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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 20-Jun-2010
20-Jun-10 News -- UN reports 'alarming' rise in Afghan violence

Web Log - June, 2010

20-Jun-10 News -- UN reports 'alarming' rise in Afghan violence

Turkey's PM Erdogan vows to 'annihilate' the PKK terrorists after attack

UN reports an 'alarming' rise in Afghan violence

According to a report to the United Nations Security Council, violence in Afghanistan has increased dramatically in the first four months of 2010, according to the NY Times. Roadside bomb attacks rose by 94% compared to 2009, and there were three suicide bombings a week. Assassinations by the Taliban of Afghan officials have risen 45%.

Here are the relevant portions of the UN report (PDF):

"18. Overall, the number of security incidents increased significantly, compared to previous years and contrary to seasonal trends. This is attributable to an increase in military operations in the southern region during the first quarter of 2010 and to significant anti-government element activities in the south-east and eastern regions of Afghanistan. The military focus remained on the southern region, with operations in central Helmand and Kandahar. Extending the reach of the Government remains the primary goal. The success of this approach is predicated on timely implementation of efforts to strengthen governance and service delivery linked to longer-term development. This requires increased and systemic cooperation between the Afghan National Security Forces and non-security ministries, as well as coordinated, coherent and inclusive support from the International Security Assistance Force and the international community.

19. The majority of incidents continue to involve armed clashes and improvised explosive devices, each accounting for one third of the reported incidents. The rise in incidents involving improvised explosive devices constitutes an alarming trend, with the first four months of 2010 recording a 94 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2009. Suicide attacks occur at a rate of about three per week, half of which occur in the southern region. Complex suicide attacks are recorded at roughly two per month, higher than the average of one complex attack per month during 2009. Two such attacks were carried out in Kabul and Helmand, against guesthouses used by international civilians. The shift to more complex suicide attacks demonstrates a growing capability of the local terrorist networks linked to Al-Qaida.

Insurgents followed up their threats against the civilian population with, on average, seven assassinations every week, the majority of which were conducted in the south and south-east regions. This constitutes a 45 per cent increase, compared to the same period in 2009. In the south, high-profile assassinations of civil servants, clerics and elders in Kandahar City (including the Deputy Mayor and the head of the Agriculture Cooperative Department) are aimed at establishing control over the urban population."

This is pretty much what would be expected, and is consistent with what I've written in the past. (See "American army general warns of imminent defeat in Afghanistan war.")

Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic country. Notice that the U.N. report emphasizes south and southeast Afghanistan. That's the region that's occupied by the Pashtuns, and the Taliban are all Pashtuns. The Pashtun region extends across the border into Pakistan's FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Area), and then into northwest Pakistan. It's an unusual situation, because Afghanistan is in a generational Recovery era (last crisis war was the genocidal ethnic civil war of the 1990s), and Pakistan is in a generational Crisis era.

Now, as I've written before, the Afghan war cannot be won because there is no war. The war ended in 2002, when the coalition forces defeated the Taliban army. Now there's no Taliban army any more. But there are Taliban terrorists that slip across the border from Pakistan. And since they're individual terrorists, not an organized army, they can't be defeated.

And so, the hope of the Nato forces is to "pacify" the population, in the same way that President Bush's "surge" strategy pacified the Iraqi population. However, from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there are significant differences between the Iraqi population and the Afghan Pashtun population.

As I wrote in my April, 2007, analysis of the Iraq war (see "Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq"), the Iraqi Sunnis were Iraqis first and Sunnis second. They showed this in their last two crisis wars -- the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s, and the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920. In both of those crisis wars, the Iraqi Sunnis and Shia fought side by side against external enemies. Thus, when Al-Qaeda in Iraq tried to foment a civil war between the Iraqi Sunnis and Shias, they failed, and in the end, both Sunnis and Shias turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq.

But the dynamics are completely different in Afghanistan. The Afghan Pashtuns are Pashtuns first and Afghans second. The 1990s crisis war was an extremely bloody civil war against other Afghan ethnic groups, so the Pashtuns, even those not interested in war, are not going to turn against the Taliban, because the Taliban are their brothers.

These very simple, straightforward dynamics show why the Afghan war cannot be won, and why, sooner or later, the Nato forces are going to have to withdraw in defeat.

Israel warns UN that it will use 'all necessary force' in Gaza blockade

On Saturday, Israel warned the United Nations that it plays to use "all necessary force" to enforce its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. AFP quotes the letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as follows:

"Israel reserves its right under international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from violating the existing naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.

It appears that a small number of ships plan to depart from Lebanon and sail to the Gaza Strip which is under the control of the Hamas terrorist regime.

While those who organise this action claim that they wish to break the blockade on Gaza and to bring humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, the true nature of the actions remains dubious."

The context is a planned "women's flotilla" of women activists from Lebanon, preparing a "humanitarian aid" ship to challenge the blockade. A departure date hasn't yet been set.

In addition, there is now a "Freedom Flotilla Coalition" that plans to send numerous flotillas, along with the women's flotilla, according to the Tripoli (Lebanon) Post. These include the the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), the group that initiated the violence in the last freedom flotilla.

Right now, Israel is under a great deal of international pressure to end the blockade. The U.S. has always been Israel's strongest defender, but even the Obama administration is pressuring Israel. Israel is a very insecure country, deep into a generational Crisis era. They've overreacted in the past, and they could do so again. As these flotillas pour in, things should get very tumultuous this summer.

Additional Links

Turkey has its own terrorist problems. The Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) launched an attack on Saturday that killed 11 soldiers, and a furious Turkis Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to 'annihilate' the PKK. Both the PKK and the IHH (the group associated with the flotilla violence) are viewed as terrorists by Western governments, only the PKK are considered by Turkey to be terrorists. BBC

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is reacting angrily to the last weekend's report by the London School of Economics that the ISI is funding and training Taliban militants in Afghanistan, in order to counter influence from India. Asia Times

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 20-Jun-10 News -- UN reports 'alarming' rise in Afghan violence thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (20-Jun-2010) Permanent Link
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