Saturday, 25 May 2013

Afghanistan and the TAPI Pipeline : A Discussion.

There seems to be this myth that the West's military forces are withdrawing in 2014. They are not. They are being 'drawndown', the new weasel cant term for keeping the military, though not regular troops, on the ground as part of the 'Afghanistanisation' process

With news that thousands of Afghan interpreters for the British army being allowed to settle in the UK for fear of reprisals from the Taliban it has been said that, such escape route is on offer to the 325,000 members of Afghanistan's combined security forces, who are at vastly more risk. Most of Britain's interpreters don't live in places like Paktia. The Ministry of Defence says the majority are recruited in Kabul.
 The ANSF are still needed to protect Western geopolitical interests in Afghanistan such as the railroads and the construction of the TAPI Pipeline ( 'the new Silk Route').

A certain Mr Brownly objected stating the usual stock arguments whenever the TAPI pipeline is mentioned,
The ANSF is needed because the Taliban still exist - they always will to some extent. The point of COIN ops is to keep them at bay so that the Afghans can build a world that has no room for the Taliban in it. Where they're diminished to not much more than an Afghan equivalent of the EDL or somesuch.
Well, the ANSF is obviously needed because the Taliban still exists because they will do what they do with other infrastructure projects which is threaten to blow them up, unless they get some sort of financial remuneration.

The entire geopolitical ambition behind securing the construction of the TAPI pipeline is about 'nation building' and securing millions of dollars for reconstructing Afghanistan along with already built railroads and infrastructure projects.
A stable and more prosperous Afghanistan is in everyone's interest, especially the Afghans - they want to be a part of the wider world. If (and it's a bloody mahoosive if - for a decade, at least) TAPI ever emerges, it will bring much needed work, energy supplies and transit fees into the country.
The point is that the attempt to secure the TAPI Pipeline could very well destabilise Afghanistan even more while the Taliban continues to fight against it and because the TAPI pipeline could indeed , in theory, mean that Kabul would be able to build a state without it's involvement.

But this is precisely why the US has sought to negotiate with elements of the Taliban to try to bring them to heel and why "liberal interventionists" have gone rather cold on the war that is either not discussed properly in Parliament or else sold as being about anything other than what it has been primarily about-geopolitics.

"Public Diplomacy" , a pleasant euphemism for propaganda, has tended to emphasise that the Afghanistan War is "all about", human rights, women's rights or else other pretexts that were officially rejected by those such as David Miliband in 2009 ( i.e the "war on terror").

Then, as soon as casualties started to mount in 2010 and 2011, the new "Conservative" government started to resurrect this idea about Al Qaida or vaguely mentioned 'terrorists' being the reason to maintain troops in 2014.

This was quite simply a pretext to get public support and not debate the actual war objectives as the war dragged on.
TAPI isn't a secret or a conspiracy! It was first mooted about 20 years ago. No-one's stumped up the money for it yet though - there isn't a single metre of pipeline to protect in any of the four countries that would be involved.
It's fairly obvious to most who take an interest in the Afghanistan War, that TAPI is not a "secret or a conspiracy". Yet it a majort war objective that has barely been discussed either in importance or in it's centrality to the decision making of the USA and other NATO Powers.

The means to build the pipeline financially are already there. It is backed by the Asian Development Bank, a cousin of the World Bank and in which the majority of the financial interests are, curioisly, not in Asia but in the US, Canada, and Europe.

The fact of there not being a pipeline is to fail to understand that the gap is only between intentions and their realisation. The fact is that most British troop casualties are in Helmland where the TAPI pipeline is destined to run, should it ever get built.

It is deeply ironic that advocates of this futile war do not understand the difference between 'actual and intended consequences', to borrow Karl Popper's words, and if there is a 'conpiracy' it is the one of silence over the geopolitical significance of the TAPI pipeline beyond Afghan borders.

The most important is to complete the isolation and encirclement of Iran from the West, through curtailing Iranian influence by knocking out Assad even if it means quite obviously arming jihadists and overcoming the need for such annoyances as actual diplomacy.

From the East, the TAPI pipeline will finally be used to integrate Pakistan with India and, in so far as this geopolitical fantasy is believed to be acheivable, thus isolate Iran whose rival "peace pipeline" ( the IP ) is already being built on the Iranian side.

The TAPI pipeline is thus essential to the attempt to get "regime change" in Tehran as, the goal behind the Afghanistan conflict which will extend beyond 2014 anyway and, of course, Syria. The West's strategy is a messianic blend of Utopian wish thinking and shoddy realpolitik.

It is a convenient rationalisation that the TAPI pipeline is merely part of an enlightened policy of self interest when any mention of it as often denigrated as a "conspiracy theory" or that its only some form of infrastructure project disconnected from wider geopolitical war objectives.

A certain "Dr" Chris waded in,,
 Complete baloney. Nobody takes this pipeline seriously and the US is set to become self-sufficient in oil and gas. 
- Nobody ?
US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson has said that America wants to help Pakistan to overcome its energy crisis.

He said that they had clear a policy regarding Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project.
Pakistan and Iran have recently signed an agreement in Islamabad to complete the project while President Asif Ali Zardari has also paid a visit to the neighbouring country last week to discuss the pipeline and to extend relationships with Iranian leadership.
“We have a clear policy over Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline,” Olson said, addressing a gathering during his visit to Tarbela Dam on Tuesday.
He said that the US was in favour of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, adding that it would also continue to help the country to reduce the energy crisis.
American’s State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell while commenting over the project on Wednesday said it is in Pakistan’s best interest to avoid any santionable activity.
Pakistan is facing a severe energy crisis which has damaged its industrial setup specially the textile industry.
“We will help Pakistan to complete Gomal Zam and Sadpara dams,” he said and added that the US wanted the Pakistanis to spend a better life.
Baloney ?
Turkmenistan, a post-Soviet Central Asian country of 5.5 million which borders Afghanistan and Iran, holds the world’s fourth-largest natural gas riches after Russia, Iran and Qatar.
British auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates has estimated the reserves of Galkynysh, named after the Turkmen word for “renaissance,” at 13.1 trillion to 21.2 trillion cubic metres.
Li Xiaoning, deputy director general at China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation, told the Ashgabat gas congress this volume would be achieved in 2020. Since the start-up of the China-bound pipeline in December 2009, Turkmen gas exports to China have totalled almost 50 bcm, he said. Turkmen data show 2012 gas exports to China stood at 20 bcm.
Turkmenistan, which also exports smaller amounts of gas to Iran, plans to build an alternative pipeline to Afghanistan and further to Pakistan and India, which is named TAPI after the countries it will eventually cross.
Daniel Stein, senior adviser to the Bureau of Energy Resources at the U.S. Department of State, told the Ashgabat gas congress Turkmenistan needed to move faster on its pipeline projects, because instead of its natural gas China and India could import liquefied natural gas from elsewhere.
What actual research have such people done on the New Great Game ?

No comments:

Post a Comment