French officials mortified by President Nikolas Sarkozy’s suicidal embrace of Operation Enduring Fiefdom—George II’s adventure in Afghanistan—have leaked to the uppity French weekly Le Canard Enchaine a classified cable relating that the British envoy to Afghanistan has concluded that “American strategy is doomed to fail.”
Meanwhile, the former deputy chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center has admitted that a trio of Afghani “warlords,” formerly supported and supplied by the Reagan administration in the 1980s proxy war against the Soviet Union, today—again—control much of Afghanistan, and that we here in the US “have assumed the place of the Soviets.”
As set forth in this earlier piece, the French people are increasingly resisting Sarkozy’s Napoleonic compulsion to spill French blood on Afghan soil.
As referenced in that piece, the French have a history of overturning obdurate governments in the streets. It is equally true that the French have a history of rocking governments with rowdy broadsides committed to print. Thus, the leak to a feisty French weekly that reflects:
[t]he pessimistic view in the cable  common among French diplomats and military officers who are concerned by President Sarkozy’s strong support for the NATO operation in Afghanistan and his recent reinforcement of the French contingent.
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, a British Foreign Office potentate identified by the Times of London as a “heavyweight with a reputation for blunt speaking,” unloaded his assessment of the seven-year Western commitment to Operation Enduring Fiefdom in a briefing with French Ambassador Franc Fitou.
Fitou subsequently cabled Paris—in a communique boldly printed in full by Le Canard Enchaine—that Cowper-Coles had concluded:
“The foreign forces are ensuring the survival of a regime which would collapse without them . . . They are slowing down and complicating an eventual exit from the crisis, which will probably be dramatic . . . .
“[T]he current situation is bad; the security situation is getting worse; so is corruption and the Government has lost all trust . . . .
“In the short term we should dissuade the American presidential candidates from getting more bogged down in Afghanistan . . . The American strategy is doomed to fail.”
Cowper-Coles was dispatched to Kabul last year “to beef up Britain’s role in the campaign to secure the Government of President Karzai and combat the resurgent Taliban.” Last year, he stated that Britain could expect to remain in Afghanistan for “decades.” He apparently repeated this Charge-of-the-Light-Brigade madness to Fitou, opining that “Britain had no alternative to supporting the United States in Afghanistan, ‘but we should tell them that we want to be part of a winning strategy, not a losing one.'”
Good luck with that. The last “winning strategy” effected in Afghanistan came courtesy Genghis Khan. And even he lost far more often than he won.
The Los Angeles Times reports that American intelligence officials have concluded that three mujahedin leaders supported and supplied by Wild Bill Casey’s CIA under Ronald Reagan are today directing the increasingly successful Afghan resistance to Operation Enduring Fiefdom.
All three men are Pashtun. The Times piece neglects to note that the white man’s colonial boundary between the countries “Pakistan” and “Afghanistan” bisects Pashtun tribal territory. That the Pashtun do not recognize this boundary, or any other would-be restriction that does not flow from fellow Pashtun. That it is the Pashtun who offered protection to, and for more than seven years have successfully concealed, Osama bin Laden. That there is no record of Pashtun ever succumbing in war to either Europeans or their American progeny.
The three warlords are Mullah Mohammed Omar, the former leader of the Taliban government in Afghanistan; Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Islamic hard-liner who briefly served as prime minister in the 1990s before ordering his forces to bomb the Taliban-run capital; and Jalaluddin Haqqani, a onetime Taliban Cabinet minister whose tribal group has accounted for some of the most brazen attacks this year . . . .
The three warlords’ organizations are arrayed in an arc along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Haqqani and Hekmatyar have directed attacks in and around the Afghan capital, Kabul, and helped revitalize the insurgency in eastern Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are concentrated. Omar’s influence is mainly in the Taliban heartland to the south, radiating outward from Kandahar.
The Times piece correctly notes that the three Pashtun have close and long-standing ties to ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service. It neglects to note that these ties were originally forged by Wild Bill Casey and his people during the US proxy jihad against the USSR; Afghanistan designated as charnel house.
Paul Pillar, formerly deputy chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, is these days experiencing something of an uncomfortable deja vu.
To some who were involved in the CIA campaigns of the 1980s, the U.S. effort to beat back an insurgency led by Hekmatyar, Omar and Haqqani represents something of a role reversal.
“We’re trying to fend off security challenges to the government of Afghanistan from a collection of loosely allied groups chiefly of the militant Islamist variety,” Pillar said. In that sense, he said, “we have assumed the place of the Soviets.”