Roger Aronoff, the Executive Director of the Citizens Commission on National Security, recently hosted a discussion on his radio show podcast with his guest, Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.), who is also a member of the CCNS. Sellin served in Afghanistan and Iraq and participated in a humanitarian mission to West Africa. As a civilian he conducted medical research and obtained a Ph.D. in physiology. In this interview, he discusses with Aronoff the relationship between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Taliban—and how Pakistan is harboring terrorists who actively conduct proxy wars against other countries.
The interview included questions related to Sellin’s latest column, from the American Thinker.
Here are a few of the insights shared by Col. Sellin (Ret.) during the interview:
“Well, I think primarily we’ve been fighting the wrong war. What we have done is assumed that it is an insurgency inside Afghanistan and applied counterinsurgency doctrine, when it is actually, in my opinion, a proxy war being waged by Pakistan against Afghanistan and the United States. It really is not unlike what Pakistan is doing against India. There are terrorist camps inside Pakistan from which attacks are launched into, for example, Indian Kashmir. So what we’re seeing today is really the same thing happening in Afghanistan, where you have a very large Taliban support infrastructure inside Pakistan.”
“Well, I think President Trump did the right thing in not going through with the Camp David meeting. I think there would have been a lot of political blowback on that. And eventually, and I’m not sure what the reasons were, but he went on to actually cancel negotiations with the Taliban, which I think was also the right thing to do because it was going very badly, in my opinion. The U.S. was making concessions to the Taliban which were without reciprocity. They did things they would never have done several years ago.”
“When I talk about a future strategy and how Afghanistan should be included in that future strategy, in South Asia, this is what I’m talking about, is that China, in the end, is really the primary threat.”
“Now the United States, when they give foreign aid it’s often in the form of grants, whereas the Chinese give foreign aid in the form of loans. And what they do is create a debt trap for these developing countries in such a way that they can’t pay them back easily, and the Chinese begin to demand more and more from these developing countries. … We’re seeing it globally, but we’re seeing a lot of it, as you say, in Africa. So I think the United States needs to address that, and one of the pain points, as I said earlier, is the China-Pakistan economic corridor, which is the flagship of that Belt and Road Initiative.”
You can listen to the full interview on the CCNS website here: