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AFGHANISTAN: BEYOND TOKYO CONFERENCE

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By Air Commodore (R) Khalid Iqbal

During the Obama years, at least two persons out of his Afghanistan team accurately and correctly perceived the nature, gravity and complexity of the Afghanistan conflict and were eager to find a respectable way to get America out of the fiasco. These were Richard Holbrooke and General Stanley Mc Crystal. Former could not take the stress and died while urging an end to the conflict. The latter became so desperate over the manner decision makers in Washington were applying the war effort in wrong direction that he eventually opted for a professional suicide by stepping over a media landmine.

Rest of the guys in Washington continue to pursue erratic strategies. The longer they stay their course, severer would be defeat and harsher the implications of such a defeat. Opportunity of a face saving exit for the occupation forces has already slipped past. They need to analyse the reasons which have led to President karzai’s latest offer to Mullah Omar for setting up a political office and a political party; the offer goes on to see him as a contender in the forthcoming Afghan presidential elections in 2014.

Like earlier series of numerous international conferences on Afghanistan, the recent gathering at Tokyo was high in pomp & show, and low in substance. Donors’ conference in Tokyo pledged $16 billion for the economic development of Afghanistan spread over next four years, with a condition that the Afghan government reduces corruption.

There is virtually no chance that the present Afghan government could tackle corruption. Graft has become an accepted norm of life in Afghanistan. As per ‘Transparency International’, Afghanistan’s public sector ranks as the third most corrupt in the world. During 2010, America tried to pressure the Afghan leadership into checking corruption; efforts resulted in worsening bilateral relations. Americans lost; corruption won. No wonders that wherever choice is available, Afghan public prefers to deal with Taliban shadow officials over the government functionaries. What else could be a starker reality of a total defeat of a decade long international effort led by America?

Though the aid bonanza would certainly help Afghanistan’s government, world would be watching keenly as well as helplessly as to how much amount will actually be spent on the well being of Afghan people. Operational and maintenance cost of Afghan National Army and police is likely to be between US$ 3-4 billion per annum. Bulk of leftover amount would find its way to personal coffers and a common Afghan may continue to live in hapless conditions.

As of now, the much de-scaled American objective is to train and equip as many Afghan security forces as possible before the departure of foreign combat troops by 2014. America is likely to keep several thousand troops in the country after 2014, under the pretext of training Afghan forces, conducting counterterrorism operations and for maintaining a potent deterrence against likely resurgence of political resistant which is routinely but wrongly termed as Taliban.

A feat that full military might of America and it’s around fifty allies could not perform, is expected to be achieved by ill trained and ethnically divided Afghan security forces. Assumption seem to be that 20,000 American soldiers fortified in their bases would radiate such a fear that Afghan troops will be able to forestall most likely and most discomforting scenarios like  over whelming military victory by the political resistance and fragmentation of the Afghan government and its security forces into regional, sectarian and ethnic gangs. Major Afghan stakeholders are quietly rearming in anticipation to a collapse of the Afghan government, or a return to civil war, after 2014.

Tokyo Conference has also been a discomfited admixture of, fictional claims of success, downplay of gross failures and frenzy of false hope! The ability of donors to deliver on their pledges and the aid actually meeting Afghan needs may simply degenerate into fantasy. Nations often do not make good on even their short-term pledges, turn aid into loans, and tie aid to misplaced priorities. International conferences have a consistent history of making ambitious statements that were never kept after key donors lost interest. At a similar Friends of Democratic Pakistan conference in Tokyo in April 2009, in response to a request for US$ 4 billion, participants pledged over US$ 5 billion over the coming two years. Even after three years, the pledged amount has not been delivered.

Secretary Clinton announced Afghanistan’s designation as a major US non-NATO ally: “Please know that the United States will be your friend…We are not even imagining abandoning Afghanistan. Quite the opposite, we are building a partnership with Afghanistan that will endure far into the future.” However, financial commitments made in Tokyo cover only a short period of four years leading up to 2015; and year-wise disbursement details are not yet clear. Moreover, these pledges have not been linked to any specific plan and spending schedule.

Accompanying the declaration is an annexure titled “Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework,” which lists 15 commitments the Afghan government needs to meet during the next two years. These include free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014 and 2015, human rights goals, such as improving implementation of a law to punish violence against women etc. Secretary Clinton said: “We have agreed that we need a different kind of long-term economic partnership, one built on Afghan progress in meeting its goals, in fighting corruption, in carrying out reform, and providing good governance.” These conditions reflect international donors’ frustration with the poor quality of Afghan governance, planning, management, and inability to operate in high-risk areas.

The pledged economic aid fell far short of the average $10 billion a year that Afghanistan requested at the Bonn Conference. Long term Afghan request for $120 billion through 2020 was also not addressed, leaving further discussions for a follow up conference, in London, in 2014.

Apparently, the message to Afghanistan's parties and factions was: "We will continue to support and subsidize the Afghan government for many years. There is no need to prepare for a possible collapse. Remain calm." However, it's not clear to what extent Afghans find this message reassuring.

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  1. Good-old Richard Holbrooke, with Zionist Jewish family background – had succeeded to keep the animosity between Kabul and Islamabad - but failed to failed to convince Islamabad to cancel Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.
    Halbrooke is known for his hatred towards Muslims. Former Bosnian foreign minister, Mohammed Sacirbey, has claimed that in order to prepare ground for NATO’s “humanitarian invasion” – the Muslims genocide was engineered.
    That involved Richard Holbrooke and involved Carl Bildt who, then, was the EU mediator and now is Sweden’s foreign minister. It involved a French general who was the head of the military forces of the UN in Bosnia — Bernard Jean Vieh. It involved Yasushi Akashi who was the head UN civilian official. They, in effect, acquiesced, gave the green light to Milosevic, Mladic as well as Karadzic to take over the territory of Srebrenica but also Zepa and Gorazde,”says Sacirbey in an interview with Press TV.
    http://rehmat1.com/2012/05/27/the-butcher-of-bosnia-and-his-zionist-helpers/
     

  2. Commodor Sahib, please lets stop this "crusader Tarzan syndrome CRAP" – we white barbarians know all – we went to Africa and talked TO the animals shit
    Transparency International’- ever wonder why ALL org are always western/based in west etc
    Take the case of Afghanistan: the contempt, disgust and hate for that "exotic crusader whore" notwithstanding lets look at this corruption charge
    the corrupt US/UK/EU gov out does all others but hey what they do is "holier than thou preaching"
    we like facts, numbers, etc not the BS:
    Much of the money is thrown away on "overpriced and ineffective technical assistance," such as those hot-shot American experts, the report said. And big chunks are tied to the donor, which means that the recipient is obliged to use the money to buy products from the donor country, even when — especially when — the same goods are available cheaper at home.
    To no one's surprise, the United States easily outstrips other nations at most of these scams, making it second only to France as the world's biggest purveyor of phantom aid. Fully 47 percent of U.S. development aid is lavished on overpriced technical assistance. By comparison, only 4 percent of Sweden's aid budget goes to technical assistance, while Luxembourg and Ireland lay out only 2 percent.
    As for tying aid to the purchase of donor-made products, Sweden and Norway don't do it at all. Neither do Ireland and the United Kingdom. But 70 percent of U.S. aid is contingent upon the recipient spending it on American stuff, including especially American-made armaments. The upshot is that 86 cents of every dollar of U.S. aid is phantom aid.
    According to targets set years ago by the United Nations and agreed to by almost every country in the world, rich countries should give 0.7 percent of their national income in annual aid to poor ones. So far, only the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (with real aid at 0.65 percent of its national income) even come close.
    Last year, for example, when the president sent his wife to Kabul for a few hours of photo ops, the New York Times reported that … she pledged that the US would give an additional $17.7 million to support education in Afghanistan. But that grant had been announced before; and it was … for a new private, for-profit American University of Afghanistan. (How a private university comes to be supported by public tax dollars and the Army Corps of Engineers is another peculiarity of Bush aid.)
    San Francisco Chronicle, Sep. 5, 2006
    At the other end of the scale, the United States spends a paltry 0.02 percent of national income on real aid, which works out to an annual contribution of $8 from every citizen of the wealthiest nation in the world. (By comparison, Swedes kick in $193 per person, Norwegians $304, and the citizens of Luxembourg $357.) President Bush boasts of sending billions in aid to Afghanistan, but in fact we could do better by passing a hat.
    The Bush administration often deliberately misrepresents its aid program for domestic consumption
    Last year, for example, when the president sent his wife to Kabul for a few hours of photo ops, the New York Times reported that her mission was "to promise long-term commitment from the United States to education for women and children." Speaking in Kabul, she pledged that the United States would give an additional $17.7 million to support education in Afghanistan. But that grant had been announced before; and it was not for Afghan education (or women and children) at all but for a new private, for-profit American University of Afghanistan. (How a private university comes to be supported by public tax dollars and the Army Corps of Engineers is another peculiarity of Bush aid.)
    Ashraf Ghani, former finance minister of Afghanistan and president of Kabul University, complained, "You cannot support private education and ignore public education." But that's typical of American aid. Having set up a government in Afghanistan, the United States stiffs it, preferring to channel aid money to private American contractors. Increasingly privatized, U.S. aid becomes just one more mechanism for transferring tax dollars to the pockets of rich Americans.
    In 2001, Andrew Natsios, then head of USAID, cited foreign aid as "a key foreign policy instrument" designed to help other countries "become better markets for U.S. exports."
    To guarantee that mission, the State Department recently took over the formerly semi-autonomous aid agency. And because the aim of U.S. aid is to make the world safe for U.S. business, USAID now cuts in business from the start. It sends out requests for proposals to the short list of usual suspects and awards contracts to those bidders currently in favor. (Election time kickbacks influence the list of favorites.) Sometimes it invites only one contractor to apply, the same efficient procedure that made Halliburton so notorious and so profitable in Iraq.
    The criteria for selection of contractors have little or nothing to do with conditions in the recipient country, and they are not exactly what you would call transparent.
    Take, for example, the case of the Kabul-Kandahar Highway, featured on the USAID Web site as a proud accomplishment. (In five years, it's the only accomplishment in highway building in Afghanistan — which is one better than the U.S. record building power stations, water systems, sewer systems or dams.) The highway was also featured in the Kabul Weekly newspaper in March 2005 under the headline, "Millions Wasted on Second-Rate Roads."
    Afghan journalist Mirwais Harooni reported that even though other international companies had been ready to rebuild the highway for $250,000 per kilometer, the Louis Berger Group got the job at $700,000 per kilometer — of which there are 389. Why? The standard American answer is that Americans do better work. (Though not Berger, which at the time was already years behind on another $665 million contract to build schools.)
    Berger subcontracted Turkish and Indian companies to build the narrow two-lane, shoulderless highway at a final cost of about $1 million per mile; and anyone who travels it can see that it is already falling apart. (Former Minister of Planning Ramazan Bashardost complained that when it came to building roads, the Taliban did a better job.)
    Now, in a move certain to tank President Hamid Karzai's approval ratings and further endanger U.S. and NATO troops in the area, the United States has pressured his government to turn this "gift of the people of the United States" into a toll road and collect $20 a month from Afghan drivers. In this way, according to U.S. experts providing highly paid technical assistance, Afghanistan can collect $30 million annually from its impoverished citizens and thereby decrease the foreign aid "burden" on the United States.
    Is it any wonder that foreign aid seems to ordinary Afghans to be something only foreigners enjoy?
    At one end of the infamous highway, in Kabul, Afghans disapprove of the fancy restaurants where foreigners gather — men and women together — to drink alcohol and carry on, and plunge half-naked into swimming pools. They object to the brothels — 80 of them by 2005 — that house women brought in to serve foreign men.
    They complain that half the capital city lies in ruins, that many people still live in tents, that thousands can't find jobs, that children go hungry, that schools are overcrowded and hospitals dirty, that women in tattered burqas still beg in the streets and turn to prostitution, that children are kidnapped and sold into slavery or murdered for their kidneys or their eyes.
    They wonder where the promised aid money went and what the puppet government can do.
    Ann Jones is the author of "Kabul in Winter," a memoir of Afghanistan, where she lived for several years.

  3. text from
    Much of the money is thrown away on "overpriced……………………..end
    Ann Jones is the author of "Kabul in Winter," a memoir of Afghanistan, where she lived for several years.
    —————————————————————————————————
    the ugly hedious witch should know that the last thing Afghans needs is US as a friend that rapes their women, children shoots them and burns them
    that sick insane bitch must have got the message "LOUD & CLEAR" on Sunday from the Egyptians shouting "monica, monica"
    Egyptians pelt Clinton motorcade with tomatoes 15 Jul 2012 Protesters threw tomatoes and shoes at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade on Sunday during her first visit to Egypt since the election of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. A tomato struck an Egyptian official in the face, and shoes and a water bottle landed near the armored cars carrying Clinton's delegation in the port city of Alexandria after she gave a speech on democratic rights. A senior U.S. official said neither Clinton nor her vehicle, which was around the corner from the incident, were hit by the projectiles, which were thrown as U.S. officials and reporters walked to the motorcade after her speech. [WHY is Mursi's religious affiliation noted before his title of 'President' - but no religious affiliation is added before Clinton's title?]
    ———————————————————————————————-
    ahh Holbrooke that nasty evil man – do a search

  4. Very funny the Transparency BS.
    Lets look the goons who are in Afghanistan. According to the Italian oh sorry zionist mafia state they are in Afghanistan teaching “democracy good governance to Afghans
    LOL
    A state that is accused of being complicit in killing of a anti-mafia judge. A state that is known as a corrupt criminal state where nothing gets done without corruption
    where ex-mayor of Rome has been alleged to be involved in the disappearance of € 35Million disappeared,
    where the head of Lombardia (indecently he is also the same person Formigoni accused of profiting from Irak oil for insane no aid prog) has been accused of criminal activities
    In 2002, Formigoni had visited India with a business delegation and praised Sonia Gandhi. Formigoni said at that time that Former Pramod Mahajan, had accepted an invitation to be at SMAU, which begins on October 25, 2002. Formigoni was elected the Governor of Lombardy in 1995, 2000 and in 2005. In early 2005 he had received an allocation of 24 millon barrels of oil from Saddam Hussein's regime.
    Fernandes has said in parliament that 'Natwar Singh and Sonia Gandhi' were jointly accused in the Volcker report. He also alleged that transactions from Iraqi oil deals Formigoni and the Congress were deposited in the same bank in Jordan.
    I recall my comment, which have been published in various newspapers of June 19, 2005 including:: http://indiatalking.com/blog/premendra/
    Sonia, still Italian citizen, was a KGB spy planted by KGB in UK and trapped Rajiv Gandhi.
     
    has 27+MP with criminal record and increasing cases of millions disappearing/spent for personal use
    PM bunga bunga Mafioso
    Has a porno, now what do they call them, oh yes diva
    Has a trans- was a men but now is a woman and had a fight with his botoxed pumped Islamophobic broads because they object to him/her using their powder room
    The ex mayor of Rome was caught with prostitutes
    The ex EU president+Italian ex PM Prodi’s spokesperson was caught trans kerb crawling –
    There was a case of 2italians dead from smoke inhalation from their electric fire in Afghanistan!.
    A lot of Italians back from Afghanistan do not change their address so that the can buy goods duty free
    The Italian finance police checking ALL commercial activities because the state is not getting the tax from them
    BBC NEWS | Europe | Italy MPs 'caught in drugs sting'
    A satirical television show exposes what appears to be widespread drug use among Italy's parliamentarians. By Christian Fraser BBC News, Rome. Twelve of the politicians allegedly tested positive for cannabis.

    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6035951.stm

     
    above info re just one state teaching Afghans
    Uk MPs inflated expense sheet
    The vast criminal gang in Parliament carrying out RAPE OF NATIONS

    3) Tony Blair's mad-hatters banquet on his comeback trail

    The Tony Blair rehabilitation campaign, orchestrated by fellow war criminal Alistair Campbell, is now well under way. But Blair and his acolytes are running scared of anti-war protests whenever he tries to show his face in public — and of attempts to make a citizen's arrest for war crimes (see http://bit.ly/O3rTQ2). So they keep the venue secret of where he is speaking until only a a day or two before the meeting.

    Or — as in the case of the meeting he was planning to make in Lambeth on 9 July — the threat of a protest is enough to get the meeting cancelled.

    The main launch event of the Tony Blair Comeback took place last Wednesday at Arsenal football stadium in North London. Anti-war protesters formed a gauntlet through which an array of Labour MPs, celebrities and sporting personalities had to pass to shouts of "shame on you".

    Sadly, among those joining the Blair love-fest were comedians Jo Brand and Eddie Izzard — both of whom opposed the Iraq war.
    Once inside, guests at the £500 a ticket banquet heard Labour leader Ed Miliband say, "Thank you Tony for all you have done for the Labour Party and the country," before announcing that he was making Blair his new policy advisor on the Olympics legacy.

    It was, as Lindsey German writes, a moment When reality outstripped satire at the Tony Blair mad-hatters banquet. See http://bit.ly/OIWPEj.

    So why blame the students what can puppet government do about it?
    US tops ALL in corruption

  5. And don't forget the two ambassadors, one in Pakistan and one in Afghanistan.

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