The controversial US defense firm, Blackwater, could soon make a comeback in Afghanistan after Joseph Biden takes over as President in January — a piece of bad news not only for Kabul but also for Pakistan which had a close brush with US ‘deep-state’ actors in the past.
Outgoing US President Donald Trump could not put Blackwater back in Afghanistan as he had a clear policy to leave Afghanistan for which he entered into a 14-month withdrawal contract with the Afghan-Taliban in February 2020, after the US’ disastrous war of 19 years.
But Blackwater, a private security firm run by Erik Prince, wanted the war to be ‘privatized and rented-out’ to it, and of course, when Trump did not budge, President-elect Joseph Biden had to be pursued, and hence, an advertisement campaign from Blackwaters ‘We Are Coming’ in 2019 rocked the US.
Now Biden is set to take over in January 2021, and quite understandably, things will undergo a change in Washington, which is bad news for Afghan-Taliban as Blackwaters seems all set to get the war privatized in its favor as Trump has given the message that Blackwater, perhaps, is above all laws in the US.
Trump has pardoned 15 Blackwater personnel, including even those convicted of murder in a massacre in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2007, that had left more than a dozen Iraqi civilians dead.
The grotesque macabre Blackwater killers were part of an armored convoy of vehicles escorting US embassy officials that opened fire at a crowd of unarmed Iraqi civilians in what is called the Nisour Square massacre.
The firing left at least two children dead among the 14 that had been killed. The Blackwater Worldwide had reportedly lobbied for the pardons saying the convicts had been ‘excessively’ punished in an investigation, also alleging that the prosecution was tainted. The four personnel were serving lengthy prison sentences for the act.
The presidential pardons raise the confidence of the Blackwater, which after the change of guard in Washington hope to have a smooth ride in Afghanistan since the army is after all bound by a code of conduct, whereas, no such clause would suffice for Blackwater.
Trump had on record stated that the Pentagon does not want the US to withdraw from Afghanistan as it wants to keep ‘war contractors’ happy, a policy which Biden is likely to oblige. After all, he’s the same Biden who was the Vice President under the Obama administration when he engineered the Arab Spring which has wreaked havoc in the entire Middle-East, and now its specter looms large, again, particularly, when the Arab states have started to embrace Israel.
The message is now loud and clear. A new war is ready not only for Afghanistan but for Pakistan too as the clones of Raymond Davis are all set to have a free run in Pakistan. Davis, who was accused of a double-murder in Lahore, turned out to be a man who had the whole US deep-state in his support, and which, ultimately, under US VP Biden in 2011, made him reach safely back home.
According to reports, Pakistan did catch up with quite a number of Blackwater cadres who no wonder turned out to be Urdu-knowing and even Pashto-speaking but was forced to leave them scot-free, owing to the US pressure.
Resolute Support Cdr. Gen. Scott Miller visited #Helmand on Thursday to assess the security situation & meet with provincial leaders. He congrat’d Brig. Gen. Sami Sadat on his appointment as 215th Maiwand Corps CDR, overseeing #Afghan Army operations in Helmand & #Nimroz pic.twitter.com/zMgPR0MpUB
— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) December 19, 2020
The skeptics are also of the view that after the 2004 earthquake in Pakistan, the NGOs from across the world made inroads into Pakistan and many of them served to the ends of intelligence gathering for their masters.
Pakistan is already marred by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Daesh and both the elements are an anathema to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where there is also a transition of power taking place between Ashraf Ghani and Afghan-Taliban in which Pakistan is also deeply involved.
With the expected entry of Blackwater, there is now every possibility that some more bloody days are in store for both the countries. As after all, Blackwater is the unofficial extended arm of the US which is now firmly with India after BECA.
The US also wants to teach a lesson to Pakistan which is sided with China and India wants to settle everlasting scores with both China and Pakistan. The country has given a green signal to Blackwater that all its future misdemeanors are likely to be pardoned. Hence, a trigger-happy force is, therefore, to be in place, which will have all the blessings of Biden.
Blackwater is likely to be all flushed with US dollars, and hence, the possibilities of a sectarian civil war in Afghanistan and later to be exported to Pakistan, as Pakistan has refused to abide by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) dictates to embrace Israel, with the apparent polished homilies by Biden likely to follow after January 2021.
Thus, Pakistan is expected to fend for itself as Blackwater begins its crusade which has all the stakes of CIA and Mossad as a new theatre of war tends to unfold under the aegis of the new US administration.
Let’s see how the situation unfolds in India’s western borders as the country braces for war from Pakistan and China with the US and Israel support in totality.
The writer is a former State Information Commissioner, India. He is a media analyst and writes on international politics. Views expressed are his own.