Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses the relationship between the Haqqani network and Pakistan’s military/government; why the lack of any Northern Alliance-type allies will make a US ground invasion of Pakistan much more difficult than in Afghanistan; possible CIA involvement in the Afghan heroin trade and with Hamid Karzai’s murdered brother; why the Taliban’s break with al-Qaeda is genuine, and the “safe haven” rationale for continuing the occupation is bogus; slow reforms in Egypt, as elections – if they ever happen – face popular boycotts; how the US works behind the scenes to promote faux democracy in Egypt, with a controlled election that enables a pro-Israel government to take hold; and why there is still no diplomatic settlement in the works for Afghanistan, despite the wide acknowledgement that no military solution exists.
Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses the American creation of an unsustainable Afghanistan that’s guaranteed to collapse when US/NATO money stops flowing, anticipating the 2017 date when Afghan troops are trained and they can stand up (after 16 years!), the fact that US strategy still depends on warlords to compete for influence and power with Taliban, the deaths of Saleem Shahzad and Osama bin Laden, the coming major Taliban offensive this summer with spike in violence, and the fact that Afghan corruption gets worse as foreign aid increases.
Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses why counterinsurgency strategy works better in theory than in practice; the short term PR victories in Afghanistan that create long term problems; the only two policy choices deemed worthy of popular consideration: continue the Afghan War forever, or scale down to night raids while moving into Pakistan; how the â€œdenying al-Qaeda sanctuaryâ€ justification for US military deployments ignores the real reasons the 9/11 attacks succeeded; why the Talibanâ€™s Iranian-sourced weapons are more likely from black market deals than the Iranian government; and how the India-Pakistan rivalry ensures a continued stalemate in Afghanistan.
This interview of Grant F. Smith, John Feffer and Anand Gopal is from the KPFK Los Angeles 90.7 FM broadcast of Friday, November 26. The unedited segment can be heard here.
Grant F. Smith of IRMEP.org discusses Steven Rosenâ€™s defamation lawsuit against his former employer AIPAC and what a renewed FBI criminal investigation could mean for the premiere Israel lobby in America.
John Feffer of Foreign Policy in Focus discusses (starting at 19:45 in the recording) the military conflict between North and South Korea and how joint US-S. Korea naval exercises near disputed maritime borders will only increase the tension.
Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses (starting at 45:30 in the recording) the nine-year US boondoggle in Afghanistan that has now exceeded the Soviet occupationâ€™s duration and the early missed opportunities in Kandahar when the US failed to take advantage of the Talibanâ€™s surrender.
Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses the embarrassing revelation that a Taliban impostor was involved in high-level negotiations with ISAF officials; how constantly-shifting goals and deadlines show the US is clueless in Afghanistan; how the clear, hold and build strategy is degenerating into the collective punishment of civilians and how the failure to peacefully integrate the surrendered Taliban leadership back into Afghan society gave rise to the insurgency.
Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses the Talibanâ€™s lucrative protection racket on U.S. supply convoys, Pakistanâ€™s refusal to allow a bilateral peace deal between Hamid Karzai and the Taliban, Colin Powellâ€™s disinterest in regime change in Afghanistan (in September 2001), the Afghan armyâ€™s inability to secure the country or fight the Taliban, how the Marjah screw-up has made the military cautious on the Kandahar offensive and why Gen. Petraeusâ€™s â€œsuccessâ€ in Iraq was easy: allow majority (Shia) to rule and bribe minority (Sunni) to stop fighting â€“ while in Afghanistan the opposite is proposed.
Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses his interview with Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar about peace talks with the Karzai government, the probable short tenure of whatever political entity (including the Taliban) fills the void after US departure, why COIN-inspired night raids that succeed in killing Taliban commanders are still counterproductive and why Hamid Karzaiâ€™s dominion is even less than his derogatory â€œMayor of Kabulâ€ title suggests.
Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses the miniature Bagram-type prisons popping up on US military outposts in Afghanistan, loopholes that render prisoner treatment rules meaningless, limited US intelligence operations that rely on dubious tips from score-settling Afghans and how US night raids in rural Afghanistan turn ordinary Pashtuns against the occupation.