January 20, 2010

Gates' Time to Shine (On the War Path)

Politics usually saves the most powerful for last. On the same day Afghan officials presented their plan to nullify the Taliban insurgency, Defense Secretary Robert Gates revealed his own.
Must be a scheduling coincidence.

According to the Washington Post, Afghan officials outlined their strategy to the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, including representatives from the Afghan government, UN, America, and other major troop contributing countries.

The board is to finalize programs to be presented at the Jan. 28 conference in London, one day after President Obama delivers his first State of the Union address. Another coincidence.

The plan goes into detail on ways to manage corruption and build up the Afghan army and police force, all good in theory except for how long the tasks will take. The plan, provided its approved at the London Conference, is due to be reassessed after 2011, perfect for his re-election campaign in 2012.

But the real buzz is Taliban reintegration.

The draft states, “The government will provide the Taliban and other insurgent groups who wish to respect the constitution a dignified way to renounce violence and peacefully reintegrate into their communities and separate themselves from their past. The rank-and-file Taliban are not al-Qaeda, they are our neighbors and cousins, and to achieve peace we need only remove their reason to fight.”

Gates is fully behind Taliban reintegration - after he shocks and awes them.

“Reconciliation has to be a part of the ultimate conclusion here, just as it was in Iraq,” he said on his E-4B plane, en route to New Delhi, Islamabad, and Kabul. “Whether that could include Mullah Omar, I frankly question whether that's realistic."

How nice of him to ask. The Washington Post reports,
“The international community has said key Taliban leaders like Mullah Mohammed Omar would not be part of any reintegration plan. However, the draft, which was being discussed at Wednesday's meeting, does offer "key leaders of the Taliban movement" an opportunity for amnesty and reintegration.

Central to the plan will be a Grand Peace Council, hat will include representation by all aspects of Afghanistan's society, including religious leaders, with the purpose of giving armed opponents a guarantee that their views will be heard.”
Underneath these motions lies direct White House-Omar negotiations, mediated by Saudi Arabia and facilitated through special envoy Richard Holbrooke, and Afghan ambassador Karl Eikenberry.

So what is real?

Gates doesn’t want any Taliban on a Grand Peace Council let alone Mullah Omar and is trying to blunt their momentum. Karzai and the White House will butt heads over how deep Taliban reintegration goes if Gates’ opinion prevails. And since Gates helped mold the Taliban into an empire killer, Obama might assume he knows how to get rid of them.

Gates sounds like he wants to kill as many foot soldiers as possible before the game ends. Upon touching down in New Delhi, Gates quickly went to work preempting an Afghan peace proposal and threatening West Asia.

"The success of any one of these groups leads to new capabilities and new reputations for all these groups," Gates said. "A victory for one is a victory for all. It is very complicated situation; it is dangerous for the region as a whole. They are a syndicate of terrorist operators, intending to destabilize the whole region."

This doesn’t sound like Afghanistan’s idea of reintegration.

Fresh off Holbrooke’s claim that America will stay out of Indian-Pakistan relations, Gates said, "Clearly one of the subjects of discussion for my next visit is how to ally their [Pakistan’s] concerns, so they can focus on what has become a real existential threat to Pakistan, these different terrorist groups operating in its territory.”

The Los Angeles Times reports, “He signaled that he intended to try to help reduce Pakistani anxiety over India, to help Islamabad continue its focus on the militant threat.”

Gates does so by suggesting, “The syndicate of terror is operating to destabilize the region... not just Afghanistan, not just Pakistan, but potentially the whole region by provoking a conflict perhaps between India and Pakistan through some provocative act.”

"It's important to recognize the magnitude of the threat that the entire region faces,” Gates said in New Delhi after meeting with Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony. "I think it is not unreasonable to assume Indian patience would be limited were there to be further attacks.”

Very reassuring. Who again did you say wants to destabilize the region?

Kill Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership or block them from reconciliation, stir up fear by threatening regional chaos, warn of ”some provocative act,” and that India might not hold back on Pakistan after Mumbai. By design he didn’t have to say nuclear weapons.

This is what’s real to Secretary Gates, the seeds of war to sprout during his journey.


  1. IMO; Gates was put in place, and is staying in place, by the "realist internationals". AKA Papa Bush and his boyz. He is there along with Holbrooke to have further [ control through chaos]. The alphabet soups from the West have been, and will stay busy in the region. Their goal is to make Pakistan a failed state through any means possible. The alignment between India, The West, and Israel will have major blow back. India is meddling in Afghanistan, and Baluchistan. Their chaos control of Kashmir will come to a head sooner than later.

  2. Gates and China


  3. Gates looks like he put himself in place. Remarkably he's being praised for being "non-partisan," but that's obviously a lie. At one point Gates said he didn't plan to stay Secretary longer than a year, certainly not the whole term. No doubt he's in for all 4, just slipped right in there. Now he's pulling the strings on West Asia.

    We do find it odd that, while Gates was cited as providing Obama with "continuity," no one questioned why Obama, the "change" candidate, needed continuity from the Bush era. Our lack of awareness comes with a steep price.

  4. IMO; The only explanation is that he was placed there by Papa Bush. It should now be obvious to the American people that Obama was the Neocons Manchurian Candidate.

  5. We also realized that comparison a long time ago. Hope we both don't disappear.

  6. LMAO
    I have made peace with myself, and accept all consequences. I will NOT exist on my knees.

  7. This is from Dao De Ching

    False Leaders

    Some leaders use threats to win adherents. They invoke death to force good behavior and to herd people toward paradise.

    Others woo with grand promises. If you have no satisfaction, they offer bliss. If you feel inadequate, they offer success. If you are lonely, they offer acceptance.

    But if we do not fear death and are happy, what will such leaders have to offer? Spirituality is an organic part of daily life, not something dispensed by a professional. True spirituality is liberation, not just from the delusions of reality but from the delusions of religion as well. If we attain freedom from the fear of death, a sound way of health, and a path of understanding through life, there is happiness and no need for false leaders.
    ~ 365 Tao: Daily Meditations, Entry 20 ~