Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 3 (5 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   2 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Digging in: Why US won't leave Afghanistan

By       Message Pepe Escobar     Permalink
      (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 11/23/13

Author 73066
Become a Fan
  (170 fans)

The final agreement is not much different from this previously leaked working draft. An update has been circulating this week in the Pentagon and the US Congress. The Pentagon, via Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, justifies the whole thing by the proverbial need to "maintain Afghanistan's security" and make sure foreign aid is not being squandered (as it has always been). 

There will be plenty of US military outposts and bases; Afghan bases and other bases of which the US has "exclusive use." Bagram, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif are inevitably on the list. Once again, this is the US Empire of Bases -- so well characterized by the late Chalmers Johnson -- in pristine form.

Marine General Joseph Dunford, the current US/NATO military commander in Afghanistan, wants up to 13,000 troops to stay, not including security guards and the cream of the crop, the counter-terrorism gang. In theory, these forces won't engage in combat "unless otherwise mutually agreed." The draft text emphasizes, "US military operations to defeat Al-Qaeda and its affiliates may be appropriate in the common fight against terrorism." 

Translation: a future festival of raids by Special Forces, and a counter-terror free-for-all. 

The draft text only mentions, vaguely," full respect for Afghan sovereignty and full regard for the safety and security of the Afghan people, including in their homes," as Obama also mentioned in his letter to Karzai. 

And there's absolutely nothing on the critical issue of drones based in Afghan bases that have been used for incinerating the odd commander but also scores of innocent civilians in the Pakistani tribal areas. 

All about pivoting to Asia 

The Maliki government in Baghdad had the balls to confront the Pentagon and veto the immunity for US forces -- effectively kicking out the occupying force in Iraq. Hamid Karzai, for his part, caved in on virtually every US demand. The key question in the next few months is for what; Mob-style protection if he stays in Afghanistan, or the equivalent of the FBI's witness protection program if he moves to the US?  

Even assuming the Loya Jirga endorses the BSA (not yet a done deal) and Karzai's successor signs it (with Karzai removing himself from the tight spot), to say this opens a new Pandora's box is an understatement. 

The occupation, for all practical purposes, will continue. This has nothing to do with fighting the War on Terror or jihad. There's no Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The few remnants are in Waziristan, in Pakistani territory. The US is -- and will remain -- essentially at war with Afghan Pashtuns who are members of the Taliban. And the Taliban will keep staging their spring and summer offensives as long as there are any foreign occupiers on Afghan soil.

The drone war will continue, with the Pentagon and the CIA using these Afghan bases to attack Pashtuns in Pakistan's tribal areas. Not to mention that these US bases, to be fully operational, need unrestricted access to the Pakistani transit routes from the Khyber Pass and the Quetta-to-Kandahar corridor. This means Islamabad keeps profiting from the scam by collecting hefty fees in US dollars. 

No one knows yet how the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will respond to this. Not only Russia and China -- who are adamantly opposed to US bases in Afghanistan -- but also Iran and India, SCO observers and two countries that can sway Afghanistan away from the Taliban in a non-military way.

We just need to picture, for instance, a practically inevitable future development; Washington deciding to deploy the US missile defense system in Afghanistan (it already happened in Turkey). Russia and China already see that the US may have lost the economic race for Central Asia -- as China clinches deal after deal in the context of expanding its New Silk Road(s) grand strategy. What's left for Washington is -- guess what -- bits and pieces of the same old Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine, as in military bases to "monitor" both China and Russia very close to their borders. 

What's certain is that both Russia and China -- not to mention Iran -- all see this Operation Occupy Afghanistan Forever for what it is; yet another (military) chapter of the American "pivoting to Asia."

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Putin is driving Washington nuts

You Want War? Russia is Ready for War

Why Qatar wants to invade Syria

All aboard the New Silk Road(s)

It was Putin's missile?

Where is Prince Bandar?