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Who guards the guardians in Kabul?

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Pakistan Daily

Mercenaries and private military companies and their suspicious intelligence network in Afghanistan have ultimately challenged the legitimate function of the Afghan state. They are the prime reason behind the distances between the regular soldiers and civil society across the country. Secret and underground arm business between these contractors, the Taliban militia and former warlords has raised many questions about the instability of both Afghanistan and Pakistan. These private security firms and their criminal militias have minimized the power of the state and government. They have hijacked the Afghan state. The state is no more existed in its legitimate form, there are many states functioning from south to north and from west to east. There have been differences, distances and clefts between civil society and the Afghan national army.

The army soldiers either joining the network of these companies for a lump sum salary every month or receive compensation for joining the Taliban in night fight against NATO and the Afghan govt forces. The privatized military industry patronized by former jihadi leaders and drug smugglers has become a hot debate in the print and electronic media in Afghanistan. These jihadi leaders, former so-called Mujahideen, warlords, war criminals and their private security and intelligence firms have been deeply involved in the killing, and torturing of the civilian population across the country since the US invasion in 2001.

These so-called Mujahideen have never stopped their private security companies from the killing, raping and looting their countrymen. They will never ask this because all these so-called leaders, like warlord Abdul Rasul Syyaf, General Fahim, Karim Khalili, Prof, Rabbani, Sabghatullah Mujaddidi and President Karzai’s brothers have established their own private security companies and private militias. They have recruited and recruit young unemployed and poverty stricken Afghans, receive money from the Americans, smuggle weapons in and outside Afghanistan, rape women prisoners, and young girls. They run the business of China white heroin and share their network with the Taliban for spreading their business across south and central Asia.

A former warlord commander Mr, Ruhullah is chairman Kandahar security groups. His men collect taxes and share it with the Taliban. According to the Kaleed research report, his criminal mafia has been involved in the killing of innocent passengers. Moreover, soldiers of this security company along with the Taliban forces fight NATO in night. Another criminal security firm belongs to former General Qasim Fahim and his brother. Sources from Afghanistan revealed that strategic solution international collect information, protect guardians and established its own criminal militia across the country. Afghan Defence Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak and his son Hamid Jan Wardak have also established a security company under that name of N.C.L Security Company. General Rahim Wardak and his company have also been involved in criminal activities and killings of innocent Peoples. Warlord, Sabghatullah Mujaddidi (Former President of Afghanistan) has established a mafia group under the name of elite security company.

The recent release low quality disinformation documents by the WikiLeaks is based on the non-technical reports of these private military and intelligence firms in Afghanistan. Their illiterate, criminal and non-technical informers have gathered such a low quality disinformation reports which caused misunderstandings between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. They accused ISI for its tacit support to Taliban on one hand and beg Pakistan for bringing Afghan Taliban to the table of talks on the other.

Keeping in view their illegal military and terror related activities, President Hamid Karzai renewed his demand for the elimination of the suspicious network of these contractors saying they are a source of corruption that undermining support for the war against the Taliban insurgency. The contractors are “running a parallel security structure in the country, they are looting and stealing from the Afghan people” and “some of them turn into terrorist groups at night time,” The President revealed in ABC TV programme. The better-paid private criminal militia needs to be disbanded in order for the Afghan police force to be built up, he said. The US in Afghanistan and Iraq has found that the military has shrunk so much since the Cold War ended, therefore, decided to use private military companies to directly support military operations.

Experts say, there are over 100 private security and military contractors with approximately 64,000 uniformed personnel. These private military companies do not spend all funds on their projects in a particular country. They steal money and transfer it to a safe destination. The issue of the presence of Blackwaters in Pakistan and Afghanistan has become complicated issue. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik is consecutively denying its presence in the country, while media reports say, Blackwaters has been involved in target killings. Private Contractor began to enter Afghanistan after the US intervention in 2001. Two years ago, Afghan President ordered a law-making process in motion, but the process continued.

Private Security Firms Regulation are still being debated, including their process, staff identification, the weapons used and general requirements for their owners and staff. The criminal record of their soldiers (former Afghan warlords, drug mafia, human traffickers, rapists, and murderers) and their involvement in looting, rape and other illegal activities is another question raised in Afghan parliament. Ordinary Afghans don’t know about the basic function of these firms. They don’t know regarding the multitude of security actors in the country. They recently came to known that these private contractors are corrupt; they are bringing more guns into the country, supply guns to Pak-Afghan Taliban and smuggle narcotics drugs. They use govt permits for smuggling weapons into Afghanistan and then to Pakistan, they dishonestly register part of their weapons their sophisticated arms are not reported. They buy weapons from black market and employ those who are already armed. They arm other groups organize violence and create conflict mechanism.

Majority of Afghans criticise them as overbearing and abusive. Before issuing the order, President Hamid Karzai accused these firms for their involvement in robbery, malpractice and misusing their authority. Their suspicious activities, lake of transparency, Profit motivated job not by national foreign policy or security interests. As they are not accountable to the state they have no strict regulatory regime. This private sector intelligence and security agencies have created misunderstanding during their operations in various states. What are they doing in Afghanistan and how they run their business, nobody knows. But one thing is clear; they badly affected the fighting capabilities of the professional armies of NATO allied states.

If they recruit and train mercenaries for war, why the Taliban are being accused for the recruitment and training of their cadets? It means they prepare people for their own ideological war. Keeping in view their mysterious activities, at the national level, Afghan state will need to tighten regulatory provisions in domestic law and enhance enforcement. States that depend on mercenaries and private military, intelligence and security companies during peace and war, military operations, intelligence gathering, police training and many other fields, have suffered from the disease of incapacity of their states. Their states authority has become limited and their national security and military policies have been influenced by these private firms. No doubt, the situation is going worse and what we said in the past that private companies or security agencies are working for money not for national interests, proved to be true.

The illegal activities of the private military companies can put in danger the country’s relations with the other states. In Afghanistan and in Pakistan, the activities of these companies are viewed more suspicious. According to the British commander in Afghanistan, Major General Nick Carter, “Afghan private security firms fuelling corruption, Security firms need to be properly regulated and registered. An Afghan newspaper once reported about the criminal nature of these companies; “Ignoring the authority of local police and lacking respect of traffic laws and bad road manner, such as not stopping at intersections, using one-way roads in the wrong direction, driving too fast and pushing people to the side of roads. A DynCorp guard company was also once seen slapping an Afghan Minister, the newspaper reported. NATO-led troops do not trust Afghan national security forces as Afghan soldiers at least twice opened fire on their colleagues and mentors, killing two Americans and three Britons in the past months. Police in night hand to hand with Taliban fights coalition forces all the night while in day time they protect them.

Musa Khan Jalalzai, The writer is the author of Britain’s National Security Challenges and Punjabi Taliban, based in London

Sanctions Are Utterly Futile

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by Prof. Louis Rene Beres

Towards US Nuclear Conference Monday: Beres says sanctions against Iran will never work. A dispassionate, sobering analysis of the nuclear threat and the costs and benefits of how Israel might deal with it.

In the matter of Iranian nuclearization, U.S. President Barack Obama still doesn’t get it. Economic sanctions will never work. In Tehran’s national decision-making circles, absolutely nothing can compare to the immense power and status that would presumably come with membership in the Nuclear Club. Indeed, if President Ahmadinejad and his clerical masters truly believe in the Shiite apocalypse, an inevitable final battle against “unbelievers,” they would likely be willing to accept even corollary military sanctions.

“Absolutely nothing can compare to the immense power and status that would presumably come with membership in the Nuclear Club.”

From the standpoint of the United States, a nuclear Iran would pose an unprecedented risk of mass-destruction terrorism. For much smaller Israel, of course, the security risk would be existential.

Legal issues are linked here to various strategic considerations. Supported by international law, specifically by the incontestable right of anticipatory self-defense, Prime Minister Netanyahu understands that any preemptive destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructures would involve enormous operational and political difficulties. True, Israel has deployed elements of the “Arrow” system of ballistic missile defense, but even the Arrow could not achieve a sufficiently high probability of intercept to protect civilian populations. Further, now that Mr. Obama has backed away from America’s previously-planned missile shield deployment in Poland and the Czech Republic, Israel has no good reason to place its security hopes in any combined systems of active defense.

Even a single incoming nuclear missile that would manage to penetrate Arrow defenses could kill very large numbers of Israelis. While Obama and the “international community” still fiddles, Iran is plainly augmenting its incendiary intent toward Israel with a corresponding military capacity.

Left to violate non-proliferation treaty (NPT) rules with impunity, Iran’s leaders might ultimately be undeterred by any threats of an Israeli and/or American retaliation. Such a possible failure of nuclear deterrence could be the result of a presumed lack of threat credibility, or even of a genuine Iranian disregard for expected harms. In the worst-case scenario, Iran, animated by certain Shiite visions of inevitable conflict, could become the individual suicide bomber writ large. Such a dire prospect is improbable, but it is not unimaginable.

Iran’s illegal nuclearization has already started a perilous domino effect, especially among certain Sunni Arab states in the region. Not long ago, both Saudi Arabia and Egypt revealed possible plans to develop their own respective nuclear capabilities. But strategic stability in a proliferating Middle East could never resemble US-USSR deterrence during the Cold War. Here, the critical assumption of rationality, which always makes national survival the very highest decisional preference, simply might not hold.

If, somehow, Iran does become fully nuclear, Israel will have to promptly reassess its core policy of nuclear ambiguity, and also certain related questions of targeting. These urgent issues were discussed candidly in my own “Project Daniel” final report, first delivered by hand to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on January 16, 2003.

Israel’s security from mass-destruction attacks will depend in part upon its intended targets in Iran, and on the precise extent to which these targets have been expressly identified. For Israel’s survival, it is not enough to merely have The Bomb. Rather, the adequacy of Israel’s nuclear deterrence and preemption policies will depend
largely upon (1) the presumed destructiveness of these nuclear weapons; and, (2) on where these weapons are thought to be targeted.

“For much smaller Israel, of course, the security risk would be existential. “

Mr. Obama’s “Road Map” notwithstanding, a nuclear war in the Middle East is not out of the question. Soon, Israel will need to choose prudently between “assured destruction” strategies, and “nuclear war-fighting” strategies. Assured destruction strategies are sometimes called “counter-value” strategies or “mutual assured destruction” (MAD). Drawn from the Cold War, these are strategies of deterrence in which a country primarily targets its strategic weapons on the other side’s civilian populations, and/or on its supporting civilian infrastructures.

Nuclear war-fighting measures, on the other hand, are called “counterforce” strategies. These are systems of deterrence wherein a country primarily targets its strategic nuclear weapons on the other side’s major weapon systems, and on that state’s supporting military assets.

There are distinctly serious survival consequences for choosing one strategy over the other. Israel could also opt for some sort of “mixed” strategy. Still, for Israel, any policy that might encourage nuclear war fighting should be rejected. This advice was an integral part of the once-confidential Project Daniel final report.

In choosing between the two basic strategic alternatives, Israel should always opt for nuclear deterrence based upon assured destruction. This seemingly insensitive recommendation might elicit opposition amid certain publics, but it is, in fact, more humane. A counterforce targeting doctrine would be less persuasive as a nuclear
deterrent, especially to states whose leaders could willingly sacrifice entire armies as “martyrs.”

If Israel were to opt for nuclear deterrence based upon counterforce capabilities, its enemies could also feel especially threatened. This condition could then enlarge the prospect of a nuclear aggression against Israel, and of a follow-on nuclear exchange.

Israel’s decisions on counter-value versus counterforce doctrines will depend, in part, on prior investigations of enemy country inclinations to strike first; and on enemy country inclinations to strike all-at-once, or in stages. Should Israeli strategic planners assume that an enemy state in process of “going nuclear” is apt to strike first, and to strike with all of its nuclear weapons right away, Israeli counterforce-targeted warheads – used in retaliation – would hit only empty launchers. In such circumstances, Israel’s only plausible application of counterforce doctrine would be to strike first itself, an option that Israel clearly and completely rejects. From the standpoint of intra-war deterrence, a counter-value strategy would prove vastly more appropriate to a fast peace.

Should Israeli planners assume that an enemy country “going nuclear” is apt to strike first, and to strike in a limited fashion, holding some measure of nuclear firepower in reserve, Israeli counterforce-targeted warheads could have some damage-limiting benefits. Here, counterforce operations could appear to serve both an Israeli non-nuclear preemption, or, should Israel decide not to preempt, an Israeli retaliatory strike. Nonetheless, the benefits to Israel of maintaining any counterforce targeting options are generally outweighed by the reasonably expected costs.

To protect itself against a relentlessly nuclearizing Iran, Israel’s best course may still be to seize the conventional preemption option as soon as possible. (After all, a fully nuclear Iran that would actually welcome apocalyptic endings could bring incomparably higher costs to Israel.) Together with such a permissible option, Israel would have to reject any hint of a counterforce targeting doctrine. But if, as now seems clear, Iran is allowed to continue with its illegal nuclear weapons development, Mr. Netanyahu’s correct response should be to quickly end Israel’s
No country can be required to participate in its own annihilation.
historic policy of nuclear ambiguity.

Such a doctrinal termination could permit Israel to enhance its nuclear deterrence posture, but only in regard to a fully rational Iranian adversary. If, after all, Iran’s leaders were to resemble the suicide bomber in macrocosm, they might not be deterred by any expected level of Israeli retaliation.

No country can be required to participate in its own annihilation. Without a prompt and major change in President Obama’s persistently naive attitude toward Iran, a law-enforcing expression of anticipatory self-defense may still offer Israel its only remaining survival option. This will sound unconvincing to many, but rational decision-making – in all fields of human endeavor – is based upon informed comparisons of expected costs and expected benefits.

Does President Obama really believe that both we and the Israelis can somehow live with a nuclear Iran? If he does, he should be reminded that a nuclear balance-of-terror in the Middle East could never replicate the earlier stability of U.S.-Soviet mutual deterrence.

This would not be your father’s Cold War.