The commander of US and ISAF troops in Afghanistan, Gen John Allen, has told the US Senate Services Committee that the ISI and corruption of Karzai’s government are major challenges to ‘success’ in Afghanistan. He was agreeing with Sen John McCain, the Republican presidential contender in 2008, during testimony to the Committee. It is not logical for Gen Allen to hold against the ISI an activity in which the USA itself was engaged. The ISI maintained relations with the Taliban in the same way that any intelligence agency will maintain contact with any body with which it has been in contact. It was in touch with those fighting the US occupation of Afghanistan, who fought against the USSR in 1980s. Those are the links that have allowed the USA to engage the Taliban to hold talks with them in Qatar.
Gen Allen should also remember that his complaints against President Karzai are actually complaints against the USA, for he was imposed on that country as an adjunct to its illegal occupation. Though it is true that his regime is corrupt and guilty of bad governance, it is not supportive to American war aims, for it is an aspect of US occupation, and its symbol. At the same time, his government has failed to provide the Nato forces any protection for its misdeeds. Presumably that would explain Gen Allen’s accusations against the ISI and Kabul. As Gen Allen faces, along with the rest of his forces, the prospect of professional failure in Afghanistan, he will cast about for excuses to help explain that failure. Blaming the ISI is a stronger excuse than blaming Karzai, and he will indulge in that. The impending defeat is another reason for the General to oppose, as he has done, the speeding up of the withdrawal of the US troops in Afghanistan.
General Allen’s statement should provide another reason, if any were needed, for those still supporting the USA in Pakistan to abandon its support, and to cease the current slavish obedience. There is no advantage to participating in the USA’s inevitable defeat in Afghanistan. It is thus imperative, in Pakistan’s national interest, that the alliance with the USA must be abandoned. The USA must also see the writing on the wall, and must prepare not just to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, but also accept the decision of the Afghan people, which will not be to accept some US-imposed puppet.