Iftekhar A. Khan General Stanley McChrystal, US new military leader in Afghanistan, acknowledged in his interview with Ammy Goodman of Democracy Now that he never regretted torturing prisoners and that he never would. Torture has no ethical burden on his conscience, which reveals his proclivity for brutality. It's fine since more than 50 percent of the Americans in a recent poll favoured using torture as a technique to extract confessions -desired confessions. McChrystal's penchant for torture is therefore in order as he represents the majority of his civilised and democratic nation. Occupation and torture go together when a killing machine rolls into a defenceless country to occupy it. To quell resistance, the recalcitrant must face coercion, prison, humiliation and torture. US has occupied Afghanistan for last eight years but has failed to put down resistance. US-led NATO troops have inflicted untold atrocities upon the Afghans whose death toll remains unknown but whose legendary spirit of freedom lives. Now arrives in the war-ravaged country a military leader known for his killer instincts. He brings with him past experience of applying torture to obtain confession. McChrystal commanded Joint Services Operation Command (JSOC) from 2003 to 2008, including setting up and supervising camp NAMA (Nasty Ass Military Area) near Baghdad, Iraq. Even the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch did not have access to it; the camp virtually operated outside the pale of Geneva conventions. Pashtun inmates at Bagram Theatre Internment Facility similar to NAMA will likely see no blood yet any bones left functioning in their emaciated bodies if they had a chance to breathe free. The Telegraph of London first broke the news of Obama administration's refusal to release pictures of detainees' abuse and sexual torture in captivity, including an American soldier raping a female detainee and a male translator raping a male prisoner. McChrystal specialises in setting up secret killing teams, which journalist Semour Hersh calls 'executive assassination wings' that secretly penetrate countries to subdue resistance and to eliminate politicians opposed to US agenda. Reportedly, even the CIA sometimes does not know about the activities of the assassination wings. During Bush administration, McChrystal was Cheney's favourite and reported to him directly, bypassing all channels. His appointment as top dog, replacing General McKierman, gives him freedom to choose his favourite deputies adept at secrecy, torture and execution of bad guys. What his predecessor failed to accomplish, Obama administration expects McChrystal to achieve. It's likely the new commander will not only escalate war against Pashtun subsumed under Taliban in Afghanistan but would also ensure to widen it to Pakistan since he disregards the Durand Line in the backdrop of AfPak strategy. Under the pretence of pursuing high-value Al-Qaeda targets, Mullah Umer or apocryphal bin Laden, assassination squads would cross over to Pakistan as Hillary Clinton reportedly announced that US did not need Pak permission for stealthy operations. If nothing else, esoteric 'actionable intelligence' will come in handy to mount attacks. On the home front, security forces have already moved into South Waziristan. Their involvement according to analysts would be for a prolonged period. As FATA fronts hot up, large populations are likely to move to settled areas of NWFP, and desperate elements are likely to target the cities by suicide attacks. A UN official recently said 40000 Pakistanis fled South Waziristan before the security forces moved in. Stepping up drone attacks in FATA, which Obama has no intention to stop hence his gift to an ally, and appointing a new man to head the occupation force in Afghanistan seems US strategists' last bet to gain control of the region. Yet there're two years to go. Because ten years is the span before an empire realised that Afghanistan, after all the body bags, was not worth it. Recall Russia 1979-1989. But what would we be left with? Nothing but chaos and fractured lives as the US left behind in Cambodia, its staging ground for Vietnam, after its last soldier left clutching foothold of a helicopter that took off from the rooftop of its embassy in Saigon. Meanwhile, let's rejoice at $1.5 billion US aid yearly for another five years. Sobering thought: it's aid based on performance. The writer is a freelance columnist E-mail: pinecity@gmail.com