As reported in The Nation, Dec.15, on his 21st trip to Pakistan, Chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen said the usual nonsense that is characteristic of the American leaders civilian and military, and indeed of other Western leaders. According to Mike Mullen, he is carrying a strong sense of 'strategic impatience with the Pakistani government over its failure to clear insurgents from border safe havens where they prepare lethal attacks against American and allied forces in neighbouring Afghanistan. Mullen completely ignored the fact that Pakistan army has engaged 140,000 troops in this war on terror which is about the sum total of troops put on the job by the US and its 40-odd allies, nearly all of whom just stay indoor in their camps to avoid casualties which are very unpopular back home and with them as well. Some of these warriors are even known to offer bribes to Afghan warlords and Taliban not to attack them or their supplies. If at all Mullen had to express impatience, it should have been with his Western allies who can afford to send more troops and do better than what they are doing. Afghanistan is much bigger in terms of area and population than Iraq, and has fighters who have been battle-hardened through decades of strife. The terrain also suits Afghan fighters. The fact is that in Afghanistan, the US is up against formidable resistance, which it is trying to counter with insufficient number of soldiers and a horde of western allies whose main objective seems to be to avoid casualties rather than fight the war. With such inadequate resources, how can the US make headway? The US leaders also know that after cruel and costly folly in Iraq, they cannot keep sending an ever-increasing number of soldiers to Afghanistan as cannon-fodder, neither are their allies prepared to do the same. So, to mask their own failings, the US and other Western leaders find it convenient to heap all the blame on Pakistan demanding of it to throw all its troops in this war and win it for them. I hope and pray our leaders develop a capacity to say a firm NO to these characters instead of yielding a little bit every time some clown from abroad visits them. We have seen what their presence did to Iraq. We do not want the same history repeated here, more so for these ungrateful characters who have not been of much help to Pakistan now and in the past, and whose real strategy seems to be to pit Muslims against Muslims and after weakening them, to capture their natural resources. Added US objectives could be to establish bases here for action against Iran, and to prepare for the ultimate war with China for which it is also fattening Indians as sacrificial lambs. S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi, December 15.