Military superiority devoid of strategy as a zero-sum game

How is it that the Americans, in concert with their close ally closer home, have been endlessly agonising over Pakistan for the latter’s role in ensuring their defeat in Afghanistan. One is at a loss to make sense of this imaginary sense of invincibility on the part of the Americans who, it may be stressed, have never ever won a war on the battlefield! The string of defeats that they have suffered in Vietnam and more recently in Iraq, Iran, Syria and elsewhere should suffice to explode the myth of their diplomatic strategy and statesmanship as a hoax. That’s surely in spite of the superiority of their military muscle and firepower which, however, remain indisputable.

To be honest, and despite a laundry list of reservations one may have about Taliban involving a whole lot of things they are being pinned down on, the fact is that the latter deserve accolades for refusing to buckle under what has been intense, relentless pressure from all powerful quarters around the world and for having remained steadfast in their single-minded resolve never to submit to slavery or to live under the occupation of a foreign power. As I see it, it redounds to their credit that, as opposed to that, they have chosen the path of resistance against those who see as the aggressor that entails that their people learn to make do with their limited resources so as to live a life of self-respect, grace and dignity, something that’s not possible without the people themselves being in charge of their own lives and destiny.

Now in an effort to salvage whatever little prestige it may think it still has, the Americans are at it yet again, now hatching plots, conspiracies, making strange bedfellows and all that, only to settle scores with the enemies, real or imagined. Which is why, the world is beginning to witness the first signs of the ‘great game’ being unfolded by those who are seen licking their wounds following their recent ignominious loss of face in Afghanistan.

One of the first instances of this is to be seen in the act of “Talibanising” sports where the great civilised West have ganged up together to seek cancellation of the New Zealand cricket team tour to Pakistan on the pretext of the ‘precarious security situation’ there. The obvious idea is to paint a picture of a country that is in cahoots with the Taliban to have occasioned such an historic and the most ignoble defeat of the sole superpower on the soil of the “graveyard of empires”. In the circumstances, it’s only to be expected that the British government would follow suit and order the cancellation of the impending tour of the English cricket team to Pakistan.

Of a piece with this duplicity is the utterly unethical maneuvering by the US and aided in this mischief by the UK and India in ensuring that Pakistan continue to be placed on the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) grey list of countries that would invite sanctions by such world economic bodies as the IMF, World Bank, ADB etc against them. What is more amusing than shocking is the crass hypocrisy that underlines the reasons for a country being called out as a pariah, ostensibly on account of that country “failing to comply with the conditions” stipulated for the purpose. The powers who are lending their weight behind such moves to pin down countries that are being as hostile or adversarial are none other than those who seem to set great score by the policy of deceit and subterfuge. Here it is pertinent to add that of the 27 conditions stipulated for the purpose, the country in question is known to have complied with as many as 26 of them whereas the USA and India have managed to muscle their way to call the shots in the FATF, even as they have themselves barely managed to fulfill fewer conditions than the country in question which is known to have a better track on that count.

All this boils down to asserting that the Americans and their allies have lost the plot by making choices which run afoul of the principle of Occam’s Razor by giving short shrift to the time-honoured tools of diplomacy and dialogue as opposed to the strategy of conflict and confrontation which is being adopted as the preferred mode of conducting their domestic and foreign affairs. No wonder that that’s solely on account of hubris and heist being allowed to continue to wreak havoc on its carefully crafted image as the sole superpower and as the grand -daddy of the “MODERN WESTERN CIVILISATION”. The main takeaway of what has been said above is that military superiority would count for little unless it’s buttressed by strategy and statesmanship.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by M A Sofi


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