...I thought, [post 9/11] a successful [military] campaign in Afghanistan could help redraw the map of the region...
- Condoleezza Rice, U.S. National Security Adviser, January 2001 thru January 2005 Source: No Higher Honor, pg 84
Earlier on January 12, 2019 - Saudi Arabia announced a $10 billion investment to build a oil refinery in Gwadar, Pakistan. The Crown Prince, increased the above investment amount to $20 billion during his visit to Pakistan on February 18, 2019.
For the first time, this openly brings Saudi Arabia into the CPEC project, which looks more and more like a maturing alliance between China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia.
As military and economic relations between Pakistan and China continue to strengthen, on July 30, 2018, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo showed his discomfort regards the funding of Gwadar and its related project, the China - Pakistan Economic corridor. Also known as CPEC. As seen above, Pompeo, warned Pakistan that the US will oppose future IMF loans to Pakistan that may be used for CPEC. US policy is in line with critics of IMF who have often accused the US that it uses the IMF to achieve its foreign policy goals.
"U.S. has spent $117 billion, [just to fund Afghanistan reconstruction] ...however if one takes into account the current U.S. military operations, the cost is "$13 million a day.."
The goal of HMS Books is to publish books that inform the public of the changing global geopolitics in the 21st century. The world order created by the major powers at the end of World War II is now collapsing.
The End of the Great Game is the first of such books that talks about the coming changes. This book captures the events of South Asia and the Middle East since the end of World War II and brings the reader to the 21st century which began with war's in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 respectively. The fallout of these wars have been catastrophic. It was not long after that large portions of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East found itself engulfed in bloody conflicts. By some accounts, until now (September 2016), just the conflict in Iraq and Syria has caused the death of over 2 million people and forced over 10 million people to leave their homes and move as refugees into neighboring countries, even as far as Europe.
The story in Afghanistan and Pakistan is equally dire.
"The End of the Great Game is a completely new way of looking at Pakistan's role in the Middle East and the U.S. reaction to it. It is well researched and documented." - Dr. Arthur Peck, Member Board of Trustees,
Tenafly Library, New Jersey. November 2016
As evidenced by the February 9, 2017 U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Afghanistan, I strongly believe that the time is right for another perspective on what has become the longest war and the longest nation-building exercise in American history. It was during this hearing that Senator Gary Peters of Michigan reminded the public that:
During the same hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also pointed out that to sustain the U.S. war in Afghanistan so far the:
Another U.S. Senator, Angus King questioned the Afghanistan War too:
In addition it was also pointed out that the U.S. installed government in Afghanistan is woefully corrupt which has 10's of thousands of Afghan "ghost soldiers" on its books. These are soldiers that simply do not exist on the ground yet the salaries of these soldiers are regularly drawn from funds that the U.S. provides to the Afghan government. In short the the U.S. tolerates corruption in Afghanistan. But why?
Falsifying Wars is something that is not new. This has taken place by several countries including the United States. The tragedy is that we forget about these wars. Below are two clips of (late) Senator Edward Kennedy who was brave enough to point out this century's false narratives that led the U.S. into the Iraq War and last century's Vietnam War :
What Senator Kennedy points out about falsifying U.S. war(s) in
general and what former CIA director Leon Panetta stated (below) in June 2010, that there were 50 t0 100 al-qaeda fighters in Afghanistan -- is adequate proof, that the war in Afghanistan has more that one dimension. That terrorism alone is not the driver that motivates the U.S. to inject troops in Afghanistan. One must keep in mind that the period director Panetta is referring to is the period when President Obama and the European nations (NATO) had more than 150,000 western troops in Afghanistan. And for what? Just to fight 80 al-qaeda!!!!!
If one does a rough math using 80 as benchmark figure, this comes to over 1,800 U.S./NATO soldiers to one al-qaeda fighter. All this defies logic, which simply makes no sense. End result was a proxy war with Pakistan, which resulted in enormous casualties on both sides of the border. Casualty figures are provided on this webpage.
The above figures and discussion's speak for themselves as to the magnitude of investment and interest of the American government. The question is why? Why Afghanistan?
The End of the Great Game makes an attempt to answer the reasons behind the War in Afghanistan; that the interests of the U.S. in Afghanistan are far more than just terrorism.
The End of the Great Gameis a narrative of geopolitics taking place in South Asia. This is a region that is intimately related to the Middle East and its vast oil reserves. Since the end of World War II major powers of the world such as Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S. have jockeyed for position to either control these resources or prevent the opposing power from gaining control over it. This resulted in the Cold War which lasted for almost five decades.
Since the first Gulf War of 1991 between the US and Iraq a new alliance between China, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan has emerged in this region. Evidence of this is the May 2001, China-Pakistan joint development of Gwadar port in south-west Pakistan. See map on this page. With this, not only has China gained a foothold in the Arabian Sea, it now has closer access to Middle East oil, which is vital for its industrial development. While the port could be used for military purposes, it also has commercial benefits for both countries. Due to its strategic access from Gwadar, China is also developing a road through Pakistan to its south western province to expedite commercial trade. This could become the revival of the old Silk Route, linking into China's game changing initiative of OBOR, also known as One Belt One Road. (See video to the right, which partially explains the view of the Americans as to what China intend's to achieve in this region). According to some financial experts, due to this development Pakistan is also likely to experience increased economic growth. The estimated cost of this project, as reported in Pakistani news media is more than $46 billion, most of which is funded by China.
This alliance is gradually neutralizing American influence to the point that there is no longer a single power that dominates this region as the U.S. once did. It is shown that pre 9/11 Pakistan was getting significant military and economic help from China and Saudi Arabia, fueling Pakistan's military expansion. To safeguard their own interests these countries were gradually putting Pakistan in position to become the military arm of Saudi Arabia on which China's energy needs also depend. As the book points out, China's interests in the South China Sea and its security are intimately related to a stable Pakistan; which is not vulnerable to any threat from the U.S. or India.
Through his research Hasan Sadiq makes a compelling argument that one of the main goal's of the US war in Afghanistan, which has now lasted for over 15 years, was to degrade Pakistan's expanding nuclear program, which otherwise has the potential to threaten U.S. hegemony over this vital energy rich region of the world. To prevent this from taking place, the US needed a plan and allies in the region to bring Pakistan's military expansion under control. It is shown that India became a willing partner. Though US-Indo plans in Afghanistan have not succeeded, in what has become America's longest war in its history, the strategic goals of these two nations continue.
With the coming of the new Administration of president Donald Trump in 2017, war continues in and around Afghanistan, which at times has spilled into Pakistan. However, it is possibly for the first time that the video to the right (Lt. Gen Stewart) provides a partial understanding from the U.S. side as to why is Pakistan weary of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. After viewing the video clip, the reader must keep in mind and it was the U.S. that brought India into Afghanistan that has made it all the more difficult for Pakistan to cooperate with the U.S. in Afghanistan.
For ISAF / U.S. military casualties in Afghanistan and civilian and military casualties in Pakistan - see bar chart to the right on this web page.
U.S. War in Afghanistan - beginning on October 7, 2001 and now ending on September 11, 2021 The Longest War in U.S. History!
“Pakistan is facing a really great future today, with a great leadership…We [Saudi Arabia] believe Pakistan is going to be a very, very important country in the coming future, and we want to be sure that we are part of that.”
—Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Four days later on February 22, 2019 the Crown Prince visited China to meet China's President Xi Jinping.
ISBN: 978-969-23088-0-9 AND Library of Congress, LCCN: 2016359819
To get a more comprehensive and a candid understanding of the current situation in Afghanistan; it is suggested to view the following discussions below:
First is by Lt General (r) General Asad Durrani at the Danish Defense College in June 2016. He was Pakistan's ISI chief from 1990-1992, when the Soviets had just withdrawn from Afghanistan.
The other video clip is a discussion led by Michele Flournoy, who was U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in the Obama administration. This discussion took place in Washington in February 2017.
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Therefore, wars that the U.S. undertook soon after 9/11 have had several dimensions. One is the control of the Middle East oil, and with it, the containment of China. It has often been stated by several U.S. officials including General (ret) Colin Powell, that the U.S. has interests in the Middle East. Even an average reader can understand that his vague statement meant resources, particularly Middle East oil.
However, it has become clearer over time that the consumption of Middle East oil for their own economies was not the primary reason why both the U.S. and Russia have been, and continue to be, in the Middle East. It is to control the oil resource of this region that keeps these powers in the Middle East. Because both countries have greater oil and other energy reserves than Saudi Arabia or any other Middle Eastern country. Since the end of World War II, if these powers had been successful then there was - and there still is - a chance that these two hegemonic powers could have controlled the world economy. This also could have stalled the rise of China, which both saw as their future competitor. Oil is the lifeline of any industrial or military power and China most certainly is well on its way to becoming a superpower. If it is not already there. Regardless, the quest continues for the U.S. and Russia.
Below is a video clip showing the views of two former U.S. government officials that strengthens my thesis. That the control of Middle East oil remains as critical for the U.S. and Russia today, as it was during and after World War II. With the rise of China; that aspiration of the U.S. in particular is slipping away. Russia learnt its bitter lesson during its Afghanistan war. It may be noted that the first official seen in the video is James Schlesinger who was U.S. defense secretary during President Richard Nixon’s administration. The other is Paul Nitze, who had remained a foreign policy advisor to several U.S. presidents during World War II and throughout the Cold War and is considered by many the main architect who helped design the plan to contain Russia. It is important to note, that this video clip was made soon after the Russians invaded Afghanistan in December 1979. It was a general belief in the U.S. and Pakistan; that Russia, after establishing its foothold in Afghanistan would eventually move through Pakistan or Iran into the Persian Gulf and achieve its age old dream of having access to warm waters.
Also on May 23, 2017 - Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. General Vincent Stewart testified before U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. Here he gave a partial explanation of the real U.S. interests in Afghanistan. While he pointed Pakistan's discomfort, which is the presence of India in Afghanistan; he skipped the part that it was the U.S. that brought India into Afghanistan as a strategic ally.
On May 23, 2017 - Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats Testified before U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. Above is a brief exchange on China.
Note: While the discussion covers OBOR and China's military expansion, there is NO mention of Gwadar, which was China's first entry in the Middle East arena in May 2001. This was facilitated by Pakistan which gives China a vital foothold in the Persian Gulf to secure its energy needs from the Middle East.
"...adjusted for inflation, the U.S. has spent more on Afghanistan's reconstruction than it did on the Marshall Plan to rebuild western Europe after World War II. Reconstructing Afghanistan has now become the largest expenditure to rebuild a single country in our nation's history...."
With the rise of China then looking imminent in 2001, along with Pakistan also expanding its alliance with it, the option to "redraw the map of the region," and to contain China's presence in the Persian Gulf seemed like a attractive option. Especially with the Gwadar project having already been announced in May 2001 by the two Asian partners. On March 8, 2018, well known writer Robert D. Kaplan discussed his new book, The Return of Marco Polo's World at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. He stated the following on China's interest in Pakistan and its seaport city of Gwadar, which is on the mind of most strategic thinkers:
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