Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 15-Jul-2010
15-Jul-10 News -- British shocked at Afghan war killings

Web Log - July, 2010

15-Jul-10 News -- British shocked at Afghan war killings

Mexico's Ciudad Juarez becomes the murder capital of the world

British shocked at betrayal by trusted Afghan soldier

The British public was shocked on Wednesday to learn that a trusted Afghan soldier, who had been in the army for only a year, launched an attack on British soldiers, killing three.

The attack was very well planned, according to the Independent. Talib Hussein, a 23-year-old ethnic Hazari, took advantage of being on guard duty to arm himself with a number of weapons. He first fired a rocket-propelled grenade into a control room, and then opened fire at a tent, the sleeping quarters used by the company commander. He then fled by climbed over a wall and fled, leaving three dead.

This is the second time in eight months that a member of the Afghan security forces has turned on his British allies, and it brings into question how much the British soldiers can trust their allies, according to the Irish Times.

However, British prime minister David Cameron, speaking to the House of Commons, said, "I have to say that there should, however, be no knee-jerk reaction and no change in our strategy. We must continue to work with the Afghan army to create a stable Afghanistan able to maintain its own security and to prevent al-Qaeda from returning. At this very sad time, our thoughts should be with the families and friends of all these brave servicemen."

He added that 5,000 of the British forces stationed in Afghanistan are working "together day and night" with local forces. "When we hear their stories about how well they are working together it does gives us hope that we are building an Afghan army that we will be able to hand over to. We must not lose sight of that, in spite of all the difficulties."

Some news stories have wondered whether Hussein is a member of the Taliban, who was waiting to turn on the British soldiers.

A spokesman for the Taliban claimed that Hussein was a "sleeper" planted in the British ranks to carry out the killings as part of an undercover offensive, according to the Independent.

British and Afghan officials do not believe this claim, and I would add that it's almost completely impossible, since Hussein is a Hazari. During the extremely bloody ethnic civil war that the Afghans fought in the 1990s, the Shia Muslim Hazaris and the Sunni Muslim Pashtuns were on opposite sides, and the Taliban are radicalized Islamist Pashtuns. So there is no way that Hussein would be part of the Taliban, and there is no way that the Taliban would want him, since they consider Shia Muslims to be infidels.

The article considers the evidence that Hussein somehow had links to the Iranians. While that's a possibility, it's hardly necessary, as can easily be surmised.

Hussein is 23 years old, meaning that he was 9 years old in 1996 when Afghanistan's ethnic crisis civil war ended. Hussein almost certainly had friends or family members who were tortured or killed by the Pashtuns they were fighting, or who tortured or killed Pashtuns.

There is little doubt that there are large groups of Hazaris who would like to get revenge against the Pashtuns, and they may see the Nato forces as being on the side of the Pashtuns. (Note that President Hamid Karzai, who is supported by the Nato forces, is a Pashtun.) So Hussein might have had some kind of support from Iran, but it's hardly necessary.

I've written in the past that the Afghanistan war is significantly different from Iraq war from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, and this situation illustrates some of the problems. (See "20-Jun-10 News -- UN reports 'alarming' rise in Afghan violence" and "American army general warns of imminent defeat in Afghanistan war.")

In their last two crisis wars, the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s and the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920, the Iraqi Sunnis and Shias had put aside their differences and fought alongside one another against external enemies. Thus, they had no trouble finally uniting to expel al-Qaeda in Iraq.

But the situation in Afghanistan is very different. The last crisis war was this very bitter ethnic civil war, where ethnic groups were torturing and killing each other within Afghanistan. The Hazari and the Pashtuns are going to continue to see each other as the enemy, and each side is going to see the Nato forces as supporting the other side.

A new poll finds that 62% of Americans say that the war is going badly, up from 49% in May, according to CBS News. Polls in Great Britain and Germany show similar results.

Does that mean that the Nato forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan? That would allow the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan to claim a major victory, and would further destabilize both Afghanistan and Pakistan. It might even trigger an immediate civil war in Pakistan.

So there is no solution to the Afghanistan problem. Winning is impossible, and withdrawing is potentially disastrous. It's not a situation over which the Nato forces have any control whatsoever. We'll just have to wait and see how events unfold.

Mexico's Ciudad Juarez becomes the murder capital of the world

Ciudad Juárez lies on the Rio Grande in Mexico, just across from El Paso, Texas, and is considered by some to be the murder capital of the world, according to Global Post. In 2009, Juarez had 191 homicides for every 100,000 in habitants. In second place was San Pedro Sula, Honduras, with 119 killings. New Orleans, America’s most murderous city, had a rate of 69 killings, putting it in eighth place. The United States as a whole has an annual murder of about 5 per 100,000.

The twin border cities of Juarez and El Paso are a primary crossing point for drugs smuggled into the United States. Whoever controls these trafficking routes stands to make a great deal of money.

Formerly, Juarez was controlled by the Juarez cartel, led by Vicente Carrillo Fuentes. However, in January 2008, Fuentes was challenged by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and his Sinaloa cartel. Each side has enlisted street gangs and prison gangs to help them win, and the result has been a bloodbath.

A controversial article by Associated Press appeared in April, claiming that Guzman's Sinaloa cartel was winning the war against Fuentes.

That hasn't abated the killing in Juarez, or in drug cartel fighting up and down all of Mexico, according to a Reuters analysis of the worst flashpoints in Mexico's drug war.

President Felipe Calderon came to power in December, 2006, and declared war on the drug cartels. He's attempted to use the army and police to defeat the drug cartels, with little success, as some 25,500 people have been murdered since then.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Mexico is deep into a generational Crisis era. The last crisis war was the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s decade, along the fault line separating the people of European ancestry versus the indigenous peoples ("Amerindians") of Mexico -- the Mayans in the south and the Aztecs and Commancheros in the north.

I would expect that, sooner or later, the drug cartels would begin to align themselves along ethnic lines, but so far I haven't found any evidence that that's occurring.

However, one way or another, Mexico is headed for a new "Mexican Revolution" that will also pull in the large Latino community in America's southwest.

Additional links

Between 3,000 and 4,000 Iranian dissidents have sought asylum in neighboring Turkey since the riots and demonstrations began following last year's disputed presidential elections. The large numbers are becoming a problem for Turkey, but human rights organizations are warning Turkey not to deport them back to Iran, because they could face harassment or death. UAE's The National

Tension is growing between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iran, after the UAE became the first Gulf state to publicly endore a military strike on Iran to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In addition, the UAE is increasingly refusing to help Iran break the sanctions. World Politics Review

PKK terrorism is almost a daily occurrence in Turkey, but Turkey cannot extinguish the PKK alone. They require help and support from the United States, and then the question is: What does the U.S. want in return? Hurriyet

The French Parliament's lower house overwhelming passed a new law that would bar women from wearing the burqa in public places. The law is very popular with French people in general, but opposed by Muslims. Washington Post

The situation continues to worsen in Kyrgyzstan's southern region in the Fergana Valley, as the police round up Uzbeks and subject them to beatings and other abuses. NY Times

Former Soviet republic Belarus is turning against Russia because of a series of disputes: a dispute over gas prices that Belarus had to resolve by obtaining a loan from Azerbaijan; a Russian ban on Belarusian dairy products last year; Belarus’ continuing its refusal to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in support of Russia’s lead; President Lukashenka’s decision to offer refuge to the deposed Kyrgyz president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, embarrassing Moscow, which had colluded in his removal; and Russia’s imposition of customs fees for oil exports to Belarus, which the Belarusian government regards as unfair. Jamestown

German neo-Nazis are forming an ideological anti-Semitic alliance with young children from (around 10 years old) of immigrants from Muslim countries. Spiegel

That Libyan ship that was threatening a confrontation with Israeli's navy over the Gaza blockade has docked at the Egyptian port of El-Arish, much to everyone's relief. Two Israeli navy vessels followed the Libyan ship and blocked any attempt to reach waters off Gaza. Jerusalem Post

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 15-Jul-10 News -- British shocked at Afghan war killings thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (15-Jul-2010) Permanent Link
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