By William Markiewicz

I once read an observation about farmyard life: when the rooster and duck start to fight, the duck always wins. Based on this observation, there are species like roosters and ducks, or situations fighting crime, fighting wars, where the winner, in principle, is known in advance. Crime and terror have in common the character of never-ending fight; in both cases the protagonists appear and disappear. In wars between two countries, nobody disappears whatever the results. I wrote, more than once, that if there is conflict in countries with differentiated populations– and generally there is – the best outcome is separation because then potential terrorism becomes war between two powers. War is different from terrorism because there will be a relatively fast result; there’s always a winner and loser with final peace.

Recently the Taliban in Pakistan declared that their acts of terror against the USA and allies would never end until a final victory. The truth is that as a matter fact Pakistan, for instance, or Afghanistan, will never finish with the Taliban. Situated in advantageous conditions, they practically can’t be wiped out – as long as they remain the countries’ internal problem. Internal matters must become external if a solution is to be found. As far as I remember, Pakistan’s mountainous frontier territory with Afghanistan was Afghan territory when the British offered it to Pakistan. It became a painful gift – those territories were always tribal, fiercely independent and presently a source of terror, either in Pakistan or outside, against the USA and allies. If those terrorists went back to Afghanistan, Pakistan might declare Afghanistan responsible for acts of terror coming from Afghanistan, which means war. Afghanistan would have to take full responsibility for terror coming from its own territory.

The same may concern US/Afghanistan relations. The US and Karzai have always been more or less difficult allies. But, If the Taliban continued from Afghanistan to launch deadly terrorism to the West, then – allies or not – the US would be obliged to declare that Afghanistan was responsible, and, without waiting for Karzai’s permission, attack militarily the rogue parts of Afghanistan. I believe that this is the only situation where the US can take the upper hand on terror.

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