Obama Escalates War in Afghanistan

By Kenneth J. Theisen

According to a story in the Wall Street Journal on January 6, 2011, President Obama is planning on a further escalation of the U.S. war of terror in Afghanistan. Obama’s “surge” will bring the total of U.S. forces in this war ravaged nation to almost 100,000. 

The Journal reports that, “Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decided to send an additional 1,400 Marine combat forces to Afghanistan…” As recently as last month, Obama administration officials were still claiming that they would begin to withdraw troops in July 2011 as part of a “transition” of “security” to Afghan puppet forces. 

This is still the official line, but all the political rhetoric is only meant to mask the real truth – the U.S. is escalating the war there and the killing and other war crimes of U.S. imperialism will continue - unless massive political opposition forces a change of course.

Administration officials told the Journal that these latest troops may arrive as early as this month. The reason given for this move is to counter a spring offensive by forces opposed to the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan.  Despite the massive escalation of the war by Obama, the U.S. has not been able to achieve its goals in Afghanistan.  Counting U.S. troops and contractors, the U.S has over 200,000 personnel working for the Pentagon in Afghanistan

The U.S. has unleashed a massive war machine against the people of Afghanistan. The total above doesn’t even include the thousands of NATO allies or the over 100,000 Afghan puppet forces trained by the U.S. It also does not reflect that the U.S. has forces (naval and air force) stationed outside of Afghanistan, at various bases and in the waters around South Asia, but who are actively killing people in Afghanistan.  .

In addition to sending additional troops, the Pentagon death machine is trying to change the composition of the forces in Afghanistan as well.  Obama’s surge will replace so called “support troops” by combat troops.

U.S. military leaders are also contemplating other ideas to “temporarily boost the number of combat troops in Afghanistan in addition to the Marines authorized Wednesday” according to the Journal piece. One proposal is to deploy new units a few weeks earlier than planned in April and May of this year.  This would allow an overlap with units that are scheduled to be withdrawn.  In essence it is a smoke and mirrors game to deceive us into thinking that the war is not being escalated.

In addition to the escalation of U.S. forces the U.S. has intensified its training and recruitment of Afghan puppet forces over the last year or so. But this is not as successful as the U.S. had hoped, with many problems such as massive desertions and the occasional trained Afghan forces shooting at U.S. forces and their allies.

None of these moves by our ruling class is in our interest or the interest of the people of the world. Yes there are terrorists in Afghanistan and there are reactionary forces such as the Taliban that oppose U.S. imperialism.  The U.S. does want to defeat these forces.  But the U.S. global war of terrorism is not meant to protect the American people, or the people of Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else. It is meant to protect the U.S. imperialist global empire.  Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and other nations where the U.S. is now waging war are in a region that the U.S. must dominate in order to maintain hegemony in the world.

 Ironically the U.S. and fundamentalist Islamic forces strengthen one another while they also fight one another.  In Afghanistan the Taliban has gotten stronger because of the hated U.S. occupation. Unfortunately many Afghans see no other alternative to siding with either the U.S. reactionaries or the fundamentalist reactionaries.  But these are not the only choices available to the Afghan people, nor to those in the U.S.

 We can not allow ourselves to be forced to choose between two outmoded forces.  Both must be opposed.  Here in the U.S. we have a special obligation.  It is our ruling class that is directing this war of terror.  We must stand up in our millions to oppose this.

 The war in Afghanistan is now in its tenth year.  The war in Iraq is still being waged with tens of thousand of U.S. troops still there.  Obama has escalated the war of terror against Pakistan and greatly increased missile strikes and assassinations there.  Covert wars are now being fought by the U.S. in other countries like the Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, etc.  One of the main reasons that this continued escalation of the U.S. war of terror is possible is the lack of a massive anti-war movement here in the U.S.  As long as the political cost to the ruling class is low, this war will continue.  If this is unacceptable to you, I would urge you to join with us at World Can’t Wait.  Only you and millions like you can halt the fascist wars unleashed by U.S. imperialism. Each day we delay makes the reactionary forces stronger, and at some point, maybe unstoppable in the short term.

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.