Obama, Gates and the military chiefs have already outlined a policy shift away from any pretense of democratic reform or “nation-building” in favor of a more concentrated focus on counter-insurgency operations aimed at wiping out popular resistance in both Afghanistan and Pakistan to US neo-colonial aims.
One issue to be discussed at the Washington conference this week is US concerns over a cease-fire agreement announced last week by the Pakistani government with Taliban insurgents in the Swat Valley.
As indicated by the actions taken in the five weeks since Obama’s inauguration, the US in embarked on a military escalation that will involve an even greater toll in Afghan and Pakistani lives as well as US casualties. So far, 26 American soldiers and 13 from other “coalition” countries have been killed in Afghanistan this year, almost twice as many as in the first two months of 2008, according to the web site iCasualties.org.
Last Wednesday, the day after Obama announced the dispatch of 17,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan, the top US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, held a press conference in which he called for 10,000 more troops beyond the 17,000 ordered so far by Obama. McKiernan said the additional troops did not represent a “temporary force uplift” but part of an expanded war that will continue for at least “three to four to five years.” Some foreign policy analysts are predicting that US troop levels in the region will eventually rise to 100,000.
In 2001, Washington used the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to put into action long-developed plans to conquer Afghanistan and use it as a base to establish US hegemony in Central Asia, home to some of the richest deposits of oil and natural gas in the world. The inevitable result was a military disaster and the destabilization of the entire region.
Now, in pursuit of the same imperialist aims, the Obama administration is launching a major escalation that will only further destabilize the region, intensify tensions with rival power such as China and Russia, and cause untold death and destruction. There is a growing danger of a military conflagration throughout Central Asia and beyond. read more