Nine years on, the Afghan War launched in October 2001 is like the Vietnam War after the 'Tet Offensive, a military campaign during the Vietnam War. The new strategy of the US forces looks like a drama played out in the distant land to block the peoples disenchantment with the status quo. With the help of a 'friendly media the high command projects a poetical description of their mission under Operation Mushtarak in Helmand province. To stay safe, reportedly, the forces in Marjah are obliged to distribute cash among the locals. Having been approached by various quarters for a settlement the Taliban know that history will prevail anytime soon. Hence, they too are ignoring Helmand while attacks on 'foreign forces persist to keep the cauldron boiling. A look back into the start of the war has many historic object lessons. George W Bush or Cheney just watched 9/11 tragedy unfolding, while death and destruction dug deep. The same evening, Bush threatened war on 'usual suspects. He said: I implemented our governments emergency response plans. How could four 'hijacked planes have played havoc if an emergency plan had worked? The US is still a superpower and even a poorer country would have reacted to such a calamity straight on. If Bush was out of DC, Cheney was there along with the entire state apparatus including the super 'hotline communication channels. His fearful audience believed him, quite naturally, and the media spun all kinds of tales to terrify their people further. Furthermore, Mullah Omars response was well-worded. He advised the US to recall the experience of the Soviet Union after it landed forces in Afghanistan. Warning the US leaders to think and think again about attacking his people; he exhorted the Afghans to act as per their traditions that was to face any American attack with courage and self-respect. Showing great courage, a spokesman emphasised: If a country or group violates our country, we will not forget our revenge Even a bird eye view of the Afghan struggle against the 'occupation forces shows how they have stuck to their mission. The US have a hireling in President Karzai, a former UNOCAL employee like Khalilzad, who was 'given power in complicity with the northern warlords after the Taliban treaded to the safe mountains. During their rule, they ran into serious problems with their own people due to their extremist ideology and became pretty unpopular as such. However, they maintained public peace which is a dream now. Being honest, they never allowed drug trade or cultivation of opium which hurt many 'vested interests at home and abroad. True to their history, they have kept the ante up, even in the most depressing times. In these years, about a million Afghans are reported to have been killed but, as usual, the fight goes on. The US sponsored war has failed because of the across-the-board corruption, as per the UN, let loose by private contractors and their local accomplices. Outso-urcing appears to have become the safest wrapping for all kinds of shady deals. Lately, these agencies are offering handsome payments to the concerned Taliban to ensure that their supply convoys are not attacked. Such measures also helped to reduce bloody combats. However, reportedly, this has hit a new height since the new strategy was put into operation with the 'surge of troops by President Barack Obama. The Taliban trade security for money so that they can use the same to maintain pressure against the 'foreign enemy. As such the arrangement appears to suit both parties. No wonder the casualties among the foreign troops are decreasing as against the last few months of the outgoing year. For the first seven years, either due to arrogance of power or ignorance of the Afghan traditions, indiscriminate bombings by the air force, which would normally be a war crime, accounted for too many killings of civilians, including women and children. Even an acolyte like Karzai had to issue protests against such vicious murders committed by the 'foreign troops by the misuse of hellish firepower against 'innocent persons. This has been one of the major manpower-suppliers to the fighting force feeding the Taliban struggle. In Pashtun tradition, revenge for the murder of a dear one is mandatory. General Stanley McChrystal knows a lot about the Afghans, like General Petraeus, and he is trying to limit such carnage. Even his predecessor had developed some understanding of the local culture so he was seen apologising to the jirgas before he was replaced. The shadows of the dead for the people in the US are not lengthening as 'cold peace prevails between the parties as explained above. Deployment of various kinds of 'robots in the battle areas enhances the security of the foreign troops. President Obama must be more confident about his genius after the passage of the healthcare bill which was viciously opposed by the vested interests. However, it is a dream come true for the Democrats who generally tend to promote the welfare of the poor. No wonder they get pilloried from the rich rightwingers. President Obama knows that militarily Afghanistan has become a logjam. The moves made by Karzai and the 'strategic dialogue with Pakistan prove the same. Only if justice is done to those who suffered in AfPak, shall we get peace The writer is a former interior secretary.