Opinion




  • Written by Mahboob A Khawaja, PhD


Is the Trump Administration Rational to Use the Blame-Game?

American leadership needs critical thinking about its failure and triumph in global relationships. After 16 years of warmongering and perpetuated violence on the people of Afghanistan, President Trump is challenging his own inner psychological attitude towards war and peace in South West Asia. As a candidate Trump, he voiced strong opposition to continued US military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq. Ironically as President Trump, he is opting for wrong turns and slipping into vice and ruin by revisiting the triviality and viciousness of the US invasion of Afghanistan and drone attacks against the innocent Pakistani civilians in North-West Waziristan. His suspicious strategy unfolds a paranoid and vengeful foresight to blame Pakistan - what essentially went wrong with the US bogus war on terrorism. We live in a paradoxical world where sincerity and virtues could be misinterpreted as follies against the American self-interest. In September 2001 after the 9/11 attacks, it was Pakistani dictator General Pervaz Musharaf who responded to George Bush phone call on a two hour notice – “either you are with us or against us”, and coerced to collaborate and support the American war agenda in Afghanistan. George Bush needed some solace to prove that he was doing something against an imaginative enemy living in Afghanistan. The truth is that Afghanistan or its people never attacked America nor threatened its security in any sense of rationality.

 

General Musharraf lacking wisdom, leadership and legitimacy of the governance fell to the US entrapment in a state of terrible helplessness as most often one track dictators do. For almost decade and a half, Pakistanis contributed resources, intelligence and practical help to support the US war agenda in Afghanistan. Contrary to the global moral and ethical principles of relationships between the friends and allies, President Trump should have thanked Pakistan for its strategic help; instead he is sending hysterically compulsive signals which sound irrational and disruptive to mutual relationship. Naïve and insane egoism appears to be at work if Pakistanis are accused to be of dubious character and engagements in the US-led Afghan war theater. Understandably, General Musharaf and his colleagues were paid to do the proxy war and its spill-over impacts decades later having devastating effects on the civilian life across Pakistan. Terror is always terror in all shapes and forms. America did not invade Afghanistan to protect the human rights, democracy or to restore law and order. It was a war of terrorism that made no rational sense in any criterion-based critical analysis. To an impartial observer of the US domestic politics, President Trump is reinventing the foreign war strategy to distract attention from his own mismanagement of the in-house racial tensions overflowing historic rivalries across America. Perhaps, shifting lines of argument, President Trump needs an opportunity of self-reflection what he said or should have said as the leader of the nation on a highly sensitive and explosive racial problems hinging on the American psyche at Charoletville (Virginia), Boston (Massachusett) and elsewhere. Public momentum expected bold and inspiring message of optimism not distortion of the prevalent facts of the American racial culture.

 

Towards Rethinking of a New Strategy for Peace and Negotiated Resolution

In a changing world of global thinking and friendly relationships with others, American foreign policy experts should think critically how best they could communicate to a friend in Southwest Asia and enlist urgently needed moral and practical support to pave the ways for a peaceful settlement of the Afghanistan crisis. America is a military power but its legend of invincibility has been torn apart by small groups of fighters in Afghanistan. Much of this land of ancient tribal herdsmen is in ruins, its economy, political and civic infrastructures and productivity devastated by the insanity of war and civilian lives float between obsessed insecurity, daily bombings and extended graveyards. America cannot undo the history of its own ruthless engagement and strategic failure. This consequence is of its own failed strategy or no strategy at all, and not of the role of Pakistan or others. If American rational impulses are intact, its policy should focus on a multilateral approach including Pakistan, Iran, China and Russia to work out a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan. America needs to be rational and see the mirror of its prolonged involvement in a war that has consumed more than 3,000 lives of US soldiers and almost 10,000 wounded veterans. President Trump or his military advisors should realize what went wrong in Afghanistan and how to rebuild the self-image of a superpower occupied effectively by a handful of Talibans or almost dead Al-Qaida - once who were its allies in fighting against the former USSR. This is no excuse to go on radiating violent and undiplomatic overtures to Pakistan or to reinforce aggression against the people of Afghanistan. America needs a safe exit from the prolonged crisis.

 

Pakistani leaders should be careful to assess their own weaknesses and strength and learn from the past as to what mistakes were made in military collaboration with the US scheme of things in the region. At the outset, the US next action plan is geared towards antagonism and miscalculation of the facts of the changed geo-politics of the region. India was not the participant in the Afghanistan theater, it was Pakistan that is both alleged to be a foe and asked to be a friend. These dubious assertions hardly correspond to any reality check. Under Obama, increased American drone attacks charcoaled several thousands of innocent Pakistani civilians and destroyed human habitats in North Waziristan and American accountability for these crimes cannot be ignored. It should be the national interest of Pakistan and its peaceful role in a dialogue between the combatant parties and pursuit of a negotiated resolution of the Afghanistan war torn country. If the Trump administration is keen to value the friendly ties with Pakistan, the causes of US failure in Afghanistan are known but a focused policy and action plan for peacemaking is unknown. This objectivity should be enhanced to usher a moment of focused reality away from the nuisance of domestic racial politics. It will substantiate good intelligence foresight to avoid repeating the losses of time, personnel, resources, prestige and sustainable future to all concerned.

 

(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in international affairs, Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Germany, May 2012. His forthcoming book is entitled: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution).