Pakistan is continuing to deny NATO transit of Pakistani territory to supply troops in Afghanistan. In addition, Pakistan is establishing a working relationship with the Taliban, a relationship begun before the Taiban takeover of Afghanistan in the late 1990’s. I am unable to confirm a report that Pakistan has released 130 Taliban prisoners recently. But we are getting conflicting reports of Pakistani cooperation with the Taliban AND Pakistani willingness to talk with NATO. No matter which way Pakistan eventually wants to go, it would make sense to calm NATO down by offering to talk. And with the U.S. and NATO drawdown in Afghanistan, Pakistan could easily shift back to its old self with desires to influence and control elements within Afghanistan.
I am also hearing that the U.S. draw down in Afghanistan is not just on schedule. The U.S. is considering a more rapid withdrawal in light of the supposedly stabilizing security situation in Afghanistan. This would fit my assessment that President Obama wanted to be out of both Iraq and Afghanistan prior to the election cycle of 2012. Well, so far he will meet the requirement of being out of Iraq and although not out of Afghanistan, the drawdown of the ‘surge’ troops will be completed by the end of this year with an accelerated schedule of withdrawal for 2012. This will only lead to a shift in the war that our enemies are waging against us.
We can expect a more aggressive stance by our enemies in Afghanistan as a direct result. The way the war is going with our withdrawal from Iran, we can expect more aggression throughout the world as our enemies re-deploy and expand their capabilities. The energy, manpower and material resources that were being burned up attacking our military will now be available for other activities. It would make sense that the overall level of violence throughout Iran and Afghanistan would fall. The targets now being hit will be on a more personal level, combined with political activity to consolidate the gains. At the same time, a massive drop in attrition due to less combat against our military will enable our enemies to expand their capabilities elsewhere. I would expect a fairly quiet period with relatively few major attacks of between one and three years in duration. After that, we can expect a return to the accelerated pace of attacks that we were seeing in the late 1990’s with an increase in the effectiveness of these attacks as our enemies escalate the war. This is another of wars bad habits, the way that you win is to escalate the war until your enemy is unable to continue. This is a major reason as to why wars have a habit of going out of control.