To the Honorable Rex Tillerson
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
RE: Change the United States war strategy to a “sincere” negotiations strategy for peace.
Dear Secretary Tillerson:
For more than thirty years I have been working for peace in Afghanistan. I am a Muslim American Afghan, a U.S. citizen for many years. Afghanistan is my motherland. The United States is my homeland. My wife’s paternal ancestors fought in the American Revolution for the United States’ freedom. My children were born here. My ancestors in Afghanistan fought to keep Afghanistan’s freedom for centuries. I want both countries to prosper and have peace. I hate war.
During the 1980s, I returned to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union to stop the spread of communism. Afghan communists, such as the war criminal Rashid Dostum, the first vice president of Afghanistan, are dominating the current puppet Afghan administrations. I do not want to see Russia or China continue and strengthen their influence in Afghanistan. With the new administration, I think it is the right time to rethink the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. The native majority in Afghanistan, the Afghan/Pashtun, do not want to be the enemy of the United States. During the past sixteen years, the United States’ war strategy has marginalized the Afghan/Pashtun native majority and broad brushed them as the enemy. That strategy has not worked and it will continue to not work.
The United States’ war policy targets and kills Pashtun villagers everyday. The United States’ thugs like Rashid Dostum see it as a green light to ethnic cleanse Pashtun villagers. On February10, 2017, U.S. airstrikes in Helmand Province, in the Sangin District, killed thirty innocent Pashtun villagers. These war crimes have occurred almost every day during this long ugly war. In addition, Afghan children are especially the victims of this ugly U.S. war and occupation. Afghan puppet administration officials, funded and supported by the United States, are bringing poor Afghan children to U.S. Embassy guest houses “brothels” where they are sexually molested. It is common knowledge that many of these houses are paid for with U.S. monies. These crimes and corruption must be the number one focus of investigations. Afghan medical doctors in hospitals such as Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Kabul, who have treated these children, have told me about these crimes. These medical doctors are afraid to report these crimes to the government officials for fear of retaliation. How shameful! These doctors need to be brought to the United States to testify before an investigative committee. I would like to see testimony regarding this issue at the Senate’s Armed Services Committee hearing or before other relevant congressional committees.
In its war and occupation of Afghanistan, the United States has used the worst Afghan criminals like Hanif Atmar national security adviser and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to do its dirty work. On September 29, 2016, the United States’ government signed an agreement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar,the ”Butcher of Kabul” who is on the terrorist or black list.. It is widely known that he has been living in a VIP suite at Bagram U.S. military base and secretly working with the United States. It is also widely known that his militia forces work with the CIA controlled mercenaries. The United States is bringing this war criminal, Hekmatyar, into the Afghan U.S. selected administration. This corrupt puppet Afghan government will now have three heads. It will be a three headed snake. The United States will be using this war criminal to terrorize the Afghan villagers. How shameful.
With the new administration in place I was hoping that the United States policy towards Afghanistan would change. However, after watching the U.S. Senate’s Armed Services Committee’s hearing on February 9, 2017, chaired by Senator McCain, which addressed military operations in Afghanistan at which General John Nicholson testified, I am extremely alarmed by his statements and allegations which point to not only a continuation of the war against the ethnic majority, the Pashtun/Afghan villagers, but an escalation of the U.S. led military offensive against the Pashtun villagers, especially in Helmand, where the vast deposits of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are located, which the United States’ actions have demonstrated a desire to control as its new supply chain and stock pile. There will be more U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan under Nicholson’s “conditions based approach”, more money to build Afghanistan’s air warfare capabilities and special forces on the ground, more targeting and ethnic cleansing of the Pashtun villagers under what Nicholson referred to as “the greater population control” by the U.S. selected Afghan administration especially in critical areas like Helmand and the Pashtun tribal areas in the region. As a side note, General John Nicholson’s great great grandfather Brigadier General John Nicholson was imprisoned in the first Anglo Afghan war between November 1841 and March 1842. Ironically, my great great grandfather, Wazir Akbar Khan was the Afghan leader who imprisoned Brigadier General John Nicholson. I would hope there would not be revenge in the heart and mind of the present U.S. military commander of operations in Afghanistan.
At the hearing, General Nicholson emphasized that the United States needed a “conditions based approach” when deciding the number of U.S. troops to deploy in Afghanistan. He emphasized breaking the “stalemate” and focusing on “winning” the war instead of “not losing the war”. To me, these words point to an escalation of the war and not a peace strategy, which greatly concerns me.
General Nicholson did briefly mention “peace through reconciliation”. With communist war criminals, like Rashid Dostum, First Vice President of Afghanistan, who the United States has on its payroll and it likes to use as its thug to do its dirty work there can be no reconciliation when Dostum along with his private militia, Afghan forces and U.S. mercenaries kill, torture and rape Afghan/Pashtun in northern Afghanistan and burn their homes with impunity. There can be no reconciliation let alone peace when there is such ethnic cleansing and war crimes committed by members of an Afghan administration and its thugs supported by the United States. Unfortunately, there can be no peace in Afghanistan without justice. The Afghan people deserve justice just as much as the Bosnians, the Rwandans, the Jewish victims in World War II, etc, who received justice through international tribunals. The war criminals, Afghan and American, whoever they are and whatever positions or jobs they hold, including the executive office, must be prosecuted in lawful tribunals for these crimes. If the war ends and there are prosecutions for war crimes then there is a chance at peace.
In addition to the a brief mention of peace, the issue of narco-state was very briefly discussed. General Nicholson referred to the Taliban as the “narco-insurgency.” I believe that is a lie. It is a fact that since the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan the opium drug trade has soared. The United States has restored such drug trafficking. The United States’ foreign policy in Afghanistan, which is driven by the decision making of the CIA, Pentagon, and military think tanks such as RAND, supports the thriving drug trafficking. It is a fact that under the Taliban government rule the drug trafficking and poppy production was almost completely eradicated. Even the United Nations General Assembly in October 2001 acknowledged this fact when it referenced the Taliban’s 2000 Opium Eradication Program. Every Afghan knows that historically the CIA and Northern Alliance have always been the drug traffickers in Afghanistan. I believe it is also common knowledge that the CIA and JSOC fund their dirty, secret operations through dirty money that comes from laundering that drug money through CIA shell companies and banks in the Middle East and off-shore. It is common knowledge that JSOC does not report to Congress. The CIA started this type of funding for its operations back in the 1980s. As many have discovered, unfortunately heroin has become part of the war agenda. I believe the United States is responsible for making Afghanistan a narco-state with a corrupt puppet Afghan government with many top officials involved in this drug trafficking. It is easy to blame the “Taliban” for the narco-state because the American public are more likely to believe that allegation. I am saddened that so many Afghans, Americans and others have become heroin addicts and have been negatively impacted because of this drug trafficking.
It has also been alleged that some U.S. Senators, who sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee, are profiting from the drug trafficking such as through the provision of necessary chemicals to convert the raw opium to heroin. It appears that Senator McCain tries to keep an arm’s length distance from his wife’s war profits to try to shield himself from conflict of interest problems. However, since Senator McCain is presently serving as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee I strongly believe that the ethics committee should investigate these allegations. I strongly believe that the U.S. Government and Senate Ethics Committee needs to investigate whether or not Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has conflict of interest problems because his wife, Mrs. Cindy Hensley McCain’s businesses profit from the war in Afghanistan. In addition, it has been reported by Afghan media, Afghan individuals and other western media that intelligence services such as the CIA and MI6 are involved in the drug trafficking in Afghanistan.
At the hearing, when General Nicholson was asked why the United States or the Afghan government do not use air power to eliminate the opium fields, General Nicholson quickly stated that the counter narcotics policy is not a defense policy. Chairman McCain did not make any comment. It appeared that it was an issue no one wanted to address especially the war profiteers on the committee. Very quickly the committee moved on to the next issue.
Several times during the hearing, General John Nicholson stated that ISIL K is in Afghanistan. I strongly believe that is a big lie. It is common knowledge among Afghans that any so-called Daesh, ISIS or ISIL-K in Afghanistan are mercenaries, contractors and just plain thugs paid for with U.S. and Afghan monies and drug trafficking monies. Please see the attached video.
When I met with Abdullah Abdullah in September, 2012 in Afghanistan, after showing me his extremely expensive gold watch, paid for with U.S tax dollars, he bragged that he was in charge of the mercenaries/contractors, DAESH, ISIL ISIS. I have known Abdullah since childhood. Furthermore, I have been told from reliable sources on the ground in Afghanistan any “so-called” DAESH, ISIL ISIS, fighters in Afghanistan are really CIA and MI6 contracted thugs, and hired thugs of the Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar, who ha released from jail the worst killer and drug trafficker, Mohammad Mukhtar, to oversee these hired thugs, the so-called Daesh.
Why does there need to be the appearance that Daesh or ISIL is in Afghanistan? The American people will support the continuation of the war in and occupation of Afghanistan if they are led to believe that ISIL, ISIS or Daesh fighters are in Afghanistan. The former, governor of Paktika Abdul Karim Mateen, admitted that the Afghan government paid several hundred thousand dollars for these mercenaries and thugs, which are the Daesh. He was removed from his position right after that comment. So I ask you, who the real “terrorists” are in Afghanistan? Who are they paid to terrorize?
Furthermore, I am greatly concerned by General Nicholson’s allegation that twenty (20) groups on the terrorist list operate in the Afghan /Pakistan region. General Nicholson did not name the twenty groups or provide any evidence to support his allegation. I think it is strange that the Armed Services Committee does not elicit testimony from other individuals and groups other than military personnel and those individuals that profit from the war in Afghanistan. Many perspectives on how the military operations are going should be elicited from many witnesses and not just the military leader in command. A simple allegation that there is a “confluence in the region” of terrorist groups is not evidential support for such allegation of 20 terrorist groups in the region.
Lastly but not least, I am extremely alarmed by General Nicholson’s response to Senator Peters’ question, when the General stated that the Afghan administration needs to have “greater population control”. The General emphasized this control is part of the four year plan. The population that the U.S. and its Afghan administration in Kabul have not been able to control is the majority Pashtun villagers especially in the Helmand and the tribal areas. General Nicholson identified Helmand as a critical area. He even wants to send the marines back to that province to have a key role. Helmand just happens to be where the vast majority of the Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are located, which are worth trillions and vital to technology and defense systems. In the past decade or so, the United States started looking for an alternative supply chain (as China has been the main exporter) and for a source of REEs to stockpile. The United States knew about these REEs before its invasion. The United States now has control of the REEs ibn Afghanistan. With its divide and conquer tactics and its criminal thugs like Dostum, and Hekmatyar, the United States believes the Pashtun villagers can be controlled or eliminated and the mining and stockpiling can occur without the burden of environmental regulations that address the harmful byproducts of such mining. Besides establishing its new outer defense perimeter, post Warsaw Pact, in Central Asia, the United States wants a long term presence in Afghanistan to secure and control the REEs. It is all about the REEs ! It really is not about terrorism. The United States’ war and occupation policy is creating more terrorism and instability. The United States can achieve its goals without war. The United States sees the majority native Pashtun villagers as the roadblock. The Pashtun in the tribal areas are viewed as the roadblock. They cherish their freedom. Throughout history, the Pashtun have always fought foreigners on their soil to defend their families, homeland and their resources. Instead of making Pashtun the enemy with its war policy, the United States needs to truly talk with the Pashtun majority to end the war. This war against the largest native tribe, the Pashtun, is amoral and illegal.
Everyday all over Afghanistan the U.S. with its drones and weaponry kill Afghan civilians especially Pashtun tribal leaders, religious scholars and students. Afghan Pashtun lives matter. Afghan civilian lives matter. Muslim lives matter. I strongly believe the United States and NATO must seek a peace policy and strategy, end this ugly, illegal war and leave Afghanistan. The preservation of human life and human rights matter more than the war mongers’ misplaced scape goating and revenge, and the war profiteers’ bank accounts. Justice matters.
Afghans have suffered enough these past four decades because of war, occupation, drug trafficking and corruption. The Afghan children have suffered enough. Average Americans have suffered enough because of this war. The war profiteers are the only ones benefiting. Change the war strategy to a “sincere” negotiations strategy for peace. To do so, Pakistan cannot be involved in these negotiations. The United States knows that the Afghan Resistance will not come to the table if Pakistan is involved. Therefore, I strongly believe that peace negotiations must be held without Pakistan’s involvement. American Afghans are willing to be the bridge in these negotiations. I along with members of our peace group are willing to be the bridge. I strongly believe the first step in this peace process is to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Maintaining or increasing troops will only continue and even escalate this war. I ask you for your help so that this ugly war can end in an honorable way for the United States and Afghanistan and true peace can be achieved in Afghanistan.
Secretary Tillerson, at this critical juncture you have the opportunity to change the United States’ policy from a war strategy to a peace strategy. This long ugly war must end. The first step is to negotiate with the Pashtun majority and not treat them as the enemy. As an American Afghan/Pashtun, who has not been a war profiteer with no blood on my hands, I can serve as the bridge.
Kadir A. Mohmand
Former Representative of the Afghan Freedom Fighters for North America in the 1980s
6147 Old Log Trail
Kalamazoo, MI 49009