Following the inauguration of Donald Trump earlier this year, the Pentagon demanded the deployment of 4,000 additional U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan. Last week, Trump announced that his administration is getting “very close” to deciding whether he will approve the plan for sending more troops. Trump’s hesitancy for months to come to a decision should be understood in the context of the contradictions that exist within the state, not some concealed anti-war position.
The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history. It has not ended, but has largely been forgotten as the American public is kept in the shadows about the realities of the war.
The war was said to have ended in the year 2014. In 2016, the United States dropped 1,334 bombs on Afghanistan. In the first month after Obama became president, he declared that he would escalate the war in Afghanistan by sending in tens of thousands of additional troops.
At the time of Obama’s election, there were 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. Obama tripled that number to over 90,000 U.S. troops in 2010. While that number has decreased since then to 8,500 U.S. troops and 5,000 other NATO troops today, there is no sign of withdrawing all troops to end the war but rather the opposite!
In June, Washington Post published an article that proclaimed that by sending in these additional 4000 troops, the U.S. can finally “start winning” the war. The United States has brought nothing but death, destruction, devastation and suffering to the Afghan people with the war and occupation. U.S. politicians’ rhetoric about spreading democracy or defending human rights is breathtakingly hypocritical.
In April, the United States dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat, called the “Mother of All Bombs,” on Afghanistan. The 21,600-pound bomb’s destructive power is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT. While we are told that the bomb has killed 90 Taliban militants, there is no evidence of this, nor do we know the long-term environmental and health impacts of the bomb on the population. Former Afghan president turned critic of the U.S. occupation, Hamid Karzai, condemned this act and said, “This is not the war on terror, but the inhuman and most brutal misuse of our country as testing ground for new and dangerous weapons. It is upon us, Afghans, to stop the USA.”
The massive bomb was deployed for no other reason other than to assert U.S. might in a show of power directed at Syria, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, all at the cost of Afghan lives.
U.S. out of Afghanistan NOW!
The U.S. government justifies its presence in Afghanistan by telling us that this is a war on terror – against the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS. But in reality, it is an occupation with thousands of troops and many private contractors.
For U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the number one killer is suicide. The number two killer is being shot by the Afghan soldiers they were sent to train. The corporate media obscures the deaths of U.S. troops by reporting, “NATO troops were killed,” instead of truthfully reporting that “Three Americans died yesterday,” for example.
In fact, the Taliban controls more territory now than it did at any point after the U.S. invasion. Not only that, the Taliban, a reactionary fundamentalist group, came to power in the mid-1990s following the 13-year CIA-backed war to overthrow the socialist government that came to power in 1978 after a revolutionary upheaval. This bears the question if the Taliban or the original Mujahideen would even have existed if it wasn’t for the initial intervention in Afghanistan by the United States to conduct regime-change!
The Trump administration and the Pentagon are considering deploying thousands more U.S. troops to maintain dominance in a region they see to be strategic, to secure oil pipelines interests and to guard resource and mineral-rich regions.
Progressives and revolutionaries in the United States have a responsibility to build an anti-war, anti-imperialist movement to end the occupation and war on Afghanistan!