with Sergi Pyatakov in Moscow and Mark Davidson in Washington
Legwork by SM Kasi in Quetta, GN Brohi in Dalbandin, and Qasim Jan in Kandahar
Continued from Part Three
Nearly complete jigsaw puzzle
In order to get as complete a picture as possible we picked the brains of X in Washington and Sasha and Misha in Moscow in numerous lengthy, intensive sessions.
Information came thick and fast; with the hindsight of nearly 16 months of legwork we knew the right questions to ask. For the sake of readability and coherence, we have paraphrased the gist of our conversations with X, Sasha and Misha. Input from our contributors in New Delhi, Tehran and Kandahar is also blended into this write up:
American Dilemma: The US military is burning nearly 600000 gallons of fuel per day. More than 80% of this comes from Pakistan, through 700 or so road tankers that are vulnerable to all kinds of attacks on their long journey from facilities in Pakistan to American bases in Afghanistan.
The reserves in Afghanistan will suffice for only two weeks if the supply line is disrupted.
Aware of this, the Americans have been trying to create an alternate route through Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Even if the alternate route is opened fully, it is very long and inefficient and there are risks that Americans are not in a position to counter at present.
There is need to abandon the Pakistan route but there is nothing to replace it.
Bifurcating Pakistan: The solution that is agreed to nearly unanimously by the American policymakers is that Pakistan must be split into two parts: the Americans would like Balochistan province to become an independent country and they don’t care where the rest of Pakistan goes.
In fact, it is a goal the Neocons have been pursuing for a long time. A few years ago, they pumped Baloch insurgency but it proved an exercise in futility.
Vickers, in one position or the other, has never been far away from the process of decision-making. He sees many advantages in splitting Pakistan into two parts.
Benefits of bifurcating Pakistan: From American point of view, there are many benefits in creating an independent Balochistan:
- An independent Balochistan will be an ideal territory to keep supply lines open to the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
- Independent Balochistan will provide Americans with excellent locations for putting up their military and naval bases to police the Persian Gulf and make sure that no other naval power including India, China and Russia ever gets upper hand in the Indian Ocean.
- An independent Balochistan will be the place from where Americans can maintain permanent pressure on Iran, even in the remote possibility that they may have to eventually leave Iraq.
- China and Russia will be denied any access to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
- The Gulf countries will remain dependent on the USA for export routes of their hydrocarbon products.
- Full control of the entrance to the Gulf will enable USA to allow or deny oil flow by tankers to any country in the world.
- Central Asia is a land-locked region and the whole region would be on the mercy of the United States.
- If Balochistan is detached from Pakistan, the rest of Pakistan is likely to exist as a perpetually unstable entity, creating a permanent source of trouble for India. This fits nicely with other American plans because India has come very close to becoming an economic rival of the United States.
Why Mumbai incident: One doesn’t need to be an exceptionally brilliant person to understand immediately that Pakistan had nothing to gain and everything to lose from Mumbai incident.
If we assume that it was done by a jihadi outfit on its own, it would be the most foolish thing to do because of the consequences that should have been discernible at the time of planning.
However, if we agree to the assertion that Vickers planned it, through proxy forces, for advancement of American objectives in the region, everything suddenly makes sense.
Here are some pointers:
- One logical consequence is that India and Pakistan would probably go to war or at least move their forces to the borders in a position of war readiness. Every expert knows that keeping forces ready for war is nearly seven to eight times more expensive than keeping them in the barracks. This is an excellent way to make sure that Indian and Pakistani economies would be crippled for a long time to come.
- India and Pakistan are negotiating for two gas pipelines, one from Iran and the other from Turkmenistan. There are also plans to put oil pipelines from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to South Asia. USA would use every method to deny India the energy resources of Central Asia and IranIndia is not what USA has in mind. The tide has reversed already and it is not to the liking of the Americans. Students from the United States are now coming to India, Indian businessmen are giving tough time to American corporations worldwide, and India has entered some of the export markets that were traditionally dominated by the west. In short, a weak India will be acceptable as a friend but a strong India will be a pain in the neck for Americans. because an economically strong
- The global financial and economic crisis was triggered by the follies and dishonest practices of the American corporations; the American economy is still in free fall and the end is nowhere in sight. On the other hand, the Indian economy has not suffered a proportionately comparative loss. The steep fall on one side and the lesser fall on the other means that the real gap between the American and Indian economies has somewhat narrowed down because of the twin financial and economic crises. Mumbai incident is an attempt to remedy the situation in favour of the United States.
- In a way, Mumbai incident is similar in concept to Bin Laden tapes. With dependable regularity, Bin Laden tapes appeared whenever Bush was going through difficult times. The Mumbai incident magically appeared when Americans needed to remove Pakistani forces from the Afghan border so that American forces could operate freely in the Frontier province of Pakistan, and push for bifurcation of Pakistan to solve their supply problems permanently.
Reaction in India: As far as we have been able to confirm through our sources, Indian leadership is trying to handle the situation in a calm and measured manner. However there are two kinds of pressures on the Congress government: From one side they are being pressed by BJP and other parties through public protest, and on the other side they are being pressured by the Americans to act fast and hard against Pakistan.
For instance, we know for sure that the name of Hamid Gul was included in the list of people wanted by India on the insistence of Americans. India never wanted to put Gul on the list. Americans forced them to include his name because it is an impossible demand; refusal by Pakistan to hand over Gul would give opportunity to Americans to push India for war.
India-Pakistan confrontation: As mentioned, Americans have maneuvered India to place impossible demands on Pakistan. The next logical step would be to encourage India to deploy its forces along the Pakistan border, forcing Pakistan to do the same on its side of the border.
By any degree of confrontation, both the countries would be net losers; the only winner would be the United States.
Bonus hit on China and Russia: Mumbai incident has indirectly affected Chinese and Russian interests in the region.
Two more successful moves on the chessboard and the Americans would be in a position to block RussiaChina in the greater Central Asian region. and
If Balochistan is detached from Pakistan, it would contribute to American ambitions to put a full-stop to expansion of Russian and Chinese economic and political influence in the entire region.
Iran: Whatever the Americans are doing, they have an eye on Iran. Encirclement of Iran is central to their plans. In addition to whatever is being done through MeK and Jundullah, the Americans are spending more than US $ 80 million annually to create internal dissent in Iran.
Our sources in Iran tell that Iranian authorities are aware of American machinations and they feel adequately prepared to counter whatever is sent in their direction.
Central Asia, the traditional playground: Nothing has changed for Central Asia. What was true in the nineteenth century is true in the twenty-first century.
Central Asia is still the playground of the big powers.
There is increased pressure to acquire airports and military bases in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Colour revolutions, on the pattern of Ukraine and Georgia are being prepared in all the Central Asian countries. Money is flowing generously to anyone who shows a spark. In their desperation and hurry, Americans are sometimes using crude and obvious methods.
Disposal of surplus Opium: Afghanistan produced 6000 tons of opium in 2006, 8200 tons in 2007 and 7700 tons in 2008. On average, the world demand of opium-based narcotics, including heroin, is only half of this production. Where is the rest of opium going?
We have reports from Afghanistan that the American forces – this includes all kinds of Americans such regular forces, CIA, Socom and contractors – have been buying and storing all the surplus opium.
This report gets credence from the fact that about 70% of all opium production in Afghanistan comes from Helmand province, an area under the direct control of the Americans.
What would the Americans do with all this opium?
Experts are of the view that this opium, in raw or refined form, would be spread in the neighbouring countries (Pakistan, India, Iran, Central Asia and China). Some of it would go to Russia also.
This would bring several advantages to the Americans: 1. By increasing drug addiction in target countries, Americans would sap the economies of these countries and produce the generations of junkies that would be long-term liabilities for their countries; 2. If the opium is mostly consumed in the neighbourhood, less of it would be left for export to the American markets; 3. Narcotics are a traditional source of additional revenues for the American forces, especially the CIA.
The suspicion that the American want to spread drug addiction in the neighbouring countries is also supported by the fact that even though the ‘farm-gate’ price of opium has remained stable at nearly US $ 70 per kilo, it is becoming available in the neighbouring countries at around US $ 40 per kilo. Clearly, the Americans are subsidizing the export.
[This report is our Archive Material, first published in January 2009]