Losing the War in the Colony of Afghanistan, by Brian Cloughley

The US’s military involvement in Afghanistan since 2001 doesn’t even rise to the level of the absurd. From Brian Cloughley at antiwar.com:

The latest news about Afghanistan varies from the profoundly dismal to the fatuously absurd.

One depressing story is the UN Office of Drugs and Crime report of November 15 that opium production for manufacture of heroin jumped to 9,000 metric tons so far in 2017, up 87 percent from 4,800 metric tons last year.  It noted that “insecurity and political instability” are key drivers of illicit poppy cultivation. In other words, the country is a lawless shambles.

But two days before this gloomy evidence of national insecurity the usual verbally-challenged US general assured us that things were looking good.  The US Defense Secretary, the widely-revered intellectual General Mattis, expressed pleasure that there is going to be an increase in the number of foreign troops in Afghanistan and said that “Right now, I’d say there’s somewhere approximately two-dozen NATO allies and partner countries that are leaning towards raising the number of troops, now that’s out of 39 total countries on the battlefield, so it’s a little over two dozen.”

How illuminating.  39 countries “on the battlefield” indeed.  That would be “somewhere approximately” rather bad news for those governments who imagine that their troops in Afghanistan as part of the “Resolute Support” mission are not on any account to be involved in combat, save in the last resort of defending themselves.  As stated by the US-NATO military alliance, “Resolute Support is a NATO-led, non-combat mission . . . to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.”  Nothing about battlefields, there.  But then, Mattis is understandably somewhat battlefield oriented. It was he, after all, who declared that “it’s fun to shoot some people.”

The US and NATO hierarchy keep trying to convince the world that Afghanistan is not a corruption-ridden quagmire of drug-production and savagery, and General Mattis told reporters in Kabul on September 28 that “uncertainty has been replaced by certainty” because of new US policy, and that “the sooner the Taliban recognizes they cannot win with bombs, the sooner the killing will end.”

To continue reading: Losing the War in the Colony of Afghanistan

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