Nov 22, 2010
The U.S. now has more than 100,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. Add to that 17,000 – the number of “private contractors” the U.S. Department of Defense admits it uses in “special forces” combat units in Afghanistan. And to that add 40,000 troops from other countries participating in the occupation.
With this enormous military force on the ground – several times greater than 30,000, the number of insurgents estimated by the U.S. military – we now have begun to see the full extent, and the real character, of the U.S. military “surge” in Afghanistan.
Night after night, U.S., allied and Afghan government troops raid individual homes when people are asleep, terrorizing children and women, sometimes even raping them. Men are pulled out of the house, taken away to prison or to be killed. Highly destructive fire power – bombs from helicopters and missiles from tanks – is used often and widely against the population.
Since 2001, U.S. government and military leaders have been telling us that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are necessary to fight and destroy terrorist networks. Nine years later today, these same officials tell us the threat of a terrorist attack on the U.S. is greater than ever.
Yes – precisely because of what the U.S. has done in these wars.
To be sure, the brutal U.S. surge, with its night raids on people’s homes, can only turn the Afghan population, already fed up with decades of war, even more against the U.S. occupation.
In Afghanistan, practically the whole country – except for Kabul, the capital, and the surrounding area, or empty mountain tops – is outside the control of the U.S. and its allies. The Afghan army and police, whose recruits have come from the ranks of militias run by different warlords, have no loyalty to the U.S. When their warlords shift loyalties, they turn their weapons on U.S. troops. And lately more and more warlords, who have been allied with the U.S. in the past, have been attacking U.S. and Afghan government forces.
The war that the U.S. started in Afghanistan has now spread over the border to Pakistan – a country with six times the population of Afghanistan. That, in turn, has further destabilized the government of Pakistan, raising the threat of even more chaos and war in the whole region.
On top of all this, U.S. generals have a problem with their own troops. Soldiers, many of whom are on their third, fourth, fifth tours of duty, are fed up with this war or simply morally, mentally and physically destroyed.
So, after nine years of war in Afghanistan, longer than any other war the U.S. has fought, the situation on the ground is a disaster for the U.S. military.
Behind this latest big military push, this surge, the U.S. is attempting to force the insurgents to cut a deal which will let the U.S. get out without admitting defeat.
The U.S. war on Afghanistan has already killed tens of thousands of civilians. It has made life impossible for the vast majority of Afghans, by destroying existing infrastructure and economic activity in the country, and even more severely impoverishing the population.
And this war has been a real disaster for working people in the U.S. – by killing and injuring, physically and mentally, thousands of Americans, and by draining billions of dollars of wealth created by American workers.
This brutal, catastrophic war in Afghanistan continues only because a very tiny part of the U.S. population – big bosses, who run the U.S. and who want to control the whole world, or their henchmen and flunkies – want it to continue.
American workers have nothing to gain from this war, and have already paid a very heavy price for it.
Put an end to this bloody war of occupation – not in 2014, not in 2011, but right now!