Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 17, 2016

How Will The "West" Cover Up Its Retreat From Afghanistan?

The Obama administration seems to have given up on Afghanistan.  It should have done so seven years ago but the military ambushed the just installed Obama administration when the only alternatives it presented on Afghanistan was a huge surge and an even bigger surge in deployed troops. Those additional deployments failed to change the realities on the ground and Afghanistan is slipping back into the permanent local war between "western" supported warlords and Pakistan supported Taliban. The later have the huge advantage of some medieval but largely consistent ideology while the former are only driven by greed. This makes the Taliban the likely winner as the U.S. and others are no longer willing to sacrifice their own men and money for the enrichment of a small class of very greedy Afghan criminals.

Nearly all internal road communication lines in Afghanistan are now broken or under control of the Taliban:

Taliban insurgents have cut the main highway that links the capital with northern Afghanistan and neighboring countries for the past three days, according to Afghan officials in the area.
...
The northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif was cut off, as were road connections to eight northern provinces.
...
Earlier this month, insurgents launched heavy attacks on security check posts along the Ring Road between Greshk and Lashkar Gah, in Helmand Province, overrunning three police positions and killing 15 police officers, and taking six officers prisoner. That again cut the strategic stretch linking Kandahar, the biggest southern city, with Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province.

For months, the stretch of Ring Road linking Kandahar and Kabul has been subject to regular Taliban ambushes and so-called flying check posts, making travel dangerous except under heavy guard, for most of the distance. Only the short stretch between Kabul and Wardak Province is passable regularly.

The highway has also been shut down by insurgent ambushes in northern Jowzjan and Faryab Provinces, in western Farah Province and along stretches in Kunduz and Oruzgan Provinces, according to local officials and the police in those areas.

Recently, even the main highway from Kabul to the Torkhum border crossing with Pakistan has been occasionally shut down by Taliban ambushes.

The Afghan government and officials in Kabul are building more walls to surround their compounds out if fear of bomb attacks. Such walls will not keep mortars and rockets from falling onto their roofs. It is rather predictable how this will end. Those with some money will flee the country, those without will arrange themselves with the foreseeable winner, the Taliban. The official government will fall apart. The coalition government, U.S. imposed after the "democratic process" ended up in a stalemate of bribes, did not achieve anything.

The army and police exist on paper but in reality are just some gangs solely benefiting their leaders:

With an estimated 25,000 troops officially based in Helmand, the government should have enough muscle to confront the Taliban.

The problem is many of those troops don’t exist.
...
A recent investigation by Helmand’s provincial council found that approximately 40% of enlisted troops did not exist. The authors of an analysis commissioned by the Afghan government – and obtained by the Guardian – said the share might be even higher.

US officials are equally concerned: in a report released on 30 April, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) claimed that, “neither the United States nor its Afghan allies know how many Afghan soldiers and police actually exist, how many are in fact available for duty, or, by extension, the true nature of their operational capabilities”.
...
One security official cited in the government report said 300 troops had been deployed to a base in Sangin, but when the base fell, there were less than 15 left.

The "west" pays for the official number of Afghan troops but the money does not end up paying soldiers or policemen but only those who control the official enrollment lists.

The meager troops that do exists will soon leave the south where the Taliban are ready to again take full control:

According to the government report, insurgents control 95% of Kajaki district, a lynchpin for British efforts to win “hearts and minds” by powering a dam to supply southern Afghanistan with electricity.

In Marjah, where 15,000 coalition troops staged Operation Moshtarak, one of the largest offensives of the entire war, the Taliban control 80% territory.

In Sangin, only the army and police headquarters are standing. Nawzad and Musa Qala are fully under Taliban control, as is 60% of Gereshk, where most UK and US soldiers were based.

The situation in other parts of the country is not better. There were huge demonstrations in Kabul last week over the route of a new high voltage electricity line that will allow for the import of more energy. The original technical evaluation recommended to put the line through Bamyan, a Hazara-dominated central province. But someone in the recent government decided to route it through the much more vulnerable Salang pass. The demonstrators believe that ethnic hate against the Hazara led to that change though some local bribery seems more likely.

The project also shows that 15 years of "western" development in Afghanistan did nothing to really build the country. Afghanistan has no means to pay for the import of electricity. Instead of building high power import lines it should (have) build many small hydro-power dam projects. The generated electricity would likely be less than the possible imports but it would be sustainable. The new import line, should it ever be finished, will either get blown up by this or that side of a local conflict, or fall into disuse due to a lack of import payments.

The "west" has failed in Afghanistan in a more devastating way than the Soviet Union failed there. Despite deploying many troops over many years no military solution could be obtained. Despite billions spend on development no sustainable economic achievement is visible. Despite thousands of "democracy" initiatives the basic might-makes-right rules of the land did not change.

Whoever wins the presidential U.S. election will need some very creative propaganda writing to cover up the devastating results of the war on Afghanistan and the retreat from the country. What story line will they come up with?

Posted by b on May 17, 2016 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

Comments

It appears that the US are seeking a way to withdraw forces from another dead-end war, which turns out to be extremely costly and inexpedient. The US are currently using Afghanistan as one of the experimental fields for a new type of war through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles known as drones. Although this type of war supposedly conducted against specific targets (dangerous terrorists), there is plenty of evidence about the high inaccuracy of these systems causing the death of many innocents.

Posted by: nmb | May 17, 2016 1:12:33 PM | 1

Some days I pause in sheer admiration at how well you can write an article, b.

Posted by: Grieved | May 17, 2016 2:22:55 PM | 2

Let us not forget that nobody has ever tamed Afghanistan. Alexander the Great had his ass kicked there 300 years before Christ and 1000 before Mohammed. America is just following the pattern- the graveyard of Empire.

Posted by: Jus'Thinkin | May 17, 2016 3:04:19 PM | 3

Unfortunately, Afghanistan's an important cog in the Outlaw US Empire's bid to dominate the planet, and particularly to impede the Russian and Chinese Eurasian projects, which means it isn't going to withdraw.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 17, 2016 3:07:52 PM | 4

So-called "rational thinkers" assume that our leaders, er rulers, made mistakes in Afghanistan; that they didn't understand the consequences of their actions and that they had the best intentions all along. They were fighting the damn terrorists, after all!

Skeptical thinkers understand that the corrupt ruling elite are playing the long con and they knew all along that Afghanistan was needed to provide a steady stream of heroin with which the elite could wage war on their own domestic populations, line their pockets, justify expanded domestic police forces, and continue to keep their prisons full of zombie-like criminals willing to do almost anything to get their next fix.

I've met Marines who stated point-blank that they were not eradicating poppy crops while they were in Afghanistan, they were protecting them.

Posted by: Bruno Marz | May 17, 2016 3:08:26 PM | 5

Since 1860, how many countries have invaded Afghanistan and failed? Some had more than one go at it.

A decent review - Written in 2009 on the western coalition in Afghanistan, FT notes since 1919, as history showed, it is “Tactics without Strategy.”

The familiar road to failure in Afghanistan (you may be required to register) http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d64c4612-ee6a-11de-944c-00144feab49a.html?siteedition=uk#axzz48wHu1OaG

concludes

{..}The British and the Russians won their wars but failed to impose their chosen leaders and systems of government on the Afghans. The western coalition already has as many troops in Afghanistan as the Russians did, and smarter military technology. But neither the British prime minister nor the generals have explained to us convincingly why we should succeed where the Russians and the British failed or why fighting in Afghanistan will prevent home-grown fanatics from planting bombs in British cities. Tactics without strategy indeed.”


In 2001 Tony Blair justified joining the U.S-led coalition. – “the compelling reason of going to war in Afghanistan was to curtail the trade in heroin.” In 2013 UN reported opium poppy cultivation at record high.

This retreat from Afghanistan will leave behind a certain 3-letter agency.

Posted by: likklemore | May 17, 2016 3:12:10 PM | 6

Ethnic relationships and population enumeration can be added into this equation. This piece covers some of the issues: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/afghanistans-continuous-struggle-itself-census-issue-zoran-pavlovic

Posted by: 47 | May 17, 2016 3:12:39 PM | 7

The story line is the easy part. The US can handle it like Vietnam. Just declare victory and go home. Or just declare "peace with honor" and go home. The going home part is the only part that matters.

The Taliban if they are wise will allow at most a minimal diplomatic presence for the US and outlaw all ngo's.

Posted by: SingingSam | May 17, 2016 3:14:27 PM | 8

@3 Jus Thinking

Are there any more even more generic and blanket cliches in your arsenal on Afghanistan? I, certainly, understand that Russian view on Afghanistan may not find a wide circulation (for a number of obvious and not so reasons) in US, and West in general, but Lester Grau's conclusions certainly contradict what you wrote.

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/Withdrawal.pdf

And no, Afghanistan had no hand in "collapse of the Empires". USSR didn't collapse because of Afghanistan, nor will US, if it ever collapses (God forbids), collapse because of Afghanistan. Most empires collapse under the weight of their internal problems, sometimes aggravated, sometimes not, by the wars they fight.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | May 17, 2016 3:49:18 PM | 9

Where does all the money go, once it goes to corrupt officials. Is it only crumbling cinder block mansions and dubai real estate? What's at the bottom of the money pit?

Posted by: Cresty | May 17, 2016 3:58:10 PM | 10

Whoever wins the presidential U.S. election will need some very creative propaganda writing to cover up the devastating results of the war on Afghanistan and the retreat from the country. What story line will they come up with?

Trump could shut the whole shitshow down, and with his signature snarl, just blame the entire clusterfuck on Bush and Obama. and rightly so.

more interesting conjecture would be, what will the winner of the presidential election be remembered for?

you know, like Clinton will be remembered for getting a blow job from an intern in the oval office, little Bush will be remembered for reading to a bunch of elementary school kids for half an hour or so knowing that his country was under massive attack, Obama, the first black African president, will be remembered for attacking one of the most peaceful and prosperous countries in Africa.

and destoying it.

Posted by: john | May 17, 2016 4:14:43 PM | 11

I don't know how one can ambush a spineless, immoral coward in Obama. It probably took one minute and Obama was on board for the war crime spree in Afghanistan.

If The evil US Empire is not going to stick around in Afghanistan, they will certainly really enjoy destroying it. At least a lot more then now.

No effort of spin is required.

Posted by: tom | May 17, 2016 4:23:29 PM | 12

b,

"The Afghan government and officials in Kabul are building more walls to surround their compounds out if fear of bomb attacks."

Israel, Green Zone Iraq, Kabul. Apparently Judeo-Christian 'Exceptionalism' needs walls to protect itself from the non-exceptional?

Divide, Conquer, Expropriate, then claim moral superiority. The second oldest scam in the world.

Posted by: ALberto | May 17, 2016 4:25:43 PM | 13

How will the West "cover up" its retreat from Afghanistan?
Maybe it will have to get out of the heroin business?

Posted by: Perimetr | May 17, 2016 4:30:15 PM | 14

"If you track every significant change in Afghanistan’s situation, such as the relocation of the Taliban – and the war, insecurity, terror, and unrest that automatically follows them – to the northern regions, they all serve a certain interest of the US. In this case it would be causing instability near, and even instigating Russia. It is important to point out here, that contrary to what is generally propagated about the Taliban being lackeys of Pakistan, and to a smaller extent, Iran, the truth is that ultimately it is the US that is holding the leash of these brutes. The Taliban are the reserve force of the US who will utilize them whenever it sees the need. It is no secret that the bloodthirsty Taliban regime was created and nurtured by the US, and will be used whenever the need arises. The Taliban serve a dual purpose for the US today: they justify the continuation of the “war on terror”, and serve as their proxies in parts of Afghanistan that are not under the control of the so-called government. Today, nothing in Afghanistan can occur or change without the US’s permission and it would be quite naïve to think otherwise. This situation also exposes the lie the US government told the world in 2014 about ending its war in Afghanistan by withdrawing its troops and ending the Afghan war. The US continues to have a strong foothold in Afghanistan for its geostrategic purposes."

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-war-crimes-against-women-the-revolutionary-association-of-the-women-of-afghanistan-rawa-interview/5525704

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | May 17, 2016 4:33:27 PM | 15

It's shameful that we invested in import lines, even hydroelectric when more than a couple of decades ago it was discovered, in Africa, that there after decades of trying to "improve the grid" in a war torn region, the greatest gains were seen with solar power because of it's stand-alone, low-tech, easy to replace qualities... when there were enough panels, they weren't even worth stealing. and more recent advanced have lowered the "tech" needed to install and the price. Better to put more money into wifi or satellite telephone and internet ... the fewer targets for a well placed IED -- the better and cheaper in the long run.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 17, 2016 4:35:37 PM | 16

Alot of minerals in resource rich Afghanistan. I do not think the US is going anywhere, they may shrink their numbers but def staying and behaving along the lines of @ 15

A trillion dollars worth of lithium alone and the drugs trade is enough reason for them to stay. To beat the Taliban you need to stop their support from Pakistan. To be Isis and co you need to close the turkish/jordanian borders. Until then the US is parking its nasty ass in those places for a long long time

Posted by: Deebo | May 17, 2016 4:56:43 PM | 17

What story line will they come up with?

(in no particular order)
- A deeper, meaner, more cowardly extension of the unfinished looting of Libya?
- More provocations in the South China Sea. China is getting quite impatient and has reminded the Yankees that Freedom of Navigation doesn't apply to warships (and never has (and never will)).
- US installing ABM systems in Poland and conducting NATO exercises nearby.
- and other stuff.

Almost off-topic but ... will it be an advantage or a disadvantage that AmeriKKKa has circa 1000 military bases/outposts scattered all over the world? If ONE of their dopey provocations goes Red Hot one morning, 70% + of those bases (and buffoons) will be toast by tea-time, imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 17, 2016 5:10:00 PM | 18

"What story line will they come up with?"

The story line will be first that 1) we need to spend more on the military, assuming the U.S. economy hasn't collapsed, and 2) that virtuous Americans have been victimized by Russians, Iranians, and Afghan ingrates.

Posted by: Edwarf | May 17, 2016 5:40:18 PM | 19

@19 LOL. Good one Edwarf.....I see you've been paying attention.

Posted by: dh | May 17, 2016 5:50:35 PM | 20

More details on the MSF attack. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/magazine/doctors-with-enemies-did-afghan-forces-target-the-msf-hospital.html

At night with their infrared cameras they mop up the "squirters" running from the bombed building with their cannons. The 105mm howitzer does the damage to the building.

The power was cut except for the hospital running on generators, and they identified the building by "the T shaped building".

I'm still trying to understand their targeting surely they have GPS and mapping systems that has info on what they are flying over and surely the info says "MSF hospital". And given that it's the only building in the area with power everyone in the gunship must have known. Before they head out on the mission surely they have big maps on the wall, briefing on who is who in the area. The explanations just don't stack up.

Posted by: Nobody | May 17, 2016 6:38:50 PM | 21

17

Exactly. There is no withdrawal. Abdullah Abdullah is CIA and Ghani is World Bank, everything is running like a well-oiled drug cartel profit center. India / China hold the oil, coal, iron and copper leases, together the largest in South Asia, and US taxpayers and child soldiers are providing their last life savings and 'hoo-aah' for this Globalist protectorate.

What b has written here is Controlled Dissent propaganda, at worst, or else Europist jibber-jabber at best. I presume the later, ...although it being pre-Brexit / pre-zUS selections, with $10Bs in PNAC Globalist PAC money floating around, you can't trust what anyone writes, not even RT, AJ or the Saker.

My Afghan friends say everything is operating like a well-oiled profit center in Kabul. If you aren't editing Afghan field reports, then any 'political analysis' is pure schlok.
Go write an article on Greece, or hey, there's a soft coup in Brazil, whoa, how about Venezuela? ZUkraine has not made its junk bond payments, how's that going? There's so much more interesting porn material, than an un-informed op ed piece.

Som toh.

Posted by: Chipher | May 17, 2016 7:07:11 PM | 22

Sick and tired of the western media bullshit.
Seriously.
Finally found some TRUTH here!! http://russia-insider.com/en/5-reasons-support-russia-insiders-spring-crowdfund/ri14327
Check it out. You'll LOVE what they have to say. Guaranteed.

Posted by: Anna | May 17, 2016 7:10:34 PM | 23

Here's an oldy but goodie pre-9/11:

http://www.thenation.com/article/bushs-faustian-deal-taliban/

$43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 17, 2016 7:40:11 PM | 24

NoOneYouKnow @ 15, Absolutely right. US will maintain control of much of the money from the poppy, and see that much of the drug continues creating addiction in Iran & Russia.
And of course they are not going to give up their Afghan military bases.

I don't see how they can do that if they withdraw. Was it in Iraq that they "withdrew" while leaving thousands behind as "diplomatic personnel". Funny thing was that just about all of them looked like soldiers.

Karloff1, You're right; no possibility they'd give up the bases. They're ideally situated.

Posted by: Penelope | May 17, 2016 7:45:39 PM | 25

"The Obama administration seems to have given up on Afghanistan...."

Obama only recourse, blames Putin and Congress.

It's Putin fault!

Posted by: Jack Smith | May 17, 2016 7:48:44 PM | 26

Different Empire, the same graveyard as one so eloquently put it.

Posted by: benlomand | May 17, 2016 8:13:43 PM | 27

I agree with others on the importance of the bases to the Pentagon. The problem will be logistics as if we cannot resupply, it's over. If we can, we will stay forever and destabilize via drones, like we do everywhere else. There could still be a lot of money to be made by the MIC.

Posted by: Mike | May 17, 2016 9:17:55 PM | 28

What story line will they come up with?

That IS the story line ... we came, we destroyed, they died ... ha ha ha ...

The US doesn't build, it destroys so that AmeriKKKans can come in afterwards and loot the pieces left over.

This has been the case since before the beginning of the colonies in the "New World" ... it has been, and is, the only strategy. Thus we actually need cruel, nasty, repulsive, ugly and easily bought leaders to keep the ball rolling ...

Bernie-ism, Killary-ism, Trump-ism are various names for AmeriKKKans who don't want a better world ... they just want things to be better for themselves and will sell out to what is called the 'lessor of evil' ... a euphemism for who will give me the most.

The system is not corrupt because of some hidden bad guys ... it is the brutality of capitalism ... the reality of greed (as exemplified by constant demand of consumerism) ... the notion that so long as "I" get mine the rest of humanity ... the rest of the universe (animals, plants, earth, seas, sky) ... does not matter. If it can exploited for "my" personal gain, great. If not, then someone is not only getting theirs, they are taking mine too.

Nasty ... cruel ... and not about to go away ... though like all cancers, once it kills the host another victim must be found ...

Posted by: rg the lg | May 17, 2016 9:35:36 PM | 29


Posted by: Anna | May 17, 2016 7:10:34 PM | 22

You need to be careful, Charles Bausman seem to have shady dealing in his crowd funding (transparency). I would rather trust Fort Russ than Russia Insider.

If you really wanna honest News on Syria try AMN

http://www.almasdarnews.com/

Posted by: Jack Smith | May 17, 2016 11:47:07 PM | 30

Posted by: tom | May 17, 2016 4:23:29 PM | 12

Oboma will never be charged for any past or future wars' crimes. Just like his predecessor Dubya. Yes, the US Empire is rotten in the core and thanks to the millions voted for him once or twice. The next president whoever he or she maybe will be just as rotten.

Dun kid yourself Bernie will be the saviour, he still a rotten apple from the same tree.

Posted by: Jack Smith | May 17, 2016 11:55:10 PM | 31

Posted by: rg the lg | May 17, 2016 9:35:36 PM | 28

Excellent! Can't express any better.

Posted by: Jack Smith | May 17, 2016 11:57:05 PM | 32

This reference to the walls in Kabul is also similar to what has occurred in Baghdad,especially that US embassy which is one massive fortress. Reminds me of the Crusader castles that still pock mark the lands of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. That experiment in Western attempts to occupy lasted for over 250 years. However, for the whole time the Crusaders lived inside these walled in towns and castles and only venturing into the country side with heavily armed forces. At the height of Crusader power in Kingdom of Jerusalem Christian pilgrims were routinely slaughtered in their travels to to the holly sites around Jerusalem. The entire attempt to colonize and rule that world finally collapsed when the European kingdoms finally realized that it was just too expensive sending even more crusades into the holly land. Once those European military forces stopped the whole thing unraveled and the native people regained dominion.

When will the US finally realize that we really cannot afford to send in more and more troops to man those walled in fortress cities? It produces very little or no wealth for us. It is a pure drain on resources just like it was to the Crusader sponsoring nations a millennium ago. I suspect Israel itself will fail for the same reason as did the Kingdom of Jerusalem. At some point the West will lose interest and stop funding that stupid idea. The big question will this insanity last another 200 years or be over sooner.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 18, 2016 2:29:42 AM | 33

@Edwardf, 19: Your proviso "assuming the American economy hasn't collapsed" is the key idea.

Assume that it will; has, indeed, already begun collapsing; and will continue to do so. The US empire is in its decline-and-fall stage, following the example of literally every empire in history on Earth so far. It won't be maintaining any sort of presence in Afghanistan for much longer, despite the original and still-abiding purposes of the US gics' (gangsters-in-charge) invasion: maintaining and controlling the profits of the heroin trade, and bothering Russia/China.

Once again, Pashtunwali defeats the foreign invaders...

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | May 18, 2016 2:33:20 AM | 34

Obombsalot lied about almost everything as a candidate, but one of the very few things he didn't lie about was that he considered Afghanistan the good war and he was gonna escalate it, no arm twisting required

Posted by: ran | May 18, 2016 2:49:51 AM | 35

Linda Bilmes of the Harvard Kennedy Law School on the U.S. Engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan: “The Most Expensive Wars in U.S. History” https://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/news/articles/bilmes-iraq-afghan-war-cost-wp She calculates [in 2013] the total projected costs for the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan would amount to between 4 and 6 Trillion dollars. Obviously not counting the present Iraq war.

Posted by: harrylaw | May 18, 2016 6:02:50 AM | 36

This is what a trillion dollars looks like. http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

Posted by: harrylaw | May 18, 2016 6:05:02 AM | 37

@9 sX12

Everytime I try to download something from a .mil site, I can't. Is it that way for everyone outside the US, or just me? Was able to download the paper by other means. I think the salient item is that the USSR was unsuccessful in Afghanistan, and then collapsed a couple, three years later. Yeah they were 'professional' to the end, but it was a disaster. Just like the US, who were unprofessional from beginning to end.

The real disaster is the Afghanis', of course. The Afghanis', the Iraqis', the Somalis', the Yemenis', the Libyans', the Ukrainians', the Syrians ... the Europeans' and Americans', even. There've been so many bad presidents it's hard to pick out one as the worst, but Obama is right up there.

@12 tom

I certainly agree on Obama. He's as sick and cynical as they come. He'll be fighting his wars of ddd&d, and starting new ones, right up till Trump or Hillary raises their hand on 20 January of next year, 248 days long days from now.

Posted by: jfl | May 18, 2016 6:14:17 AM | 38

US and its allies threaten escalation of Syrian war


An escalation of the Syrian bloodbath also has the backing of the leading candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties, but its initiation is almost certain to be postponed until after November in order to prevent the subject of war becoming an issue in the US presidential election.

I think that point is well taken with respect to the present question as well : Afghan war? What Afghan war?

It'll be up to the next administration to bail, to escalate, or just to stay put.

War? What war? is the watchword during the selection season.

The USA is a peace-loving nation. Has a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate president.

Think those Norwegians will give The Donald/The Hill the Nobel Peace Prize Laurel on selection?

Posted by: jfl | May 18, 2016 6:46:29 AM | 39

The proxy war in Syria will be won by the Syrian army backed up by Hezbollah and Russia, talks in Vienna are only a means to delay the inevitable victory of Assad and are therefore a waste of time. Here is the crazy Saudi Foreign Minister pontificating on the Syrian situation...
Speaking at the conference in Vienna, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir advocated a speedy escalation of the war for regime change in Syria.
“We believe we should have moved to a ‘Plan B’ a long time ago,” Adel al-Jubeir told reporters. “The choice about moving to an alternative plan, the choice about intensifying the military support [to the opposition] is entirely with the Bashar regime … He will be removed, either through a political process or through military force.”https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/05/18/syri-m18.html

Posted by: harrylaw | May 18, 2016 7:22:44 AM | 40

The story line would be "We tried but the Afghans aren't 'civilized'," but will you really need a storyline with Americans for a place most have had erased from their minds already? The next BIG THING will be brought out to distract in the immediate aftermath of withdrawal and Taliban victory.

karlof1, you have a good point, but I don't think occupying all of Afghanistan is central to U.S. plans of world domination. Neighbors like Iran and Pakistan are, but even in chaos -- maybe better in chaos -- Afghanistan can still serve as a base to launch terrorism on neighbors developing too independently and/or getting too close to China/Russia. Let's see whether or not the U.S. saves a piece of the country as a reserve terror base.

Posted by: fairleft | May 18, 2016 9:53:18 AM | 41

Alexander defeated in Afghanistan?Nah,he had a different approach,I believe he married a member of the indigenous population,and worked with instead of against his opponents there.And he was just transiting the area,on his way to India.
An American FiUSco,and a clUSterfuck of idiocy rendered by USzion criminals re Afghanistan.

Posted by: dahoit | May 18, 2016 11:30:06 AM | 42

@42 Good point. It wasn't just Alexander marrying Roxanne. A lot of his soldiers decided to marry and settle down in what we now call Afghanistan. Many Afghans are descended from them.

Posted by: dh | May 18, 2016 11:42:53 AM | 43

@42 Is that kinda like rich jews marrying into British aristocracy? Or into the Trump family? Or the Clintoons? Does this mean Nuttyahoo spawn will breed with the Taliban? One pities the Taliban in that confab. They get the DNA short-straw.

Posted by: 4H | May 18, 2016 6:47:21 PM | 44

karlof1 @ 4 The same was said of Vietnam because of its geopolitical importance in the "domino" theory. Yet, lo, the US did leave Vietnam.

The domino theory was a version of the containment mode of American foreign policy. Afghanistan is an example of Brzezinski's "grand chessboard" theory, a version of the much more aggressive and foolhardy rollback mode of American foreign policy.

Only a hundred years ago the sun never set on the British empire. Given that the owl of Minerva flies only at dusk, don't you think this is a beautiful sunset we're watching today? Reminds me of the good old days like, say, 69 a.d.

Posted by: Macon Richardson | May 19, 2016 4:58:36 AM | 45

The USA is planning to leave the area to Iran and Pakistan to handle. Afghanistan may be split. Iran would take over the west side where they have already invested and Pakistan-Taliban will take the east..

Posted by: virgile | May 19, 2016 5:12:46 AM | 46

Cresty@10, You ask where all the money goes. It goes for babes, boys, booze and blow. All the real estate provides is a pleasant setting in which to enjoy the above-mentioned commodities.

Posted by: Macon Richardson | May 19, 2016 5:17:54 AM | 47

44;they've even married into my family,but we aint rich.
Yes,it does seem funny,all this intermarriage with the Wasp elite,as Bidens sons,Clintons spawn and Trumps daughter all marrying Jews.It could be just melting pot stuff,as Jews are late to the party re that,as they resist it dogmatically and culturally.
Not US mutts,though,we've done it for centuries
It makes us Americans.

Posted by: dahoit | May 19, 2016 10:43:39 AM | 48

@Smoothie, comment 9 - Most empires collapse because of the cost of their military. Paul Kennedy wrote a classic book which came out in the late 1980's on the subject - The Rise and Fall of the Great Nations - and is said to have influenced Gorbachev in his decisions regarding the Soviet Union. It's a standard textbook in most universities for international relations.

Posted by: mischi | May 19, 2016 11:20:00 AM | 49

Alberto, comment number 12 - Saddam Hussein, and Assad in Syria also require(d) this kind of protection in their own countries. Perhaps the problem lies elsewhere.

Posted by: mischi | May 19, 2016 11:21:23 AM | 50

Macon Richardson @ 45,
If it were just the US determined to rule an unwilling world I would match your optimism, because the only place that owl can fly is AWAY. Unfortunately, the govts of Europe, EU, Israel, the Saudis, and China (at least) are fully on board in their project which leaves exactly ZERO power to we the people-- any of us.

Agenda 2030 as an all-out push to physically institute the long-agreed-upon Agenda 21 will bring to the local level the world which they have already formed legally & economically thru the transnational bodies which usurp national sovereignty: the WTO, Fed/IMF system, BIS and all those multilateral trade "agreements" (treaties).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3NbhgZUZQo
http://en.kalitribune.com/agenda-21-an-introduction/

One of the many roadblocks we could put in their way-- Ah, nuts-- getting off-topic. You're welcome to contact me powellpenelope on yahoo.

Posted by: Penelope | May 19, 2016 1:32:47 PM | 51

Afghanistan's poppy fields are a major source of the globalist cabals source of revenue, illicit drug laundering a major source of liquidity for western banks, a major source of revenue for CIA et al black ops and bribery. The globalists will have to weigh the accounts to see if they can or should move this operation elsewhere. Perhaps back to the "Golden Triangle" of South East Asian or some colony in South America? Afghanistan's moniker as the "graveyard of empires" still seems to be holding. It seems America's puppet allies smile while the local Viceroy is in the room but spit on the floor as soon as it leaves. A big surprise for the entirely corrupt empire is just around the corner I believe.

Posted by: BRF | May 19, 2016 11:33:58 PM | 52

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