The Taliban’s unchanged demand has been for the foreign occupation forces to leave. Late last year, Trump announced reducing the 14,000 American forces in Afghanistan by half, days after the meeting between the Taliban and US officials in Abu Dhabi. Trump’s announcement earned an announcement from the Taliban agreeing to eventually talk to the Kabul government after reaching an agreement with the US. But later, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said, “We have made it clear to all stakeholders that we will not talk to the Afghan government yet [sic].” That word “yet” is new. It prompted the White House to issue the statement that troop withdrawal hasn’t been ordered yet. “Yet” for “Yet”.
There are those who are tellingly upset with ending wars. Defence Secretary James Mattis has resigned in protest against his boss’s decision to withdraw all troops from Syria. Mattis can be described as a hawkish war criminal. Nicknamed “Mad Dog Mattis” whose advice to Marines in Iraq was to “be polite, be courteous and have a plan to kill everyone you meet”. Washington’s foreign policy establishment and the corporate media lamented his departure and called this Mad Dog an “adult in the room” who could prevent Trump from ending wars.
This is not to suggest that Trump is standing up to the “Military Industrial Complex”. For those who think so should look at “his massive escalation of drone strikes, his easing of rules for killing civilians, his use of ground troops in Yemen and Somalia and his use of criminal weaponry like the MOAB [Mother of All Bombs] in Afghanistan”, said Jeremy Scahill.
A lot can be deduced from realising who opposes ending America’s wars. There are four parties who share the goal of bringing an end to America’s longest war; White House, the American people, Islamabad, and the Taliban. There are four allies of convenience who want the war to continue; New Delhi, Kabul, the American war machinery, the American corporate media who are strongly interconnected with large corporations, and the American imperial mindset that wants to maintain American presence in other countries so as not to cede any influence to others. India is packaged by the American media as a great American ally. However, the American people must ask if India is their ally or an ally of the large profit-hungry corporations that see huge potential in the Indian market for selling their jets, missile defences, drones, and other war equipment?
Borrowed from the Game of Thrones, “winter is coming” is a warning of the coming chaos and violence. The curtain may be falling over the American war in Afghanistan, but a more threatening and catastrophic war to be fought by mercenaries might be lurking in the shadows. Mercenary forces are recruited from Sudan, including the Janjaweed, as well as child soldiers from the Darfur region and ferried off to Yemen to fight Saudi Arabia’s war. The same is possible in Afghanistan. It would give Trump ‘plausible deniability’, which is what he needs for re-election. His motivation is only to claim in his trash talk laden Presidential debate not too far from today, that he fulfilled the promises he made.
A worried and destabilising India might even contribute its own soldiers to keep the war going on the soil of Afghanistan against Pakistan. An editorial appeared in the Hindustan Times on December 24, 2018, which worryingly said, “Pakistan’s leverage in Afghanistan is set to grow.” It added, “India should not let go of its connections with the elements of the erstwhile Northern Alliance.”
All this doesn’t augur well for the cause of peace in the region because it would convert Afghanistan into a Silicon Valley for war profiteers where Erik Prince would be the Steve Jobs of killing. It would also exact a heavy toll on the American taxpayers’ money. Are soldiers needed for war or war needed for a thriving business of hiring soldiers?
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2019.
Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ