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Afghanistan « Previous | |Next »
February 24, 2009

It is time to say that the conflict in Afghanistan is about a civil war and to drop the fiction, that the Taliban threaten Sydney or Melbourne, and that all that the invading NATO forces have achieved is to prop up the corrupt and inept Karzai Government. It is a civil war because the Taliban want to replace the Karzai Government with their own, and set up a fundamentalist theocracy.

The effects of the US's "war on terror" has been to destablize Pakistan. Presumably, that is collateral damage from the increased US military intervention in Afghanistan as part of a geopolitical agenda to contain Iran and Moscow. The US is also thrusting into the Russian backyard in the Caucasus and Central Asia by pushing for new military bases in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. So we have the geopolitics of the Afghan war. Does that include containment of China as well?

Australia has become caught up in the US's great game and its establishment of a military presence there because Australian troops on the ground as part of the US military presence is the price that Australia needs to pay to continue to be an ally of the empire's and its New American century project.

The western military presence is widely viewed in Afghanistan as a foreign occupation that serves to stimulate violent opposition. The US's Afghan troop surge will only reinforce this opposition. However, as M K Bhadrakumar observes:

the "war on terror" is providing a convenient rubric under which the US is incrementally securing for itself a permanent abode in the highlands of the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs, Central Asian steppes and the Caucasus that form the strategic hub overlooking Russia, China, India and Iran.

So it is not just a matter of shutting the Taliban down. Increased Nato support in Afghanistan will probably come only in the form of civil aid and assistance with police and army training.

The conflict in Afghanistan cannot be separated from developments in western Pakistan since the effects of the US's "war on terror" has been to destablize Pakistan. Presumably, that is collateral damage from the US military intervention in Afghanistan.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:04 AM | | Comments (3)


Can we please also drop the fiction that sending troops into Afghanistan intended to benefit the Afghan people. Any improvement to their lives is purely incidental.

Zbigniew Brzezinski was more than happy to turn their country into a battlefield...

This article outlines the views of the head of Britain's armed forces - the chief of the defence staff, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce in 2001.

Boyce "warned against the idea that a war on terror could be won by intensive military action while failing to recognise the root causes of the problem. More than that, he warned that the use of excessive force could even tend to radicalise Islamic opinion"

the underlying assumption of the Bush administration was that the anti-Taliban effort was completed, and that the Kabul triumph was the achieved first episode in a rolling global campaign. In military terms, Afghanistan was over.