Articles of the year 2009

The Militant Mindset
Published: April 11th, 2009

At the time of the Cold War, the two ideologies, Capitalism and Communism backed two commercial systems, which vied with each other, to vilify and exclude the other. This animosity built up to the Afghanistan war, leading to the collapse of the Communist Economic system. In the US obsession to hasten the downfall of the Communist economy, the CIA took on board the Islamic warrior, and painted the Russian as an infidel bent on the destruction of Islam and its way of life. This was a figment of the creative imagination of the CIA, for the Muslims had cohabited with the Communists for years. But in the eighties, this sales pitch succeeded beyond belief, and the Russians became the Kafir hated enemy of the Islamic soldier who was given the cult status essential for projection of a holy warrior.

However, at the cessation of hostilities US pulled out of Afghanistan, without leaving any after-war plan. So the 'poor' Afghani and the Pathan were left destitute when the funding was withdrawn, with nothing but their mullahs to exhort them to challenge and attack their erstwhile allies, and now the new enemy.

Meanwhile the Israelis had, by their brutality earned the hatred of the Arab world, leading to the Twin Tower bombings and the aftermath of 9/11 has created new divisions in the world order. Of which the Iraq war was a direct consequence. The expense of men and money is way beyond the imagination of normal persons.

The war on Iraq has focused the world attention, and diverted from the Israeli continuation of a brutal policy of ethnic cleansing of the worst kind with the Arab states as silent bystanders.

As far as our region is concerned, with the above background we must now plan for the monster that has been created in our midst using our religion, and our people, only this time the American is the devil - and the new enemy of Islam. The drone attacks have a reverse effect, and create more hatred than before. People would much rather face an enemy they can fight. But an enemy that is out of reach to them will build hatred only, and direct retaliation towards whatever is within their reach - or whenever the opportunity presents itself. 9/11 was precisely the culmination of hatred over the years, indications are that opportunities are being awaited.

The solution lies in the hearts and minds of the people of the area, for militancy is a mindset - and must be recognised and tackled as such.

The Pak-Afghan region is amongst the most difficult terrain for battle, with warriors that are amongst the finest in the world - a veritable death trap, for some of the best armies in history.There is now a serious split between the US and the Pakistani strategy to combat the insurgency that is raging in the Frontier regions of Pakistan.

The Americans are slowly realising that the Indian game is far more dangerous, than the doublespeak, that Musharraf was accused of earlier. The Americans are now thinking on the right lines involving the other stakeholders. The Indians are a key component, for they are so focused on destabilising Pakistan with 12 or more Consulates spread throughout Afghanistan, for this very purpose. Why else would there be such a large presence?

With Indo-Pak operating jointly, the militants would have to rethink their whole strategy, for them it would be unwinnable, with supply lines under Indo-Pak-US control. For the US to carry on the drone attacks would create enemies with every sortie. And for the US to enter on the ground would be suicidal, unthinkable. Without the wholehearted Indian participation the alliance would never hold. This then is the only chance, to put together the majors, and let them cooperate.

At the same time the mullahs of the region will have to be involved. The hearts and minds of the Muslims will take some time, but can be managed, but first the Israeli spoilers must be controlled. When the world realises how dangerous the situation can be, and how these alliances must be hammered out in the shortest of time, - lest these force gain access to more serious weapons.

The militants have been on the market for the weapon and on the lookout for a target, it is now a race for the minds and hearts, or collateral damage within Europe or the Mainland itself will result. It is a matter of time.