The recent unprecedented flood in Pakistan has provided a good opportunity to the US administration to win the hearts and minds of the people, which according to observers, will be the indication of a victory against terrorism. There is still confusion about the terminology. What will be the meaning of terrorism? But this is a fact that terrorism exists in the world. Now this is also a very good debate as who has created terrorism and why. But now controlling of terrorism is a must.
Is the US losing in Afghanistan? The answer seems to depend on who you ask. US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy thinks that "extremism can be defeated" in that country, provided there is clarity of purpose and commitment to the cause. But with American casualties growing and support in the US declining, speculation has centred on the exit phase of President Obama's "surge then exit' strategy announced last December.
The US president has tried to downplay that
speculation, declaring last week that America's goals were "modest" and
could be accomplished, but it refuses to go away. Which raises a
difficult question: can the US "win', however that's described, if
everyone thinks they are losing? The record number of casualties
suffered by the Americans in the last couple of months is partially the
result of taking on the Taliban forces more aggressively, a simple
reality of war. But the more fatalities and casualties that the
Americans suffer, the more the perception grows that they can't win.
Then there are the problems with the implementation of
"population-centric' counter-insurgency measures, the American strategy
in Afghanistan: Marjah has proved to be a public relations disaster;
Kunduz a strategic disaster; and Kandahar hasn't even got off the ground
Here in Pakistan, those willing to countenance American failure should also pause and think about the potential consequences. In the 1990s there was no TTP, no insurgency inside Pakistan, no war being fought in the tribal areas. We need to recognise that a radical Islamist configuration in Afghanistan could pose an existential threat to this country.