News Analysis: Friday’s targeted assassinations in Kabul, Afghanistan is the deadliest Taliban attack targeting foreign civilians in the last twelve years inside the capital’s highly guarded Ring-of-Steel. Behind the disheartening tragedy that claimed the lives of 21 people (including the IMF head and four UN officials), there is a deeper story everyone must know. I was a frequent visitor of Taverna du Liban during the one year I lived in Afghanistan. These locales catering to affluent Afghans and expats have never been under the radar of the Taliban. Why? Because the owners of these establishments pay a monthly “bribe” fee to Afghan police who then indirectly purchase a security guarantee from the Taliban to put these locations off of the target “hit” list. (Here is a NYT story about Afghan police not being paid since last November: http://nyti.ms/1kxSqta). In 2010, the western media reported about how USAID indirectly paid the Taliban billions not to attack incoming logistical convoys traveling from Pakistan to Afghanistan. (Here is a link: http://nyti.ms/1eHUZS3)
So what’s happening now? Pro-ISI (the Inter-Services Intelligence or the intelligence service of Pakistan) Afghan informants embedded in the Afghan government have infiltrated the NDS (National Director of Security) and since last summer’s transfer of responsibility for securing Afghanistan from NATO to Afghan forces, the double agent crooks have hijacked the domestic intelligence agency of Afghanistan. While the US and international forces are running for the exits, the double agents are desperately trying to secure their future in a post 2014 Afghanistan. Pro-ISI Afghans appear on the surface to be pro-western but they have robbed American taxpayers and Afghans and simultaneously work with the enemy. Why? They are buying an insurance policy to make sure they remain in power if and when the Taliban retake Afghanistan. This is a deadly strategy. How ironic that yesterday’s Taliban executions were more precise than a surgical drone attack by the Americans? It wasn’t just a random coincidence. The identity and itinerary of the victims were relayed and the killings were well orchestrated with point precision.
Why do the Taliban attack? The Taliban have committed gross injustices against Afghans and they are tools to advance the goals of Pakistan’s ISI. But the Taliban have also been deceived by the Afghan mafia. I’m talking about the pro-Afghan ISI who have received the lion’s share of USAID and other foreign aid earmarked for development projects intended for the people of Afghanistan.
The Afghan ISI have a policy of divide and conquer; they have engineered a system to demoralize the Afghan masses and impose barriers to prevent everyday Afghans from starting businesses since they are insecure about their future and perceive a growing Afghan civil society as a threat to their hegemony. They are the recipients of multi-million dollar contracts, they manipulate the minds through the mass media, and they subvert all the intelligence agencies. They have managed to control the three interlocking spheres of Afghanistan’s war economy with their tight-knit clique. They block anyone who wants to serve the public good and they broadcast mixed messages to confuse the masses. They want to keep the Afghans deprived and illiterate so know one can challenge their rule. The tens of billions they have been awarded have been spent on phantom projects that don’t exist and the money running into the billions have been siphoned into offshore private banking accounts.
The Afghan mafia knows their days are numbered if the Americans and NATO leave so they have a three-pronged objective: to drive away the international aid donors and replace them with their own clique; curry favor with the Taliban; and demonstrate their loyalty to Pakistan. To achieve this master plan they must collaborate with the enemies of Afghanistan while publicly pretending to be good Muslims and acting like they are loyal to the US and the international community.
There is more to this story you don’t know. The danger is more explosive than you think. Even President Karzai is worried. Earlier this week Karzai demanded immunity (a US greencard) as a condition to sign the bilateral security agreement.
I have also heard from high-ranking officials that post 2014 Afghanistan could become a genocide of a magnitude where “dogs won’t be able to find their owners” and “that the scale of death and destruction can dwarf the calamity and carnage of the past 35 years.”
Something must be done now. The thought of this worst-case scenario frightens me. I will do everything in my power to stave of another round of wars in Afghanistan.
My solution: Remove all pro-ISI double agents from the Afghan government and destroy and dismantle Karzai’s kleptocracy. We must extinguish the fire and neutralize the overt and covert enemies of Afghanistan. To do that requires profound leadership and the moral courage by those who are in a position to do something before all hell breaks loose. No Afghan can remain passive. In the meantime, don’t just be angry at the Taliban but also the shadow Afghan group feeding intelligence to the enemy behind-the-scenes.