ISLAMABAD: On September 12, the United States Embassy in Kabul and the Nato headquarters were attacked by a dozen heavily armed Taliban, wearing suicide jackets. The attackers targeted two of America’s most prominent symbols of power and kept Nato engaged for 20 hours.
On June 28, heavily armed gunmen managed to enter the Hotel Inter-Continental, Kabul’s famed landmark. On May 18, a Nato military convoy came under attack while traveling on Kabul’s Darul Aman Road in close proximity to the National Assembly of Afghanistan.
On December 30, 2009, Forward Operating Base Chapman, occupied by the CIA, was attacked killing seven CIA officers (the most damaging attack on the CIA in 25 years). In 2008, the Indian Embassy in Kabul was bombed, there was an assassination attempt on President Karzai, and the Serena Hotel in Kabul was attacked.
Obama’s generals have blamed the Haqqani Network for all of the above attacks. Obama’s generals further claim that the Haqqani Network is headquartered in Miranshah, North Waziristan.
To begin with, Miranshah is 190 kilometres from Kabul and between those two cities lie three Afghan provinces of Khost, Paktia and Logar. Khost has been under American forces control since 2001. Khost has an airfield used by the US military and almost all of its districts have Force Protection Facilities. Khost is home to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Camp Clark and Forward Operating Base Salerno, both operate out of Khost.
Paktia is home to 1-279 Infantry, Forward Operating Base Lightning and 1-10 Attack Aviation, FOB Salerno. Logar is home to the 54th Engineer Battalion, FOB Shank, the 4th Mountain Division and TF Nashmi/TF22 operates out of Logar. Combat Team, 10 If the Haqqanis are really based in Miranshah and are still managing to bypass an extended web of America’s military installations through Khost, Paktia, Logar and into Kabul then the American military-intelligence complex has really failed and should be heading home.
According to the Combating Terrorism Centre of the United States Military Academy (USMA) the Haqqani Network’s strength stands at roughly 10,000 to 15,000. If over the past decade the lone superpower has failed to tame 10,000 to 15,000 tribesmen then the American military-intelligence complex has really failed-and should be heading home.
The truth is that Obama needs to win the next election-and that too based on medals rising out of Afghanistan. The truth is that American generals in Afghanistan have been failing to provide Obama with what Obama needs. And thus, the scapegoating-projecting hostility and frustration towards the Haqqanis. Yes, the Haqqanis are out to get the occupying forces, but the amount of hostility and the stock of frustration being directed towards them are unwarranted. Even if the Haqqanis were marginalized American generals will fail to deliver Afghanistan.