Dmitry Litvinovich: The Taliban and bin Laden are only the tip of the iceberg

The American military machine is struck in Afghanistan. This is already evident. Three weeks of bombing have not brought any success to the anti-Taliban coalition. Bin Laden is alive and kicking, and the Taliban is stronger than ever.

The initial euphoria has now turned to blue pessimism. America grudgingly acknowledges that the effect of the bombing is actually zero and that the ground operation can be started, which is something America is unwilling to do. Public opinion, however, demands that there should be decisive measures taken, and one has to listen to the opinions of the potential voters sometimes if one wants to keep his political value.

The stake on the Northern Alliance has not brought any considerable results. Dostum’s troops have not seized the northwest city of Mazar-i-Sharif, and the Talibs used that break to start an offensive. There are battles now in the area of the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

These are all the consequences of bad planning for the operation. The USA has received a second version of the Gulf War. How can you start the military operation if you actually know nothing about your enemy, and if you do not realize the ethnic, social, and cultural peculiarities of Afghanistan? The Americans’ snobbery towards their potential allies will cost a lot to the United States. The Northern Alliance was asking the US to strike the Taliban in the area of Mazar-i-Sharif, but America answered these pleas only two weeks after. There are contradictions growing within the Northern Alliance; a split is quite possible. If this happens, it cost America too much blood to occupy Kabul.

There is certain dissatisfaction growing in America itself, pertaining to the fact the operation is being dragged out. The people are tired of the war, which is not somewhere out there, but here, very close. The country is now seized with chaos and panic. Each new day brings the news about infected letters. The special services, as usual, are not ready for this, and their feebleness causes irritation among the population. The state is unable to protect its citizens. Here we go then: meetings of protest demanding a stop to the war in Afghanistan took place in Washington, New York, and also in London. The information from the special services about upcoming new acts of terrorism (during the coming three days) does not bring optimism either.

America’s perception of the problem of world terrorism is too narrow. The Taliban and Bin Laden are only a tip of the iceberg, and America is just beginning to realize it. There is a strong need in the coordinated actions of the entire world community in the struggle with terrorism.

Therefore, in this situation, Russia has a unique chance to have closer contact with the US, but this contact should not be of single-handed character. The New World Order is currently being formed, and we have to secure a worthy place under the new sun.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Reuters photo: A northern Alliance soldier prepares his machine gun as his comrades survey the front line position near Charatoy in northern Afghanistan, October 19, 2001

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