According to a report America is working on a plan at Strategic Plans Division, NATO HQ in Brussels to withdraw most of the troops by the end of 2012 leaving up to 12000 behind. This withdrawal policy is equated with a similar policy they made for Iraq in recent past. The remaining troops will comprise of Special Forces and Marines and will hold control of the airbases in Kabul, Kandahar and Herat. While Jalalabad and Mazar Sharif will be handed over to Afghan Army and Northern Alliance respectively. In this way Afghanistan will be divided into three zones; North, controlled by the Northern Alliance; South, controlled by the Taliban; and Centre controlled by the American forces. In simple terms, the Americans will confine themselves to the Garrisons in three major cities, letting the rest of the country controlled by the corrupt warlords and enthusiast Taliban. The question is, if the American troops numbering over 150,000 could not control the scattered Taliban, how the 12,000 troops would control the consolidated and commanding Taliban controlling a major part of Afghanistan? The problem with the American strategy is twofold; first the policymakers rely on biased and ill-informed strategists; second, they cannot differentiate between the Afghan Pakhtun and Arab psyches. They relied on Ahmad Chalabi for Iraq and look where did he land America in that operation? Now, they are relying primarily on Zalmay Khilizad for Afghanistan. Both are as nave about Afghan Pakhtun and Arab psyches respectively as any Tom, Dick and Harry on the streets of Washington or New York. With this Afghan Strategic Plan, America is making the same mistake it made in Lebanon in 1980s when it exposed its troops to a suicide bomber with a truckload of explosives blasting an American Garrison killing 250 Marines and injuring many more. The outraged American public reacted sharply demanding immediate troops withdrawal and the government had to cave in. Suicide bombing was rarity in warfare then. Today, it is the principle weaponry in insurgency war. If the American policymakers follow the strategy for Afghanistan framed by the strategists like Khalilzad, they will be trapping American troops yet again and repeating the history. Only this time, the troop withdrawal will be blended with the strong feeling of defeat. Remember Soviets leaving Afghanistan or Americans leaving North Vietnam? DR. GHAYUR AYUB, London, July 18.