Home > Uncategorized > Afghan War: Payback Time

Afghan War: Payback Time

Frontline
September 22-October 5, 2012

Payback time
John Cherian

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When President Barack Obama took office in 2008, there had been only around four such attacks. The “Green on Blue” killings leapfrogged after the President ordered his military surge in 2010 in tandem with the announcement of the 2014 withdrawal. Half the American military casualties occurred after the Pentagon implemented its counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy in Afghanistan more than two years ago.

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The United States government decided to suspend the training of Afghan security forces in the first week of September after a particularly nasty month in which many U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) soldiers lost their lives. Most of them died at the hands of Afghans who were being trained by them. Five U.S. Special Operations officers were killed in one week. Special Operations officers are in charge of training Afghan security personnel. The Barack Obama administration, which has announced its plans to end the occupation by 2014, wanted to leave behind a trained Afghan force capable of maintaining security. It had earmarked nearly $50 billion for training Afghan security forces.

From available indications, the local security forces’ loyalty to the NATO armies is only skin deep. Troops from all the participating Western countries, including small countries such as New Zealand and Georgia, have been targeted by the Afghan forces that they have been training. The U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, issued an order in August directing U.S. soldiers to carry loaded weapons at all times even in secure U.S. bases such as the Bagram air base. At the last count, the U.S. had around 400 bases, most of them small, in the country. The strength of the Afghan security forces has risen to 300,000 in the last five years. In 2007, the combined strength of the Afghan Army and the national police was less than 100,000.

In the first half of this year, 21 incidents involving the killing of 30 American and European trainers were reported. The attacks have escalated since, with reports of Afghan soldiers turning their guns on their Western trainers all over the country. The number of American soldiers killed thus has now crossed 2,000. More than a thousand soldiers from other NATO and allied countries have been killed since the occupation began in 2001.

Of course, it is the ordinary Afghan who has paid the highest price. Countless numbers of Afghans have perished after the American invasion. A recent report of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on the atrocities committed by the Afghan government and warlords from 1978 to 2011 said that more than a million people had been killed and another 1.3 million disabled. Many of the warlords responsible for the mayhem in that period were backed by the U.S. and are now playing an important role in the politics of the country. The U.S. embassy in Kabul had objected to the release of the report, saying that it would “reopen old wounds”. The U.S. had reasons to be wary about the AIHRC report, given the fact that its close allies, the warlords Mohammad Qasim Fahim, Karim Khalili and Rashid Dostum, occupy important positions of power today. Besides, the report also details the close relations Washington had with elements who are now with Al Qaeda.

When President Barack Obama took office in 2008, there had been only around four such attacks. The “Green on Blue” killings leapfrogged after the President ordered his military surge in 2010 in tandem with the announcement of the 2014 withdrawal. Half the American military casualties occurred after the Pentagon implemented its counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy in Afghanistan more than two years ago.

A significant number of Afghan Army soldiers have deserted, taking their weapons with them, since the implementation of the COIN strategy. The prominent American commentator Tom Engelhardt has tried to draw comparisons of the brewing Afghan Army rebellion with that of the first 1857 mutiny in India when sepoys turned on their British officers. Obama has been quiet on the loss of American lives, but he has reiterated that American troops will be out of Afghanistan in 2014. The prognosis for Afghanistan is gloomy after 2014. The central government in Kabul is loathed by the people and not trusted by its American paymasters. The Taliban attacks are getting more brazen by the day.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. rosemerry
    September 22, 2012 at 5:55 am

    There was never any real reason for the invasion; Afghan people had no part of the 9/11 attacks even if ObL was the instigator, and evidence shows that the invasion was planned for October 2001 long before “9/11″.
    See James Corbett’s 5minute film “9/11- A Conspiracy Theory”!!

  2. Felicity Arbuthnot
    September 22, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Excellent piece. However: “The Taliban attacks are getting more brazen by the day.” The US attack on the country, the homes, the villages, the fire wood collecting women and kids, the farms, the orchards and the invasion itself was pretty brazen. As Iraq. What goes around, comes around. Pay back time indeed. There is no nation on earth that would not behave the same way if invaded, bereaved and humiliated.

  3. Charles
    September 23, 2012 at 4:55 am

    The ingenuity of the human mind is far beyond the neanderthal method of settling disputes
    War should be criminalized on an international level and no longer tolerated on earth anywhere.Take away the incentive for human misery and promote peace instead of the
    barbarism of blowing something up for the benefit of a few sick people.The death of millions of Afgans should be treated as a crime against humanity.The people responsible for the
    911 attack were Saudi,s and Israeli secret service by our own media accounts

  4. Kathleen
    September 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    re: Many of the warlords responsible for the mayhem in that period were backed by the U.S. and are now playing an important role in the politics of the country. The U.S. embassy in Kabul had objected to the release of the report, saying that it would “reopen old wounds”. The U.S. had reasons to be wary about the AIHRC report, given the fact that its close allies, the warlords Mohammad Qasim Fahim, Karim Khalili and Rashid Dostum, occupy important positions of power today.

    So they now object to the stupidity of promoting terrorists aka “close allies” carrying AK47’s and RPG’s to positions of power? The same has already been done in Libya and Kosovo. That is the US’ idea of leadership, a war criminal led new democracy.

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