals. However, the USA’s overall negative mindset and habit of betrayal must not be ignored. There will be more ‘takes’ and very little ‘gives’.  

Trump Administration’s Doubts and Punitive Acts

Poisoned by Kabul and New Delhi, Washington strongly feels that Pakistan is playing a double game and is the main source of strength for the Taliban.

In order to force Pakistan to play the US game, it has embroiled Pakistan in a hybrid war in addition to covert war and is now taking steps to haemorrhage Pakistan’s economy which is already in dire strait.

For that purpose, it is using the swords of FATF and IMF in unison.

First tranche of the IMF bailout package of $6 billion spread over three years was released only after Pakistan fulfilled the demands of IMF which included changing the whole economic team, heavy devaluation of Pak Rupee, keeping the currency floating, more taxes, increase in prices of electricity, gas, petrol, foodstuff and reduction in subsidies.     

While Pakistan is making desperate efforts to get itself shifted from grey to white list by FATF by fulfilling genuine and false demands, India and anti-Pakistan lobbies in the USA have been making efforts to blacklist Pakistan, which will be a step closer to getting Pakistan declared a terror abetting state.   

IK Visiting USA under Unsavory Conditions

IK is embarking upon his maiden visit to Washington on July 21 at a time when Pak-US relations are unsavoury. With restive home front owing to political instability, an economy in doldrums, accountability not making any headway, traders’ strikes, the release of a scandalous video by PML-N, and explosive external front, IK might not be at ease to indulge in hard talk with Trump.

PM Imran Khan should be deriving a measure of solace that Trump himself is stuck in a bigger mess!

The Pakistani nation is looking forward to the 45 minute face-to-face talk between IK-Trump on July 22. Will IK get swayed by the magic spell of the USA like his predecessors, or negotiate like Quaid-e-Azam?  

Gestures Shown by Both Sides

Both sides have taken some preliminary steps to ease tensions and to create a conducive environment for the visit which has assumed great importance. The two sides are hoping that this meeting will help in altering distrust into trust and restoring friendly ties.

Pakistan has helped in making some headway in the 7th round of peace talks between the Taliban and USA at Doha. Intra-Afghan meeting at Bhurban last month and participation of all Afghan factions in a 2-day summit at Doha are positive developments.

As a favour to Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan is pressing the Taliban to hold direct talks with the Afghan regime and is also wanting them to a ceasefire and stop the violence.

It is also meeting several demands of FATF to avoid getting blacklisted.

Despite India’s negativity and hostility, Pakistan has made several futile efforts to melt the ice.

As a goodwill gesture, proscribed outfit BLA has finally been declared a terrorist outfit by the USA.

Trump’s Hopes

  • The US is hopeful of winning over the hard-pressed new regime of Pakistan back into its fold and to make it agree to pick up arms against the Taliban or browbeat them if they refuse to include the wishes of the USA in the peace agreement.
  • Trump would press IK to convince the Taliban to allow the USA to retain 2-3 military bases in Afghanistan for the sake of regional stability.
  • Trump is hoping that Pakistan will persuade the Taliban to maintain friendly ties with Washington once they regain power and will not swing towards Russia-China.
  • Imran Khan will be told to desist from buying arms from Russia.
  • Another possible request could be freedom of Dr. Shakil Afridi.
  • On the request of India, Trump might ask IK to do away with capital punishment of death by hanging as is being demanded by the EU and thus save Kulbushan’s neck.
  • Granting land access to India via Wagah to Afghanistan/Central Asia could be another favour sought for India.   

Suggested Imran Khan’s (IK) Talking Points

  • IK’s foremost request should be to stop the blame game, stop using Pakistan as a convenient scapegoat. Instead, evolve mutually sustaining a relationship based on trust and respect.
  • He must put in a word for Pakistani Americans and Pak settlers in the USA for better security against racism and Islamophobia.
  • He should ask Trump to compensate Pakistan for $ 125 billion financial loss it incurred in the long drawn war, restore CSF and reschedule foreign debt repayments.
  • He should seek compensation for the colossal wear and tear of arms, equipment, tanks, helicopters extensively used in the US imposed war, by handing over part of the US war munitions in Afghanistan before exiting.
  • What he should forcefully insist upon is to close down the infrastructure of cross border terrorism in Afghanistan run by RAW-NDS, put an end to the proxy war, and to make RAW-NDS accountable for their support to BLA and other anti-Pakistan proxies.
  • Fencing of the western border is in the overall interest of both countries trading accusations. The USA must provide funds to expedite completion of western and southwestern fencing.
  • Maintenance of regional military balance between two nuclear neighbours and the adoption of a balanced relationship with India and Pakistan must be emphasized.
  • He must remind Trump to respect Pakistan’s core security interests.  
  • Trump should be told not to blackmail Pakistan through IMF and FATF, or hybrid war.
  • He should invite the USA to join CPEC after highlighting a long list of merits.
  • He should ask Trump to restrain India from committing human rights abuses in Occupied Kashmir and to mediate in resolving Kashmir dispute.
  • Provision of land access to India to be made conditional to the resolution of Kashmir dispute.  
  • With an eye on its backyard, IK should ask Trump to review his policy of confrontation with Iran.

EndNote. Rapprochement with the USA must not be at the cost of straining relations with Russia.       

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, member CWC and Think Tank Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society, and member Council Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan. asifharoonraja@gmail.com     

 

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Why Trump’s Troubling Pakistan Policy Dooms Afghanistan Peace By Touqir Hussain The Diplomat

The Diplomat

The Diplomat

Why Trump’s Troubling Pakistan Policy Dooms Afghanistan Peace

The administration’s approach to Islamabad undermines potential solutions in Afghanistan.

By Touqir Hussain
February 15, 2018 
 

For a 16-year-long war in Afghanistan, whose failure lies in an endless list of complex causes – including flawed strategy, incoherent war aims, return of the warlords, rise of fiefdoms and ungoverned spaces, corruption, power struggles and a competitive and conflict-prone regional environment – U.S. President Donald Trump has one simple solution: get rid of the Haqqani Network and Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. And if Pakistan does not oblige, cut off aid.

Like the Afghanistan war, the equally complicated U.S.-Pakistan relationship is also being narrowly defined, thereby obscuring the many different ways it can serve or hurt the very American interests that the Trump administration is trying to serve.

It is certainly true that Pakistan has a lot to answer for, especially for its illicit relationship with the Taliban. But sanctuaries did not play a defining role in the war’s failure, nor will their eradication, if they still exist, play a salient part in its success.
Sixteen years into the war, which has been described as “16 one year wars,” Washington has shown no better understanding of the complexities of Afghanistan and the region than when it invaded the country in 2001. Some understanding of what has gone wrong might help us find the way forward.

The War in Afghanistan: What Went Wrong

It was a war that may not have been unnecessary but was nonetheless possibly avoidable. It has been an unwinnable war in the way it has been conducted, especially given the realities of a strife-torn country wracked by multiple conflicts since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1973.  The 1980s war against the Soviets and the subsequent civil war had raised the profile of the mullah and jihad and changed not only Afghanistan but also the adjoining tribal territories in Pakistan. Home to millions of Afghan refugees and base to mujaheddin, these territories almost became like one country along with the areas across the Afghan border.

Pakistan’s heartland too was affected by the religious infrastructure spawned by the 1980s war and by Islamabad’s own follies,  to which Washington made no small contribution, first through the ISI- and CIA-sponsored jihad in Afghanistan, and then by sanctioning Pakistan in 1990 and leaving it to its own devices. The Taliban were an extension of this slow unravelling of Afghanistan, and strategic overreach of the Pakistan army and societal changes in the country.

Former President George W. Bush made grievous mistakes upon America’s return to Afghanistan. He showed no understanding of what had been going on in and around Afghanistan since Washington’s last exit. It was a strategic mistake to try to defeat al-Qaeda by defeating Taliban who were not going to fight but instead run away to Pakistan. The focus should have been on al-Qaeda. The context of dealing with the Taliban was fixing fractured Afghanistan through reconstruction and stabilization of the country with a new ethnic-regional balance acceptable to all the Afghans. That is what you call nation-building. But Washington, of course, would have none of that.

Instead, Bush outsourced much of the war to warlords and rushed to institute democracy, guided by the need to get domestic support for the war and by a flawed view that democracy is nation-building. Actually, democracy and nation-building are two separate challenges, with one sometimes reinforcing the other but not always.

In Afghanistan, democracy did not help. It made Karzai dependent on the political support of warlords and regional power brokers, the very people who had brought Afghanistan to grief in the 1990s. This led to payoffs, corruption, a drug mafia, power struggles, and bad governance, facilitating the return of the Taliban which led a resistance that was a part insurgency, part jihad, and part civil-war. And by creating a dual authority – their own and that of the Afghan government – Americans set up a perfect scenario for clash of personalities, policies and interests, making for a poor war strategy.

 

 

 

 

While Bush went on to fight another war, for his successor, it was a story of dealing with his deeply conflicted approach to the war where policy and legacy collided. Indeed the policymaking itself was not without its own conflicts, strife-torn as it was by turf wars, interagency rivalries and bureaucratic tensions.

The Trump Strategy

Now Trump is seeking a military solution to the conflict. There is a talk of a political solution, but that seems to be just a Plan B in case the military option fails. The suspension of aid to Pakistan is aimed at pressuring Islamabad to help Washington defeat the Taliban. But Pakistan is finding it hard to oblige without relinquishing its national interests in favour of U.S. aid, and that too in the face of public humiliation by Trump. It certainly will not do so in this election year, and not in an atmosphere where Pakistan sees the Indian threat having doubled with India’s increased presence in Afghanistan from where it is allegedly helping orchestrate terrorist attacks on Pakistan. If anything, this should enhance Pakistan’s relationship with the Taliban, which may be demonstrating their value as an ally with the recent horrific terrorist attacks in Kabul.

The Taliban are the biggest card Pakistan has to secure its interests in Afghanistan, and it would not give it up easily unless it knows what comes next.  Pakistan also feels the U.S. strategy would not succeed and may in fact backfire. A disinherited Taliban on a retreat from Afghanistan would be a much greater threat to Pakistan and to the United States, especially if the Taliban joins forces with other jihadist and Islamist groups.

The Washington-Islamabad standoff thus continues. Pakistan feels it can take the heat, and that if Washington dials up the pressure, it would fall back on China. Washington thus has to consider the geostrategic implications carefully in this respect.

The China Factor

A Pakistan closely aligned with China could conceivably take a harder line against India. If the United States continues to see China as a threat and India as a balancer, what would serve American interests better: an India whose resources are divided by a two-front deployment, or one that has friendly relations with Pakistan? For that, Washington should not burn its bridges with Islamabad.

A relationship with Pakistan would also give the United States leverage against India. Furthermore, it will be useful to have Pakistan on its side in a region that is increasingly coming under the strategic shadow of Russia and the creeping influence of Iran. Most importantly, Pakistan’s role remains critical in stabilizing Afghanistan, and in helping Washington’s counterterrorism efforts.

A Political Solution?

After considering all other options, the discussion always reverts to the talk of a political solution. But the irony is such a solution remains as elusive as the military one. How do you have power-sharing or coexistence when the Kabul government and the Taliban subscribe to two different political systems? And if instead of sharing it, you divide power by relinquishing the governance of some areas to the Taliban rule, are you not consigning the populations to the Middle Ages?

Pakistan has a limited influence to bring Taliban to the negotiating table and has little incentive to do so when there is lack of clarity about American policy and Pakistan’s own relations with Washington are strained. The upshot is that Taliban themselves are divided. Some are irreconcilable, but those who want peace worry that if they do lay down the arms and accept a deal while the American forces are still there, they might be shortchanged.

The Taliban trust China and its guarantees that they would not be betrayed. But the Chinese need support from Washington and Kabul. The Quadrilateral Consultative Group process offered the prospect of such a support.  But the Trump administration prefers military option and going it alone, and that also suits Kabul: this way, at least the Americans will likely stay for the long haul.

What is needed is a new relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Only Kabul and Islamabad together can deal with the Taliban, politically if possible, and militarily if necessary. Counterinsurgencies are essentially a governance issue. Afghanistan needs to conciliate the areas under the Taliban control, and Pakistan should help by making its lands inhospitable to them. And both must work on joint border management and resolution of the refugee problem. This is a long-term plan, but it is doable. U.S. engagement with them would be essential to their success, as would be China’s involvement.

But the Trump administration is not thinking in these terms. Instead, Trump has defined the Afghanistan war very narrowly and in immediate terms as a terrorism problem. American soldiers under attack from sanctuaries in Pakistan, rather than the war itself, preoccupies the Trump base. As for the military, it is only thinking of the military solution, and that also highlights the sanctuaries issue. So, right now, U.S. Pakistan relations are stuck, which makes the prospects of any political solution in Afghanistan quite dim.

Touqir Hussain, a former ambassador of Pakistan and diplomatic adviser to the Prime Minister, is adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and Syracuse University.

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Donald Trump’s threatening tweet by Brig Gen(Retd)Asif Haroon Raja

 

Donald Trump’s threatening tweet

Brig Gen(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

 

Pakistan was made an ally by the USA in September 2001 to fight its war on terror as a frontline State but was treacherously subjected to biggest ever covert war to destabilize, de-Islamize and denuclearize it. For the success of covert operations launched by RAW-NDS combine backed by CIA, MI-6, Mossad and BND from Afghan and Iran soils in FATA and Baluchistan from 2003 onwards, Pakistan was subjected to a willful propaganda campaign to demonize and discredit it by painting it as the most dangerous country of the world. It was subjected to a barrage of unsubstantiated accusations that it was in collusion with terrorist groups. It was also alleged that Pakistan’s nuclear program was unsafe and might fall into wrong hands. Allegations and denunciations were made by Bush regime as well as Obama regime and Pakistan was constantly asked to do more. The policy of ‘Do More’ was a clever ploy to bleed Pakistan as well as to tarnish its image and thus weaken it from within. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest narrative framed against Pakistan by Donald Trump regime is that it is continuing to provide safe havens to Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network and is chiefly responsible for the instability in Afghanistan. It ignored Pakistan’s colossal sacrifices and brilliant successes achieved against the foreign-funded and equipped terrorists. On August 22, 2017, Trump subjected Pakistan to severest denunciation and threats while pronouncing his Afghanistan policy. He reiterated his stance while elucidating his national security policy last month. Trump, Secretary Defence Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence have rejected Pakistan’s explanations and hurled threats of aid cut, sanctions and losing territory if it fails to abide by the US dictates. The old allegation that Pakistan’s nuclear assets are unsafe has again been repeated and Pakistan put on notice.  In other words, a clear-cut narrative has been framed to validate punitive action against Pakistan. The threat of unilateral action has been sounded by the USA to force Pakistan to fight its war and help the US in converting its defeat into victory.

On January 1, Trump gave a New Year gift by tweeting: The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe havens to terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more”.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, in response to Donald Trump’s tweet, said that Pakistan was not worried as it had already refused to ‘do more’ for the US. “We have already told the US that we will not do more, so Trump’s ‘no more’ does not hold any importance,”. “Pakistan is ready to publicly provide every detail of the US aid that it has received.” Asif tweeted. “Will let the world know the truth….difference between facts & fiction.” He added that any drone attacking Pakistan’s urban centres will be shot down.  

Pakistan Foreign Office summoned US Ambassador David Hale and lodged its protest against US President Donald Trump’s tweet wherein he accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit” and used undiplomatic threatening language against an ally.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has summoned a meeting of the National Security Committee on 3rd January. He will chair the huddle to discuss the future course of action following the US President’s scathing statement against Pakistan.

None appreciated Trump’s weird tweet inside and outside the USA except for India, which is rejoicing and is terming Trump as the best President the US has had since ages. I was asked for comments by IndiaTimesNow but got thoroughly disappointed by my curt reply that, ‘Pakistan is quite used to ups and downs in its relationship with the USA, but mercifully it has got out of the US magic spell, and it no more yearns for US aid, and that it is now India’s turn, which is in the tight embrace of USA, to face the music. I also rubbished the claim of $33 billion and added that Pakistan lost $123 billion in the US imposed war besides 70,000 human casualties.  

Comic replies given to Trump’s tweet read: “Change your diaper and go to bed”. “Piss off, you are drunk”. “When is your Tee time today? Fool! Didn’t you tweet about how you were building a good relationship with Pakistan and were thankful for their cooperation? O yeah, that was all of two weeks ago. You are pathological. Please resign”.

The US is hell-bent to scapegoat Pakistan in order to hide its enormous failures in Afghanistan. While Pakistan has cleared all the safe havens and strongholds of TTP despite its leadership enjoying a complete safe haven in Kunar, Nuristan and Nangarhar, NATO has ceded over 47% Afghan territory to Afghan Taliban.

It is time for the US to accept its fault lines and fight its own war, or else accept its defeat gracefully, patch up with the Taliban and find a political solution instead of scapegoating Pakistan, and beat a hasty retreat from the quagmire it has got stuck. The US must remember that it buckled down before Lilliputian North Korea which is an emerging nuclear power but is now foolishly vying to lock horns with a full-fledged nuclear power, which is the height of foolhardiness.   

A highly dangerous situation has been created for Pakistan already grappling with multiple internal challenges. Ongoing political turmoil as a result of gang up of opposition political cum religious parties/groups in their bid to put the Federal and Punjab governments in the dock has further vitiated the atmosphere and made Pakistan more vulnerable to exploitation by enemies of Pakistan. The people are suspecting that ongoing political disorder in Pakistan.  They feel that All Parties Conference chaired by Tahirul Qadri on December 30 in which deadline was given to Shahbaz to quit by 7th January or face sit-ins all over the country is also the handiwork of partners in crime working in cahoots with the puppet regime in Kabul.

The US-Saudi and the US-India strategic partnerships are impelling both Iran and Pakistan to gravitate towards China and Russia and explore avenues to form a unified block in conjunction with the Central Asian States to counter the US imperialist designs. 

The writer is a retired Brig Gen, a war veteran, defence and security analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Chief Editor Better Morrow magazine.                  

 

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If US Betrays Pakistan’s Trust Again, Redress May Not Be Possible

America is preparing to leave Afghanistan at the mercy of a lame government and an army of questionable loyalty.

The search for “good” Taliban is on in Afghanistan; the U.S. has announced that no action is to be taken against those who are not a threat to the U.S., including Mullah Omar.

The United States has said that after Jan. 2, 2015, the U.S. Army will not take any action against Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders in Afghanistan if they pose no direct threat to the United States. Addressing a press conference in Washington, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that the U.S. will not operate against anyone simply on the basis of their being Taliban members. Nevertheless, he used the occasion to clarify that those who fight will not be spared by any means. Kirby emphasized that any Taliban who operate against the U.S. or against its Afghan partners will automatically fall within the scope of the U.S. military operation.

Addressing the final news conference for the year last Friday, President Barack Obama reassured the American public that he is committed to his promise to end the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan at the end of 2014. Obama said that in less than even two weeks, the U.S. mission that has continued in Afghanistan for more than 13 years will come to an end. However, Obama gave full permission to his troops to combat extremists in the event of their becoming direct threats to the U.S. or to Afghan forces.

After 9/11, America’s enemies in this region were al-Qaida and the Taliban. The U.S. and its allies needed Pakistan’s cooperation in confronting these enemies, cooperation which Pakistan provided. With this cooperation, and with the use of modern arms and trained armies, the U.S. and its allies totally crushed Afghanistan. Ammunition and iron rained down on the land of Afghanistan, and land forces also employed their talents and weaponry to the full extent. Thousands of al-Qaida members and Taliban were killed, and at the same time, hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens were also killed, including children, old people and women. In the words of America, it broke the back of al-Qaida.

The Taliban were removed from power but could not be eliminated. They still exist as a force in Afghanistan and some other countries, and the U.S. has even carried out direct, as well as indirect and secret, negotiations with them at times. Although the U.S. stayed in Afghanistan for 13 years with full pomp and power, it could not realize its desire to completely eliminate the Taliban; nor could it persuade the Taliban to cooperate with the Afghan government. Now that a big part of the U.S. Army will be leaving Afghanistan in about a week and a half, without coffins, the Americans are hoping that the Taliban who continued to confront them for 13 years will start behaving like good children and pledge allegiance to Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah. This is not simply an illusion or a misconception on the part of the U.S., but inane thinking. The Taliban maintain a hold in many areas of Afghanistan and influence in several others; they are simply lying in wait for the U.S. and its allies to leave Afghanistan — when they can implement their plan to occupy Kabul.

Despite the presence of tens of thousands of military experts and their operations, the governments of the previous Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, and current President Ashraf Ghani have remained weak in most areas other than in cities such as Kabul. At the beginning of the coming year, following evacuation of NATO forces from Afghanistan, the government of Ashraf Ghani will have to face severe problems despite having full or partial authority in different regions. Perhaps the U.S. and the Afghan administrations are relying on the 150,000 members of the [Afghan] National Guard. But these are the very U.S.-trained soldiers who carried out dozens of attacks on their American teachers. It is possible that tomorrow these U.S.-trained soldiers will be seen standing in support of the Taliban in the same way that the army of President Hafizullah Amin joined the Taliban following the Russian evacuation.

The U.S. defeated Russia with help from Pakistan; it then took the route home, leaving Afghanistan in a state of anarchy and leaving Pakistan suffering to this day from the ill effects of its actions. Had the U.S. restored peace in Afghanistan by establishing a strong government there, the hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees would not still be a weight on Pakistan after 35 years. As it did in the past, the U.S. is once again leaving Afghanistan without any planning. Pakistan today is in the grip of terrorism and lawlessness that is stronger than any it experienced in the past. Pakistani Taliban — products of the Afghan[istan] War — have turned the whole country into an ammunition pile.

On Dec. 16 these terrorists, carrying out the worst example of brutality and barbarity in human history, bathed hundreds of children in dust and blood at the Military Public School in Peshawar. According to the brutal terrorists, this was retaliation for operation Zarb-e-Azb, being conducted by the Pakistani army to eliminate the terrorists. Following this incident, the whole country united under the Nawaz Sharif government for the elimination of terrorists. The prime minister lifted restrictions on the death penalty to be effective immediately. So far there have been six executions, while gallows have been constructed in prisons for more.

After the Peshawar incident, the government immediately called a conference of parliamentary parties in an effort to form a working group that would reach a consensus regarding a strategy. Yesterday, this group agreed on eight recommendations including the establishment of military courts and repatriation of Afghan refugees. The prime minister was briefed about these recommendations and, in this context, has called a meeting of parliamentary parties to approve an action plan based on the working group’s recommendations. The meeting will be attended by political leaders, including Imran Khan.

Along with execution of terrorists, the Pakistani army is conducting rapid operations in which 200 terrorists were killed within a week and twice the number arrested. In the most recent action in Karachi, 13 terrorists belonging to al-Qaida and the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban were killed in confrontations; arms and suicide jackets were recovered from them. About 300 suspected terrorists were arrested in operations carried out in Mansehra and Islamabad.

Pakistan helped the U.S. with its heart and soul in the war against terrorism, as a result of which, the flames of warfare that were extinguished in Afghanistan have started flaring up in Pakistan. Until yesterday, the U.S. was placing pressure on Pakistan to take evenhanded action against those who posed a danger to Pakistan as well as those who did not pose a danger to Pakistan, without discrimination. Now the U.S. is in search of “good” Taliban in Afghanistan.

Whether the matter relates to Pakistan or to Afghanistan, “good” Taliban are those who give up arms. Taking the position that we will not confront those who are not confronting us is equivalent to deceiving oneself. This thinking is no different from saying that “you cannot use your weapons; but if your reservations lead you to wield arms, then we will also retaliate.” Prior to the U.S. invasion, the nature of the Taliban position in Afghanistan was no different from this; they had not hurt U.S. interests and even bin Laden had not stood up with his gun in Afghanistan. Still, the U.S. placed a price of $10 million on Mullah Omar’s head. In light of the U.S. statement today, how would the U.S. treat him if he makes an appearance at the beginning of next year, decorate him with garlands?

America is preparing to leave Afghanistan at the mercy of a lame government and an army (the [Afghan] National Guard) of questionable loyalty. Further, the fire of terrorism is blazing in Pakistan. Should the U.S. once again leave Pakistan without its friendship and support — as it has done in the past — then Pakistan will eventually emerge from the morass after it faces difficulty. However, its trust in the U.S. will be finished and it will not wish to cooperate with the U.S. ever again. It is possible that in only a few months following evacuation, the U.S. will be in need of Pakistan’s cooperation in Afghanistan.

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Trump -The Enigma By Peter Koenig March 05, 2017

But will the world’s fear of “Madman Trump” lead every one of the world’s 196 nations to surrender to the USA and allow its psychotic leader to don the purple robes and anoint himself World Emperor? As the British Parliament just said in response to Trump’s request to speak there: “Not bloody likely.” ~Veterans Today

Trump -The Enigma

 

He also seeks truth by telling truth; that Obama and Hillary created ISIS and the CIA created Al Qaeda, that 9/11 was not the way the Nine-Eleven Commission says it was, and that the Government lies about statistics. Poverty, unemployment, and inflation figures are much higher than those published by the various US statistical officesHe loves BREXIT, congratulating Teresa May for it, and joyfully predicts the end of the European Union and of the Euro. It would be a good thing for the world. But does he mean what he says? – As a megalo, he loves to be an Enigma.

The non- intervention policy – as candidate Trump he said he would not intervene in other countries’ affairs. Fair enough. That’s what most of the world wants; that’s what most of the Americans who voted for him want. Yet, Donald Trump, the almighty, along with his chief vassals of Europe, France, Germany and the UK, has just tried imposing new sanctions on Syria, among other deceitful allegations, because of some military commanders’ use of toxic gas attacks. By now, most of the informed world knows that this is a lie and nothing but a UN-proven lie – a lie that has been repeated since the beginning of the CIA imposed war on Syria in 2011 to justify ‘regime change’.

Both China and Russia opposed the motion. Mr. Putin went on a news conference saying that sanctions would not be helpful for the new peace negotiations in Geneva. – Of course, not. But that’s precisely what they are supposed to do- undermine the peace process. There are enough ‘outside’ negotiators in Geneva with brainwashed, preconceived ideas that Bashar Al Assad is a mass murderer, having killed ‘hundreds of thousands of his own people’. Literally.

 

President Trump may be wondering himself about the miracles and mysteries and confusions he creates. As a megalomaniac, he is the only one who knows everything. His ideas range and flash from right to left, crisscrossing the political spectrum to favor the globalized world – and yet he is largely acting against globalization – and in the ‘interest of people’. That would be great.

He also seeks truth by telling truth; that Obama and Hillary created ISIS and the CIA created Al Qaeda, that 9/11 was not the way the Nine-Eleven Commission says it was, and that the Government lies about statistics. Poverty, unemployment, and inflation figures are much higher than those published by the various US statistical officesHe loves BREXIT, congratulating Teresa May for it, and joyfully predicts the end of the European Union and of the Euro. It would be a good thing for the world. But does he mean what he says? – As a megalo, he loves to be an Enigma.

The non- intervention policy – as candidate Trump he said he would not intervene in other countries’ affairs. Fair enough. That’s what most of the world wants; that’s what most of the Americans who voted for him want. Yet, Donald Trump, the almighty, along with his chief vassals of Europe, France, Germany and the UK, has just tried imposing new sanctions on Syria, among other deceitful allegations, because of some military commanders’ use of toxic gas attacks. By now, most of the informed world knows that this is a lie and nothing but a UN-proven lie – a lie that has been repeated since the beginning of the CIA imposed war on Syria in 2011 to justify ‘regime change’.

Both China and Russia opposed the motion. Mr. Putin went on a news conference saying that sanctions would not be helpful for the new peace negotiations in Geneva. – Of course, not. But that’s precisely what they are supposed to do- undermine the peace process. There are enough ‘outside’ negotiators in Geneva with brainwashed, preconceived ideas that Bashar Al Assad is a mass murderer, having killed ‘hundreds of thousands of his own people’. Literally.

That’s the concept of some of the western negotiators. It is an outright shame that such people are allowed to help negotiate peace – even worse, they claim the right to rewrite Syria’s Constitution for a country without President Assad, who still has 80% of Syrians’ backing. Seriously? – Yes, very seriously. If it wouldn’t be a grave breach of a country’s sovereignty, it would be laughable. Who is sponsoring such nonsense anyway? The western world once again proves without impunity that they have no respect for human and civil rights, for those they consider below their boots. What would those foreigners say who are ‘negotiating’ a new Constitution for Syria, if foreigners were to decide on their own country’s Constitution? – Trump should know better. Is this the same Trump, who pledged not- intervention in foreign lands?

Trump, Netanyahu’s puppet – Or is it the ‘new’ Trump? The even more submissive Trump – submissive to Netanyahu’s Israel? Outranking by far his predecessor. – The little boy Trump we saw during the joint Press Conference with Bibi in Washington last month? – So sad and almost insulting to the American people, witnessing the President of the United States in total adulation of the Zionist-in-Chief. Surely, he may have swayed Trump’s good intentions away from staying out of other peoples’ and countries’ business. – The exceptional nation of the US of A is a sheer vassal of Israel, the Zionist-run 8-million people country in the Middle East, adamant to turn the entire zone into a huge chaos, a zone which they eventually hope to take over from the shiny Euphrates to Shiny Nile, much like the Brits did, by killing all the indigenous people in North America to eventually create an empire from Shiny Sea to Shiny Sea? – Not bad. But why would The Donald not know about it? And go along with such atrocities? Who twists his arm? How does one twist the arms of the President of the United States?

Peace with Russia – candidate, as well as President Donald Trump was pledging for a future peaceful relationship with Russia. However, when pressed, he is not a friend of Putin’s and doesn’t know whether he will get along with him. In any case, to deserve a friendly relation with the exceptional nation, Mr. Putin must return Crimea – return to whom? – to Kiev’s Nazi regime? Anybody who hears this must be thinking it’s a joke or sheer lunacy.

And withdrawing Russian troops from Ukraine? Anybody who says this and propagates it around the world is mad. People who by now haven’t gotten to the truth are insane. Because the truth is everywhere, except in the presstitute. Get away from the presstitute. Crimean people decided by a 97% majority to rejoin Russia, where they were during the past 300 years; and Ukraine – it is by now a little secret that the US Embassy in Kiev, helped by CIA, MI6, NATO and the EU vassal states, instigated the coup in February 2014 against the democratically elected – pro-Russian President Yanukovych. Rather than intervene in Kiev’s Washington and Brussels-driven Nazi war against her own people in the Donbass, Putin has explicitly refused the democratically voted demand by the Donbass people also to be reintegrated into Russia. Ukraine for hundreds of years was part of Russia.

Instead, President Putin has initiated the Minsk II Agreement of February 2015. Minsk II was a Russian initiative after Minsk I of September 2014 collapsed, mainly because the warring parties Kiev and NATO didn’t adhere to the accord. At Minsk II the leaders of Germany and France, Russia and Ukraine’s oligarch President, Poroshenko, shook hands for peace. For the west, this was mere propaganda, as they can say now, that Russia didn’t adhere to the deal. Lie after lie after miserable lie. Mr. Trump, despite his pledges to the contrary – and he said once as much as Obama was responsible for Maidan, the Kiev coup in February 2014 – is back-tracking on his own common sense. Did here too, Netanyahu’s evil wisdom prevail?

Sanctions – Trump was clear during his campaign and in the first days of his Presidency that he didn’t think sanctions were a good idea, especially not applied to Russia. Has he had a change of mind or a twist of arms? – The war industry, of course, does not like the notion of peace with Russia. The President of the United States has nothing to say. Is he a mere marionette of the war and security faction of the Deep State? Naturally, well accompanied by a bunch of stooges from Brussels. Never mind that these sanctions hurt Europe more than they hurt Russia. As Mr. Putin said repeatedly – thank god for the sanctions. They have helped Russia to become independent again, building her own agriculture and manufacturing capacity – let alone research and development which is already producing cutting edge technology, by far superior to the US-outsourced kind, coming from such low-wage countries like India.

Appointing Nikki Haley Ambassador to the UN – the new mandate for the former Governor of South Carolina is another ruse that should please Israel. Judging from her first moves in the UN body, Nikki Haley looks not much different from her predecessor, Samantha Power, especially when she flies such lies in the face of the world, like, “It is a sad day on the Security Council when members start making excuses for other member states killing their own people. The world is definitely a more dangerous place,” in response to Russia’s and China’s veto to the new western attempt to impose more sanctions on Syria.

She knows – or should know better. Trump definitely knows better. If he let her get away with this slander propaganda, it’s because he has been told to do so, or wants to bend over backwards to please his friend Bibi, and / or because he himself thinks the UN has become a useless body of blah-blah nations, devoid of any backbone; it should melt away, as it is unreformable in its current structure, like the EU. Both have been hijacked by the world’s Deep State of neocons. It’s time to wake up to this new reality.

Firing Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first choice as National Security Advisor – was a horrible betrayal of a friend and possibly a peacemaker. Did Trump simply follow orders from non-peace-loving Pentagon masters – Deep state warriors? With that unsavvy move, the President lost all his respect from people, whose ethics weigh infinitely more than those of the Washington swamp. The no-nonsense strategist Flynn, who was about to seek harmonious relations with Russia, and would defend Trump’s non-intervention policy, is gone. The masters of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex have won. – By firing, Flynn, did Trump hand over de facto his Presidency to neocon Vice-president, Mike Pence? Thanks to Pence who created a storm in a water glass about a private citizen talking to the Russian Ambassador, Flynn is out – and Trump has lost his worldwide standing.

NATO is outdated – superfluous – those were the wise words of candidate Trump. He repeated them, somewhat weakened after his inauguration – but not for long. The puppets in Europe were crying big Crocodile Tears; the newly appointed James “Mad Dog” Mattis, true to his name went to Brussels, telling his subjects that there was nothing to worry about; the US would continue protecting Europe with NATO against the evil Russians – but they had to pay up, sharing more of the cost of this expensive, but highly profitable enterprise, the weapons industry. He didn’t tell them the latter part. That was implicit, though. – We can assume that Mattis didn’t go to Brussels on his own initiative, but as the emissary of his boss, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States.

Increasing the Defense budget by US$ 54 billion – Trump’s recent announcement, wasn’t exactly a move towards peace. Earlier, within his first couple of weeks in the White House, Trump went to the Pentagon and told the generals to come up within a month with a plan on how to renew the war equipment, including the nuclear arsenal – sort of confirming Obama’s plan to put a trillion dollars into ‘nuclear renewal’ within the next ten years.

None of this smells of peace, or even of promoting harmonious relations with the rest of the world. It has nothing to do with wanting to become a nation of equals. And it goes way beyond simply ‘Making America Great Again’. It rather smacks of perpetuating Washington’s status of the exceptional nation – pure insanity.

Iran Bashing – calling her “The World’s Biggest State Sponsor of Terrorism”, – another outrageous lie destined to spread negative propaganda about Iran, to intimidate other countries from renewing their commercial dealings with Iran. After all, the ‘Nuclear Deal’ promised to abandon sanctions. Yet, Trump just started a new regime of sanctions. Trump also wants to ‘scrap’ or rip apart the 5+1 and Iran (Permanent Security Council Members, plus Germany and Iran) ‘Nuclear Accord’ of January 2016. This may not be easy, as there are more players involved than just the exceptional nation.

Trump and his aides, have been demonizing Iran already during his campaign and reiterated the groundless accusations after his inauguration. – Why? – He knows that there is no substance to back up his claims and that Iran is backed by Russia and China and that a direct confrontation with Iran would mean a clash – nuclear? -with Russia and possibly also with China. Is this a way of getting at Russia (and China) through the back-door? Or is it just one more goody for his Pal, Bibi? – We don’t know yet. But it is not excluded that Israel launches an attack against Iran – supported by Washington, of course. Any intervention by Russia would be considered an aggression on the US.
better is eternal chaos – leaving the arms and bankster business booming – reducing at the margin the world population by continuous merciless killing; by armed conflicts; by artificial food shortages; by clandestine sterilizations through GMOs (plus a myriad of deadly diseases potentially implanted in genetically engineered food seeds); by an out-of-bounds pharma-industry, today already responsible for one-third of annual deaths, right after cancer and heart failure – all with the goal of leaving more resources for the few. That’s ideal for the empire and those who are in command of the empire. In the meantime, saber rattling with nuclear warheads is an excellent tool for intimidation. Scared people are much more submissive.Truth be told, this appears to be sheer saber rattling. Nobody dares to attack Iran, which would mean attacking the entire axis of Middle East stability, China-Russia-Iran – and more, attacking the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Iran is now a member. Confronting SCO would be aggressing one-half of the world’s population that commands one-third of the world’s GDP. That’s heavy stuff. More than a conventional WWIII. From there, nuclear is just an emotional breath away, or a tiny misunderstanding — who wants to risk that? – Least the war industry. Because once the planet is eviscerated, there is no more need for arms. Those few elitists who may survive, have killed their milk cow. Trump should know that. He is a businessman.

And on the domestic front….

The wall on the Mexican border – a promise, Trump seems adamant to keep. Has he been told how many particularly southwestern US businesses he would kill? Agriculture, hospitality and tourism, small businesses depend on illegal workers. They all do work Americans don’t want to do. So, there is no immediate alternative. Did Trump think this over?

Forced evictions of illegal immigrants from their often longtime homes in the US, fall in the same inhuman category. The trained brutes of US police enjoy this ‘new freedom’ to use force tremendously. A more generous, more civil and more human – and for both sides more beneficiary move would be granting all illegals with no criminal records – at least 97% – amnesty, with work visas or immigration status, depending on their situations.

But The Wall has become so abjectly popular among the non-thinking US rednecks that there seems to be no crawling back. Or is there, Mr. Trump? – Like coming to reason?

Renegotiating NAFTA – or abolish this nefarious trade deal altogether – yes, but done professionally. That should, in the long run, please both Mexico and Canada, as both of these countries have lost enormously for signing on the 1992 Clinton- imposed dotted line. Mexico alone lost 1.3 million farm jobs, as the US 2002 Farm Bill subsidized US agribusiness by as much as 40% of net farm income, thereby driving countless Mexican farmers into ruin. – So, renegotiating NAFTA would be welcome by Mexico and Canada, but surely that’s not the way Trump sees it. – Or has he or some of his economic advisors told him what is really at stake?

Bringing back jobs and Making America Great Again – the Trump slogan of the year. Probably coined by some members of the Deep State, to emulate Obama’s ‘Yes we Can’ – just coming through other lips, is nothing but the same trick – but with the naked emperor wearing differently shaded clothes. If Trump can pull this through – it would be truly amazing, a true feather in his hat. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight, and it requires thorough planning. Just giving homecoming corporations tax breaks is not the solution. Analysts say it would take at least 20 years to build up a job base, mainly in the rust belt, that could rival what was there before the big exodus to cheap labor countries in the late 80s and 90s.

Not only would it help bring back job sovereignty to the US, it would be a tremendous blow to globalization; this evil structure created by the neocons and their institutions, FED, IMF, World Bank at the Washington Consensus Conference at the end of the 1980s. Globalization has had nothing but devastating effects for the large majority of the world population. This would clearly be an unparalleled trump in Trump’s basket. He seems to be serious, as he congratulated the British PM to BREXIT and doesn’t believe in the long-term survival of the European Union and the single currency, the Euro. And he is right.

Canceling the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement – and possibly also the highly controversial TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) deal – would be a tremendous achievement for Trump. The people of Europe and of the 11 Pacific Countries might be forever thankful to Trump for his genius move. Never mind that he believes they would have been bad for the US of A. Let him. A good deed to the world, so anathema to his other business- oriented discourse. Here’s to the enigma Trump!

A trade war with China – may it be Trump’s soft version of Obama’s South China Sea aggression? He already announced a 45% import tax for anything coming from China that could be made in the US of A. Of course, this is first meant as an incentive for all the US corporations who outsourced their manufacturing to bring them back home. But, he thinks, by the way, it would hurt China as a rising star on the world economic horizon. It hardly would. Especially not in the long-run. More hurt would be the United States if China were to retaliate.

As of the end of 2016 Chinese foreign direct investments (FDI) since 2005 in the US cumulatively amounted to 109 billion dollars, a mere10% of all of China’s FDI, worldwide. But, they are accelerating. China’s FDIs in the US in 2016 with 45.6 billion were about triple those of 2015. This compares with about 644 billion dollars of US FDI in China over the past 15 years. Punishing China with steep import taxes is about as effective as ‘sanctioning’ Russia – namely almost nil. China has huge investments in Asia, in her principal export market. This is one area where Obama wanted to interfere with his pivot to Asia. The other one, of course, is military, by stationing about two-thirds of the US Naval Fleet in the South China Sea. They won’t be twiddling thumbs for long.

Let’s see what the twittering Trump does. Will he get the license to play business with China? Or will the Deep State of the Pentagon-Security clan get the best of him – through an arm-twisting provocation in the South China Sea?
———–
Trump, the enigma. These are just a few of the bountiful contradictions and controversies of the new Trump Administration. If he manages to stop Globalization, the nefarious trade deals set up under Obama, bringing back the workforce to the US, rehabilitating his country’s decaying infrastructure and bringing back security to the common citizen, plus decent health care and education – and foremost, keeping wars at bay, then he has achieved more for the US and the rest of the world than any of his predecessors for the last 100-plus years. – To be fair, The Donald, less than 50 days in office, deserves the benefit of the doubt, as anybody would who dares oppose and attack the “fake news” lie culture of western media.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe, and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media, TeleSUR, TruePublica, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed  fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

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