Just as troubling is the role of Pakistan in supporting extremism and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan by allowing them sanctuaries in its territory, the Islamic Republic of Iran plays a more serious and dangerous role in Afghanistan’s domestic affairs. This could eventually dictate the outcome of US engagement in Afghanistan to an invidious conclusion.
Here is why? While secrets from Wikileaks were spattered all over the media, I couldn’t help but wonder: What if Iran had a Wikileaker and we could see what its embassy in Kabul was reporting about Afghanistan and US engagement there? I suppose the cable would read like this:
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kabul, to Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Tehran,
TOP SECRET/Subject: Afghanistan today
In the name of Allah the most merciful and most compassionate
Things are going well here for Iran. Afghanistan remains a deeply politically polarized country; its leadership is incompetent, politically corrupt and resentful of America’s military tactics, which is certainly helpful for our goal of proliferating sectarian divide, and helping the Taliban fight the infidels. This, of course, allows us sufficient time to pursuit our goal of acquiring nuclear weapons. But we are particularly optimistic because the Afghan government and the Americans are in constant disagreement. They point fingers at each other for all the wrong reasons.
There is an unruly self-destructiveness in the air here as if the Afghan leadership has no interest in the future of Afghanistan. Their vision of a pluralistic Afghanistan is blurred by their colossal egos. The leadership fights over things like — we are not making this up — which minister is entitle to a suite instead of an ordinary room while on an official trip. They are fighting – we are happy to report— over what are the quickest ways to take cash out of Afghanistan instead of investing in their own country. So far the Afghan leadership has taken 8 billion dollars out of Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Afghanistan just had what they call a “parliamentary election.” Best we could describe it involved an ugly vitriolic campaign between the largest ethnic group the Pashtuns and other minorities, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. The parliamentary election was a clear replicate of last year’s presidential election ensnared in massive fraud. Nonetheless, the Afghan candidates that we had financed, majority of them have prevailed. This leaves us relieved. It means Afghans will do nothing serious to fix their fundamental problems; their fragment has opened up the door and paved the way for our strategic goal in Afghanistan. Therefore, we are happy to report that it is not premature to write an obituary for the evolution of democracy in Afghanistan.
As for the Americans/NATO in Afghanistan – we are happy to report – that after nine years they are still in a stage of confusion. Not only they have been blindly supporting an incompetent and unpopular Pashtun leader with no political base while fighting a Pashtun insurgency, but their civilian policies are equally inadequate. They pour money into programs that yield no substantial result, for example: the reintegration process is a complete failure. All in all, the road ahead for Americans seems difficult; their counter-insurgency strategy just received lukewarm performance review by the White House. We are happy to report that the Americans have failed to tailor a democracy in accordance with the nature and wishes of the Afghan people.
Now as for the Taliban, whose leadership is entirely in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan, Americans remain delusional to believe that Pakistan will eventually attack extremist groups within its territory using its Muslim army against other Islamist groups. Pakistan’s military still believe that the only way to have influence in Afghanistan is through the Taliban, with which they have had a 20-year joint-venture. We, too, see our interest in supporting Taliban commanders by supplying them with weapons in Nimorz and Uruzgan provinces, even though we believe their jihad is not meritorious.
We are encouraged that our nuclear project will experience no setback, as the United States is busy squandering $190 million a day in Afghanistan on a project with no clear vision or end. By the time the Americans do get out of Afghanistan, the Afghans will surely hate them so much that our hard-work on supporting Shi’ah sect will enjoy a clear success. Already, the only eye-catching project in Kabul is our $5 million Shi’ah Seminary. Therefore, we are happy to report that our goal of obtaining a Shi’ah majority in Kabul is on the right track.
Sardonically, the Afghan government is oblivious. The golden opportunity of an international community’s commitment to rebuild their country is slipping through their fingers because of unwise Afghan leadership. However, our bags of cash delivered to Mr. Karzai’s office has helped us obtain countless United Nations resolutions against Afghanistan, that will oblige Afghanistan for years to come to fulfill this liability. Our leverage to have continuous flow of water from the Helmand River into Iranian territory an equivalent of 35 billion dollars yearly loot remains unchanged. And once we acquire our nuclear arsenals, god willing, Afghanistan will no longer be in a position to compromise. Unless the United States has the desire to establish a permanent military base here.
Finally, in our quest for regional preeminence – we are happy to report – that China, Russia and Pakistan favor us as a reliable partner rather than a dysfunctional Afghanistan. By the time Afghans get their acts together, China’s mining companies already operating here should be able to control up the rest of Afghanistan’s rare minerals and its much needed revenue. Since China prefers Hazara minority in Afghanistan, this will be a shoe-in for our sectarian goal and in our uninterrupted influence in Kabul.
End of Cable. Respectfully: Ambassador Fada Hosein Maleki. 10/10/1389
Wahid Monawar is a former chief of staff of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a former permanent representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations in Vienna, Austria. He is currently an associate of Zurich Partners.