‘US counterinsurgency strategy proved counterproductive’

Rasheed Khalid
Thursday, Nov 25, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The United States never had any exit plan nor its counterinsurgency strategy worked in Afghanistan, which ultimately led to its defeat in Afghanistan. This was stated by journalist Zahid Hussain during the launching ceremony of his latest book “No Win War” on Wednesday.

The author said that the book covers two decades of Pak-US complex relationship. The two countries were regarded both as allies and enemies at the same time, adding that the relationship emerging after 9/11 was not based on strategic convergence as the situation changed and the US wanted Pakistan to join its War on Terror.

“Pakistan had to join that alliance because it was the need of the hour and the country was bound in many ways to join the alliance,” Zahid Hussain said, adding that it was not Pakistan which got strategic depth in Afghanistan, rather it were the Taliban who gained strategic depth in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Senator Sherry Rehman said that the book was an excellent contribution reflecting the clear view of Pakistan’s diplomacy, adding that the book addressed several questions, including Islamabad’s standing in the contemporary world. Rehman further said that the book outlined the mistrust and cognitive disconnect between the two states (Pak-US). She concluded that such books were critical in unlocking many important aspects.

Former foreign secretary Salman Bashir said Zahid Hussain has mentioned several incidents in the book that are a testament to Pakistan’s sincere advice to Americans about the endgame after the US evacuation from Afghanistan. He added that there was a systemic disconnect between the US and Pakistan and said the book also gave a holistic and objective account on diversified viewpoints.

Former ambassador Asif Durrani said that the book was an anthology of events starting from 9/11 to the Doha Accords, adding that the book contained excellent characterisation of America’s involvement and interesting inside information which made the book authentic and knowledgeable for the readers.

“The book contains how, unwittingly or wittingly, the seeds of war were sown and the bad blood between the future rulers of Afghanistan and the US started,” said Durrani, adding that the author had captured the events beautifully and mentioned the many challenges Pakistan was going through.