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Originally posted by mike dangerously
reply to post by counterterrorist
Interesting read CT, looking forword to reading some more!
Monzer al Kassar; & Mohammed Atta (cont) Bush cut deal on behalf of Seal. … so Seal moved operation to Mena in Spring 1982 & went to work for Oliver North MAN PICKED by Pres G.W. Bush to head CIA [in 2004] --Goss w/fellow Floridian, Sen. Bob Graham, chair of Senate Intell. Com., lead congressional inquiry into attacks.--
both men had breakfast morning of Sept 11 w/man who reportedly wired $100,000 to Mohamed Atta. "When news of WTC attacks came, two Florida lawmakers who lead House & Senate intell committees were having breakfast w/head of Pakistani intelligence service.”
The King Reigns: The Last Decade of the Monarchy, 1963-73 …The new government both represented and sought change. Within two months, ordered an investigation into the abysmal conditions of Afghan prisons, and reached an agreement reestablishing diplomatic and trade relations with Pakistan…The single greatest achievement of the 1963-73 decade was the promulgation of the 1964 constitution. A mere two weeks after Daoud's resignation, the king appointed a commission to draft a new constitution.
… On January 1, 1965, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was founded. The PDPA, a communist party in fact if not in name, was established for the primary purpose of gaining parliamentary seats. … In 1967, only a year and a half after its founding, the PDPA had split into several factions. … The 1969 parliamentary elections, when voter turnout was not much greater than in 1965 produced a legislative assembly essentially consistent with the real population and distribution of power in the hinterland, in that conservative landowners and businessmen predominated and many more non-Pashtuns were elected than in the previous legislature. … DAOUD'S REPUBLIC, JULY 1973- APRIL 1978 …The welcome Daoud received on returning to power on July 17, 1973 reflected the citizenry's disappointment with the lackluster politics of the preceding decade. King Zahir's "New Democracy" had promised much but had delivered little.
The next year, Daoud established his own political party, the National Revolutionary Party, which became the focus of all political activity. In January 1977, a loyal jirgah approved Daoud's constitution establishing a presidential, one party system of government.
Any resistance to the new regime was suppressed. A coup attempt by Maiwandwal, which may have been planned before Daoud took power, was subdued shortly after his coup. In October 1973, Maiwandwal, a former prime minister and a highly respected former diplomat, died in prison at a time when Parchamis controlled the Ministry of Interior under circumstances corroborating the widespread belief that he had been tortured to death.
By 1978 Daoud had achieved little of what he had set out to accomplish. Despite good harvests in 1973 and subsequent years, no real economic progress had been made, and the Afghan standard of living had not improved.
Diehard Pashtunistan supporters were disillusioned with Daoud's rapprochement with Pakistan, especially by what they regarded as his commitment in the 1977 agreement not to aid Pashtun militants in Pakistan.
Most ominous for Daoud were developments among Afghan communists.
The April 19, 1978, funeral for Mir Akbar Khyber, a prominent Parchami ideologue who had been murdered, served as a rallying point for Afghan communists. An estimated 10,000 to 30,000 persons gathered to hear stirring speeches by Taraki and Karmal. Shocked by this demonstration of communist unity, Daoud ordered the arrest of PDPA leaders, but he reacted too slowly. It took him a week to arrest Taraki, and Amin was merely placed under house arrest. According to later PDPA writings, Amin sent complete orders for the coup from his home while it was under armed guard using his family as messengers. The army had been put on alert on April 26 because of a presumed "anti-Islamic" coup.
On April 27, 1978, a coup d'état beginning with troop movements at the military base at Kabul International Airport, gained ground slowly over the next twenty-four hours as rebels battled units loyal to Daoud in and around the capital. Daoud and most of his family were shot in the presidential palace the following day. Two hundred and thirty-one years of royal rule by Ahmad Shah and his descendants had ended, but it was less clear what kind of regime had succeeded them.
COMMUNISM, REBELLION, AND SOVIET INTERVENTION
The divided PDPA succeeded the Daoud regime with a new government under the leadership of Nur Muhammad Taraki of the Khalq faction. In 1967 the PDPA had split into two groups--Khalq and Parcham--but ten years later, the efforts of the Soviet Union had brought the factions back together, however unstable the merger.
A critical assessment of the period between the Saur (April) Revolution of 1978 and the complete withdrawal of Soviet troops in February 1989 requires analysis of three different, yet closely intertwined, series of events: those within the PDPA government of Afghanistan; those involving the mujahidin ("holy warriors") who fought the communist regime in Kabul from bases in Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan; and those concerning the Soviet Union's invasion in December 1979 and withdrawal nine years later.
Internal rebellion against the regime began in Afghanistan in the summer and fall of 1978. A number of attempts by Parchamis to oust the Khalqis were reported. The intense rivalry between Taraki and Amin within the Khalq faction heated up, culminating in the death--admittedly the murder--of Taraki. In September 1979, Taraki's followers, with Soviet complicity, had made several attempts on Amin's life. The final attempt backfired, however, and it was Taraki who was eliminated and Amin, who assumed power in Afghanistan. The Soviets had at first backed Amin, but they realized that he was too rigidly Marxist-Leninist to survive politically in a country as conservative and religious as Afghanistan.
During this period, many Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran and began organizing a resistance movement to the "atheistic" and "infidel" communist regime backed by the Soviets. Although the groups organizing in the Pakistani city of Peshawar would later, after the Soviet invasion, be described by the western press as "freedom fighters"--as if their goal were to establish a representative democracy in Afghanistan--in reality these groups each had agendas of their own that were often far from democratic.
Outside observers usually identify the two warring groups as "fundamentalists" and "traditionalists." Rivalries between these groups continued during the Afghan civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal. The rivalries of these groups brought the plight of the Afghans to the attention of the West, and it was they who received military assistance from the United States and a number of other nations.
The Soviets began their invasion of Afghanistan on December 25, 1979. Within two days, they had secured Kabul, deploying a special Soviet assault unit against Darulaman Palace, where elements of the Afghan army loyal to Amin put up a fierce, but brief resistance. With Amin's death at the palace, Babrak Karmal, exiled leader of the Parcham faction of the PDPA was installed by the Soviets as Afghanistan's new head of government.
Remember, the U.S. was concurrently conducting a "Full-Court Press" to destabilize the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (resulting in the war in Eastern Europe in the 1990's that was the extention of WWI & WWII & Germany's 'drive to the east' financed by the Fed/Bank of England/City of London/Bundesbank).
Al McCoy’s continued, “As I said, in, Politics of Heroin, during the ten years of the 1980s when CIA covertly supported Muhajidin resistance, what Peter calls, the Afghan Arabs, and Dave [Emory] and John [Loftus] call, the Arab Nazis ... the U.S. Government and corporate media quiet about U.S. involvement with leading Afghan guerrillas and Pakistan military in heroin trafficking, it wasn’t til Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, in 1989, the media start trailing its finger in the water, pointing to the Muhajidin heroin trade.
Back in 1979, at Peshawar in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, CIA special envoy first met Afghan resistance leaders chosen by Pakistan’s ISI Inter Service Intelligence agency, not introducing CIA across the spectrum of resistance fighters, ISI only introduced its client, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar ...leader of small Hezbi-I Islami guerrilla group cell. CIA accepted the situation, over the next ten years giving half its covert aid to Hekmatyar’s guerrillas. Unlike later resistance leaders who had popular followings in Afghanistan, Hekmatyar led guerrilla force that creature of the Pakistan military ...and, as CIA built up his Hezbi-I Islami in the largest Afghan guerilla force, Hekmatyar became corrupt and brutal, with full support of ISA and CIA ... becoming Afghanistan’s leading drug warlord.
After Bill Casey managed your [Patti Reagan] dad’s [Ronald Reagan] presidential campaign, and your dad made … or whoever had your dad make Casey director of CIA, Casey had direct access to General Zia ul-Hag, then Pakistan’s military dictator ... and received warmly in regular visits to Islamabad. Zia allowed Casey to open an electronic intelligence station facing the Soviet Union in northern Pakistan, and permitted U.S. spy flights over Indian Ocean from Zia’s air bases near Persian Gulf.
...for General Zia’s loyalists in the military these contracts windfall. At an operational level, General Zia’s military loyalists controlled delivery of Casey’s covert arms shipments as they arrived in Pakistan ...once arms landed at port in Karachi in the south, the Pakistan army’s National Logistics Cell, acting under orders from ISI, convoyed the arms shipments north to temporary military encampments around Peshawar ...from there, to Afghan guerrilla camps in North-West Frontier … the governor of this critical borderland province being Lieutenant General Fazle Huq, President Zia’s close friend and confidant … who happened to be de facto overlord of the Muhajidin guerrillas.
In addition to 3 billion dollars in U.S. aid, the Pakistan military also controlled distribution of 2 billion dollars in covert aid Casey shipped to Afghan guerrillas during the ten-year war
As ranks of resistance swelled in the 1980s, ISI insisted the dominance of the pre-1978 nucleus continue, being Hekmatyar. ISI delivered half of all arms to Hekmatyar’s Hezbi-I Islami guerrillas, giving him the bulk of CIA arms shipments. As the Cold War wound down in 1990, hington Post had front page story saying, U.S. failed to take action against Pakistan’s heroin dealers ‘because of its desire not to offend strategic ally, Pakistan’s military establishment’ ...saying, U.S. officials ignored Afghan complaints of heroin trafficking by Hekmatyar and ISI, that ‘Hekmatyar commanders close to ISI run laboratories in southwest Pakistan, and ISI cooperates in heroin operations’.
ISI’s Muhajidin used their CIA arms to capture prime agricultural areas, inside Afghanistan, during early 1980s, having peasants grow poppies ...doubling the country’s opium harvest to 575 tons, between 1982-1983, the vigorous, vital years of Reagan-Bush Administration. Then, Muhajidin, Afghan Arabs, Nazi Arabs, took opium across the border, into Pakistan ...selling it to heroin refineries operating under protection of General Fazle Huq, governor of North-West Frontier Province.
By end of your father’s Administration, in 1988, there 100 to 200 heroin refineries in the province’s Khyber district, alone ...trucks from Pakistan Army’s National Logistics Cell arrived with CIA arms from Karachi, returning loaded with heroin protected by ISI papers prohibiting police search, the Pakistan Herald reported in 1985, ‘The drug carried in NLC trucks, which come sealed from the North-West Frontier, and never checked by the police.’
Lawrence Lifschultz, writing in. The Nation, in 1988 said, numerous police sources charged General Fazle Huq, General Zia’s intimate, primary protector of the thriving heroin industry in North-West Frontier Province, that General Huq, ‘had been implicated in narcotics reports reaching Interpol’, early as 1982. European and Pakistani police claimed investigations of the province’s major heroin syndicates had, ‘been aborted at the highest level’.
With 17 DEA agents assigned to U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, DEA compiled detailed reports identifying ‘20 significant narcotics syndicates in Pakistan’ ...but, not single major syndicate touched by Pakistani police, for ten years. Farther down, in Koh-i-Soltan District, Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province, Hekmatyar controlled six heroin refineries processing the large opium harvest from Afghanistan’s fertile Helmand Valley.
The heroin boom so large, and uncontrolled, that drug abuse swept Pakistan in early 1980s, creating one of the world’s largest addict populations. But before, in late 1970s, Pakistan didn’t have significant heroin abuse problem, at all.
When the region’s political upheavals in 1979 blocked the usual shipment of Afghan and Pakistani opium westward to Iran, traffickers in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier perfected heroin-refining skills to reduce mounting opium stockpiles ...operating without fear of arrest, heroin dealers began exporting to Europe and America …capturing half of both markets ...unrestrained by police controls, local smugglers shipped heroin to Pakistan’s own cities and towns ...addiction rose to 5,000 users in 1980 ...then, 70,000 users in 1983 ...then, in the words of Pakistan’s Narcotics Control Board, went ‘completely out of hand,’ exploding to 1,300,000 users in three years … at the height of your mother’s ‘Just Say No’ campaign ...and this just in Pakistan.
“General Zia died in plane crash in 1988, bringing back civilian rule that elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The disinformation and misinformation that blocked U.S. action against Pakistan’s heroin trade widespread ...State Department’s semiannual narcotics review in September called General Zia, ‘a strong supporter of anti-narcotics activities in Pakistan’ ...but, instead of fighting drugs, General Zia’s regime protected Pakistan’s heroin dealers.
After ten years of unchecked growth under General Zia, the country’s drug trade too well entrenched in the country’s politics, and economy, for simple police action ......larger than Pakistan’s government budget ...equal to one-quarter of its entire gross domestic product. With heroin money flowing into the economy, Pakistan’s commentators concerned the country’s politics would take on Colombian cast, drug lords using money, and arms, to influence the nation’s leaders … the first signs not long in coming.
economists estimated the total annual earnings from Pakistan’s heroin trade 8-to-10 billion dollars
in Pakistan, facing no-confidence motion from the National Assembly, Prime Minister Bhutto charged, ‘drug money being used to destabilize her government’. When she claimed that heroin dealers paid 194 million rupees for votes against her, observers found the allegations credible.
Late 1989, with President Bush now in office in America,
Plus, the heavily armed tribal populations of the North-West Frontier Province determined to defend their opium harvest. Police pistols proved ineffective against tribal arsenals, that included automatic assault rifles, anti-aircraft guns, and rocket launchers. ‘The government cannot stop us from growing poppy,’ one angry tribal farmer told foreign correspondent, in 1989. ‘We one force, and united, if they come with their planes we’ll shoot them down.’
As foreign aid declined, in 1989, Afghan leaders expanded opium production to sustain guerrilla armies ...with Soviet withdrawal in 1989, and the resulting shortfall in CIA financial and arms support, rival Muhajidin commanders scrambled for remaining Afghani prime poppy agricultural land in the fertile Helmand Valley of southern Afghanistan,” Al McCoy said.
Dave [Emory] joined in. “As CIA withdrew support for Afghan Muhajidin, State Department complained about drug production and trafficking of CIA’s protégées. As CIA and USSR forces left the scene, fighting between rival anti-Soviet guerrilla factions took on the flavor of drug wars. Jon Marshall’s, Drug Wars, told how Hekmatyar, and rival leader Mohammed Yahya, ‘fought a bloody battle in September 1989, for control of strategic opium shipment route.’”
Al McCoy nodded. “During the ten year, 1980s war, local commander Mullah Nasim Akhundzada controlled the best-irrigated lands in northern Helmand Valley, once breadbasket of Afghanistan, ordering half of peasant holdings would be planted with opium poppies.
Hekmatyar’s bitter enemy, Mullah Nasim, issued opium quotas to every landowner, killing those who protested. Known as, ‘King of Heroin’, he controlled most of the 250 tons of opium grown in Helmand Province. By 1990, after ten years of CIA covert operations ... costing 2 billion dollars ... America left with Muhajidin warlords, whose skill as drug dealers exceeded their competence as military commanders. By 1989, as Cold War ended and Bush Administration’s war on drugs began, Afghan leaders, like opium warlord Hekmatyar, became diplomatic embarrassment for the U.S.
In mountain ranges along the southern rim of Asia, in Afghanistan, Burma, and Laos, opium the main currency of external trade ...and, the source of political power. During the ten year long Afghan war, 17 DEA agents sat in U.S. Embassy at Islamabad watching, without making major arrest or seizure, as Afghan-Pakistan heroin captured 60% of the U.S. drug market,” Al McCoy said. Peter Dale Scott rapt and eager as he spoke. “Hekmatyar and Massoud supported Tajik rebels up to 1992, both continued to receive aid and assistance from United States, with even more support for Tajik rebels coming from Saudi Arabia and Pakistani Intelligence Directorate, ISI.
Rebel raids into Tajikistan and Uzbekistan destabilized Muslim Republics in Soviet Union and after 1992, U.S.S.R.’s successor, Conference of Independent States … an explicit goal of U.S. policy in the Reagan era, which didn’t change with the end of the Afghan War ...as the United States continued its ‘Full-Court Press’ break-up of Soviet Union, to gain access to Caspian Basin petroleum reserves.
Destabilizing the Soviet Union spelled disaster for economies of Soviet Islamic Republics ...since 1991, leaders of Central Asia, according to Rashid’s, Taliban, Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, ‘began to hold talks with Western oil companies on back of ongoing negotiations between Kazakhstan and U.S. oil company, Chevron’. U.S. didn’t proclaim war on drugs against the Taliban, or bin Laden ...because, the bulk of Afghan drug-trafficking now in the hands of those about to become the latest U.S. drug-trafficking proxy, the Northern Alliance ... witnessing the recurring pattern of CIA’s long-time involvement with drug traffickers. In America, there new media blackout on one important aspect of al-Qaeda ... widely reported in France, England, and Canada, al-Qaeda earns on-going revenues from spectrum of legitimate businesses and drug-trafficking.
Searching my Academic Lexis-Nexis, Google-type search engine in Sept. 2001 for ‘bin Laden’ and ‘drugs’, I found only one reference on this topic in U.S. newspaper, buried deep in long story in LA Times, ‘CIA officials say the underground network frequently crosses into gangsterism.
One official cites ample evidence that Bin Laden’s group uses profits from the drug trade to finance its campaign. Followers also have been tied to bank robberies, holdups, credit card fraud, and other crimes’. Charities around the Arab world proclaimed, they raising money for humanitarian purposes in Bosnia ...but in fact, portions benefited Islamic extremist groups in the area, including Al Qaeda.
Militants linked to Al Qaeda also established connections with Bosnian organized crime figures. Officials said, Al Qaeda and Taliban found route for trafficking heroin from Afghanistan into Europe ...through the Balkans. In other words, CIA knew al-Qaeda involved in heroin trafficking,” Peter said.
Jon Marshall had been waiting patiently to add to what Peter said. “CIA knew. In my book, Drug Wars, Corruption, Counterinsurgency & Covert Operations in the Third World, I described history CIA made. In Southeast Asia, during the 1960s, the enemies communist insurgents in Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam ...which root cause of the relationship between intelligence agents and Gen. Van Pao’s drug smuggling guerrilla army in Laotian highlands ...but, United States support for Southeast Asian drug markets date back to the end of World War II.
CIA present at the creation of most of the major post-World War II drug production centers, and trafficking syndicates. Its material support and political protection nurtured the great heroin and coc aine empires, whose power today rivals that of many governments. Without critical American aid, they might have remained limited, regional gangs …with it, they forged international production, smuggling networks.
(continued from the prevous excerpt)
CIA helped establish the heroin market in the ‘Golden Triangle’, the mountainous border region of Laos, Burma, Thailand, and
China’s Yunnan Province ...where opium poppies grow like wheat.
During World War II, in China as in Sicily, U.S. Office of Strategic Services OSS, predecessor to CIA, and Navy worked closely with gangster elements who controlled vast supplies of opium, morphine, and heroin. Boss of this trade, longstanding ally of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, directed his enormous army of followers to cooperate with American intelligence, though his patriotism didn’t stop him from trading with the Japanese.
(cont from previous excerpt)
His heroin empire folded after victory of the Chinese Communist revolution, in 1949. But, new heroin empire emerged after Nationalist KMT forces under command of General Li Mi, fled from Yunnan into the wild Shan states of eastern Burma.
By 1951, if not earlier, they began receiving arms, ammunition, and other supplies via CIA airlifts ...to facilitate their abortive efforts to rekindle an anti-communist resistance in China. Repelled from China with heavy losses, KMT settled down within the local population ...to organize and expand the lucrative opium trade from Burma and northern Thailand. While doing this, they continued to enjoy support from CIA, and CIA ‘assets’, in the Thai military and police, who convoyed the drugs to Thai ports. By 1972, KMT controlled 80 percent of the Golden Triangle’s enormous opium trade.
CIA’s relationship to these drug merchants, and to corrupted Laotian, Thai, and Vietnamese political and military leaders, attracted little attention ...until early 1970s. As early as 1966, Harrison Salisbury noted the rise of heroin production in the region.
‘There skeptics who feel that not few recipients of the bounty of U.S. aid, and the CIA, may have deeper interest in the opium business, than in the anti-communist business. Centered in the whole trade, there hardy band of Chinese Nationalist troops, flown to China’s Yunna province border years ago ...in an early CIA operation …they manage to turn pretty penny in poppies.’
In 1970, correspondent for Christian Science Monitor, commented, ‘Clearly , CIA cognizant of, if not party to, the extensive movement of opium out of Laos. One charter pilot told me, ‘friendly’ opium shipments get special CIA clearance, and monitoring, on their flights south out of the country’. California Congressman charged, ‘clandestine, unofficial operations of the U.S. Government could be aiding and abetting heroin traffic here, at home.’ And, not just at home ...
by end of 1970, 30,000 American servicemen in Vietnam addicted to heroin.
“But, the full story didn’t break ...until 1972, when Yale University doctoral candidate Alfred McCoy, the real McCoy over here, published his trailblazing study, Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia,” Jon Marshall said.
Pakistani Intelligence ISI wired Mohammed Atta $100,000 on Sept 10 – news censored in U.S.
The largest and traditionally most politically powerful ethnic group, the Pashtun (or Pakhtun in northern Pakhtu dialects), is composed of many units totalling in 1995 an estimated 10.1 million, the most numerous being the Durrani and the Ghilzai. Other major tribes include the Wardak, Jaji, Tani, Jadran, Mangal, Khugiani, Safi, Mohmand and Shinwari.
Like a number of other Afghan ethnic groups,
the Pushtun extend beyond Afghanistan into Pakistan where they constitute a major ethnic group of about 14 million.
...Physically the Pushtun are basically a Mediterranean variant of the greater Caucasian race and speak several mutually intelligible dialects of Pashtu; some also speak Dari. Both Pashtu and Dari belong to the Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. Pushtun are generally Hanafi Sunni Muslims, but some are Ithna Asharia Shia ...
The Tajik form the second largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. Estimates in 1995 averaged around 4.3 million. Afghan Tajik live mainly in the Panjsher Valley north of Kabul and in the northern and northeastern provinces of Parwan, Takhar, Badakhshan, and also Baghlan and Samangan. ... some non-Tajik groups to classify any Dari speaker as a member of this group. Some also tend to categorize any urban resident who has become detribalized as Tajik. This is particularly true in Kabul. Tajik are also found north of Afghanistan's border in their own state of Tajikistan.
Afghanistan's rugged central mountainous core of approximately 50,000 square kilometers is known as the Hazarajat, Land of the Hazara. Others live in Badakhshan, and, following Kabul's campaigns against them in the late nineteenth century, some settled in western Turkestan, in Jauzjan and Badghis provinces. Estimated population in 1995 was one million.
Physically the Hazara are Mongoloid, possibly of mixed Eastern Turkic and Mongol origin, although numerous contradictory speculations exist. Scholars agree that the Hazara were established here since the beginning of the thirteenth century. Hazara speak Hazaragi, a Persianized language with a large mixture of Mongol words. A majority are Imami Shia; fewer are Ismaili Shia; while others, particularly in Bamiyan and the north, are Sunni.
About 1.3 million Uzbek live mingled with the Tajik all across the northern plains of Afghanistan, from Faryab Province to Faizabad, capital of Badakhshan Province. There are many mixed Uzbek and Tajik villages, although each live in separate residential quarters. In 1983 a sizeable group of Uzbek were included among the group of 4,000 Turkic speakers from Afghanistan that were resettled in Turkey. Uzbek also reside north of the Afghan border in Uzbekistan, Tajikstan and Turkmenistan.
The Uzbek are Mongoloid with considerable Mediterranean admixture. They are Sunni Muslim and speak central Turkic dialects called Uzbeki. Uzbek practice agriculture and herding, but many live in towns where they are known as astute businessmen and skillful artisans as silver and goldsmiths, leatherworkers, and rug makers.
Some Afghan Uzbek refer to themselves by old tribal names; others identify with their towns of origin in Central Asia. ...Although interethnic marriages between Uzbek, Turkoman and Tajik do take place, antipathy to marriage with Pushtun is widespread.
Afghan Uzbek originally came from Central Asia and their rise as the dominant political force in north Afghanistan followed the demise in 1506 of the Timurid dynasty centered at Herat
Turkmen are another Sunni Turkic-speaking group whose language has close affinities with modern Turkish. They are of aquiline Mongoloid stock. The Afghan Turkmen population in the 1990s is estimated at around 200,000. Turkmen also reside north of the Amu Darya in Turkmenistan.
The original Turkmen groups came from east of the Caspian Sea into northwestern Afghanistan at various periods, particularly after the end of the nineteenth century when the Russians moved into their territory. They established settlements from Balkh Province to Herat Province, where they are now concentrated; smaller groups settled in Kunduz Province. Others came in considerable numbers as a result of the failure of the Basmachi revolts against the Bolsheviks in the 1920s. Turkmen tribes, of which there are twelve major groups in Afghanistan, base their structure on genealogies traced through the male line.
Aimaq, meaning tribe in Turkish, is not an ethnic domination, but differentiates seminomadic herders and agricultural tribal groups of various ethnic origins, including the Turkic Hazara and Baluch, that were formed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They live among nontribal people in the western areas of Badghis, Ghor and Herat provinces. They are Sunni, speak dialects close to Dari and refer to themselves with tribal designations. Population estimates vary widely, from less than 500,000 to around 800,000. A group of about 120,000 live in Iranian Khorasan.
There are about 10 other ethnic groups ... see url for descriptions
Mixed Subsistence Patterns
Mixtures of pastoralism with limited migration and agriculture are very common. ...The picture does not remain static as the degrees of agricultural versus pastoralist strategies increases during difficult times, such as periods of drought, because of disease, or the inability to repay debts. Poorer nomads can become sedentary because they lose their flocks. On the other hand, wealthy nomads who invest in land may eventually prefer to settle in order to manage their holdings.
Agriculture and animal husbandry engage about 60 percent of the workforce and all producers, whether nomads or farmers, are tied to a market economy. In addition, the industries that began to develop after the 1930s and later in the 1960s were largely based on agricultural and pastoral products.
During the war, the improved road system that was to facilitate access to markets was destroyed and the industrial complexes were stripped of machinery.
Rural-urban migration increased measurably as the road system improved and industrial complexes near cities proliferated. Urban expansion brought in new architectural styles and building materials; prefab cement apartment blocks required adjustments in living styles. Still, despite monumental jumps in urban populations nowhere were slums evident.
Afghan society is consistent in its attitudes toward the underlying principles of gender. It is the application of these principles that varies from group to group; and there is a wide range of standards set for accepted female behavior, as well as differences in male attitudes toward correct treatment of women.
Contradictions arise between traditional customary practices, many of which impinge on the rights of women and are alien to the spirit of Islam, the other functioning canon which emphasizes equality, justice, education and community service for both men and women.
Further, the dictates of Islam are themselves subject to diverse interpretation among reformists, Islamists and ultraconservatives. Debates between these groups can be highly volatile.
Except in Kabul where women under the PDPA were encouraged to assume more assertive public roles, this evolutionary movement came to a halt in 1978.
Conservative mujahidin leaders waging a jihad (struggle) against foreign encroachment, both military and ideological, were imbued with the belief that sexual anarchy would result if women continued to move freely in public; and that society would fall into ruin as a result. These attitudes have intensified under the Taliban.
Mostly rural Pushtun from strongly patriarchal backgrounds, the Taliban project ultraconservative interpretations of Islam and apply customary practices as societal ideals. In 1996, gender issues are again at the center of heated debate.
Islam is one of the few commonalities in Afghan society despite the existence of sectarian differences and variations in Quranic and legal interpretations. It faces no competition from other religions as only scattered minorities of Hindus and Sikhs, who came originally as traders from India, and Jews, lived in urban centers. By 1985 virtually all Jews had emigrated.
In their war of liberation against the Soviet Union, resistance groups striving for a pan-Afghan constituency appealed to Afghans on the basis of their Muslim identity. The term used for the resistance fighters, mujahidin, translates as "those waging jihad." Jihad, meaning to strive or to struggle to follow God's will, both within oneself and in the defense of Islam, is an obligation incumbent on all Muslims.
Early Development of Islam
In AD 570 Mohammad ibn Abdullah was born into the family of a caravan merchant belonging to the Hashimite branch of the ruling Quraysh tribe that lived in the prosperous Arabian town of Mecca. In AD 610, at the age of forty, Mohammad began to receive the first of a series of revelations from God which were transmitted to him through the angel Gabriel over a period of 22 years. These directives of moral principles are contained in the Quran (The Recitation), the sacred scripture of Islam.
The Prophet Mohammad preached against socioeconomic inequities and denounced polytheism with its thriving pilgrimage business centered around the Kaaba shrine and numerous religious sites in the vicinity of Mecca. His vigorous reform messages challenged the powerful ruling establishment, threatened their economic and political interests and eventually earned him their bitter enmity.
Forced to leave Mecca in 622, he moved with a group of followers to the town of Yathrib, later called Medina. Here he established a Muslim community-state, consolidating both temporal and spiritual leadership in his person. The migration to Medina is known as the hijra and the creation of a Muslim community (ummah) marks the beginning of the Islamic era. The Muslim calendar, based on a 354-day lunar year, begins in AD 622. From Medina, the Prophet Mohammad fought a series of successful battles and returned to Mecca in triumph in AD 630, shortly before his death in 632.
After the Prophet Mohammad's death, the leaders of the Muslim community chose as his successor or caliph, Abu Bakr, who was one of the Prophet's earliest followers as well as the father of Aisha, the youngest and most beautiful of the Prophet's wives. There were those, however, who favored Ali, the Prophet's cousin and husband of his daughter Fatima. These supporters of Ali were known as Shiat-u-Ali (Party of Ali), later to be called Shia.
Ali eventually succeeded as the fourth caliph in AD 656, but this led to civil war in 661 during which Ali was assassinated. Ali's son Husayn led a second rebellion in 680 during which he was killed at the Battle of Karbala which is commemorated by the Shia each year on the tenth of Muharram. Husayn's death marks the division of Islam into Sunni and Shia, ending the period in which the entire Islamic community recognized a single caliph.
Sunni and Shia Islam
The historical divide of Islam into Sunni, or so-called orthodox Islam, and Shia, was caused more by political dispute over successors than doctrinal differences, although differences gradually assumed theological and metaphysical overtones. Despite the split, within centuries Islam reached far into Africa, eastward to the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia, as well as northward into Central Asia. This expansion was accomplished by traders and missionaries as much as by conquest.
Sunni constitute 85 percent of the world's Muslims; Shia about 15 percent. Each division has four major Shariah or schools of theological law. The Sunni: Hanafi, dominant in the Arab Middle East, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan; Maleki, in north, central and west Africa and Egypt; Shafii, in east Africa, Indonesia and southeast Asia; Hanbali, in Saudi Arabia. The Shia: Ithna Ashariya or Imami, the state religion in Iran, dominant in Iraq and also found in Afghanistan; Nizari Ismaili, present throughout the Muslim world, including Afghanistan, led by the Aga Khan; Zaidiya, in Yemen; Mutazila, in Syria and Lebanon.
The growth of Sufism (from suf, Arabic for wool; possibly referring to woolen robes worn by early ascetics) was another important development in the history of Islam. The great Sufi orders or brotherhoods (tariqa) were first established in the twelfth century by scholars disillusioned in their search for Truth through the intellectual application of the austere practices advocated by the various schools of Islamic doctrine. A belief in the oneness of man with God is central to Sufism. Sufis seek to achieve a personal communion with God during mystic moments of union brought about by various methods, including meditation, recitation of sacred phrases, breathing exercises, dancing, hymn singing, and music.
Tenets of Islam
Islam means surrender or submission to the will of God; one who submits is a Muslim. The basic creed or profession of faith, the shahadah, succinctly states: "There is no god but Allah (God), and Mohammad is His Prophet/Messenger." Mohammad is the "seal of the prophets"; his revelation is believed to complete for all time the series of revelations received by Jews and Christians.
After the Prophet's death, his followers compiled those of his words regarded as coming directly and literally from God. This became the Quran, the holy scripture of Islam. The precedent of the Prophet's personal deeds and behavior were set forth in the Sunna as a supplement extending the Quran. Other sayings and teachings recalled by those who had known him during his lifetime are known as Hadith. Together, the Quran, the Sunnah and the Hadith form a comprehensive guide to the spiritual, ethical, and social conduct of life. Islamic jurisprudence, the Shariah, which is based on these sources, is a system of ethics regulating conduct.
This is the exact same way the Judaic Pentatuch and Hof-Torahs (the Old Testament) today define Judeo-Christain U.S. laws, on which the founding of the Republic, the Constitution and Bill of Rights were based, indeference to "certain inalienable rights bestowed by our Creator".
Every individual is responsible for carrying out the duties and rituals commonly referred to as the Five Pillars of Islam. These include the recitation of the creed (shahadah), daily prayer (salat, namaz in Afghanistan), almsgiving (zakat), fasting (sawm, ruzah in Afghanistan), and pilgrimage (hajj).
Islamic Expression in Afghanistan
Today, approximately 99 percent of Afghans are Muslims. Eighty-five percent are Sunni of the Hanafi School; the rest are Shia, the majority of whom are Imami along with smaller numbers of Ismailis. There is also a strong influence of Sufism among both Sunni and Shia communities.
The first systematic employment of Islam as an instrument for state-building was introduced by Amir Abdur Rahman (1880-1901) during his drive toward centralization. He decreed that all laws must comply with Islamic law and thus elevated the Shariah over customary laws embodied in the Pushtunwali. The ulama were enlisted to legitimize and sanction his state efforts as well as his central authority.
His successors continued and expanded Amir Abdur Rahman's policies as they increased the momentum of secularization. Islam continued central to interactions, but the religious establishment remained essentially non-political, functioning as a moral rather than a political influence. Nevertheless, Islam asserted itself in times of national crisis. And, when the religious leadership considered themselves severely threatened, charismatic religious personalities periodically employed Islam to rally disparate groups in opposition to the state. They rose up on several occasions against King Amanullah (1919-1929), for example, in protest against reforms they believed to be western intrusions inimical to Islam.
Subsequent rulers, mindful of traditional attitudes antithetical to secularization were careful to underline the compatibility of Islam with modernization. Even so, and despite its pivotal position within the society which continued to draw no distinction between religion and state, the role of religion in state affairs continued to decline.
Politicized Islam in Afghanistan represents a break from Afghan traditions.
The Islamist Movement originated in 1958 among faculties of Kabul University, particularly within the Faculty of Islamic Law which had been formed in 1952 with the announced purpose of raising the quality of religious teaching to accommodate modern science and technology.
The founders were largely professors influenced by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, a party formed in the 1930s that was dedicated to Islamic revivalism and social, economic, and political equity.
Their objective is to come to terms with the modern world through the development of a political ideology based on Islam. The Afghan leaders, while indebted to many of these concepts, did not forge strong ties to similar movements in other countries.
The liberalization of government attitudes following the passage of the 1964 Constitution ushered in a period of intense activism among students at Kabul University. Professors and their students set up the Muslim Youth Organization (Sazmani Jawanani Musulman) in the mid-1960s at the same time that the leftists were also forming many parties. Initially communist students outnumbered the Muslim students, but by 1970 the Muslim Youth had gained a majority in student elections.
With the departure of foreign troops and the long sought demise of Kabul's leftist government, The Islamic State of Afghanistan finally came into being in April 1992. This represented a distinct break with Afghan history, for religious specialists had never before exercised state power.
But the new government failed to establish its legitimacy and, as much of its financial support dissipated, local and middle range commanders and their militia not only fought among themselves but resorted to a host of unacceptable practices in their protracted scrambles for power and profit. Throughout the nation the populous suffered from harassment, extortion, kidnapping, burglary, hijacking and acts dishonoring women. Drug trafficking increased alarmingly; nowhere were the highways safe. The mujahidin had forfeited the trust they once enjoyed.
In the fall of 1994 a Muslim "student militia" came forth vowing to cleanse the nation of the excesses sullying the jihad. Their avowed intention is to bring in a "pure" Islamic state subject to their own strict interpretations of the Shariah.
but the bulk of their forces are comprised of young Afghan refugees trained in Pakistani madrassas (religious schools), especially those run by the Jamiat-e Ulema-e Islam Pakistan, the aggressively conservative Pakistani political religious party headed by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, arch rival of Qazi Husain Ahmed, leader of the equally conservative Jamaat-e-Islami and long time supporter of the mujahidin.
Many of the leaders of this movement called the Taliban (seekers or students of Islam) were one-time mujahidin themselves,
Headquartered in Kandahar, initially almost entirely Pushtun, predominantly from the rural areas, and from the top leadership down to the fighting militia characteristically in their thirties or forties and even younger, the Taliban swept the country. In September 1996 they captured Kabul and ruled over two-thirds of Afghanistan.
The meteoric take over went almost unchallenged. Arms were collected and security was established. At the same time, acts committed for the purpose of enforcing the Shariah included
public executions for murder, stoning for adultery, amputation for theft, a ban on all forms of gambling such as kite flying, chess and kawk (partridge) fighting, prohibition of music and videos, proscriptions against pictures of humans and animals,
and an embargo on women's voices over the radio.
Women are to remain as invisible as possible, behind the veil, in purdah in their homes, and dismissed from work or study outside their homes.
Because of the strong religious sentiments that animate their minds, rural Afghans are still mostly captivated by the Taliban at the beginning of 1997. Others look on appalled at the rigidly orthodox dictates of these self-proclaimed arbiters of Islamic rectitude ... Taliban interpretations of the Shariah are foreign deviations alien to the Islam practiced in Afghan society which has always stressed moderation, tolerance, dignity, individual choice and egalitarianism.
WARFARE AND CIVIC CULTURE
The Soviet-Afghan war has caused grave injury to the civic culture of Afghanistan. The destruction and disruption wrought by the magnitude of the lethal technology employed was exponentially greater than that of any previous invasion in the past.
In addition to extensive ecological damage, including the vicious destruction of Kabul that dwarfs anything previously experienced, the war stretched taught the fabric of the society, threatening to undermine its confidence.
National traits once honored hallmarks of Afghan character were jeopardized. Tolerance for others. Forthrightness. Aversion to fanatics. Respect for women. Loyalty to colleagues and classmates. Dislike for ostentation. Commitment to academic freedom. All were compromised.
Two generations of children have grown up without knowing the joys of childhood, their lives concentrated instead on how to avoid death and deal with emotions associated with death. The war has left terrible scars on minds as well as bodies. These scars threaten to undermine the traditional social infrastructure which served for decades to dampen ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic differences in this complex multicultural society.
Fueled by this voracious appetite for illicit gains, the production of
opium in Afghanistan tripled during 1979-89, and then again quadrupled from 1989-96 accounting for 40 percent of the world's opium production.
Afghanistan stands now just below Burma on the international narcotics scene, accounting for about 30 percent of global production. The largest areas under poppy cultivation are in the provinces of Hilmand and Nangrahar where 80 percent of Afghanistan's opium poppies are grown in fields formerly producing food and cash crops. The absence of law enforcement facilities makes these one of the least controlled narcotics trafficking areas in the world.
Pakistan's Attempt at a Political Solution, 1987-88
Pakistan was the only protagonist in a position to convince the mujahidin otherwise. Its intimate relationship with the parties it hosted had shaped their war and their politics. Their dependence on Pakistan for armaments, training, funding and sanctuary had been nearly total. But by 1987, the politics of Pakistan's foreign policy had fragmented.
Neighboring Governments: Involvements and Interference
Divisions within the resistance were exacerbated by foreign interference. As American support declined after the Soviet withdrawal,With this dependence came interference which distracted from the effort to defeat the Kabul regime.
the mujahidin found themselves increasingly dependent on assistance from their neighbors, especially Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Pakistan's interference principally took the form of favoritism between the Peshawar parties. It was especially evident in its clandestine attempt to back the Hekmatyar-Tanai coup. It was more obvious in the ISI's support of mujahidin attacks on towns in the eastern region after the failure at Jalalabad. "packaging," or the combination of training, supply, and mutual tactical planning, had become the ISI's approach to assisting the mujahidin.
It was especially evident in the siege and final capture of Khost in early 1991. Again, Hekmatyar's forces were favored in the packaging arrangements. This situation contrasted sharply with the fall off in supplies to Rabbani's major commanders, Massoud in the northeast and Ismail Khan near Herat. Attempts by the ISI to introduce the packaging approach to the loose coalition of commanders around Qandahar were rebuked due to the ISI's insistence on control.
Arab interference was in some ways more aggravating . Saudi aid to the mujahidin, which roughly matched that of the United States, had been crucial in accelerating the guerilla war against the Soviet forces. Also, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states (except Iraq) had severely criticized Soviet behavior in Afghanistan.
Their involvement continued after the Soviet departure. Alongside of this generous, long-term government assistance, unofficial parallel involvement became increasingly disruptive and disliked. During the Soviet-Afghan war a costly effort was made by private, often religious, Arab agencies to provide educational opportunities for Afghan refugees encamped in Pakistan. Obvious
attempts were also made to introduce doctrinal interpretations of Islam espousing teachings of the Wahhabi sect dominant in Saudi Arabia.
Such indoctrination was accompanied by a growing stream of free-lance individuals and groups of Arabs seeking to participate in the jihad. As the mujahidin expanded their areas of control after the Soviet forces withdrew, Arabs took part in the capture of villages and towns, especially in Kunar and Nangrahar provinces. Incidents including massacres of men, abductions of women and various atrocities were attributed to them in 1988 and 1989.
Many Afghans resented Wahhabi proselytizing. It was carried out with particular aggressiveness in Kunar. For two years a community of Arabs and Afghan converts dominated the province under the leadership of Jamil-ur-Rahman, a Pushtun native. Other Wahhabi cells were established, including a community at Paghman, which served as the base for Rasul Sayyaf,
the mujahidin party leader most closely identified with Saudi Arabia.
Arab policy and behavior appeared intimately mixed. The spreading of a doctrine, recognized as the official Saudi version of Islam, made it difficult to separate religion from politics. From the official perspective Saudi diplomacy toward Afghanistan was aimed at limiting Iranian influence. This objective was given higher priority when it became possible to extend it to the recently sovereign nations of Central Asia.
Such Arab ambitions coupled with apparent attempts to create an Afghan Wahhabi state within a state have deepened Saudi penetration of Afghan politics.
Afghanistan forms the collegial and logistical link through which Arab influence can compete with Iran's in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
Afghan resentment toward Iran has also grown. The canker is older and deeper than with Pakistanis and Arabs. Sharing the same plateau, language and a long overlapping history in which Persians/Iranians have had the greater portion of cultural grandeur, the modern relationship has been awkward. Part of this derives directly from Iranian perception of the Shias of Afghanistan, especially the Hazaras, as oppressed sectarian brethren.
This has been a sensitive matter for the Pushtun leadership which inherited Abdur Rahman's conquest of the Hazaras. Pushtuns also resent having to accept the Persian language and traditions in order to achieve elite cultural status. For their part Iranians are frustrated by their loss of Herat in the mid-nineteenth century.
In diplomacy and especially in its involvements in the Hazarajat, Iran has made clear its conviction that it has a significant stake in the outcome of Afghanistan's tragedy. During the Soviet war Iran made a concerted effort to train and support Hazara groups for the purpose of introducing extensions of its own revolution into Afghanistan. Several parties were organized and infiltrated into the Hazarajat.
The most effective were Pasdaran and Nasr. They confronted the Shura led by Sayyid Beheshti, a coalition of traditional Hazara notables which had taken control of the region in 1979. During the middle 1980s, the Iran-supported groups seriously weakened the Shura, but their imposition of revolutionary doctrine backfired, forcing them to make concessions and to accept joint rule with the Shura.
At the time of the Soviet withdrawal, Iran made a strenuous effort to convince the mujahidin leadership to concede as much as 25 percent of the representation in the proposed Afghan Interim Government to the Shias. This proposal was vehemently rejected. ...
Such outside involvement complicated and distorted the mujahidin effort to defeat the Kabul forces. Especially disabling was their dependence on neighbors for much of the financial and material support for continuing the war. As had happened in the past, all the Afghan protagonists in the struggle to control their country were beholden to outside forces whose agendas had major implications for the political outcome. With the withdrawal of Soviet and United States support at the end of 1991, the impact of regional meddling increased.
MUJAHIDIN VICTORY: THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN
The Demise of the Soviet Union, 1991
With the failure of the communist hardliners to take over the Soviet government in August 1991, Najibullah's supporters in the Soviet Army lost their power to dictate Afghan policy. The effect was immediate. On September 13, the Soviet government, now dominated by Boris Yeltsin, agreed with the United States on a mutual cutoff of military aid to both sides in the Afghan civil war. It was to begin January 1, 1992.
The post-coup Soviet government then attempted to develop political relations with the Afghan resistance.
Dave [Emory] joined in. “As CIA withdrew support for Afghan Muhajidin, State Department complained about drug production and trafficking of CIA’s protégées. As CIA and USSR forces left the scene, fighting between rival anti-Soviet guerrilla factions took on the flavor of drug wars. Jon Marshall’s, Drug Wars, told how Hekmatyar, and rival leader Mohammed Yahya, ‘fought bloody battle in September 1989, for control of strategic opium shipment route.’” Al McCoy nodded. “During the ten year, 1980s war, local commander Mullah Nasim Akhundzada controlled the best-irrigated lands in northern Helmand Valley, once breadbasket of Afghanistan, ordering half of peasant holdings would be planted with opium poppies. Hekmatyar’s bitter enemy, Mullah Nasim, issued opium quotas to every landowner, killing those who protested. Known as, ‘King of Heroin’, he controlled most of the 250 tons of opium grown in Helmand Province. By 1990, after ten years of CIA covert operations ... costing 2 billion dollars ... America left with Muhajidin warlords, whose skill as drug dealers exceeded their competence as military commanders.
Why Russia is a G-8 Member but China is Not
Richard Weitz | Bio | 08 Jul 2008
World Politics Review Exclusive
Russian President Boris Yeltsin began attending the G-8 summits in 1994, but he was only allowed to attend the special sessions devoted to political affairs. He remained excluded from the main talks devoted to economic questions, where Moscow's global influence was much weaker. At the Denver summit of 1997 a decision was reached to elevate Russia's status to that of a full G-8 member, converting the then G-7 into the present G-8.
In addition, Russia and the G-7 had developed a record of successful cooperation in the early 1990s. When the U.S.S.R. disintegrated in 1991, the G-7 organized loans, technical assistance, and other support to the former Soviet republics to ease their transitions to liberal democracies with free market economies. Russian and Western leaders grew comfortable working together within the G-7 framework.
China is the most obvious candidate for future G-8 membership. It has the world's largest population and one of the globe's most influential governments in many areas of concern to the G-8, especially energy, trade, and African development. Although Beijing continues to exercise considerable control over the national economy, free market principles have become increasingly important in Chinese economic policy.
Since 1999, moreover, Chinese representatives have participated in many G-8-sponsored meetings. Beijing has also secured entry into the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization, abandoning its earlier opposition to these institutions. China's entry into the G-8 would help counter claims that the body represents too small a share of the world's population and economy to justify its position as a leading institution of global governance.
Yet the Chinese have never been offered full G-8 membership or shown any official interest in receiving it. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder first suggested including China in the G-8 in 1999, but several members objected. In 2003, China's president was invited to participate in portions of the discussions at Evian les Bains, making it difficult to disinvite the Chinese leader from future meetings without it seeming as a gratuitous insult in the absence of a particularly egregious Chinese behavior.
In recent years, the G-8 has institutionalized the involvement of China and the other largest developing economies in summit discussions without offering them full membership. The hosting government now typically invites the leaders of Brazil, India, Mexico, South Africa, as well as China -- causing some observers to speak of a de facto "G8 + 5."
China's authoritarian political system has been the main obstacle to its becoming a full G-8 member.
One reason that Beijing has not been eager to join the G-8 is a concern that its presence would provide the regime's critics with additional opportunities to attack the government for failing to adhere to democratic principles.
In addition, Beijing's past relations with the G-7 are much more negative than those that existed between Moscow and the group before Russia's entry. At the 1989 "Summit of the Arch" in Paris, the then G-7 leaders announced collective sanctions against China after the Chinese military forcefully suppressed peaceful demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in April 1989. China's involvement with the G-7 remained largely nonexistent during the following decade.
In addition, Chinese leaders may not wish to enhance the influence of an institution that could potentially compete with the United Nations, where China enjoys elite status as only one of five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- and the sole such East Asian member. In the G-8, moreover, China would have to share a leading position with Japan, and Tokyo could well enjoy superior influence to Beijing given Japan's closer ties with most other G-8 members.
Becoming the ninth G-8 member, without the simultaneous entry of the other four regular G-8 outreach partners, could expose China to criticism that Beijing was sacrificing its ties with the developing world to join a rich man's club. Another consideration deterring Beijing's entry is that, ultimately, China's absence from the G-8 does not appear to have challenged its perceived status as an emerging economic superpower, either within China or elsewhere.
Richard Weitz is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a World Politics Review contributing editor
China's market for RFID products will still be worth $1.4bn this year, analysts predict, despite a $6bn government identity card programme drawing to a close.
The single-party state, which has traditionally devoted huge resources to monitoring and controlling the movements of its people, is estimated to be investing $6bn in issuing RFID-equipped ID cards to its adult population by 2008.
Between 900 million and a billion cards will have been issued by the end of this year, according to ABI Research.
"That one programme generated significant revenue for local [RFID] vendors, and stood out in terms of its size and scope. But unfortunately all good things must end," said ABI analyst Michael Liard.
Liard warned that, as the ID card market dries up, China must prepare for RFID's next wave and the applications that will "keep China in the RFID spotlight".
With most of China's people now safely accounted for, one of RFID's next big markets could be animal tagging, according to ABI.
"The Chinese government is anxious to use RFID tagging to enhance the safety and security management of food production," said Liard.
While much smaller than the revenues generated from tracking people, ABI still predicts that RFID chips for implantation in animals could be worth $94m annually by 2012.
Major US and European firms, such as Motorola, Texas Instruments, Infineon and Avery Dennison, all have a stake in the market.
Tickets for the Olympic Games and transport systems are another big market for RFID in China.
Aug. 8, 2005—China is the manufacturing capital of the world and the largest market for technology. Currently, the country is home to 95 million Internet users. With usage growing faster then 20 percent a year, China will have more Internet users than any other country by 2006. It already has the largest installed base of both landlines (314 million) and mobile telephones (334 million). Within this economic framework, China lays claim to being the largest potential RFID market in the world. And since the standards bearer holds an economic advantage, Chinese political officials have stated that their nation needs to be involved in the setting of RFID standards.
In late April, a group of senior Chinese government officials discussed their views at the RFID China Forum (RCF) in Beijing. The RCF was the largest and most influential RFID gathering in mainland China, attended by representatives of the Chinese, American and Korean governments. It featured more than 50 speakers from such organizations as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Savi Technology, Nokia, NTT Data, ISO, UID, EPCglobal, CompTIA and the Korean Association of RFID. The event also included five key Chinese government officials, including the three department heads of the Ministry of Information Industry, which is leading the formation of China’s RFID standards.
Standards and Strategy
China’s central government believes standard setting is a strategic activity to forge the following objectives: convert trading power to technology power; develop intellectual property (IP); and use RFID as an inflection point in China’s quest for high-tech differentiation and infrastructure efficacy in the global market.
The central government’s ruling elite recognizes that their nation lags behind other countries in technology development, thereby making China effectively controlled by developed countries. The government realizes that countries that own IP typically spend more on research and development—plus, they significantly influence standards to gain an economic advantage over rival countries.
To help spearhead the transition to a developer of standards and creator of IP, the Chinese government has created the Golden Card Project. This is one of the government-endorsed Golden series, whereby all state-owned properties—such as banks, driver’s license issuers and public transit—all use smart cards containing RFID tags to accept payment from their customers. The general target is to develop smart cards as a method of payment for 300 million Chinese in 400 cities within 10 years.
China is a society in which cash is the traditional method of payment and, therefore, widely circulated (this is also the common situation in most other Asian countries). At the beginning of China's smart card deployment, the concept was not well accepted by most Chinese people; however, there is a Chinese saying that "everything's hard in the beginning."
Initially, 12 cities and provinces were involved in the pilot phase. Smart cards have been distributed and are now used in the cities of Shanghai, Xiamen, Wuxi and Suzhou, and in the provinces of Guangdong, Hainan and Jiangsu. After a slow start, the smart cards are beginning to enjoy advantages in China due to the success of the pilot projects and the country's growing economic prosperity. Thus far, about 200 million cards of various types have been issued.
Promoting the engineering associated with smart cards is another key aspect of the Golden Card project. In the country's ninth Five-Year Plan, the R&D of the basic chips embedded in the cards, the creation and improvement of card operating equipment systems (denoted COS), and the development of relevant software, are the engineering topics being emphasized by the government’s agenda. Furthermore, associated network products such as routers, line concentrators, modems, network cards, display terminals, output equipment, charge machines and automatic counter machines are also undergoing intense R&D. China intends to create intellectual property and accelerate the construction of a smart card industry using the success of the "Golden Card" projects to stimulate their usage by average citizens.
Zhang Qi, director-general of the Ministry of Information Industry, told the RCF conference audience that 44 million smart cards have been issued for public transit alone. China perceives that RFID will be a major contributor to its IT industry, and it wishes to pursue strong and orderly development of this sector. “One billion smart cards are expected to be eventually deployed within this sector,” said Qi.
As an example of how RFID will be a major contributor to China’s IT infrastructure, consider the June 9, 2004, announcement by Sinopec Corp., Bank of China and the Construction Bank of China. Sinopec signed an agreement to grow the Golden Card Project with help of the latter two institutions. This represents the first time in China that two major commercial banks joined with a major commercial group.
Sinopec has the largest product-marketing and retail network in China. Currently, it has 15,000 retail stations in 19 provinces—an 84 percent share in wholesale and 40 percent share in retail in its principal markets. Bank of China has a long history in financial services and is very experienced in card management and issuance. Sinopec will roll out the smart cards to most of its retail stations. The goal is to create a Sinopec retail system with a uniform logo, a well-known brand and convenient services.
Chinese RFID Standards
Government speakers at the RCF conference repeatedly expressed a desire for harmonized standards development. To the Chinese, harmonized development means an international standard that is interoperable among China, Japan, United States and Europe.
Xu Qin, deputy director of the Department of High Tech Industrial Development under the National Development and Reform Commission, has stated that the government will be involved with setting an RFID standard for China and will try to coordinate its efforts with those of the International Standards Organization.
It’s important to recognize that the standards architecture itself is being criticized by the Chinese. They believe that the emerging EPCglobal standard should clearly demarcate the seven network layers according to ISO’s Open System Interconnect (OSI) model. Use this model to build standards that are tolerant of China’s domestic needs while allowing top-level compatibility of data and, thereby, level the playing field for creation of Chinese IP.
Radio tags for China's products, blood and people
By Jayanthi Iyengar
The Chinese have been at the helm of the electronic and semi-conductor revolution. They may also be at the top of the radio frequency identification (RFID) revolution, thanks to the 2008 Summer Olympics and Wal-Mart.
The first is understandable. The Chinese government has plans of showcasing the Chinese achievements to the world through the Olympics in 2008. Hence no cost or effort is being spared to harness the very best in technology to the Olympian event.The mega-retailer has directed its suppliers to use RFID tags on cartons and pallets, in which the products are packed, supplied to them. Wal-Mart's RFID implementation (currently in the United States) is going to be in stages, but other retailers such as Tesco and Metro AG have given similar directions to their suppliers.
Yet having Wal-Mart driving technology in China is another matter.
The catch here is that China has become the factory to the world. Its manufacturers supply directly to Wal-Mart and other such retailers. They also supply to the suppliers of Wal-Mart and others, which buttons up roughly 50% of all products being sold by the mega-retailers worldwide. Naturally, given the depth of China's involvement in global manufacture, the retailer's directions to its suppliers in the US on RFID tags will have a major impact on China in course of time. "The Chinese are not unfamiliar with RFID technology. However, the true impact of Wal-Mart's direction to its suppliers would be felt in 12 months' time in China," estimates Tony Cotterell, principal and consumer business industry leader in China for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
What is RFID?
To understand the issues, one first needs to understand radio frequency identification. RFID is a cutting-edge technology. It is chip-based. It is also a supply-management tool, which helps retailers manage inventory better, thereby allowing them to cut costs and increase profits.
In terms of technology, RFID has two components. There is a tag with a microchip in it. The microchip in turn is attached to an antenna that picks up signals from and sends signals to a reader. The tag contains a unique serial number, but may have other information, such as a customer's account number. Tags come in many forms, such as the smart labels that are stuck on boxes; smart cards and key-chain wands for paying for items; and a box that can be affixed to windshield to enable toll collection without stopping the vehicle. RFID tags could be active tags, passive tags or semi-passive tags, meaning they may lie dormant or send information of varying degrees and types, depending on how the chip is programmed.
RFID tags to replace bar codes in retail trade
Within the retail trade environment, RFID tags are expected to replace the bar code. This is the code displayed on the sides of product packages. It contains the price and product identification number, which a shopkeeper is able to read by running a scanner or reader up and down the bar code. The bar code facilitates transactions, rules out human error, and allows the shopkeeper to know exactly what quantum of a product he or she has sold at what price.
Very simply explained, the RFID tag is a more advanced form of bar code. But unlike the bar code, which requires the product to be taken to the reader to read the information contained on it, the chip-based RFID technology allows a retailer to track the product wherever it is with the aid of radio signals. Thus if a retailer wants to know where his box of Kleenex is stored in his large store, the tag would be able to tell him that is on the third shelf on the fourth floor of his shopping mall without his having to search for it.
RFID technology has stirred up a hornets' nest since many commentators have gone on to interpret it as meaning "a retailer being able to track everything including the panty he has sold", and this has raised privacy issues. Yet the mega-retailers are unmoved by such concerns and are pushing forward with their plans to adopt the technology to improve their own efficiency and profitability.
Wal-Mart has been at the helm of this movement. Linda Dillman, chief information officer of Wal-Mart, set the ball rolling on June 10, 2003. She spelled out Wal-Mart's rollout plan under which its top 100 suppliers would have to use RFID tags on their cases and pallets by January 2005, while another 200 would adopt the tags by 2006. Other mega-retailers such as Metro AG and Tesco too have issued such directives to their suppliers.
The point to be noted here is that at present, the mega-retailers are demanding that RFID tags be attached only to cartons and not to individual items and they are also promising that they will build a self-destruct character into the chip, so that it would stop functioning when it leaves their premises. Both these measures have, to an extent, stemmed worries and have silenced the privacy brigade. Yet experts such as Cotterell believe that the real benefits of the new technology will come when item tags are adopted, since this will allow retailers to manage their inventories far better than with pallet tagging, meaning tagging the larger containers of individual items.
The China angle
In 2002, Wal-Mart sourced US$12 billion worth of products from China. This was 12% of total US imports from China during that year.(depending on whether you are talking to the pro- or anti-Wal-Mart lobby) of China-made products finding their way back to the US through this route. If you add imports by other mega-retailers such as Metro AG, Carrefour, Tesco and others, the China-sourced products by retailers adds up to a substantial number.
Since Wal-Mart sells products both in the United States and China, nobody knows what quantum of the $12 billion was sold in China through Wal-Mart outlets and what amount found its way back to the US to line the shelves of Wal-Mart outlets there. Wal-Mart isn't telling, given the periodic paranoia about Chinese products flooding the US market, but estimates vary anywhere between 10% and 70%
Understandably, the Chinese government is alert to the possibility that it is a matter of time before its suppliers will be forced to tag their supplies with RFID tags, and have started to prepare for this eventuality. An indication of this comes from the statements made by Chinese government officials at various public forums. Zhao Bo, a senior Information Industry Ministry official, stated at the seventh International Fair of Smart Cards held in Beijing that China aims to develop applications this year for "e-tags" (the Chinese version of RFID tags) and to turn them into commercial products. Zhao is deputy director of the Computer and Information Advancing Department of the Ministry of Information Industry. He added that the efficient development of China's smart-card and RFID industry is important because cards with embedded chips are becoming "closely related to the daily life of our people".
Zhou is not alone in thinking ahead about China's RFID preparedness. Rocky Shi, a Chinese government official, told the RFID World Conference held in Denver in April that the Middle Kingdom was set to launch several major RFID-linked initiatives. Shi estimated that Chinese suppliers would end up using about 5 trillion tags annually to supply to Wal-Mart alone during the next two years.
The utility of RFID technology in the retail sector apart, the Chinese government is also expanding RFID use domestically. It has already announced its national ID card program, which is estimated to consume about a billion RFID-enabled cards. The country also has plans of introducing RFID-enabled chips to track blood bags to deal with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis. These are the bags that contain the blood donated by people for use by others. Since the Chinese consume 47 million bags of donated blood annually, this could be a source of another RFID tag consumption. As Shi told the media after the Denver meet, "RFID is not a technology or product. It is a revolution."
Given such plans and perceived potential, the country is understandably preparing to host its first RFID conference and exhibition in October, where it will showcase technology and applications. Initially, Shi was supposed to chair this conference, but it is now being handled by Shorecliff Communications LLC, based in San Juan Capistrano, California, though Chinese government backing is likely to be solid behind this event. The theme of the meeting is China's human preparedness for RFID. The goal of the conference is to create awareness and help accelerate investment and capital spending in RFID and related technology.
Researchers at the Amsterdam's Free University created a radio frequency identity (RFID) chip infected with a virus to prove that RFID systems are vulnerable despite the extremely low memory capacity on the cheap chips.
The problem is that an infected RFID tag, which is read wirelessly when it passes through a scanning gate, can upset the database that processes the information on the chip, says the study by Melanie Rieback, Bruno Crispo and Andrew Tanenbaum.
"Everyone working on RFID technology has tacitly assumed that the mere act of scanning an RFID tag cannot modify back-end software and certainly not in a malicious way. Unfortunately, they are wrong," the scientists said in a paper.
"An RFID tag can be infected with a virus and this virus can infect the back-end database used by the RFID software. From there it can be easily spread to other RFID tags," they said.
As a result, it is possible that criminals or militants could use an infected RFID tag to upset airline baggage handling systems with potentially devastating consequences, they said.
The same technology could also be used to wreak havoc with the databases used by supermarkets. "This is intended as a wake-up call. We ask the RFID industry to design systems that are secure," Tanenbaum said in a telephone interview.
RFID has been touted as "The Internet of Things", in which anything from shampoo bottles to marathon runners can be tracked using radio tags.
Civil liberty groups say RFID could lead to an unacceptable invasion of privacy and argue that airline ticket information could be used by law enforcement agencies and divorce lawyers.
Metro, Germany's biggest retailer, said at the CeBIT technology trade show it plans to save 8.5 million euros ($10.1 million) annually by using RFID to track stock from suppliers and at its flagship Future Store in Rheinberg town.
India is a hot destination as of now and the whole world has its eyes set on it. With its economy growing like never before it is offering immense opportunities for everybody so how could RFID stay behind. Slowly and steadily RFID is penetrating India and from defense sector to corporates and even farmers are making use of it. Mahindra & Mahindra, an automobile company in the country was one of the early adopters of RFID and now it has pressed the pedal in full for utilizing it in areas ranging from warehousing to vendor tracking.
Even the government of India is looking for RFID deployment and will be conducting RFID tests for cold chain management. Corporates have been testing RFID in a number of areas such as library management, asset tracking for computers to document management.
With India being an agricultural economy Indian farmers are keeping a track of their cattle using RFID. TCS is also into negotiations for deploying RFID for seven million cattle in the state of Gujarat. The booming retail sector in the country is too eyeing RFID implementation. Realizing the potential of RFID in India Gemini Traze has gone ahead and set up the first RFID plant in the country.
One of the reasons for the adoption of the technology in the country is the falling costs and secondly the semiconductor policy of the government is favoring it. One can now certainly predict boom time for RFID in India.
1.2 The Chinese Government, Supply Chain Economics, and RFID
1.3 Market Size Snapshot
1.4 RFID Application Overview
1.4.1 Leading Applications: High Frequency Cards and Tickets
1.4.2 China’s Diverse RFID Application Mix
1.5 Chinese Geographic Centers of Influence
2.2 China’s Golden Card Project
2.3 Contactless Smart Cards
2.3.1 Contactless Credit Cards
2.3.2 National ID Cards/Second Generation ID Cards
2.3.3 Temporary ID Cards
2.3.4 Public Transit Cards
2.3.5 Insurance and Healthcare Cards
2.3.6 Campus Cards/Student Discount Cards
2.3.7 Access Control and Employee Cards
2.3.8 Retail Customer Loyalty, Recognition, and Relationship Management
2.3.9 Internet Café Cards
2.4 Public Transportation
2.4.1 Public Transit Cards
2.4.2 Highway Toll Collection Network
2.5 Electronic Toll Collection
2.6 Automatic Train Identification System
2.7 Bus Rapid Transit
2.8 Parking Garage Management
2.8.1 Raffles City Shanghai
2.8.2 Qingdao Haisen Square
2.9 Beijing Vehicle Environmental Testing Card
2.10 China Post
2.11 Animal ID
2.11.1 Pork Supply Chain Management
188.8.131.52 Shanghai Deployment
184.108.40.206 Beijing Deployment
220.127.116.11 Sichuan Province Deployment
2.11.2 Pet Health Monitoring and Management Plan
2.12 Supply Chain Management-Related Applications
2.12.1 The Wal-Mart Factor
2.12.3 Bailian Group
2.12.4 Baisha Logistics
2.12.5 Hangzhou Tobacco
2.12.7 Metro Group
2.13 Cargo Tracking and Security
2.13.1 Port of Hong Kong and Port of Shenzhen Port of Shanghai Port
2.14 Airports in Mainland China
2.14.1 Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
2.14.2 Shanghai Pudong International Airport
2.14.3 Capital Airport in Beijing
2.15.1 Dongkuan Library
2.15.2 Shenzhen Library
2.15.3 Jimei University Library, Xiamen
2.16 Health Care-Related Applications
2.16.1 Pharmaceuticals Tracking
2.16.2 Asset Tracking
2.18 Dangerous Goods Tracking
2.19 Events and Tickets
2.19.1 Beijing Communications Exhibition
2.19.2 Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai – 2005
2.19.3 Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai - 2006
2.19.4 Great Wall of China
2.19.5 Shanghai World Special Olympics Games – 2007
2.19.6 Beijing Olympic Games
2.19.7 Jay Zhou’s Concert
2.19.8 Shanghai World EXPO
2.20 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing
2.21 NFC in Mainland China
KEY MARKET CONSIDERATIONS
3.1 Markets Trends and Issues
3.2 Chinese Government Puts RFID Front and Center
3.3 Manufacturers: Slow and Steady Approach
3.4 Setting the “Standard” in China
4.1 Total Market Revenue
4.2 China’s RFID Revenue Forecast by Frequency
4.2.1 Low Frequency
4.2.2 High Frequency
4.2.3 Ultra High Frequency
5.1 RFID Players in China
5.1.1 Home Field Advantage
5.1.2 Foreign-based Multi-nationals Further Penetrate
5.2 Sample Local RFID Vendors
5.2.1 Aerospace Golden Card
5.2.2 Aisino Corporation Inc.
5.2.4 Beijing Tongfang Microelectronics Co Ltd
5.2.5 Beijing Vision Electronics Technology Co, Ltd
5.2.6 Datang Microelectronics Technology Co, Ltd
5.2.7 Guangzhou Best Technology Holding Co, Ltd
5.2.8 HED (CEC Huada Electronic Design Co, Ltd)
5.2.9 Invengo Information Technology Co Ltd
5.2.10 Jiangsu Raifu Intelligent Technology Co, Ltd
5.2.11 Nanjing Sample Group
5.2.12 Quanray Electronics
5.2.13 Sense Technology Co Ltd
5.2.14 Shanghai Belling Co Ltd
5.2.15 Shanghai Fudan Microelectronics Co, Ltd
5.2.16 Shanghai Hsic Application System Co, Ltd
5.2.17 Shanghai Huahong Integrated Circuit Co Ltd
5.2.18 Shanghai Refine Information Technology
5.2.19 Shanghai RFID System Technology Company, Ltd
5.2.20 Shanghai Shenbo Intelligent ID Technology Co Ltd
5.2.21 Shenzhen Hyan Microelectronic Co, Ltd
5.2.22 Shenzhen Mingwah Aohan Technology Co, Ltd
5.2.23 Shenzhen Promatic Security System Co, Ltd
5.2.24 Shenzhen Seaever Enterprise Co, Ltd
5.2.25 Sparkice Beijing/Sparkice Lab
5.2.26 TATWAH Smartech Co, Ltd
5.3 Sample Foreign-Based RFID Vendors in China
5.3.1 Advanced ID Corporation
5.3.2 Alien Technology
5.3.3 FKI Logistex
5.3.6 INSIDE Contactless
5.3.11 NXP Semiconductors
5.3.12 Savi and Savi Networks
5.3.14 UPM Raflatac
SCOPE OF STUDY
SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY
Total RFID Systems Revenue , China Markets, Forecast: 2007 to 2012
Education Facilites Information, China Market: 2006
Number of New Entrants to Schools at all Levels of Programs, China Market: 2006
Transportation Card Shipments by Cities, China Market: Total Cards Issued by End of 2007
Public Transportation Status, China Market: 2006
Train Passenger Numbers , China Market: 2007 (January~November)
ETC Development Status, China Market: 2007
Number of National Railway Passenger Coaches and Freight Cars Owned, China Market: 2006
Stastics for the Postal Market , China Market: 2001 to 2005
Livestock Statistics, China Market: 2007 Estimates
Library Statistics, China Market: 2007 (January~November)
RFID Systems Revenue by Product Category, China Markets, Forecast: 2007 to 2012
RFID Systems Revenue by Primary Application, China Markets
The Polish Ministry of Defense has announced it will adopt an RFID-enabled system created by Lockheed Martin subsidiary Savi to automate tracking and management of military supplies in Afghanistan. This is the second largest NATO-related installation of the Savi Consignment Management Solution (CMS) and the eighth separate defense force deployment of it worldwide.
The Savi CMS is based on NATO asset tracking standards that enable it to be interoperable with NATO-allied defense forces. Versions of it are in use with defense forces at NATO headquarters, and in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Sweden and Spain. The NATO standardization enables both national and multi-national consignments to be tracked and managed through networks operated by multiple defense forces.
In the system, consignments tagged with active RFID devices are monitored by fixed and mobile readers, while the Savi CMS software platform enables users to manage the consignments while in-transit throughout their supply chain journey.
CMS also processes real-time data transmissions from other types of Automatic Identification and Data Collection technologies, such as bar codes, passive RFID and GPS satellite location systems. The system also provides built in capability to integrate with other mission systems and enables linkage of consignment management processes to other processes such as material inventory management, supply procurement and deployment planning.
The Savi solution will be used to track and manage consignments in the Polish Ministry of Defense’s extended supply chain through depots, bases, airfields and other military installations.
The ISS is a joint project among the space agencies of the United States (NASA), Russia (RKA), Japan (JAXA), Canada (CSA) and eleven European countries (ESA). The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB, Brazil) participates through a separate contract with NASA. The Italian Space Agency similarly has separate contracts for various activities not done in the framework of ESA's ISS works (where Italy also fully participates). China has reportedly expressed interest in the project, especially if it is able to work with the RKA, though it is not currently involved.
As NASA's space-shuttle program nears its official end in 2010, space exploration has become an increasingly global competition.
Europeans, Russians, Chinese and others are competing for bragging rights to develop the next generation of manned spacecraft]/quote].
the Europeans and Russians have teamed up to create their own platform, the Chinese are continually upgrading their vehicles and the Japanese and Indians are mulling their own manned space flights.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Officials Friday delayed the arrival of a cargo ship at the International Space Station, after NASA shut down its space center in Houston as Hurricane Ike barreled down on Texas, the US space agency said.
The Russian cargo spacecraft Progress, launched Thursday from Kazakhstan, is carrying more than two tons of supplies to Russian cosmonauts aboard the orbiting space station (ISS).
But US and Russian officials delayed its docking from Saturday to Wednesday, after the Johnson Space Center in Houston, which controls many of the systems at the ISS, was shut down because of the approaching storm.
Control of the ISS has been handed to flight controllers at backup facilities further inland in Texas and Alabama until the storm has passed, NASA said.
The communist revolution in China also backed by Wall Street. In 1946, The American Government imposed an arms embargo on the Nationalist Government when it on the verge of defeating the communists.
Congress voted to send millions of dollars of arms to the Chinese government but the aid deliberately delayed for months. When it did arrive, the rifles didn't have any bolts in them & useless.(17)
By 1996, it the largest recipient of World Bank loans. With Western dollars, China has purchased power-generating equipment, oil-field exploration, fleets of jumbo jets, steel mills, satellite communications systems & huge amounts of high-tech military hardware.
China joined the World Bank/IMF in 1980.
(ALSO, NOTE THE TIMING BETWEEN LEHMAN BROS GOING BROKE AND FANNIE MAE collapsing to public bail-out) -- we appear to be witnessing the City of London/Fed/Bundesbank AGAIN robbing tax payers of trillions of dollars!!!
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Islamic warriors, Chinese weapons, Pakistani spies, and American money. It was the formula that defeated the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1989.
who defeated the Soviet Army in 1989.
Pakistani intelligence agents received millions of dollars from America's Central Intelligence Agency to buy Chinese guns. Pakistan then gave these weapons to Afghan guerrillas and to a foreign legion of holy warriors from all over the Islamic world,
Now, Afghanistan's top military and intelligence officials say
this same Pakistani-Chinese weapons channel is being used for a very different purpose: to destabilize the new Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai, and to challenge the U.S. military in the deserts and airspace of Afghanistan.
"China is a strategic friend of Pakistan, and they are capable of bringing such kind of weapons to Pakistan anytime so they can be used against our government," says Engineer Ali, chief of Afghanistan's intelligence agency, KHAD. "China does not want to create problems for us," he adds, "but the Pakistanis can deceive China. They can tell China that the weapons will be used for its own domestic purposes, but then use them for international terrorism."
An Afghan intelligence report, cited by the Monitor on Aug. 9, says that Al Qaeda has regrouped in Pakistan and is attempting to purchase Chinese antiaircraft weapons.
These Afghan charges are straining the already fragile relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, two key members of America's antiterrorism coalition.
At a press conference this week in Islamabad, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf flatly denied that Pakistan was supporting Al Qaeda, and said instead that Al Qaeda had regrouped within Afghanistan "because of the weakness of the central transitional government in Kabul."
In response, Afghan Defense Minister Muhammad Fahim on Wednesday fumed that General Musharraf's charges were "false and baseless," and said that
Al Qaeda had regrouped within the Pashtun tribal areas that both Afghanistan and Pakistan claim.
Afghan intelligence officials admit that they only have reports that Al Qaeda is attempting to buy Chinese antiaircraft weapons. The sale, they say, has not taken place.
And China vigorously denies Afghan claims that it's indirectly arming Al Qaeda.
American and Afghan strategists agree it would be counterproductive for China to have any sort of arms-supplying relationship with Islamic radicals. China has its own longstanding Islamist militant tensions in the western province of Xinjiang, which borders Afghanistan.
But senior Afghan military sources – including those who fought during the anti-Soviet jihad – say that Pakistan's close military relationship with China continues to facilitate the flow of weapons into the region, and that could turn the tide of the war inside Afghanistan.
In addition, they say, rogue agents within Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency may be funneling these weapons to Islamists without the knowledge or approval of either China or Pakistan's own president.
says Gen. Mohammad Aslam Masoud, chairman of the National Defense and Security Commission in the Afghan president's office.
ISI rogue elements helping Taliban?
"The people in the ISI today are the same people who created the Al Qaeda and the Taliban,"
"They will definitely try to buy missiles from China. I don't know if China is that stupid to give these weapons to them, but Pakistan can buy the missiles for themselves and give them to the terrorists."
Past history and ongoing military alliances show that China and Pakistan have not avoided supplying weapons to Islamic radicals.
From 1979 to the Soviet defeat in 1989, Pakistan smuggled Chinese and other weapons into Afghanistan, and gave them to seven Afghan Islamist parties and to thousands of fighters from across the Islamic world.
The bulk of the weapons were Kalashnikov rifles purchased from China, Egypt, and a host of Eastern-bloc countries.
But the most important weapons in turning the tide of the war were Chinese- and American-made shoulder-fired rockets, which allowed Afghan guerrillas to shoot down Soviet helicopters and low-flying jets.
General Masoud, himself a former guerrilla commander, says that Chinese weapons were crucial. "In the first days we got a few Kalashnikov rifles, but later they gave us surface-to-air missiles and rockets to shoot down the helicopters and planes," says Masoud. "After we got those weapons, the Soviet's air superiority was hurt, and step by step they lost territory to us."
China denies supplying any weapons to Al Qaeda, although it does admit to a long-term strategic relationship with Pakistan to counter the Soviet presence in Central Asia.
But over the past 20 years, Pakistan has developed its own foreign-policy goals, and created close relationships with a number of hardline Islamist parties, including the Taliban. Pakistan's ISI maintained close contact with the Taliban leadership until Pakistan severed relations after Sept. 11.
In their final days, the Taliban themselves boasted that they had a strategic pact with China.
Last October, the powerful Taliban commander Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani told reporters that China was "extending support and cooperation to the Taliban, but the shape of the cooperation cannot be disclosed."
At the time, US officials discounted the statements as bluster.
"China has never had any contact with the Al Qaeda terrorist network, and certainly not military relations," said a foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing last week.
Ikram Sehgal, a Pakistani defense analyst based in Karachi, says, "The quantum of arms cooperation between China and Pakistan is a closely guarded secret.
Pakistan depends heavily on China for aircraft and missile technology but is not totally dependent on it."
What is clear is thatmade, say Afghan military chiefs.
the vast majority of the weapons captured by US and allied forces since the fall of the Taliban last November have been Chinese
US military officials here say they have no statistics on the country of origin of weapons. "I don't know that we have evidence of continued flow of weapons into Afghanistan," says Lt. Col. Roger King, US military spokesman at Bagram air base. "We find weapons that have been placed in storage facilities. And we have found some equipment that was in relatively good condition, and didn't appear to be old, which could point to some efforts to resupply."
A view from the border
From his fortress on the edge of Spin Boldak, a town on the southeastern border with Pakistan, Major Mohammad Daud of the Afghan Border Security Force says he is absolutely certain that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are resupplying in Pakistan.
As a former guerrilla commander himself, Major Daud has long experience in dealing with the ISI and receiving weapons from the agency. And from what he and his men have seen, in patrols along the Afghan border, the Taliban are getting better and better armed.
"Our vehicles are the ones the Taliban left behind, our guns are their old guns that jam all the time," he laments. "Just the other day, our spies found out about a Taliban patrol coming into the country, so we laid an ambush. But when they arrived, they had better cars, better guns, and we had no choice. We had to let them go."
On a stroll through some bunkers, he picks through antiaircraft weapons left behind by the Taliban. "Whatever we have now is Chinese. Rockets, missiles, they're all Chinese," says Daud. He picks up a Chinese shoulder-fired antiaircraft rocket launcher. The most expensive and crucial part of the weapon, the optical sight, has been removed by the Taliban.
Terrorism in China is primarily committed by Muslim separatist militants in the Xinjiang Uyghur and Tibet autonomous regions … The Ministry of Public Security issued a list of banned terrorist organizations on 15 December 2003. Organizations the government has banned are the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement, the East Turkestan Liberation Organization, the World Uygur Youth Congress, and the Eastern Turkistan Information.
Chinese Communist Party leader Jia Qinglin said on 22 January 2007, "China appreciates Afghanistan's valuable support on such issues concerning China's core interests as Taiwan, human rights and fighting 'East Turkestan' terrorists." Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao said, "There should not be double standards in counterterrorism. At the same time, no country wants to see another Al Qaeda in China."
The Government of Kazakhstan has consistently extradited Uyghur terrorist suspects to China and in 2006 participated in a large-scale, joint counter-terrorism drill.
Chinese President Hu Jintao led a 150-person delegation to Kazakhstan on 2 July 2005 after visiting Moscow, Russia for four days. The Chinese Government issued a press release saying the Chinese-Kazakh energy and security "relationship deepens constantly." Upon arriving Hu met with President Nazarbayev in an official ceremony. They discussed anti-terrorism, energy, and transportation.
The Governments of China and Kazakhstan held an anti-terror drill, known as the "Tian-Shan-1-2006" drill, from 24-26 August 2006, starting in Almaty, Kazakhstan and ending in Xinjiang, China through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The drill is the first time China and Kazakhstan have held anti-terrorism maneuvers. The Collective Security Treaty Organization held exercises in the Caspian sea simultaneously.
The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a militant Muslim separatist group in Xinjiang province in northwest China.
The U.S. State Department listed the ETIM as a terrorist organization in 2002 during a period of increased U.S.-Chinese cooperation on antiterrorism matters in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The Chinese authorities have called the group a threat (ChinaDaily) to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, but human rights organizations say this was exaggerated to allow the government to crush any form of dissent. However, some experts say the ETIM does pose a security threat.
The question of China's vulnerability to terrorism resurfaced in July 2008 when a group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) took credit for a series of attacks (Xinhua) in several Chinese cities, including deadly bus explosions in Shanghai and Kunming. The group also threatened to target the Beijing Olympics. Some counterterrorism experts claim the TIP was the ETIM using another name.
What is the East Turkestan Islamic Movement?
A small, militant Muslim separatist group based in western Xinjiang province of China—a vast, thinly populated region that shares borders with several countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Some analysts see the groups as natural allies because of their common interests, while others perceive hostility stemming from sectarian rivalry: Al-Qaeda is a Sunni group and Hezbollah is Shiite. Representatives for the groups have at times spoken unfavorably of one another, though al-Qaeda spokesman Ayman al-Zawahiri bridged the rhetorical divide in a July 27 video in which he acknowledged Hezbollah's fight against Israel is indeed jihad, saying "We cannot just stand idly by while we see all these shells fall on our brothers in Gaza and Lebanon." In fact, evidence suggests al-Qaeda and Hezbollah have cooperated in the past and may do so again.
then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage explained in a September 2002 speech, "Hezbollah may be the A team of terrorists and maybe al-Qaeda is actually the B team."
Some experts say a Hezbollah attack in the United States isn't very probable. Former FBI counterterrorism agent Jack Cloonan told ABC, "The more likely scenario will be that Hezbollah will target a U.S. facility overseas."
"They are rivals in two senses," Pillar says, "One is a strictly sectarian one...the other is rivalry for prominence and leadership in forcefully standing up against the West." The sectarian conflict is rooted in the long-standing enmity between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, dating back to the early days of Islam.
The terrorist groups have similar goals vis-à-vis the United States and Israel. According to an affidavit signed by Daniel Coleman, an FBI agent investigating the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, al-Qaeda "put aside its differences with the Shiite Muslim terrorist organizations, including the government of Iran and its affiliated terrorist group, Hezbollah, to cooperate against the perceived common enemy, the United States and its allies."
It’s possible, but Vali R. Nasr, CFR's adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies, says the relationship between the groups has become strained by the heightened pitch of Shiite-Sunni violence in Iraq. Not all experts are as skeptical. "I would expect, even with all the distrust and rivalry, they would see ways in which they could cooperate," says Paul R. Pillar, a visiting professor at Georgetown University and former national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia. He points to Iran's relationship with al-Qaeda: Iran has allegedly provided tacit support to al-Qaeda operatives within its borders. The United States accused Iran of allowing al-Qaeda members to escape Afghanistan through its territory, and a recent report in Die Welt suggested Iran had released Osama bin Laden’s son, Saad, who they were reportedly detaining.
Farah suspects that if al-Qaeda and Hezbollah do collude, joint participation in attacks is unlikely. He says the groups are more liable to share resources, such as false documentation, financial channels, or safe houses. "Overseas attacks are where you’re most likely to see overlap," he says.
There is a general suspicion among parts of the intelligence community in Washington that Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, despite their differences, have cooperated in the past and continue to cooperate on jihad-related activities against the United States and its interests at home and abroad.
The assumption that Hezbollah and Al Qaeda have a solid operational or strategic relationship and cooperate on matters pertaining to global jihad can be challenged on the basis of the following four reasons.
One, irreconcilable theological differences: Al Qaeda follows a Manichaean ideology that sees Shiite Muslims as the lowest of the low, even worse than the Jews and the "crusaders." For Al Qaeda, Shiites are rawafidh (rejectionist Muslims) and should be fought like all other infidels. A week before he was killed by a U.S. air strike, the Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, issued a fiery statement accusing Hezbollah of acting as a protective buffer for Israel. Hezbollah, generally reserved in its comments on internal Islamic issues, first commented on Al Qaeda and its ideology soon after the 9/11 attacks when Hassan Nasrallah, the party's secretary general, described it as an "entity trapped in medieval ages and bent on killing innocent Muslims." In June 2006, Nawaf al-Musawi, the director of Hezbollah's external relations office, replied to Zarqawi's allegations by accusing him of being a tool of the United States and Israel against Arab resistance groups and by viewing his criminal acts as solely intended to ignite civil wars and sectarian fighting.