Search for another theatre of war? | By Tariq Khalil


Search for another theatre of war?

EU Consortium in Paris asked for 18 billion euros to cope with winter in Ukraine but there were concerns. Only 14 billion has been approved.

There is growing feeling how long this war will last? Although enough stocks of gas and petroleum products has been arranged yet its cover not enough.

Europeans will have to cope with severe winter. The EU gas distribution companies have agreements with Russian Companies.

They have been exempted. In other sectors economic squeeze is being felt both in trade and industry.

Russia is a large market for Europe; many a joint ventures have stalled to a great Loss. There are protests in many EU countries against soaring Inflation which is all time high.

If war persists, EU capacity to support is declining. The economic forecast for 2023 is not encouraging for EU and Great Briton. Already there are slogans Germany first. Nationalist feelings are growing.

Already a far right coup has been busted in Germany. What next, is the question asked? Every sanction on Russia hits more on Europe.

There other fears , deep inside targets inside Russia being hit by drones and missiles is getting severe response from Russia by way of hitting Ukrainian infrastructure.

Kiev itself has a swarming drones attack leaving the electricity, gas, and water infrastructure in shambles.

The city plunged into darkness and cold Already cities targeted 40 % people are without gas, power and water.

There is fear of deeper strikes involving EU countries. Escalation of war is in no body’s interest.

Fearing Russian reaction direct involvement US spokesman has denied US direct involvement in attacks on deep Russian targets.

Nevertheless Zelnesky is demanding long range guns and missiles from US. Presently visiting USA invited by President Biden, first time since war started to convince American people necessity and dissenting voices in US Senate and Congress.

USA already has pumped over $ 50b beside, as much by EU. Biden has resolved to continue support Ukraine; both houses passed an over trillion dollar bill.

Yet, USA after 10 months of proxy war has not achieved any success in any of strategic objectives.

Pumping billions of dollar and military equipment and hundred and thousands paid mercenaries have just added the casualties. Russia accused USA waging a proxy war. Russia firmly holds to its gains and consolidating.

Weaken Russian economy, its war potential, and creating rise of dissent to isolate Russia; nothing is achieved. Within USA questions are now being asked on advisability of continued pumping of money. A factor US planners forgot; the Russian resilience to face odds.

Napoleon’s and Hitler’s armies were sucked into vast land, beaten by geography and climate ignored.

Ukraine thus is becoming another test case of strategic follies. Regionally and globally in fact Russia gained. Parallel financial corridors have been developed and oil trade moved away from Petro dollars.

SWIFT is replaced with Parallel system developed by China. China and many other regional powers did not condemned Russia.

They remained neutral or supported. India, having Security and BECA agreements with USA decided to stay neutral, their Foreign Minister S Ji Shankar stated India act in its national interest.

Similar is the case with Regional countries. US midterm elections did not give results to Joe Bide desired. Negative propaganda is gaining strength.

EU countries besides having arranged enough stock of gas and fuel are shivering in worst winter.

Great Briton is bracing itself for worst winter since WW II. The planners are now contemplating while the war in Ukraine will go on; amongst speculations of new Russian offensive .

Three hundred thousand Russian troops are now trained and available. The world attention must be diverted as part of greater US strategy both domestically and globally.

Biden has not forgotten the ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan. In the changed geo strategic scenario where all regional countries either against or neutral, USA cannot ignore Afghanistan.

TTP, IK faction and many other splinter groups are being nurtured. There are growing incidents of terrorism claimed by these factions in side and out Afghanistan and in neighboring Pakistan.

Interesting, White House spokesman stated they are watching the situation and ready to assist both Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight terrorism.

The terrorist incidents in Kabul, Kandahar, and now in Pakistan are linked to US roadmap. Bannu CTD breakout effort and is apparent professionally planed.

Within and around the region Pakistan is the jumping pad against terrorism and ideal base to overlook Afghanistan, central Asia and even contain China.

The ferocity and growing quantum of terrorism activity indicate the well planned strategy. In step, White House Statements, and visit of Commander Central Command is significant.

Which way is Pakistan drifting? Pakistan has been successful in eliminating terrorism from its soil at high materiel and human cost, now find again in the grind.

Negotiations with terrorists having been eliminated earlier depict Pakistan’s establishment and political leadership weakness.

Especially Pakistan has both strength and expertise to confront terrorists. The engineered economic collapse of Pakistan will be indirect blow on the Defense forces, the centre of gravity and pivot.

Across the Indian border threats are mounting and being trumpet in Indian media indicate global linkage.

A supportive leadership is a necessity for USA in Pakistan to advance this agenda. Economic weakness for Pakistan spells alarm bells. Pakistan has always been beaten from within.

Further, India always avoids two front scenarios, China and Pakistan especially in the changed nature of war. Strategic wisdom, India engages China and squeeze Pakistan.

Thus matters our current political turmoil, it spells vulnerability Hard bargaining is thus ahead for any economic help by any institution all controlled by US. Political stability and economic reforms is the key.

A base for a battle is Afghanistan and the choice is Pakistan again. Will Pakistan gets pushed in to war as Proxy like Ukraine? Great wisdom and sacrifices are required by Pakistani nation to get out of this mess.

—The author, a retired Brigadier, is a decorated veteran of 1965 and 1971 wars and backed by 26 years of corporate experience. Also a senior TV Analyst and opinion writer.