Skip to comments.US-Russian Force Prepares to Go into Afghanistan
Posted on 10/02/2001 8:21:18 PM PDT by L`enn
2 October: The most significant feature of the imminent US assault against Afghanistan is the major role to be played by Russian military might, following the new and far-reaching understanding reached between President George W. Bush and President Vladimir Putin.
DEBKAfiles military sources reveal that the Tadjikistan based Russian 201st Motorized Rifle Division was beefed up Tuesday with staff commando units, Pashtun speakers and interpreters. Its members also received American-made anti-terrorist equipment and weapons flown in especially.
DEBKAfile adds: The anti-terror alliance has split its task into two parts. The Americans and Russians will go for Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda force in the Pamir Mountains, while the UK and Western allies will take on the Taliban in south Afghanistan.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is taking a back seat to events about to explode in Afghanistan. But Israel could find itself in the diplomatic hot seat again once the smoke clears from the initial stages of the U.S. military campaign against terrorism.
A hint of what could be in store appeared on the front pages of the New York Times and Washington Post on Tuesday. The newspapers reported, in very careful language, that several days before the September 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington, U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell planned to announce in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly the Bush administrations support for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The speech, which was never delivered in the aftermath of the suicide hijack-bombings that led to the cancellation of much of the General Assembly session, was to have paved the way for a meeting in New York between President George W. Bush and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Now, the reports said, State Department officials are again trying to find the right time to revive the new U.S. peace initiative.
The officials argue that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is hampering U.S. efforts to unite Arab states behind Washingtons global coalition against terror.
The Israeli media rushed to report ad nauseum -- this new U.S. peace initiative, even as several hundred U.S. and British bombers prepare to blast Afghanistan. However, as both U.S. newspapers noted, U.S. policy is set in the White House, not in the State Department.
The real decisions in Washington are made by five people: Bush, vice president Dick Cheney, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- whose position has grown stronger since the attacks in New York in Washington -- deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.
The group of five, which is spearheading the U.S. war effort, has given Powell and senior State Department officials a free hand in forging a global anti-terror alliance. The coalitions sole importance, the decision-makers believe, is to serve as a screen or window dressing for military action in the war.
So for now, at least, the sound of the explosions will drown out talk of the U.S. diplomatic move on the Israeli-Palestinian front, but they will not be able to silence completely the murmurs of peace.
DEBKAfile s American and Palestinian experts say the real test for Israel will come after the first stages of the war in Afghanistan.
It is possible, our experts say, that State Department officials will eventually try to turn the spotlight back on what they see as the strategic importance of the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
The first stage of this State Department campaign to portray Israel as the sole obstacle to a world anti-terror coalition failed, primarily because of a dramatic change in the global strategic picture.
The change was rooted in a new U.S. awareness of who its real friends are.
DEBKAfiles sources in Washington say that as late as the second week of September, U.S. leaders still harbored the belief that a world coalition could play an important role against terrorism. But a quarter-century of State Department policy effectively collapsed after Saudi Arabia, and in its wake the entire Arab world including Egypt, denied the United States the use of military bases on their soil to strike at Muslim Afghanistan. Adding insult to injury, the facilities were built with U.S. know-how, technology and military expertise.
The Americans, a practical people, instead of complaining publicly about the snub, acted swiftly, effectively and cleverly.
On Sunday, September 23, Bush telephoned Russian president Vladimir Putin and spoke to him for 70 minutes. The moment both men hung up, the world we live in had changed and the strategic situation in all its regions, including the Middle East, had shifted radically. The United States and Russia, two old foes who faced off against each other for half a century, became allies in a move that will influence history for the next 25 years. Both predominantly Christian countries joined in a military, economic and political alliance to defeat Muslim international terror.
In one telephone call, Bush restored Moscow to the position of power it enjoyed between the 1950s and 1980s.
Pakistan and Turkey will provide window dressing for this superpower alliance the former because it has no choice, and the latter, out of choice. Central Asian countries, such as Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Christian Georgia are falling in line behind them. The strategic epicenter has now moved from the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula to Russia and Central Asia. This new world alignment sidelines anything Saudi crown prince Abdullah, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Syrian president Bashar Assad have to say. The same applies to the words and actions of Yasser Arafat, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and foreign minister. Now Its war-war, not jaw-jaw.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman put it best in an excellent article on Friday, September 28, headlined Talk Later, in which he wrote: We need to be really focused, really serious, and just a little bit crazy. In Friedmans words: For everything there is a season. There will be a season later on for talking. There will be a season for dealing with other states that have supported terrorism. And there will be a season for promoting Arab-Israeli peace or economic development. But right now right now is the season of hunting down people who want to destroy our country.
Even Friedman, the New York Times High Priest of Israeli-Palestinian issues, says they are not currently on the U.S. agenda.
A practical example: In the midst of all this strategic upheaval, Jordans King Abdullah showed up in Washington. Bush greeted him warmly and the United States finally agreed to sign a free trade zone treaty with Hashemite kingdom, to bolster its tottering economy.
But the king, still living in the past, remains blind like the rest of the leaders in the Middle East to the strategic shift in the balance of world power. He therefore stated that he had received a promise from Bush to refrain from attacking any Muslim country but Afghanistan, including Iraq.
Secretary of State Colin Powell was quickly sent to publicly deny any presidential commitment to refrain from attacking Iraq. He went so far as to say that Washington might consider it after its first moves against Afghanistan. Powell, who with his departmental staff has labored long and hard to build an Arab-Muslim wing into the global anti-terror alliance, made no mention of the possibility of American attacks on terrorist targets in Lebanon and later in Iran.
Despite the strategic shift, the New York Times and Washington Post reports on Powells plans for a Palestinian state should not be dismissed.
Israel might be relegated to the sidelines at this stage of the war, but it find itself a scapegoat should the Bush anti-terror campaign go badly
The SOB's at State appear to continue to attack Jews, Israelis, and Americans
rather than speak the truth.
That story has gone back and forth, and some of them may be disinformation, some may be for internal Saudi consumption, so I don't think we are going to know the truth until it's happening.
But let's face it: this war is not against all of Islam or the Arab world. We can say it until we're blue in the face - it is up to them to believe it. We can't make them.
Similarly, the US is not in the business of destroying Russia. They are not a threat to the world balance of power right now, and by the time they rebuild, India and China will be clawing for one of the top spots. So Russia's best plan is to hook up with someone else - like the US - and get their house in order.
Up until now, it didn't seem like they accepted this role. The trust wasn't there, and there were too many people living off past glories. Maybe they will now.
So if the Arabs are half-hearted allies, maybe we have somewhere else to turn. We should, if at all possible.
The world really could look different after all is said and done. The Russians may make a smart choice for once, while the Arabs may make their typically bad decision.
Iran has said it is willing to join an international anti-terror coalition under a United Nations mandate, but not a coalition led by its arch-foe the United States. It has announced it has set up eight camps to house some 200,000 Afghan refugees now stranded in its border who have fled their country in anticipation of a U.S. attack.
Kyodo had earlier said that Japan is considering giving financial aid to Iran through international organizations to help the country handle the expected influx of refugees in the event of a U.S. military strike on neighboring Afghanistan.
Did we remove sanctions against Iran?
I don't know if this is true or not, but this is exactly what needs to happen. Islam must be destroyed or at least sent back to the stone age because Muslims don't want to live with us, they want to kill us.
If we don't stop them now , our children will regret it.
Our forces are larger than ever and the Taliban has nearly run out of time
And accuse the US of IMPOSING war on them! Give me a break!
You might want to re-think that thought. The Russian experience in Afghanistan was directly comparable to our own in Viet Nam.
We didn't get our "clocks cleaned" in Viet Nam. The defeat was political, not military. The same can be said for the Russian army in Afghanistan -- though militarily undefeated, the war's burden became too heavy politically and economically.
The Russian Army knows the ground...and has a score to settle. Whether scouting or on the flank, their presence should be welcome.
1.)President Bush did have a very long phone call with Putin last week, I remember because Ari Fleischer mentioned it in his press briefing, and I noted how long the call was.
2.) Rumsfeld left today for Oman (where British troops are in the Swift Sword war games), Egypt (where US forces are with other nations in a different set of war game...Bright Star, I think its called), Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekhistan (where I believe I have read that Russian troops are located.)
3.) The Saudi ambassador was on Larry King live last night and said they had not been asked to allow use of the air base. (Maybe with all the other Arabs causing so much trouble, President Bush did them a favor by letting them sit this one out.)
4.) Fox News said this evening that Bin Laden was holed up in the mountains in an old Russian bunker which he has fitted as his hide-out, a la James Bond villain type.
5.) Putin has had an astounding confidence about how this should be handled, as in his speech to the German parliament.
Now, the article could be conjecture, but if this is what happens and is pulled off, it will be an amazing military and foreign policy coup that will be in the history books.
There is an unprecedented level of security, isn't there.
Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it ..... The United states has learned.
The line about the Saudi's being lukewarm towards us is becoming more apparent even as our leaders try to put a good light on it.
The scourges past, the world shrinks,
For a long time peace, populated lands,
One will travel safely by skies, land, sea and wave,
Then the wars stirred up anew.
The analysis from 1974, and this is the killer:
"For a long time peace! This is a rather interesting quatrian, because it fortells travel by air. Therefore, it can only be applied to the twentieth century or later. Because of more rapid travel the world seems to have shrunk. If the 57 years mentioned in X-89 are not applied to the past but extended into the future, we can hope that after the scourges of two world wars Europe and much of the rest of the world will enjoy peace for 57 long years, consequently until 2002. By land, water and air safe traffic will be maintained and only in the year 2002 the world again will be thrown into the misery of war. It would be very nice if we could believe in such as interpretation."
2002 seemed a long way off in 1974.
More, again notes on the text (when I read this in September of 1991, I nearly filled my pants:)
B.44: "Seventy three years and seven months" may mean the duration of the commmunistic regime in Russia."
B.44: "Russia too will be shaken by domestic unrest, but the life span of Russian communism will be seventy three years and seven months."
Folks, it lasted for 73 years and 10 months (November 1917-August 1991).
As regards the discussion above about the Mideast, especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia in particular, it is obvious that we have a massive crisis on our hands as regards their internal stability and foreign policy. The reports which indicate that the House of Saud has fled to Switzerland, imcluding the Defense Minister, are extremely troubling.
L`enn, the Saudis are almost as dirty as Iraq when it comes to terrorism.
Their 'Royal' family is about as corrupt as any Government can be, after being filthy-rich for 30 years.
It's not surprising that King Saud bugged-out to Switzerland with all his doctors right after the attacks. If we want to use those Air-Bases for attacks on Iraq, we'll damn well do it, and the wogs will blather, but they'll shut-the-hell-up!
All the bravery in Saudi Arabia can be dissolved in one bucket of dog-snot, and it wouldn't change the flavour a bit! The people that run that Country are just a bunch of slimy, nomadic, back-stabbing, bastards!
They've pumped zillions of dollars out of the ground, and they can't even build a decent armned Force to protect themselves! THEY CALL US to do it!! I've dealt with those pricks over the years, and they can't be trusted! Their 'word' means nothing!
All they have is oil, and it isn't even theirs. They're just closer to it! I look for major changes in Saudi Arabia in the next year.....FRegards
This is pure face-saving bullsh!t. We're jumping through hoops because of this.
The Prince Sultan air base is the largest military facility in the Persian gulf area. We built it and paid for it to defend the Saudis and now they won't let us use it to stage our troops and supplies on their way to Afghanistan.
Yep, you got that right.
I know that Nostradamus is supposed to have used anagrams instead of actual names and two of them I've come across are MABUS and HIERON. I have been thinking just how easily you can get MABUS from USAMa Bin laden (If you would use the U instead of the O to spell his name), and HIERON from aRIEl sHarON. Just an observation.