Thursday, December 4, 2008

Geopolitical Intelligence Report



Great debates everyone! One of the features I want to introduce to this blog is the weekly Geopolitical Intelligence Report, which I buy in one of the commercial intelligence analysis sources. This week they have done a report on the strategic motivations for the Mumbai attacks. They may be long, but they provide interesting insights for those interested in the interpretation of the current global affairs. In the coming few days, I will post some things on the pressing local issues - education, agriculture, arts, etc. Enjoy!

Strategic Motivations for the Mumbai Attack

Last Wednesday evening, a group of Islamist operatives carried out a complex terror operation in the Indian city of Mumbai. The attack was not complex because of the weapons used or its size, but in the apparent training, multiple methods of approaching the city and excellent operational security and discipline in the final phases of the operation, when the last remaining attackers held out in the Taj Mahal hotel for several days. The operational goal of the attack clearly was to cause as many casualties as possible, particularly among Jews and well-to-do guests of five-star hotels. But attacks on various other targets, from railroad stations to hospitals, indicate that the more general purpose was to spread terror in a major Indian city.


While it is not clear precisely who carried out the Mumbai attack, two separate units apparently were involved. One group, possibly consisting of Indian Muslims, was established in Mumbai ahead of the attacks. The second group appears to have just arrived. It traveled via ship from Karachi, Pakistan, later hijacked a small Indian vessel to get past Indian coastal patrols, and ultimately landed near Mumbai. Extensive preparations apparently had been made, including surveillance of the targets. So while the precise number of attackers remains unclear, the attack clearly was well-planned and well-executed.


Evidence and logic suggest that radical Pakistani Islamists carried out the attack. These groups have a highly complex and deliberately amorphous structure. Rather than being centrally controlled, ad hoc teams are created with links to one or more groups. Conceivably, they might have lacked links to any group, but this is hard to believe. Too much planning and training were involved in this attack for it to have been conceived by a bunch of guys in a garage. While precisely which radical Pakistani Islamist group or groups were involved is unknown, the Mumbai attack appears to have originated in Pakistan. It could have been linked to al Qaeda prime or its various franchises and/or to Kashmiri insurgents.


More important than the question of the exact group that carried out the attack, however, is the attackers’ strategic end. There is a tendency to regard terror attacks as ends in themselves, carried out simply for the sake of spreading terror. In the highly politicized atmosphere of Pakistan’s radical Islamist factions, however, terror frequently has a more sophisticated and strategic purpose. Whoever invested the time and took the risk in organizing this attack had a reason to do so. Let’s work backward to that reason by examining the logical outcomes following this attack.


An End to New Delhi’s Restraint


The most striking aspect of the Mumbai attack is the challenge it presents to the Indian government — a challenge almost impossible for New Delhi to ignore. A December 2001 Islamist attack on the Indian parliament triggered an intense confrontation between India and Pakistan. Since then, New Delhi has not responded in a dramatic fashion to numerous Islamist attacks against India that were traceable to Pakistan. The Mumbai attack, by contrast, aimed to force a response from New Delhi by being so grievous that any Indian government showing only a muted reaction to it would fall.


India’s restrained response to Islamist attacks (even those originating in Pakistan) in recent years has come about because New Delhi has understood that, for a host of reasons, Islamabad has been unable to control radical Pakistani Islamist groups. India did not want war with Pakistan; it felt it had more important issues to deal with. New Delhi therefore accepted Islamabad’s assurances that Pakistan would do its best to curb terror attacks, and after suitable posturing, allowed tensions originating from Islamist attacks to pass.


This time, however, the attackers struck in such a way that New Delhi couldn’t allow the incident to pass. As one might expect, public opinion in India is shifting from stunned to furious. India’s Congress party-led government is politically weak and nearing the end of its life span. It lacks the political power to ignore the attack, even if it were inclined to do so. If it ignored the attack, it would fall, and a more intensely nationalist government would take its place. It is therefore very difficult to imagine circumstances under which the Indians could respond to this attack in the same manner they have to recent Islamist attacks.


What the Indians actually will do is not clear. In 2001-2002, New Delhi responded to the attack on the Indian parliament by moving forces close to the Pakistani border and the Line of Control that separates Indian- and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, engaging in artillery duels along the front, and bringing its nuclear forces to a high level of alert. The Pakistanis made a similar response. Whether India ever actually intended to attack Pakistan remains unclear, but either way, New Delhi created an intense crisis in Pakistan.


The U.S. and the Indo-Pakistani Crisis


The United States used this crisis for its own ends. Having just completed the first phase of its campaign in Afghanistan, Washington was intensely pressuring Pakistan’s then-Musharraf government to expand cooperation with the United States; purge its intelligence organization, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of radical Islamists; and crack down on al Qaeda and the Taliban in the Afghan-Pakistani border region. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had been reluctant to cooperate with Washington, as doing so inevitably would spark a massive domestic backlash against his government.


The crisis with India produced an opening for the United States. Eager to get India to stand down from the crisis, the Pakistanis looked to the Americans to mediate. And the price for U.S. mediation was increased cooperation from Pakistan with the United States. The Indians, not eager for war, backed down from the crisis after guarantees that Islamabad would impose stronger controls on Islamist groups in Kashmir.


In 2001-2002, the Indo-Pakistani crisis played into American hands. In 2008, the new Indo-Pakistani crisis might play differently. The United States recently has demanded increased Pakistani cooperationalong the Afghan border. Meanwhile, President-elect Barack Obama has stated his intention to focus on Afghanistan and pressure the Pakistanis.
Therefore, one of Islamabad’s first responses to the new Indo-Pakistani crisis was to announce that if the Indians increased their forces along Pakistan’s eastern border, Pakistan would be forced to withdraw 100,000 troops from its western border with Afghanistan. In other words, threats from India would cause Pakistan to dramatically reduce its cooperation with the United States in the Afghan war. The Indian foreign minister is flying to the United States to meet with Obama; obviously, this matter will be discussed among others.


We expect the United States to pressure India not to create a crisis, in order to avoid this outcome. As we have said, the problem is that it is unclear whether politically the Indians can afford restraint. At the very least, New Delhi must demand that the Pakistani government take steps to make the ISI and Pakistan’s other internal security apparatus more effective. Even if the Indians concede that there was no ISI involvement in the attack, they will argue that the ISI is incapable of stopping such attacks. They will demand a purge and reform of the ISI as a sign of Pakistani commitment. Barring that, New Delhi will move troops to the Indo-Pakistani frontier to intimidate Pakistan and placate Indian public opinion.


Dilemmas for Islamabad, New Delhi and Washington


At that point, Islamabad will have a serious problem. The Pakistani government is even weaker than the Indian government. Pakistan’s civilian regime does not control the Pakistani military, and therefore does not control the ISI. The civilians can’t decide to transform Pakistani security, and the military is not inclined to make this transformation. (Pakistan’s military has had ample opportunity to do so if it wished.)


Pakistan faces the challenge, just one among many, that its civilian and even military leadership lack the ability to reach deep into the ISI and security services to transform them. In some ways, these agencies operate under their own rules. Add to this the reality that the ISI and security forces — even if they are acting more assertively, as Islamabad claims — are demonstrably incapable of controlling radical Islamists in Pakistan. If they were capable, the attack on Mumbai would have been thwarted in Pakistan. The simple reality is that in Pakistan’s case, the will to make this transformation does not seem to be present, and even if it were, the ability to suppress terror attacks isn’t there.


The United States might well want to limit New Delhi’s response. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on her way to India to discuss just this. But the politics of India’s situation make it unlikely that the Indians can do anything more than listen. It is more than simply a political issue for New Delhi; the Indians have no reason to believe that the Mumbai operation was one of a kind. Further operations like the Mumbai attack might well be planned. Unless the Pakistanis shift their posture inside Pakistan, India has no way of knowing whether other such attacks can be stymied. The Indians will be sympathetic to Washington’s plight in Afghanistan and the need to keep Pakistani troops at the Afghan border. But New Delhi will need something that the Americans — and in fact the Pakistanis — can’t deliver: a guarantee that there will be no more attacks like this one.


The Indian government cannot chance inaction. It probably would fall if it did. Moreover, in the event of inactivity and another attack, Indian public opinion probably will swing to an uncontrollable extreme. If an attack takes place but India has moved toward crisis posture with Pakistan, at least no one can argue that the Indian government remained passive in the face of threats to national security. Therefore, India is likely to refuse American requests for restraint.
It is possible that New Delhi will make a radical proposal to Rice, however. Given that the Pakistani government is incapable of exercising control in its own country, and given that Pakistan now represents a threat to both U.S. and Indian national security, the Indians might suggest a joint operation with the Americans against Pakistan.


What that joint operation might entail is uncertain, but regardless, this is something that Rice would reject out of hand and that Obama would reject in January 2009. Pakistan has a huge population and nuclear weapons, and the last thing Bush or Obama wants is to practice nation-building in Pakistan. The Indians, of course, will anticipate this response. The truth is that New Delhi itself does not want to engage deep in Pakistan to strike at militant training camps and other Islamist sites. That would be a nightmare. But if Rice shows up with a request for Indian restraint and no concrete proposal — or willingness to entertain a proposal — for solving the Pakistani problem, India will be able to refuse on the grounds that the Americans are asking India to absorb a risk (more Mumbai-style attacks) without the United States’ willingness to share in the risk.


Setting the Stage for a New Indo-Pakistani Confrontation


That will set the stage for another Indo-Pakistani confrontation. India will push forces forward all along the Indo-Pakistani frontier, move its nuclear forces to an alert level, begin shelling Pakistan, and perhaps — given the seriousness of the situation — attack short distances into Pakistan and even carry out airstrikes deep in Pakistan. India will demand greater transparency for New Delhi in Pakistani intelligence operations. The Indians will not want to occupy Pakistan; they will want to occupy Pakistan’s security apparatus.


Naturally, the Pakistanis will refuse that. There is no way they can give India, their main adversary, insight into Pakistani intelligence operations. But without that access, India has no reason to trust Pakistan. This will leave the Indians in an odd position: They will be in a near-war posture, but will have made no demands of Pakistan that Islamabad can reasonably deliver and that would benefit India. In one sense, India will be gesturing. In another sense, India will be trapped by making a gesture on which Pakistan cannot deliver. The situation thus could get out of hand.


In the meantime, the Pakistanis certainly will withdraw forces from western Pakistan and deploy them in eastern Pakistan. That will mean that one leg of the Petraeus and Obama plans would collapse. Washington’s expectation of greater Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border will disappear along with the troops. This will free the Taliban from whatever limits the Pakistani army had placed on it. The Taliban’s ability to fight would increase, while the motivation for any of the Taliban to enter talks — as Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested — would decline. U.S. forces, already stretched to the limit, would face an increasingly difficult situation, while pressure on al Qaeda in the tribal areas would decrease.


Now, step back and consider the situation the Mumbai attackers have created. First, the Indian government faces an internal political crisis driving it toward a confrontation it didn’t plan on. Second, the minimum Pakistani response to a renewed Indo-Pakistani crisis will be withdrawing forces from western Pakistan, thereby strengthening the Taliban and securing al Qaeda. Third, sufficient pressure on Pakistan’s civilian government could cause it to collapse, opening the door to a military-Islamist government — or it could see Pakistan collapse into chaos, giving Islamists security in various regions and an opportunity to reshape Pakistan. Finally, the United States’ situation in Afghanistan has now become enormously more complex.


By staging an attack the Indian government can’t ignore, the Mumbai attackers have set in motion an existential crisis for Pakistan. The reality of Pakistan cannot be transformed, trapped as the country is between the United States and India. Almost every evolution from this point forward benefits Islamists. Strategically, the attack on Mumbai was a precise blow struck to achieve uncertain but favorable political outcomes for the Islamists.


Rice’s trip to India now becomes the crucial next step. She wants Indian restraint. She does not want the western Pakistani border to collapse. But she cannot guarantee what India must have: assurance of no further terror attacks on India originating in Pakistan. Without that, India must do something. No Indian government could survive without some kind of action. So it is up to Rice, in one of her last acts as secretary of state, to come up with a miraculous solution to head off a final, catastrophic crisis for the Bush administration — and a defining first crisis for the new Obama administration. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said that the enemy gets a vote. The Islamists cast their ballot in Mumbai.

19 comments:

salama said...

January,
thanks for the GIR. What a disaster!, somehow Rumsfeld was right. I just hope that Rice get it right this time, since that she's been blamed for not being able to make any real deals during her time on this administration. The situation btn India and Pakistan really degenerates, I mean, where do you start?

Well, for the Bush administration I think it's a must win situation in their remaining days. Not sure how they're gonna do it but, hey, you play to win not to survive. I saw something pretty interesting in the news yesterday that, the white house including Karl Rove(Bush's former top advisor) and current two,top Bush's advisors are working on something called, retaining the Bush's legacy. I have no idea how are they going to come up with something good out of the mess they made for the past eight years.

If they're really serious they should work their behinds night and day on the Mumbai's situation and come up with something which at least will give the world something good to remember about Bush. With this situation in Mumbai, am sure Washington (The incoming and outgoing admin) wouldn't want to see any kind of conflict btn India and Pakistan, with the fact that, the way the Pakistan's gov. is unstable, nobody want their nuclear warheads to land in the hands of islamists. (Talking about world war III)

salama said...

@January and anybody who have some experties in International Relations, I have a question for y'all.

If the US government somehow knew of the attacks and even warned the Indian Government about a month ago before it happened, how come they didn't do anything in their power to at least defuse the attacks? and why did they send the FBI now to help with the investigation instead of then? You should think that some lessons were learned after 9/11.

Msolopa said...

people we got wake up and smell the coffee. has history really taught us anything! everyone knows (and therz substancial evidence proving this) that 911, the madrid bombings and majority of bombings in the world are all the work of US govt. ben laden, saddam, taliban, pakistan fundamentalism were all US govt creation. if the US govt knew in advance (jus like 911) about the so-called terrorist threat why didn't they stop it bt let it happen? please lets not 4get that"the biggest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he never exist!"

Anonymous said...

CHANGE OF GUARD ?

Congratulations January for the blogg.You have not dissapoint from,"a serious one " you promised.
The blog was long overdue.
Just thought your readers may be interested in this article from
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/48ac15fc-c1bc-11dd-831e-000077b07658.html.
Thanks
Kaakufui

China lectures US on economy
By Geoff Dyer in Beijing

Published: December 4 2008 04:32 | Last updated: December 4 2008 19:10

The US was lectured about its economic fragilities on Thursday as senior Chinese officials urged the administration to stabilise its economy, boost its savings rate and protect Chinese investments.

The message went to Hank Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, in Beijing for the strategic economic dialogue he helped launch to discuss long-term issues between the two countries.

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Lex: US-China dialogue - Dec-04US rescue plan to push down home loan rates - Dec-04Treasury tackled over Tarp concerns - Dec-03Record contraction in US services sector - Dec-03Paulson in last stand against weaker renminbi - Dec-03As expected, Mr Paulson urged Beijing not to abandon efforts to let the renminbi appreciate, said US officials, amid fears China might want to let its currency weaken to help local exporters weather the global slowdown.

But Mr Paulson also found himself facing calls for the US to address its own economic problems. Wang Qishan, a vice-premier and leader of the Chinese delegation at the two-day talks, called on the US to take swift action to address the crisis.

“We hope the US side will take the necessary measures to stabilise the economy and financial markets as well as guarantee the safety of China’s assets and investments in the US,” he said.

The dialogue was dominated by the global crisis. Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the Chinese central bank, urged the US to rebalance its economy. “Over-consumption and a high reliance on credit is the cause of the US financial crisis,” he said. “As the largest and most important economy in the world, the US should take the initiative to adjust its policies, raise its savings ratio appropriately and reduce its trade and fiscal deficits.”

Although China also faces a rapidly slowing economy and rising unemployment, the tone of the comments reflected an underlying shift in power.

Eswar Prasad, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said: “One result of the crisis is that the US no longer holds the high ground to lecture China on financial or macroeconomic policies.”

Anonymous said...

What happened in mumbai, its an unforgetable tragedy, the story of the little baby who lost both of her parents really got me big time!! but we dont have to put all the blame in US govt, lets just give them a break(tusubiri baba lao labda atasolve economy problem and others).i dont think they're that cruel,knowing what will happened in mumbai and decided not to do anything instead of playing hero so that the whole world will know, na kuwaheshimu.
forgive me if i'll be wrong, but i don't think US wanna be part of vita visivyowahusu nomore, i think they learned their lesson, they lost so many people and money in Iraq war, and at the end of the day came to realize that it wasn't their call to make....
salama,if you don't mind think about ur "optimism" view, i really don't think its a good idea to think that everything happen for a reason. there is "nat" such a thing(my opinion)

Msolopa said...

mazee we have to be realsometimes. war brings profits. US may be loosing billions everyday but corporations (pentagon, halliburton, kbl, blackwater) still make a killin ($$$$) in iraq, afghanistan etc. comin to our esteemed obama, he wouldn't change anythin as we have see that all the war hawks who supported a war build on a lie (hillary clinton as secretary of state, bob gates and general jim jones as his national security adviser) are in his cabinet.

and lastly, i concur with salama tht everythin happens for a reason: US went to iraq for a reason- oil! went to fight in afghanistan for heroin! they bombed peeps in mumbai to cause a conflict btn pakistan and india! they bombed NY for a reason and used tht reason as a pretext to go and fight in iraq n afghanistan! they sent their soldiers to vietnam, somalia, grenada, chile etc for a reason.

Thuwein said...

The GI report was a great read and super insightful. I do not think that the masterminds behind these attacks had the motives to stir up India-Pakistan relationship so as to destabilize the Afghan-Pakistan border. The only attacker who was captured live confessed to be trained by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba the Pakistani terrorist group whose interest mainly has been anti-India activities in Kashmir, these are the same guys that bombed the Indian Parliament in 2002. Also-if we can recall those train massacre in Gujirat in 2002 initiating violence to an already sour relationship between Muslims and Hindus of the India.

The point I'm trying to make is India has roughly 150 million Muslims-3rd largest Muslims population behind Indonesia and Pakistan. Indian Muslims have long been having resentments over Hindus and with now fast growing economy in India-The Deccan Mujahideen can simply decided to spoil this fast economy since the primary beneficiary would be the Hindus.

As far as United State hand on this whole mess has to be played with delicacy and also a stricter approach. Sort of carrots and stick approach. To disagree with Salama, I do not think the Mumbai attacks would be a chance to polish Dubya's legacy. There is a vacuum in US leadership and both India and Pakistan knows that (just like The Dow knows that!). They will speak with Condi but they know that the real person to negotiate with will be Madame Secretary Clinton, so we should not expect any real discussions and demands in Condi's visit to India.

With President Elect Barack and his team of egos and yet super brilliant (Biden, Jim Jones, Gates, Clinton & Jim Steinberg) am sure they will channel on Barack's vision of emphasizing on soft power and direct talk compared to Bush's team of Ego but not so brilliant (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, & Condi) who spent most of time infighting rather than looking for the best interest of the country. Most experts think it would be for the US best interest if Barack tap Richard Holbrooke to lead the special convoy that would mediate peace talks to the region koz after all Holbrooke is an accomplished diplomat (delivered peace to the Balkans) and has yet to have a role in this incoming administration.

Man-it is going to be fun to watch how things will turn out in that region.

salama said...

@Msolopa,
Keep in mind that the coin has two sides. Yes, the US government has had their share in some 'not peaceful events' on some parts of the world but, we shouldn't under estimate them for their goodwill around the world.

@anon,
I don't mind at all, thanks for your opinion and I respect it. But, Optimism is a very significant theory to me.

Am not like, blaming the US government for not doing much. I was just wondering why the crisis got that bad while there was already some intelligence informations in place. The Indian Gov. is part of the blame too. The New York Times reported this last sunday that, the US officials warned Indian gov. officials of the attack but just to be ignored. Also that, it took 18 hours for the Indian PM to come out and make a statement after the attacks (wow! 18 hrs)

And, the commandoes had to be flown in from DELHI, at which there was some delays for a couple of hours before they left.

Well, hopefully this will work out in a Peaceful manner. (There goes my optimism again)

Mchangiaji said...

Salama,

I tend to disagree with your assumptions.

I really dont know where you are getting your ideas from?

Rumsfeld was right about what ? Condo cannot do anything right now in the next 40 days plus, so do BUSH. Bush failed to do his HOMEWORK and went for a war, MISSION accomplished, Economy and many more to be precise. it is a total disaster, as you put it.

These things need intelligence of mind and forecast, Bush administration run on ideology and less of intelligence. I dont know where you are getting your forecast from, in how they will do something GREAT thing at last from MUMBAI bombings, I doubt it, If they demonstrated on persistent failing on numerous issues, He and his administration, are infact bringing the country down with them, you will never read that from the media, but thats the FACT.

By Mchangiaji

salama said...

Mchangiaji,

May be I wasn't very clear, in my first comment. But, I'm not sure if you read the full GIR cause you'd get answers to some of your questions about my ideas.

About Rumsfeld, It's qouted in the last paragraph of the Report when he said the enemy gets a vote. I was trying to think aloud about how the India/Pakistan crisis is becoming even more delicate especially now after the Mumbai attacks.

I know the Bush admn. can't solve the problems any time soon, let alone on their remaining days, everybody knows that and we don't even need to waste time talking about it. As you mentioned, it needs some deep intelligence and of course time. Let me be more clear, to you especially. They need to at least start and open the door for future leaders.

As to where I get my 'forecasts'. I think unaweza kutafuniwa most of the times but, si lazima umezewe all the time. You can just think and figure out on your own to some extent about other people's ideas.
If, If, you want to exercise your brain. And if you can't get answers, how'bout asking for more explaination instead of trying to be a coward?

Little minds talk about people, big minds talk about events and great minds talk about ideas. I think January is making this blog work on the second and third sentences.LETS GIVE HIM A HAND.

Msolopa said...

samama...i agree with yu that a coin has 2 sides and always US plays on both sides i.e. divide and conquer + usage of proxies! we can see what they are doin in iraq (sunnis vs shias vs kurd), in india vs pakistan issue, in afghanistan, in congo and the list goes on n on.

Mchangiaji said...

Salama,

Thanks for your response, I give you a compliment of clarifying of what you have to say, kama mchangiaji, but accusing me of being COWARD? Where is that come from ??

I read my mind, and I am truth seeker, and I cannot be hijacked to what other people have written no matter who that it may be, whether it is CIA report or GIR report, I draw my own conclusion and my own understanding on things, I am thankfull for that. I look at things on 3D, if you know whatever that it means.

The conclusion is off the pace and out of touch of what really going on the world, If Rumsfeld felt is right, about the terrorist casting the vote, whose vote was that for? Muslims or terrorist ???, if for the former, then he is lost all together, and if for the later, they know what ?, they are facing oscurity and blink future, and I am therefore don't buy his idea, and that it is my understanding.

FIGHT THE TERROR AND NOT THE TERRORISTS.

Anyway thank you for your insight!

By Mchangiaji.

salama said...

Msolopa,
I agree with you, sometimes they do things for their own interests.

salama said...

Mchangiaji,

The fun part of blogging is that everybody comes with their different view of point, facts and knowledge and you get to share and discuss. Otherwise, It would be boring.

I don't know you, and am not even interested to, but Mzee,it seems like you come with the "ubabe mentality", at least on this blog.
That, "I know it all".

That smart of you to "read your mind" (???????????????????????) I wish I could do that(sigh). But, I don't think it's a smart thing to jump into conclution and decide that other people don't know what they're talking about so they're just forecasts.

Now, you wanted to know where I get my 'forecasts' from, sorry, I can't help you with that because am not a story teller. I know facts not forecasts. If you have time to read I'll be happy to provide you with my sources.

Let me be clear to you. The reason I like this blog is that, there are very smart people here. Kudos to January, he kept his promise when he said he would "tap the smartest brains"
Everytime I blog here, I come with the intent to LEARN AND SHARE MY OPINIONS, NOT TO MAKE ASSUMPTIONS OR FIND OUT WHO KNOWS WHAT from WHERE.

Peace.

Mchangiaji said...

January, must be very pleased for you to mention his name everytime you are making a comment. lol. I am with you!

I think we all know the basics, this is a blog, and it is just a part of a forum, and I am with you on this, so whats the argument???

Do I know too much or mbabe? I must ask my wife about that, and I again I take it as a compliment.

This my advice to you, and I am sorry I wont be repeating it again, you get to learn to relax, no body is looking for anyone attention, thats why I remain Unanimous, and you know the great thing staying that way?, I keep myself in check and not saying anything bad towards you or to anyone on this forum or to any forums that you may come accross
my comments.

If you look back, did I say anything bad to you, if I did I AM DEEPLY SORRY in hurting your instinct.

Basi sikiliza kibao hichi cha Marijan Rajab - RIP -Salama

You must be smilling!

Peace to you too!

By Mchangiaji

salama said...

Mchangiaji,

Okay, you made me smile and laugh. Thanks for the marijan Rajab's piece. Umenikumbusha enzi. Asante!

As to mentioning January's name(oops! I did it again) everytime I make a comment, well, it's a nice name isn't it?(whispering) sh!, don't tell my significant other!

Well, I'm very honored to share this blog with brilliant people like you. It's a place where you can spend some time and not feel like you've wasted it.

Am glad that we cool with each other. Let's stay this way.(But we shoudn't hesitate to challenge each other). Arguments, debates, are two of the best ways to learn.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thuwein said...

Few things worthy of watching out around the region.

1) Incoming Afghanistan election on September 09' that can be a game changer in its own way.

2)Now Gen Patraeus leading the Central Command-is he going to change any strategy in a way to attack Al-Qaeda and Taliban?

3)There have been peace talks initiated by Saudi Arabia, involving Taliban & The Karzai government, sort of inspired by Sunni awakening movement in Iraq (how is that going to work reducing violence in Afghanistan?)

4)Barack's willingness to attack Pakistan if there are sound intelligent reports that Osama or top Al-Qaeda officials are in Pakistani-John McCain and Hillary Clinton blasted Barack on this comment during the campaign.

5)And this is the important one, there were clearly difference in Hillary and Barack view to bring about piece in the middle east-Barack pledged to talk with Tehran without preconditions while Hillary vowed to "obliterate" Iran if they acquire Nukes. Now, Hillary work under Barack, how is she somehow going to change her view and agreed with the naivete Barack's foreign policy? by the way I think Hillary was a brilliant choice for SoS.

One more thing-there are rumblings in Taliban officials that Al-Qaeda are to be responsible now they are in war against United States. Pre- 9/11 Taliban's merciless administration didn't attract enough attention from outside world until Osama put them on the map on 9/11 and now they (Taliban) have been disenfranchised by war on terror. I'm guessing Taliban eventually will cut Al-Qaeda loose just like Sudan let go of Osama after being under heavy scrutiny from international community.

salama said...

Thuwein,

On point # 3, about the Peace Talks initiated by the Saudis involving the Taliban and Karzai Gov. to see if it could reduce violance in Afghanistan. I found an interesting comment in the Newsweek Magazine,(the new one) under the topic,'Global Agenda' The writer wrote," The real problem is that Washington has misunderstood the nature of the challenge...one of history enduring lessons is that Afghans don't appriciate it when outsiders tell them how to govern their own affairs-just ask the British or the Soviets..." He continued saying, "...the chief affect of military operations in Afghanistan so far has been to push radical Islamists across the Pakistani border. As a result,efforts to stabilize Afghan are contributing to the destabilization of Pakistan"
I'm telling you Thuwein, I feel sorry for our cousin(Obama)

And, on # 5, the important one, first of all I agree with you that Hillary is the best choice to be Obama's SOS. Albeit, some people are still wondering what's the job of the Vice-Prez Elect gonna be, since that he was picked for that main reason, to help the Prez-Elect with 'foreign Affairs'(especially) and Hillary is the pro for that.

On the differences on their foreign Policy,(Obama & Hillary)
Apparently, Obama was asked that quest. when he was introducing Hillary as his SOS, he said that, he's the one who'll be making policies and he expects his cabinet to agree with each other.

Tell you what,it's gonna be a very interesting four years to follow.

Thuwein said...

Salama,
Afghanistan kienyewe is a monster. They are fiercely resistive to any kind of foreign occupation, part of the reason is from religion stand point, Americans are infidels and have no business staying in an Islam nation. Also-the notion of occupying Afghanistan and running some military mission can have an impact similar to Iraq's and be used as a super efficient propaganda tool to recruit more terrorist. If we can learn anything from history is that US has to forget the winning mentality if they want to succeed in Afghanistan. May be US can help rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure, schools, and hospitals in return Afghanistan plea not be safe haven for radical Muslims. You are right cousin wetu "Balaka" has enormous challenges when comes to Afghanistan and Iran.

Hillary will do just fine being a bad cop to Barack good cop. I can just see her talking tough to the Putins and Ahmadinejads of the world-besides Jim Jones and Joe Biden would be the ones setting the agendas and Clinton more of the enforcer. Ila kienyewe they really have to be careful because once the world and the press notice any quarrels between the two, that would precipitate failure to advance US foreign policy.