Wednesday, October 28, 2009


By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

This morning( 28 Oct 09) in Kabul, Afghanistan there were a number of bomb blasts and explosions of possibly IEDs or Improvised Explosive Devices that may be more deadly than the TNT or ordinary explosives. About 6 AM just before the crack of dawn, five or six Taliban terrorists entered a UN guest house where foreign employees of the United Nations were billeted. The guest house is located near the Presidential Palace of Hamid Karzai in a high security zone. There was a lot of gunfire of automatic weapons accompanied by explosions. Six to seven foreigners were killed on the spot and on top of that three UN employees were also done to death. In a separate incident the Taliban terrorists attacked a hotel frequented by foreigners and destroyed whatever they could lay their hands on. The sound of gunfire and explosions could be heard much after the security forces and the Afghan police had arrived on the scene.
The Taliban terrorists took the responsibility of this carnage and also said that this was just a curtain raiser of the actual play of theirs that they were staging just ten days before the run off of the presidential polls. Apparently the terrorists have the upper hand in Afghanistan and not only call the shots but can strike at will wherever and whenever they wish to. Capital city Kabul with numerous security rings is no exception. One may recall that the US forces led NATO have been in Afghanistan for eight years now and there have been many think tanks advising the local commanders how to prosecute the war. There is neither dearth of arms and ammunition nor of transport facility with the NATO forces. And yet the rag-tag local militia of Afghans is neither overawed nor deterred by the might of America. It is the US four- star general who petitions his President for a surge of forces to the tune of 40,000.The President of the United States is dithering. The Afghans may be aided and abetted by other terror groups from Pakistan, Chechnia, Palestine and so on but they have not gone public with the crying need for more militants or modern weapon system. It is a point to ponder.
President George Bush had decided to intervene in the situation then obtaining in Afghanistan. The ghastly attacks on the American twin towers in New York had taken place and it dealt a massive blow to the American prestige besides causing loss of life and property. The American Intelligence gave proof that the 9/11 attack on America was planned by the Al Qaida, assisted by the Taliban, in Afghanistan by foes of America led by Osama bin-Laden. It was, therefore, decided to destroy the haven of terror so that there is no repetition of 9/11 attack. After arrival of the US forces, the terror hub shifted to Pakistan from Afghanistan and the present friends of Americans, that is Pakistan aided and abetted the dreaded foe, the Al Qaida and the Taliban. The Pakistan Army even provided a safe passage to the Al Qaida and the Taliban from the Tora-Bora caves in Afghanistan to the new haven in AFPAK borders. The difficult terrain there became a safe shelter for the Islamist terrorists. The situation is no different now. Osama roams around in those hills, dales, ravines and dry creeks as a free man. The Pakistan government accepted huge amounts of American money without delivering the goods. The main aim of Pakistan was to gain modern weapon system and money that it could use against India as it had been doing all along. Thus what commenced as a HALAL turned into a HARAM because of Pakistan’s intentions to cheat on their friend, USA. The Americans could see through the Pakistan’s game but they had no choice as they needed an Islamic country to support them in staying on in Afghanistan and Iraq. The nagging doubt about intention of Pakistan lingered on. Indeed that explains so many riders on the massive aid to Pakistan now in 2009, mainly to ensure that it is used for fighting against terror, and not for stockpiling arms and ammunition to be used against India at a later date.
Selection of AIM is the most important factor before going to war. Maintenance of AIM is equally important. Having done that the commanders at all levels and subsequently the troops have to plan, prepare and prosecute WAR on TERROR with determination. One need not entertain doubt about the ethics of war or about the outcome of war. Doing that at any stage after the battle has been joined is like handing over the victory to the enemy on a silver platter. The commander and his soldiers have to go on fighting with determination irrespective of the strength of the enemy or the tactics that the enemy is using. Indeed, a change in the battle plan may be effected but no one should question the very idea of waging a war on terror. This kind of question will amount to blasphemy and must not be permitted. The other day an ex-Marine Captain and now a diplomat, Hoh, resigned from service because he thought that the presence of Americans in Afghanistan was promoting terrorism instead of destroying it. He wanted his country to quit the scene. What a disastrous course of action he is suggesting at this stage?
The American public back home always pressed for termination of war. “Bring the Boys Home”, that has been the slogan. One may recall that similar slogans were raised during the Vietnam war. Doubts about American success were expressed every now and then. The US forces pulled out and the Americans lost the war. The Islamist terrorists are paying attention to propaganda so that lurking doubts in American minds forces the President of the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan. The doubting Thomas would hand over Afghanistan to Islamist terrorists and Pakistan would control them as was the case after the Soviet withdrawal.
Yogeshwar Shri Krishna,agreat leader and a patriot to his finger tips, has given the most sagacious advice to a Yodha or a warrior and a Senapati or commander-in-chief like Arjuna who was dithering from killing the enemy, in these words :
Shri Krishna, a great statesman and master of statecraft advised Arjuna, the famous archer that when you join a battle, either you are slain and then your soul goes to Heaven or you win and then enjoy the fruits of victory in the form of perks and privileges offered by a State, and, therefore, arise you son of Kunti and WAGE WAR WITH DETERMINATION’.
The emphasis is on Determination – a warrior must fight and defeat the enemy. At the stage of joining a battle, one must not entertain any doubt about its legitimacy or outcome.
In Afghanistan during the last couple of years, Americans spent more time and energy about making plans to go home than on exterminating the Taliban terrorists. The Afghan war has never been considered seriously as an American war. On the other hand, the Al Qaida and the Taliban terrorists fought before and have been fighting now with determination because the Afghan war will make them or break them. Their future lies in winning the war in Afghanistan and, therefore, the terrorists have put their heart and soul in it.
UPVAN 609, Sector 29, NOIDA – 201303, INDIA. Mobile : 0091-9811173590.
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