It's Their Game -- But
It's Their Game -- But It's Still Our Bat and Ball
Ethnic Pushtuns are being forced from northern Afghanistan as local warlords move to crush pockets of potential resistance. The new violence is a significant step toward increasing the power of local warlords, at the interim government's expense.
This should come as no surprise. Remember, we came to destroy the Taliban and root out al Qaeda, not to conquor and govern Afghanistan.
Removing the Pushtun population from northern Afghanistan is a way to consolidate power and squelch potential rebellion against the ruling warlords before it happens. It also is a big step in consolidating the power of regional warlords, thus decreasing the influence of Afghanistan's fledgling central government and contributing to the de facto partitioning of the country.
Again, no surprise. Left to their own devices, this is how Afghans run their country. "Afghanistan" is more a geographic expression or a wishful thought than it is a nation-state. Or to borrow a phrase I coined for Somalia years ago, Afghanistan is a place on the map where other coutries aren't.
A weakened central government will become increasingly irrelevant as outside powers choose to do business with local warlords or their external sponsors, such as Iran, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Does this matter? So long as each little warlord plays by our rules so far as al Qaeda and other terrorists go, then we shouldn't be displeased. We can always use money to keep the various locals in line -- or play them off one another. And don't worry too much about Iranian influence. They won't be a problem terribly much longer.
Back to StratFor for a moment. When it first started up and was free, I recieved their daily newsletter. They have sometimes excellent analysis, and, apparently, some pretty damn good sources. They'll be publishing weekdays on WorldNet, so you might consider visiting and bookmarking. I just did.