RNA - For all the money the US has wasted on these endless wars, it could have built a new home for every family in Afghanistan. It could have built schools and hospitals and roads. In short, it could have initiated a program of investments in peace.
Instead, the War Party has rained ruin on vast stretches of the world, killing and impoverishing tens of millions of innocent people. In terms of financial cost, the numbers are staggering. Afghanistan alone has cost a trillion dollars. Just think what the Us government might have accomplished at home if that money had been spent on education, job training, medical research, infrastructure improvements, water purification and sanitation.
However, just like his predecessor, President Donald Trump is also using smoke and mirrors in Afghanistan. While sending more troops to the war-torn country, his administration is seeking to convince the world that there will be an eventual drawdown of US and NATO forces. A closer look at US imperialism’s strategic goals of a “pivot to Asia” reveals that the endless war’s goals include obtaining an economic foothold in Central Asia, where Afghanistan borders Iran, Pakistan, China, and the rich oil and gas resources of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
This geopolitical strategy is consistent with the so-called New Silk Road Policy announced by the Obama administration with the object of gaining economic hegemony over Russia, China and Iran. The US occupation of Afghanistan has always been a profit-driven war of economic conquest and plunder. This was never about fighting terrorists.
As such, US foreign policy is still aimed at regime change in this region to bring in governments subservient to US interests. By passing the “Authorization for Use of Military Force” resolution soon after the Sept. 11 events, Congress allowed the president to bypass congressional authorization for declaring war. This facilitated US interventions throughout the region against any government it deemed an obstacle to imperialist interests.
This has cost the working class in the US trillions of dollars of this unjust and criminal occupation of Afghanistan. Now the Trump administration officials and Pentagon accountants say Afghanistan still needs US support at the same level and would need it for years. They have even increased ground troops and drone attacks in Afghanistan – despite talks with Taliban.
The enormous waste of human lives, especially among Afghan civilians, is the price paid for continuing this illegal war. Overall, the number of civilian deaths and casualties has reached a staggering and numbing amount: from 2001, the beginning of the US invasion, to the present, the number of civilians killed has been on the rise. Overall, the wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed approximately 210,000 civilians, according to the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University, while other sources estimate this number as being much higher, especially with regard to the casualties in Iraq.
Despite the continuation of a US presence, Washington has been losing out in Afghanistan. Units from both the Afghan army and police forces are defecting to the insurgents and some have been turning their weapons on their officers and on US instructors.
In the middle of all this, Trump thinks he will win despite evidence to the contrary based on the bitter experience of the last 18 years of war. Trump says the US should forget about “nation building”. Instead, he says, they should follow what he calls “principled realism”: stay on the attack, don’t reveal how many troops we are adding, and go harder after our ally, Pakistan, who harbors criminals and terrorists”.
Trump says the US must stay in Afghanistan to avoid creating a “vacuum of power” that will be filled by terrorists. And he says the US must continue the mission to honor those who have already died. Continuing this ill-fated mission just increases the death and does nothing to build peace.
It is past time for the Empire of Chaos to get out of Afghanistan and past time to put up with more prevarication and fake news from the Trump administration on this endless war.