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Petraeus planning civil war in Afghanistan, reports say

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 14, IRNA -- The media reports in Pakistan say that NATO/ISAF commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, is working on a plan to foment civil war in Afghanistan as troops from 42 nations have failed to defeat Taliban.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general, has also warned that if western forces leave Afghanistan prematurely, the country would become a safe haven for terrorist groups which could destabilize the whole region.

The Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) in its report has said that this year has been the most violent since the Afghan war began in 2001 and civilian deaths have risen slightly with the increased insecurity.

ARM says that the 30,000-strong troop lift was also clouding US foreign policy objectives.

The group also said that it would take “a miracle” to win the war and restore viable peace in Afghanistan.

“Contrary to US President Barrack Obama’s promise that the deployment... would disrupt, dismantle and defeat Taliban insurgents and their al Qaeda allies in the region, the insurgency has become more resilient, multi-structured and deadly,” the group said.

At least 1,074 civilians had been killed in the conflict this year and more than 1,500 injured, although the number killed in US and NATO airstrikes fell considerably due to tough restrictions driving down troop reliance on air power, the ARM said.

The group said that 61 percent of its 661 recorded civilian deaths this year were due to insurgents who had “little or no respect for the safety and protection of non-combatants”.

General David Petraeus, appointed last month after the sacking of Gen Stanley McChrystal as commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan -- is creating US-backed local militias, a tactic that he had employed when he was the top commander of US forces in Iraq.

The new American commander plan to arm Afghan villagers to fight the Taliban is reportedly opposed by US-backed President Hamid Karzai, according to Washington Post.

David Petraeus, is making frustrated efforts in Afghanistan to make scores and to show results to his President, Barrack Obama, who is anxious to avoid second Vietnam.

Pakistani Analysts ask Obama to see writings on walls and tell the world how he can win the war in Afghanistan when the Americans and their allies failed to achieve the objective in nine years.

Late last month, head of the British army Gen Sir David Richards opened up divisions with Prime Minister David Cameron's government by suggesting politicians and military chiefs should talk to members of the Taliban sooner rather than later.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik in an interview to British media has said that NATO and Afghanistan are not doing enough to stop Taliban militants crossing the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has also admitted that militants crossing the border was a “matter of concern” and a major problem in Afghanistan too.

In March this year, Canada confirmed army forces withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2011. Last month, Defence Minister of Australia John Faulkner also hinted it may start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in two years.

Most of Australia's 1,550 troops in Afghanistan are in Uruzgan, a southern province with a significant Taliban presence, where they are training an Afghan National Army brigade to take over security and stability.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy had hinted during presidential election campaign in 2007 he might pull France's troops out of a NATO force in Afghanistan if he is elected.

It is believed in Pakistan that the presence of Americans is the main source of instability in the region and Pakistan is also burning due to American policy. As the Americans and their allies quit Afghanistan, the region could see peace, stability and economic prosperity.

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