Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 23, 2021

Biden Commits To Forever War On Afghanistan

The forever war on Afghanistan will continue.

The U.S. and its NATO proxy force have spent nearly 20 years and a trillion dollars to "do something" in Afghanistan. What that something was to be was never clear. There were attempts to impose some kind of enlightened model of governance on the Afghan people. But anyone with knowledge of that country knew that this would never work.

Bribes were handed out left and right and Afghan warlords, many of whom hold government positions, enriched themselves by scamming the occupation forces. They naturally do not want that to end. There are also Afghans who do not want to live under the heel of corrupt warlords and ignorant occupation troops. They are called Taliban and get support from Pakistan and Arab countries which the U.S. calls 'allies'. The occupation forces tried to fight them but after nearly 20 years of wars the Taliban again rule over half of the country. Even while the warlords still have military support from the occupation forces their troops are losing in nearly every engagement.

Militarily the war against the Taliban has long been lost. Even with the 100,000 'western' troops the Obama administration had sent there was no way to win it.

President Donald Trump made efforts to end the useless war on Afghanistan. He negotiated with the Taliban to remove all 'western' forces by May 1. The agreement also commits the Taliban to not attacking those forces and to negotiate with the warlord government in Kabul on power sharing. They agreed to that after the U.S. promised that Taliban prisoners of war, held by the Afghan government, would be released.

The Afghan government had and has of course no interest in losing power. At least not as long as still gets sponsored by 'western' money. It also did not want to let prisoners go as those would just turn around and again fight against it. A year ago the Trump administration threatened to withhold money should the Afghan government not follow the negotiated terms:

Facing collapse of Afghan peace talks before they even start, the Trump administration has threatened to withhold up to $2 billion in aid unless President Ashraf Ghani and his main rival put aside their political differences and open negotiations with the Taliban.
...
The threat was the sharpest sign yet that the Trump administration is distancing itself from its Afghan ally and moving closer to the Taliban. The longtime U.S. adversary has in effect become a wary partner as President Trump seeks to withdraw thousands of American troops before the November election and end America’s longest war.
...
The Kabul government is heavily dependent on international assistance. U.S. aid was expected to total $4.3 billion this year, all but $500 million of which was earmarked for training and equipping the Afghan army.

The threat worked as expected. But when it became clear that a new management would take over the White House the Afghan government again tried to stall the process. Today the talks resumed but they are unlikely to achieve any results:

Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government have resumed in the Qatari capital Doha after weeks of delays, escalating violence and a change in US diplomatic leadership as the Biden administration began.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem tweeted on Monday night the resumption of the talks, which were the outcome of an agreement between the Afghan armed group and the US in February 2020.

But the administration of President Joe Biden is reviewing the agreement, which was aimed at ending the longest war the US has fought.
...
When talks ended abruptly in January, days after they began, both sides submitted their wish lists for agendas which they now have to sift through to agree on negotiation items and the order in which they will be tackled.

The priority for the Afghan government, Washington and NATO is a serious reduction in violence that can lead to a ceasefire, the Taliban have until now resisted any immediate ceasefire.

Washington is reviewing the Doha peace agreement the previous Trump administration signed with the Taliban as consensus mounts in Washington that a delay of the withdrawal deadline is needed. The Taliban have resisted suggestions of even a brief extension.

Without financial pressure there is no chance that the Afghan government and the Taliban will ever reach a power sharing deal. Even if there would be an agreement there is little chance that it will be upheld by all sides. The conflict would likely reignite and the Taliban would win.

The obvious consequence should be to just follow Trump's plan and to leave as soon as possible.

But Trump was bad and thus the Biden administration is discussing three options:

If the US leaves in the next three months, it’s likely the Taliban will overrun the US-backed Afghan government and once again make life worse for millions of Afghans, especially women and children.

Staying in Afghanistan just a little bit longer would likely delay that takeover, but would also expend any diplomatic capital the US has left with the Taliban and keep US troops in harm’s way.

Finally, violating the terms of the agreement and remaining indefinitely will almost certainly lead the Taliban to restart its campaign, put on hold ahead of the May 1 deadline, to kill American service members in the country.

Biden could follow Trump's agreement with the Taliban and order the troops home. He could sell that as a victory and a fulfillment of a campaign promise.

But with the blob again in power that option had little chance to survive:

The opinion editors at The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal may not agree on much, but they are both determined to oppose bringing forces out of Afghanistan as our war there approaches its 20th anniversary, raising the specter of “withdrawing irresponsibly.” Meanwhile conservative establishmentarians like Washington Post columnist Max Boot, and his cohort on the center-left side of the dial, David Ignatius, as well as Madeleine Albright, make common cause for keeping troops in Afghanistan as Biden’s “best option.” Today’s “stay” advocates, which include Republicans like Lindsey Graham making the media rounds, may all be coming from different plot points on the Washington political grid, but keeping the United States committed to a desultory, unwinnable conflict unites them. Their messages are circulated and amplified by social media and establishment friendlies, and among big cable news outlets. Thus, a consensus is born.

The blob is usually fond of claims that "all options are on the table". Here it was keen to take one away:

Multiple US officials told me in recent days that the administration’s Afghanistan policy review is nearing its end, with one telling me they expect Biden to make a decision “very soon.”

“I don’t know which way the president will go,” said this official, who like others spoke with me on the condition of anonymity to talk freely about a sensitive national security deliberation. Another person familiar with the Afghanistan discussions told me it’s clear a full withdrawal by May 1 is “off the table.”

This again demonstrates that the U.S. is no longer agreement capable. By staying longer than May 1 the Biden administration will breach an international agreement the previous administration had made.

It is unlikely that the Taliban will agree to a prolonged stay of any troops from such an unreliable entity. They will rescind the ceasefire and the war will again enter a bloody phase:

[F]ew think Biden will withdraw all US troops by May 1, which means he will be keeping US service members in the country with or without the Taliban’s approval. If he does it without their approval, that could lead the insurgents to attack and kill American personnel as they overtake major Afghan cities, perhaps even Kabul.

At that point, withdrawing from Afghanistan would be harder, experts say, because the administration won’t want to look like it’s running away from the fight. A return to a larger war, then, would likely ensue, leading to more death and woes for the millions of Afghans who’ve already suffered tremendously.

Unfortunately the decision by the Biden administration was utterly predictable. The military-industrial complex will not allow a retreat from a profitable battlefield and Biden is way too weak to resist its pressure.

Posted by b on February 23, 2021 at 17:19 UTC | Permalink

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The US must simply be driven out from all corners of the world. There is no other option.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 23 2021 17:40 utc | 1

60 Minutes, yes that mouthpiece of the neocons, run another story about “the butcher Assad “ last Sunday. Not only in Afghanistan, expect the neocons to have a field day in Syria, Ukraine, etc. with Biden.

Posted by: BilltheGeek | Feb 23 2021 17:45 utc | 2

b. you buried the lead:

The military-industrial complex will not allow a retreat from a profitable battlefield ...

It's not Biden that has committed to "forever war" (as you state in your title) but the MIC (and their Deep State compatriots). Biden is just the latest puppet.

The false pretense of Presidential independence should be avoided. Isn't it clear by now that a President's apparent good deeds are mere propaganda? Obama's JCPOA was never meant to be a "peace deal", just a delaying tactic. Trump's "troop pull-out" - in Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. - was nothing more than window-dressing. Any 'good' done by Presidents are easily (and quietly) reversed by the following toady.

I'm very cynical because Western leaders are totally captured by MIC Empire imperatives. Each day we get closer to war. We won't avoid war by keeping the blinders on.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 23 2021 17:51 utc | 3

Dang, was hoping ex Soviet republic of Georgia would have proffered discussion for the day...my fault.

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 23 2021 17:58 utc | 4

"Unfortunately the decision by the Biden administration was utterly predictable."

You bet. Giving up a colonial possession and leaving counts as the worst possible betrayal.

...and that's why Nixon got axed, incidentally. One would have to be an idiot to believe the official "18-minute gap" narrative...

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 23 2021 18:01 utc | 5

"At that point, withdrawing from Afghanistan would be harder, experts say"

remember the last chopper leaving Vietnam?
I guess a politicians mind has to be learning resistant, otherwise how come the same mistake is being repeated over and over again.

Posted by: Peter Moritz | Feb 23 2021 18:02 utc | 6

They sure LOVE war, just as long they have others who do the fighting them. More or less, the American sucker. They should be on the front line, getting a nice flavor of the hell they unleash on others. But....they never do. Am reminded of a scene from the Three Stooges, where Moe states, “We will fight till the last drop of.....(then points to Curly)...YOUR BLOOD!”

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Feb 23 2021 18:06 utc | 7

A look at the map shows why the US won't leave Afghanistan: Iran lies to the west, China lies to the east, and Russia lies to the north.

Add to that China's Belt and Road project (which the US, no doubt, will interdict if it deems necessary), and one can see that there is little possibility that the US will give up this strategic outpost absent being forced out.

A most unfortunate situation indeed.

Posted by: elephant | Feb 23 2021 18:09 utc | 8

Must stay in Afghanistan to protect the rights of women against harsh religious practices. But defend harsh religious practices in Xinjiang and Idlib. The MIC is certain no one notices the contradictions - the media people sure don't.

Afghanistan is necessary to disruption of Belt and Road initiatives.

Posted by: jayc | Feb 23 2021 18:13 utc | 9

Yes, the US military must be driven out of the corners of the world that it infests. That is not likely to happen militarily. The soft belly of the beast is the "homeland". The idea of a violent revolution is an adolescent fantasy. The only posible secenario I see is a severe económic and social crisis/collapse leading to a change in priorities of the "ruling class". Its a crap shoot - could be better or could be worse - but if it plays out short of nuclear war the world could see whether or not the US is really the indespensable nation.

Posted by: c | Feb 23 2021 18:17 utc | 10

Gullible...easily tricked or manipulated...

What makes persons gullible?

Recall: By 1960, it was clearly established that children up to age 3 would automatically ingest hearing/speech without any inspection at all as to what the datat meant!..then later as youth and adults would automatically incorporate that data into their reasoning or thinking...and here we are befuddled and overwhelmed by "information".

Who would want to make persons gullible? Who wants to gull people? Answer that and then you know who is driven to find ways to control others...as by mis-education and instilling false "memories" and other "tricks".

The process of becoming ungullible is how one avoids traps....and likely helps to spot the traps we are already in.

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 23 2021 18:21 utc | 11

Thanks for the posting b

Others are writing about context of this circus ring of the civilization war we are in and I think that is the best way to look at this.

Empire is losing in Afghanistan just like it is losing in Syria and Iraq.

Empire has lost the ability to project itself into any country at any level it wants. What the world is waiting for is for barbarous and bully empire to crash and burn as a form of social organization. Given the unresolvable debt situation and the ongoing bailouts of the private banking system on the back of the public, how much longer can the music play?

The shit show continues until it doesn't

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 23 2021 18:22 utc | 12

So maybe now the MOA ubergullible pwogwessive contingent, who have for years now been endlessly pimping pepe's pipelinistan bullshit, will finally admit how much easily they were decieved by that obvious bullshit?

Otherwise show us so much as one Transafghan pipeline

And no, I'm not at all interested in hearing more bullshit about Unocal and goldenshowers.

You idiots would accept "it's raining" as an excuse for the pipelinestan goldenshowers pepe poured on your gullible heads formore than a decade.

Posted by: Triden | Feb 23 2021 18:26 utc | 13

Afghanistan is necessary to disruption of Belt and Road initiatives.

Posted by: jayc | Feb 23 2021 18:13 utc | 9

Actually, Afghanistan is necessary for nothing, but the hawks don't like to admit defeat.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 23 2021 18:26 utc | 14

This good new now the cia poppy fields are safe.

Posted by: jo6pac | Feb 23 2021 18:29 utc | 15

If the US leaves in the next three months, it’s likely the Taliban will overrun the US-backed Afghan government and once again make life worse for millions of Afghans, especially women and children.

This affirmation is false. We know that because, if that was the case, American soldiers wouldn't be wasting their time raiding villages and massacring their women and children.

The reason American soldiers need to kill women and children in Afghan villages can only be because they are on the side of the Taliban, who by all chances are their husbands and fathers. They are thus trying to extract information on their location and, when the women don't comply, they torture and kill them - probably also killing their children right before, in front of their eyes, in the form of blackmail and/or psychological torture.

The irony of this is that the Taliban are the model of American libertarianism: alpha males, heads of their families and sometimes villages, picking up arms to defend their private property against an alien invader. The USA is inadvertently killing what it loves the most, the embodiment of the American Dream itself.

Posted by: vk | Feb 23 2021 18:32 utc | 16

and on a related note, opium production is up!!!

opium production

Posted by: TheBAG | Feb 23 2021 18:33 utc | 17

To make slaves and serfs, make them gullible. Mis-educate them to confuse and overwhelm them.

To maintain slavery and serfdom, keep them gullible. Do not educate them. Keep all their attention on just surviving until tomorrow.

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 23 2021 18:33 utc | 18

US Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson who was chief of staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell when the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq stated in this 2018 talk on YouTube that the US military will remain in Afghanistan for the next 50 years so that the US can disrupt China's Belt and Road Initiative near its starting point in Xinjiang, and so that the US can exploit China's Uyghur minority in Xinjiang to destabilize China.

The US also imposed brutal war and Wahhabi extremism on Afghanistan four decades ago to destabilize the USSR - in the words of former National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, "to induce a Soviet military intervention [..] giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war" in Afghanistan, thanks to US machinations.

More generally, US neocon doctrine for world domination is "to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival" in Eurasia, or more specifically: "prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power." Eurasia being the "Heartland" in Halford Mackinder's "Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island commands the world." (And "hostile" power being anyone who does not bend the knee to US hegemony.)

With Afghanistan being at the heart of the Heartland, the US which has imposed brutal suffering on the Afghan people for over 40 years now, will probably continue to impose war, corruption, drugs, and extremism on the Afghan people for another 40-50 years, all so that the neocon-led US can continue to dominate the world.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 23 2021 18:35 utc | 19

"The military-industrial complex will not allow a retreat from a profitable battlefield and Biden is way too weak to resist its pressure."

I'm not yet prepared to buy the MIC explanation for the continued stay of US troops.

US troops make up about 2,000 of almost 12,000 troops the rest of which are NATO. There is no way we can ask the other NATO counties to remain in AFG which we want them to do while withdrawing US troops.

I think the ultimate rationale for keeping troops is the fear how China may dump lots of investment cash and become a player, establishing a ground link through northern AFG to Iran in the process. And the collapse of the AFG government that we set up wo old be a political disaster for Biden. There may be other geo-strategic reasons as well.

But I doubt it's about the MIC. I mean just how much profit are they deriving from our small contingent? I need to hear some figures on that before I could even consider that explanation as remotely plausible.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Feb 23 2021 18:35 utc | 20

"See? It is all just a show; just kayfabe! Trump hammered out a deal just so that the next PotUS could reverse it! Isn't the establishment so brilliant to come up with such an amazing plan?"

Sure, brilliant. And what is this plan intended to accomplish other than blow away the rest of America's diplomatic credit and cement in place the perception that the US empire is pathologically incapable of abiding by its own agreements?

"Don't you see? The establishment gets its war warmed back up! Henry Kissinger said so!"

Of course, there was no need for the Trump agreement in the first place if the objective was to bring the war to a boil again. The silly narrative that it is all part of an incredibly clever master plan falls apart for lack of any objective for that plan.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 23 2021 18:41 utc | 21

thanks for the summation here b... i do agree with @ 1 norwegian and @ 3 jackrabbit too...

the way i see it, if daddy warbucks is able to print endless reams of money - all of this will continue... if on the other hand, the world reaches a point where this fictitious us$ is no longer held in such high esteem, then issues like this will fall away... in fact, it could be argued it is this 'free money' or phony money as the case may be - that is keeping wall st and the military industrial complex going.. pull that out and all is gone..

@ william gruff.. indeed , but until the us$ presence changes, these silly ongoing narratives will continue to be pushed... the us$ is holding it all up..

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2021 18:46 utc | 22

Justice Clarence Thomas breaks on through to the other side...becomes ungullible.

"One wonders what this Court waits for. We failed to settle this dispute before the election, and thus provide clear
rules. Now we again fail to provide clear rules for future
elections. The decision to leave election law hidden beneath
a shroud of doubt is baffling. By doing nothing, we invite
further confusion and erosion of voter confidence. Our fellow citizens deserve better and expect more of us. I respectfully dissent. "

Link from Zerohedge His full dissent is at pdf

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 23 2021 19:05 utc | 23

Can't say as I am surprised by this 'news', goddammit.

Piece below is about to turn 5, but my predictions were sent astray by the push by both sides shortly thereafter towards negotiations. Biden et al start the war up again, well, the clock starts ticking again from that point, and there will be another Saigon 1975 coming our way.


Nobody in the academy, or the intelligentsia anywhere in this country is examining our zombified march to defeat in our pointless wars. Wars that we so happily embrace, whose costs to us and particularly to others we ignore. Whatever bad that befalls us from this, we fully deserve.

https://contraryperspective.com/2016/05/27/the-afghan-war-goals-unasked-unsought-unattainable/

Posted by: Daniel N. White | Feb 23 2021 19:14 utc | 24

America's longest war is Somalia, 28 years and counting. We are supposedly withdrawing now, finally, but that remains to be seen.

As an elderly American, and former patriot, our endless, pointless, unwinnable wars are disheartening in the extreme. The American Ruling Class/Deep State is insane. It is even reopening the Civil War after 160 years of reconciliation and peace. And it openly discusses war with China and Russia.

People in Europe and Asia and elsewhere should not gloat. The US will drag you into a Third World War yet.

Posted by: bob sykes | Feb 23 2021 19:14 utc | 25

Re: BilltheGeek | Feb 23 2021 17:45 utc | 2

"60 Minutes, yes that mouthpiece of the neocons, run another story about “the butcher Assad “ last Sunday."

And NPR this morning broadcast yet another discussion about Assad having used chemical weapons against his own civilian population.

Of course, Assad would have had absolutely nothing to gain and absolutely everything to lose if he would have done that, but the Borg does not want us to be discussing that.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 23 2021 19:21 utc | 26

@Laguerre, 14, "Actually, Afghanistan is necessary for nothing..."

Meh. One word: heroin. Shitloads of it.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 23 2021 19:21 utc | 27

Re: Jackrabbit | Feb 23 2021 17:51 utc | 3

"b. you buried the lead:

The military-industrial complex will not allow a retreat from a profitable battlefield ..."

As with all US wars, the cost of the war in Afghanistan is the purpose of the war.

"All wars are bankers' wars . . ."

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 23 2021 19:25 utc | 28

pakistan under khan is a very different country (imran has been planting trees rather than offshoring bribes), it's not clear to me that pakistan is still an american colony. certainly there are factions that enjoyed cis's largess, & are now trying to create chaos, disrupt the bri & unseat khan but imran khan is tied to the bri, china has been a generous friend, helping to build infrastructure & a deep sea port, & developing an independent internet & natural resources. i suspect aligning with china rather than america is a terrific counterbalance to india. pakistan, like myanmar, iran, syria & yemen, is very important.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Feb 23 2021 19:27 utc | 29

Afghanistan...I have never seen a clear reference to what it is all about...so FYI here it is...see for yourself.

Afghanistan is the the only potential and obvious land bridge to the West from China..Afghanistan already touches China!

Look at the extreme Northwest Afghanistan a direct corridor

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 23 2021 19:36 utc | 30

What is so wrong about a continued US presence in Afghanistan? I think the US should have 20,000 troops in Afghanistan for the next 20 years at least. That will keep the Taliban from taking over the rest of the country and allow women and others to live freer lives. The more free capacity the US military has the more likely it is to attack Iran.

Posted by: whatissowrong | Feb 23 2021 19:36 utc | 31

Norwegian's short comment @1 needs to be expanded into the overall historical context of the Outlaw US Empire: It has never willingly withdrawn from any place it's invaded and occupied (it still had troops in Iraqi Kurdistan when it was "ousted" from Iraq), and in most instances has found a way to reenter afterwards as with Vietnam and Philippines. Several commentators have provided the several reasons why the Empire will remain in Afghanistan, and the same will occur in Syria and Iraq. As I wrote earlier, the way to oust the Empire from the places it doesn't belong is to make it pay for its occupations instead of it getting away with the world's nations paying via Dollar Hegemony. Eliminate that source of tribute, and the Empire will rapidly shrink as it collapses domestically from its massive currency debasement.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2021 19:38 utc | 32

whatissowrong @31--

The Outlaw US Empire has killed far more men, women and children than the Taliban such that your comment reeks of naivety or worse. When the plans were drawn to invade Afghanistan, the primary excuse--911--had yet to occur, and as such there was never any legal reason for the invasion. It was and remains a War of Aggression, with Clinton/Gore--who planned it--just as guilty as Bush/Cheney--who executed the plans. The after-the-fact UN fig leaf is bullshit and a huge black mark on it, for which China and Russia bear responsibility.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2021 19:48 utc | 33

The Trumpet blew it when he assassinated Soleimani, as was intended no doubt, 2 birds 1 stone & all that. Too bad he was never a leader of a quality band, back in the day Glen Miller & so much more are long gone

Posted by: sadness | Feb 23 2021 19:48 utc | 34

Thanks b. Always informative on Eurasian geopolitics.

PS. Off-topic I know, but I'd be interested in your take on the context and consequences of Modi's agrarian policy in India.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 23 2021 19:49 utc | 35

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 23 2021 19:21 utc | 27

Costs not worth the heroin profits. Like oil, you can buy the stuff.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 23 2021 19:50 utc | 36

@karlof1 | Feb 23 2021 19:38 utc | 32

Thank you for expanding on my comment and pointing to how to achieve the stated goal, which is founded on a desire for peace in the world. That was really constructive and useful. As you said, the way to oust the Empire is to make them pay for not leaving, i.e. make the cost of occupations higher for them than the 'income'. Easier said than done, but I agree the dollar hegemony needs to go first and is likely the main problem the wold has because the dollar hegemony is the same as the US hegemony.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 23 2021 20:03 utc | 37

Ronald Regan showed the world the solution to foreign troops occupying Afghanistan. Reagan provided shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles in large quantities to the forces arranged against Russian military. Without the ability to fly, the "counter-insurgency" could not be maintained. I bet that sort of hardware is much better lo these forty years hence.

Posted by: Ed | Feb 23 2021 20:10 utc | 38

with a few exceptions all the commenters are correct. It is all of these reasons that the US stays in Afghanistan. As long as Israel wants the US air force to turn Iran's infrastructure into rubble we'll stay. The MIC wants us there as long as the money continues. Disrupting China's Belt and Road Initiative is a major concern. The CIA wants to keep control of the global heroin trade and cause trouble in Xinyang. Plus Afghanistan is a central location in the middle of SE Asia.
Why did Trump bother to negotiate the withdrawal with a date past the election when knew the establishment was going to do all it could to keep him from getting another term. Why did he wait to fire ESper defense Sec until after he "lost"(my bias is to believe it was stolen - but it certainly wasn't the first time one was)the election? His attempts to leave Syria were feeble, easily thwarted by the national security state. The best you can say for Trump is he didn't ramp up the troubles in the Ukraine. otherwise as Putin has said, "I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times."

Posted by: gepay | Feb 23 2021 20:11 utc | 39

Norwegian @37--

Thanks for your reply! Hudson's mapped out the how and why, so it's up to the world to implement a new international financial system that rights the wrongs and makes the #1 criminal organization pay.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2021 20:25 utc | 40

I have a question for the barflies. In the event of a war between the United States and Iran, would Pakistan allow the United States to resupply American troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan?

This question occurred to me when I was looking at a map of Central Asia, and started to wonder how the United States supplies its forces in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is landlocked, with Iran to the west, Pakistan to the south and east, and several central Asian countries to the north. Quick googling shows 2500 US troops alongside ~8000 other NATO troops in Afghanistan. Apparently, 'non-lethal' equipment is shipped to Karachi and then transported overland through Pakistan into Afghanistan while ammunition is airlifted directly into Afghanistan. Pakistan has cut off US logistics once already, in 2011, after US troops killed 28 Pakistani soldiers at a border post, and only reopened in 2012 after receiving compensation and an apology from Hillary Clinton.

When Pakistan shut down the US supply line, the US rerouted supplies all the way from the Baltic, through Russia, and through Central Asia. This route was vastly more expensive, and in fact Russia shut down this secondary supply line in 2015 after the US' response to the Crimea affair. The only possible alternative route I could imagine aside from complete airlift is Turkey-Azerbaijan, and then across the Caspian Sea, which would be very dubious considering Iran's missile forces and Caspian Sea presence.

Pakistan and China cooperate very closely on economic and defense matters (CPEC and arms sales), and my quick research seems to show warm diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Iran. Would Pakistan let the US support a war against Iran, waged partly from Afghanistan, through their territory?

Posted by: Peltast | Feb 23 2021 20:28 utc | 41

"Costs not worth the heroin profits. Like oil, you can buy the stuff.

Posted by: Laguerre |"

The costs are paid by the US taxpayer and cannon fodder.
The profits are shared by very few and definitely not the average American.
Very similar to all of the adventures.

Posted by: arby | Feb 23 2021 20:31 utc | 42

@33 karlof1

That was in the past. What about now? Wouldn't it be better for the women if there were US troops for the next 20 years backing the Kabul government? And what about my point about spare US capacity and attacking Iran?

Posted by: whatissowrong | Feb 23 2021 20:34 utc | 43

peltast@40, my feelings exactly. one of the reasons nato is determined to unseat khan. we are witnessing a great shifting of 'assets' into place.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Feb 23 2021 20:54 utc | 44

When there is mention of "costs", such as the round trillion in b's opening sentence, there rarely is any mention of whose balance sheet we are discussing. Just pointing out the obvious that others have already mentioned, but a trillion dollars is a handsome twenty year revenue stream for whomever sits on the happy side of the transaction.

The above financial aspect notwithstanding, I suspect that the strategists could consider withdrawing the regular troops provided there was an alternate strategy to maintain a state of war in central Asia. Perhaps casual fighters from Syrian beardistan can play a role in this theater?

On the other hand, an other consideration which may play in favour of keeping a military presence is that you need some kind of organised structure to dispatch the pallets of dollars. These dollars act systemically to spread corruption and will tear down a society more durably than an aerial campaign.

Posted by: robin | Feb 23 2021 21:10 utc | 45

[If Pakistan closes its ground and skies for military supplies to foreign forces in Afghanistan] The only possible alternative route I could imagine aside from complete airlift is Turkey-Azerbaijan, and then across the Caspian Sea, which would be very dubious considering Iran's missile forces and Caspian Sea presence.

Pakistan and China cooperate very closely on economic .... <-- Peltast, Feb 23 2021 20:28 utc

As a pedant I would like to point out is that after the putative suppliers cross Black Sea, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Caspian Sea, there is still the full length of Turkmenistan. Somewhat ruthlessly, Russia maneuvered Turkmenistan out of European gas market (and whatever access remains, it has to go through Russia), so the main source of Turkmenistani exchange is selling natural gas to China. So I think that Turkmenistan would not cooperate.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2021 21:15 utc | 46

"What that something was to be was never clear."

What major pharmaceutical ingredient is produced in Afghanistan? I believe it is related to a significant social problem in USA!USA!USA!(tm) i.e. opium. That's why we're there, and that's why we're going to stay.

Posted by: Covergirl | Feb 23 2021 21:17 utc | 47

A note on unseating Khan of Pakistan: allegedly he is very cosy with the military. This is not Myanmar or Bolivia "in the better days".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2021 21:18 utc | 48

If Afghanistan is the source of 90% of illicit Opiate supply,worth approx $50/annum, why would the Americans want this to stop? The rabid anti-drug BS is a perfect cover for those who pocket the money, and the occupation ensures that the right people get paid and and so the crops are left to grow under some sort of (loose?) control (except perhaps for the odd photo op) Is it an over simplification to say that is what the 'war' is about? ...the rest of the 'logic' could just be a smoke screen.

Posted by: Garry | Feb 23 2021 21:30 utc | 49

"Militarily the war against the Taliban has long been lost." A doubtful assertion, assuming the goal was to actually create a democratic Afghanistan. The purposes of intimidation, a strategic block to pipelines, opium production, an obstacle to OBOR, a training ground for US supervision of European officers...none of these goals require actual conquest. Indeed, some purposes appear to be better served by endless war that doesn't actually cost the US government (as opposed to the Afghans and the mass of the US population) very much. Further, there is a huge strategic difference between "controlling" the countryside and taking cities. The Taliban will suffer terribly even if they did win the larger cities and it is by no means clear they can.

"President Donald Trump made efforts to end the useless war on Afghanistan. He negotiated with the Taliban to remove all 'western' forces by May 1." Nonsense. Efforts would have started long before his last year and would not have set a goal after his term. The whole point of putting things off till after an election is to hope the situation will be different.

"But Trump was bad and thus the Biden administration is discussing three options..." The mind-reading that claimed Trump dumped JCPOA because Obama was bad is as stupid as mind-reading that says Biden is reviewing the situation because Trump is bad. The same reasons that supposedly kept Trump from ending the war in Afghanistan would fight for a review. At this point, the partisan hack may try to re-write history to say that Biden (or Obama or Harris) kept the war going...but none of those people were president, and their party didn't even have either house of Congress until 2018!

"Biden could follow Trump's agreement with the Taliban and order the troops home. He could sell that as a victory and a fulfillment of a campaign promise.

But with the blob again in power that option had little chance to survive..." More partisan hack BS. Biden's only real campaign promises were to not be Trump and a new relief package and Biden has no obligation to fulfill Trump's supposed antiwar program when Trump refused to fight for it himself. The invocation of the "blob" is a mindless pejorative, not least because Trump never removed anyone from power. The suggestion Trump did is a flagrant falsification of current events, an attempt to drown out reason.

"This again demonstrates that the U.S. is no longer agreement capable." More partisan hack. Trump's disavowal of JCPOA, Kyoto Accords, recognizing Jerusalem, support for Morocco's annexation of Mauretania, nutty tariff wars, etc. showed the US wasn't agreement capable long before.

"The military-industrial complex will not allow a retreat from a profitable battlefield and Biden is way too weak to resist its pressure." As Oscar Peterson notes above, this is a weak theory with little evidence. The general picture that government is a conspiracy to line pockets of certain crooks who control is more reactionary cynicism than realism. But even if you are gullible enough to swallow this, the simple fact is that the profits of the so-called MIC *don't need a war at all.* Shoveling hundreds of billions of dollars into their coffers is a bipartisan project, though admittedly Trump was by far the most shameless stooge for the warmongers ever. They don't need to actually fight to make money, which makes this a particularly nonsensical claim.


Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 23 2021 21:32 utc | 50

I never thought Biden would withdraw from Afghanistan because Biden is part of the (military congressional Industrial complex) establishment. In that regard I think the current Biden administration will be an Obama III administration.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 23 2021 21:35 utc | 51

@Laguerre 36 "Like oil, you can buy the stuff."

Nah, you can't, if it's not grown. And it wasn't cultivated under Taliban, between 2000 and the invasion.

Not to mention that oil, of course, is the main motivation for a lot of military adventures. Hell, forget the oil: even bananas used to be, not too long ago.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 23 2021 22:09 utc | 52

Opium poppies grow most anywhere. Turkey, India, Laos, Thailand, Mexico all serve the purpose. What is needed to grow poppy is pliant local politicians.

Fentanyl does the same thing and is much cheaper and simpler. What is required is pliant Big Pharma. No problem there.

Afghanistan is just a bad habit. A sinecure the MIC is content with.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 23 2021 22:17 utc | 53

Just look at the map. See that finger on the east? It's clearly put there to keep apart Russia and India, who were great pals not too long ago. And look around some more. Smack dab in the middle of Pakistan, India, China, and Russia. How in the world could the US be expected to walk away from that?
And then there are the poppy fields. Who would get that powerful and profitable business if the US dropped it? I wonder how many mercenary soldiers can be paid simply by hooking them up with an opium habit. And that lovely flower helps to reduce the region from becoming the safe powerhouse that Eurasia needs for developments planned in East-West integration.
No way, we are there to stay.

Posted by: Helen | Feb 23 2021 22:32 utc | 54

Anyone know the current status of the opium trade out of Afghanistan?

Also, this probably has to do with the purported rare earth deposits like lithium and preventing China from gaining control of them.

Not to mention keeping Iran surrounded and the make-work, war-profiteering machine running.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 23 2021 22:50 utc | 55

@elephant
Sorry I posted before I read. You are sot on. Why doesn't the US teach much geography anymore in school? Why doesn't the news of conflicts come with a map anymore? The US doesn't want a face on its targets. The US any doesn't want any argument to their prowar stance.

Posted by: Helen | Feb 23 2021 22:51 utc | 56

/spot/

Posted by: Helen | Feb 23 2021 22:52 utc | 57

whatissowrong @42--

The "past" continues into the present and forecasts what will occur in the future. There's no legal basis whatsoever for the Outlaw US Empire to have troops In Afghanistan, and the reality is it cannot afford them monetarily to be there--or to have them anywhere else for that matter. As for Iran, its army would easily squash a 20K sized military force.

The best path for Afghanistan is to allow it to develop itself. It's an SCO observer and potential BRI participant. For the Taliban to honor Islam, they must help in the people's uplifting. Ahmed Rashid's books about the Taliban show they're much preferred by Afghans to the region's War Lords. All regional organizations await the withdrawal of foreign forces so the hard work of development can begin. Lifting Afghans out of poverty by providing projects to work on and non-Madrasah schools to attend so people can have an opportunity to prosper are just a few of the basics that need to be implemented--none of which has occurred during the 20+ years of occupation, where the society has actually degraded.

The unfortunate fact is the Outlaw US Empire won't leave unless it's forced to evacuate. The heroin trade is a massive trove to the CIA, and the geographical position enables the disruption of BRI and observance of Iran, Russia, and Central Asia. The occupation is toxic to Afghans, the region, to the troops, and to the USA's populous.

Long ago, Medea Benjamin and an organization promoting Afghan women wrote an article proving the great detriment caused to Afghan women by not just the war put the occupation, and I haven't seen anything happen to alter that assessment. Your stand sounds very much like R2P and its rationales for Libya and Syria.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2021 22:52 utc | 58

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 23 2021 21:32 utc | 49

If they don't even need to fight to make/siphon more money, then why do they insist on continuing to do it?

Nah, having boots on the ground in faraway lands is extremely profitable to the MIC inclusive of all the mercenary operations that have spun-off from the U.S. military. Have you ever seen the paystub from one of these guys with their "hazard pay" added in? People are getting rich and it's precisely because we are in so many foreign countries and fighting.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 23 2021 22:55 utc | 59

Posted by: whatissowrong | Feb 23 2021 19:36 utc | 31

User Name checks out.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 23 2021 22:57 utc | 60

Thanks b for your article. I would like to add to the comments Karlof32 has made. Twenty five percent of all the US dollars in circulation today were printed last year. On a Keiser Report last week Dominic Frisbie states that this will ultimately reduce the purchasing power of the dollar for working class Americans. Thus acting as a tax on the 99% percent of us. I see the collapse of the dollar accelerating and bringing with it more pain and suffering for the population at home.

Posted by: Michael Crockett | Feb 23 2021 22:58 utc | 61

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Feb 23 2021 18:35 utc | 20

Agree and disagree. You're probably right about the investment thing, but having troops on the ground requires a huge support network of private (and publicly traded) contractors and vice versa. It's a self-licking ice cream cone of cash.

I'm not yet prepared to buy the MIC explanation for the continued stay of US troops.

US troops make up about 2,000 of almost 12,000 troops the rest of which are NATO. There is no way we can ask the other NATO counties to remain in AFG which we want them to do while withdrawing US troops.

There continue to be windfall profits regardless of how many actual U.S. government employees (and troops) happen to remain in these countries. Most of the money being made is by private contractors and major MIC players. That article is from 2014 and I'm sure the same holds true today.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Feb 23 2021 23:04 utc | 62

Thank you Karlof for all of your excellent observations an analysis.

Posted by: Michael Crockett | Feb 23 2021 23:05 utc | 63

Karlof1. my apologies.

Posted by: Michael Crockett | Feb 23 2021 23:11 utc | 64

So much utter nonsense spouted by people who know nothing about global opioid trade is posted at MoA, continually asserting that the practises of 50 years ago when amerikans used heroin manufacture to pay their mercenaries still continues.
Apart from the reality that the DEA eventually won the bureaucratic war in DC by accident, thanks to Gary Webb's Dark Alliance revelations, because altho DC never officially acknowledged the truth of Webb's story it was the lever which switched intelligence agencies to less obviously unethical cash pipelines, the evidence that fentanyl is the preferred opiod for illegal distribution is overwhelming.
Even Myanmar the world source for the incredibly pure and smooth 'number 4' grade heroin has switched to fentanyl manufacture. There are still plenty of remote hills ideal for opium production yet the assorted opioids mobs who have been operating there since the 1930's have eschewed heroin production in favour of fentanyl manufacture.
Synthetics are much cheaper to produce and require a lot less hassle - no more haggling with farmers, paying expensive air couriers to move the raw O from farms to labs makes a more cost effective way of producing opioids.

Of course there is still some opium grown in Afghanistan and the product off white to grey brown 'rocks' that are sold as heroin but which is in fact mostly morphine is sold in central and western europe, but these are relatively small networks compared to the truly global fentanyl producers and distributors.
amerikan intelligence can find it advantageous to turn a blind eye to the Afghan opioid business, but make no mistake since the Karzai mob copped the boot in Afghanistan, the amerikan assassin & torture instigators are under strict instructions not to get involved. The risk of another scandal is just too great. Sacrificing the entire Afghan honeypot worth billions of dollars a year to the good old boys just for a few million off a creaky and loose operation such as afghani smack is a game not worth the candle.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 23 2021 23:15 utc | 65

Oscar Peterson @ 20:

I'm sure we poodles here in Australia are still supplying a couple hundred soldiers and so-called "military advisors" to the US-led occupation in Afghanistan. Furthermore, we would be even happier to make up the numbers should Washington DC actually reduce the size of the US contingent. Our military is so enmeshed with the US military that if in the unlikely event China were to invade or attack Australia, the first thing we'd do is hit the phone to Washington DC to find out what we should do.

List of countries with troops in Afghanistan as of 2018: it's a lo-o-ong list!

Posted by: Jen | Feb 23 2021 23:47 utc | 66

Re: "Look at the extreme Northwest [I think you mean Norheast] Afghanistan a direct corridor"

-chu teh | Feb 23 2021 19:36 utc | 30

Doubtful if the border with China is of much value to anyone as an easy ground transport corridor. The lowest border pass (with no roads crossing the border currently) is Wakhjir Pass, elevation of 4,923 metres (16,152 ft). The rest of the border is Hindu Kush >18K ft altitude.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wakhjir_Pass

Then there are the issues/costs associated with getting *anything* in or out of landlocked Afghanistan, except by air.

It makes no sense to me why the US Borg still trying to occupy that country, except for the opiate trade, maybe.

Posted by: gm | Feb 24 2021 0:05 utc | 67

Michael Crockett @60, 62 & 63--

Thanks for your comments! Yes, debasement causes inflation. But there's also debt-deflation happening too. Many commodities priced in dollars are rising, but not against other currencies. I commented some about Hudson's latest on the open thread. There he refers to Shadowstats Real Unemployment being over 20% (the current chart shows 25.7%). I also suggest reading the latest Flash Commentary on the main page. Hudson essentially says since the guiding ideology isn't going to change, the results will remain the same, and that doesn't bode well except for the 1%.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 24 2021 0:09 utc | 68

Opium still plays the same role as it did during the colonizing of SE Asia and China in the 1800's. It is a nice, hard to trace source of revenue for funding the various proxies. Many of those proxies are addicts who will commit pretty much any atrocity to get their fix. Like in China during the Opium Wars, high addiction levels breaks society and leaves behind chaos, which makes the colonizing all the easier.

This is why Duterte of the Philippines, the Taliban, and the leadership of both China and Russia are so draconian with their drug laws. The opiates are a spear point for colonialism.

But Afghanistan is about much more than the opiates, the heroin is just one of many tools of conquest, but not the be all end all.

Those who have noted the geographic position of Afghanistan realize why the region is important as a colony.

Any chess player knows that he/she who controls the center of the board controls the game.

Center control leads to a multitude of offensive options. Shutting down an important leg of the BRI being high on that list. How do you think the west manages to run an insurgency in China? This particular point has been directly confirmed by the Pentagon.

Need to pressure Iran, Russia or Pakistan with junked up head-choppers....perfect!

War goes hot with Iran and need airbases and drone bases...perhaps even a forward base for invasion (done mainly by junked up proxies of course)...perfect!

The list goes on, but the foundational maxim is about controlling the "center".

Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 24 2021 0:35 utc | 69

If the Poppies are so unimportant , why are these guys doing this--

we love poppies

Posted by: arby | Feb 24 2021 0:35 utc | 70

You can buy bulk food-grade ethanol on Alibaba for about $0.20/gallon. Why do distilleries still make $100/bottle whiskey? Why would anyone pay that much?

Until you can answer that you need to shut the fuck up about your opinions on the profitability of heroin vs fentanyl.

The Afghani heroin trade is worth scores of $billions annually. Beyond those cool profits it is tradition that goes back to imperial Britain's Opium Wars. Afghanistan heroin is part of empire, just like Colombian cocaine, even now that the empire is centered in the US.

There are some CIA apologists in this thread trying to sanitize that criminal organization's reputation. The CIA traffics in highly addictive and debilitating drugs, weapons, and child sex slaves. This nets them hundreds of $billions per year. Just because Saudi and British royalty can get adult sex slaves for cheaper doesn't diminish the market for fresh young Ukrainian and Filipino children. These people know that they are full of shit trying to claim that fentanyl has eliminated the market for heroin. You, dear reader, know that they are full of shit too. Don't let them blow smoke in your eyes.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 24 2021 0:37 utc | 71

steven t Johnson #49

Thank you for demolishing every pretext for the illegal USA occupation of Afghanistan.

So why is the USA illegally killing and maiming it's citizens?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 24 2021 0:47 utc | 72

gm #66

The reason??

Because Cecil Rhodes required it, his successors continue his white supremacy ideology. Plus it is lucrative for the inner circle and gives them a sophisticated means of subverting the better judgement of the people.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 24 2021 0:55 utc | 73

re:Jen | Feb 23 2021 23:47 utc | 65

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/436571/new-zealand-troops-to-be-withdrawn-from-afghanistan-by-may

Posted by: tucenz | Feb 24 2021 0:55 utc | 74

@ Patroklos | Feb 23 2021 19:49 utc | 35... that would make two of us who are curious of b's thoughts on modis experiment-punishment in india..

Posted by: james | Feb 24 2021 1:32 utc | 75

https://www.google.com/amp/s/hir.harvard.edu/wakhancorridor/amp/

Wakhjir Pass is part of Ancient China's Sulk Road and a route Marci Polo used. It is very important to China and is indeed planned to be one of the BRI corridors.

Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 24 2021 1:39 utc | 76

*Silk Road Lol...The Sulk Road is elsewhere.

Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 24 2021 1:42 utc | 77

"The military-industrial complex will not allow a retreat from a profitable battlefield and Biden is way too weak to resist its pressure."

Posted by b on February 23, 2021 at 17:19 UTC | Permalink

Bottom line reality b. God forbid the empire allow a little "self determination" to any nation when there's a profit to be made.

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 24 2021 2:06 utc | 78

Meh, I called this when Biden won the election.

Even if Trump wins, it would be the same anyway, just that there are more fake attempts to get out of it, just like the Trump-Kim "bromance" that went nowhere.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 24 2021 2:18 utc | 79

Since 2001, US taxpayers have provided the Pentagon with circa $14 trillion and spent an additional $6.4 trillion on post-911 conflicts in Afghanistan (longest war in US history), Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen and displaced/killed 37 million people (likely low estimates; See: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar). The Pentagon is incapable of extricating itself from these conflicts, as doing so is an admission of failure and by extension military weakness. US economic decline has now progressed to the point where the very survival of the American Empire requires continuous debt monetization [government borrowing money from the central bank, which, in the process of buying the debt, creates new money- aka printing money] to prop up Wall St., insolvent banks and subsidize the Pentagon and war. Obviously, this is not sustainable long term.

Posted by: PaulB | Feb 24 2021 2:29 utc | 80


Thanks for elaborating and filling in the data about Aghanistan's Corridor. It is vital data to help understand the imperial intentions of the insane.

In my post at 30 I meant Northeast [not northwest].

At gm | Feb 24 2021 0:05 utc | 66, yes and thanks the correction.

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 24 2021 2:38 utc | 81

Haassaan | Feb 24 2021 1:39 utc | 76

my post at 81 is reply to ypu .Thanks.

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 24 2021 2:41 utc | 82

@40 Peltast That is the wrong question.

The real question is this: will the Pakistanis allow US troops inside Afghanistan to retreat out via Pakistan?

Because if they don't then the Iranians will bag all those troops when they roll up those military bases like a cheap Persian rug.

There is no way an unloved and deeply-resented occupation force numbering around 10,000 troops will be able to stand their ground against an Iranian invasion force that would number in the 100,000s. No way on earth.

They either flee, or they die where they stand.

As far as the Americans are concerned the real action in an Iran/USA war will be around Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, and their springboard will be Saudi Arabia and (maybe) Iraq and Kuwait.

Afghanistan will be a second front the USA won't be able to use, simply because the Iranians can - and would - crush those forces before they can build up enough strength to hold their ground.

It would be a battle of logistics, with the Iranians holding all the cards.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 24 2021 2:57 utc | 83

karlof1 | Feb 23 2021 22:52 utc | 57

re The best path for Afghanistan is to allow it to develop itself...

Indeed. And a key tool of the imperialist-intentions is to disable an individual's decisionability. Ultimately, the individual"s ability to make decisions is all s/he has. s it is THE target.

IMO, It underlies THE TRAP.

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 24 2021 3:01 utc | 84

Forever wars, psh. It’s all good bid-ness. I mean, who has the power to get the three letter outfit out of poppy business?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 24 2021 3:33 utc | 85

@steven t Johnson
Correct.
US invaded Afghanistan initially to have a base to spy on China and Russia but it became a nightmare from which it cannot retreat without looking weak. The US has an arrogant attitude and believes that leaving Afghanistan today would look like a weakness, proof of its diminishing military power. Admitting that the Taliban won.
Which is a correct assumption. Once America’s numerous enemies see it retreat from Afghanistan it will mean the Taliban won, and the great military might of the USA is no more, it will give freedom fighters the push to overcome US forces all over the ME - Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Somalia and everywhere. Then watch the US lose battle after battle.
Read the book, “Twilight's Last Gleaming” (Paperback – November 1, 2014) by John Michael Greer to get an idea of what I mean.

@Yeah, Right
Correct
All they have to do is to close their borders and the American troops are doomed

Posted by: Old man of the sea | Feb 24 2021 3:35 utc | 86

And while empire with the face of Biden/Harris continue to pour aggression into war, China gathers the rest of the worlds nations under its wing

"
BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China is exporting COVID-19 vaccines to 27 countries and providing free vaccine aid to 53 countries in need, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.

Wang told a press briefing that vaccine aid from China has arrived in Pakistan, Cambodia, Laos, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Mongolia and Belarus, and that vaccine exports from China have arrived in Serbia, Hungary, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Morocco, Senegal, UAE, and Turkey.

Noting that most of the countries mentioned are developing countries, Wang said it is hoped that all capable countries will join hands and make positive contributions to support the international community, particularly developing countries, in overcoming the pandemic.

China is the first country to pledge to make vaccines a global public good, Wang said, adding that it will continue to carry out vaccine cooperation with all parties within its capacity.
"

The civilization war is being won by China with its example of public focused governance and international relations. The barbarian countries on the opposite axis are in the process of eating their own as they war themselves to death....what a shit show to watch

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 24 2021 3:40 utc | 87

Meanwhile in the USA's "core provinces".
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/516298-market-fundamentalism-utilities-texas/

Yeah, I think we should retire the 1st world/3rd world divide, as Capitalism is turning the whole world into 3rd world shitholes.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 24 2021 4:08 utc | 88

You omit to mention a critical reason that US troops are staying: to protect the CIA’s control of the poppy fields and its hugely profitable product of heroin.

Posted by: James O'Neill | Feb 24 2021 4:33 utc | 89

pakistan under khan is a very different country (imran has been planting trees rather than offshoring bribes), it's not clear to me that pakistan is still an american colony. certainly there are factions that enjoyed cis's largess, & are now trying to create chaos, disrupt the bri & unseat khan but imran khan is tied to the bri, china has been a generous friend, helping to build infrastructure & a deep sea port, & developing an independent internet & natural resources. i suspect aligning with china rather than america is a terrific counterbalance to india. pakistan, like myanmar, iran, syria & yemen, is very important.

I have a question for the barflies. In the event of a war between the United States and Iran, would Pakistan allow the United States to resupply American troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan?

This question occurred to me when I was looking at a map of Central Asia, and started to wonder how the United States supplies its forces in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is landlocked, with Iran to the west, Pakistan to the south and east, and several central Asian countries to the north. Quick googling shows 2500 US troops alongside ~8000 other NATO troops in Afghanistan. Apparently, 'non-lethal' equipment is shipped to Karachi and then transported overland through Pakistan into Afghanistan while ammunition is airlifted directly into Afghanistan. Pakistan has cut off US logistics once already, in 2011, after US troops killed 28 Pakistani soldiers at a border post, and only reopened in 2012 after receiving compensation and an apology from Hillary Clinton.

When Pakistan shut down the US supply line, the US rerouted supplies all the way from the Baltic, through Russia, and through Central Asia. This route was vastly more expensive, and in fact Russia shut down this secondary supply line in 2015 after the US' response to the Crimea affair. The only possible alternative route I could imagine aside from complete airlift is Turkey-Azerbaijan, and then across the Caspian Sea, which would be very dubious considering Iran's missile forces and Caspian Sea presence.

Pakistan and China cooperate very closely on economic and defense matters (CPEC and arms sales), and my quick research seems to show warm diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Iran. Would Pakistan let the US support a war against Iran, waged partly from Afghanistan, through their territory?

Tell me..... exactly how will NATO keep it's forces supplied after 1 May??? How???.....

Because....

I believe the fuel tankers will mysteriously go up in flames....

AND....

The supply trucks will stall for lack of fuel....

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Feb 24 2021 4:38 utc | 90

gm #66

It makes sense if the opium trade is profitable just for the USA and fuck the EU troops. It makes sense if the minerals are denied to others and the USA has sufficient alternatives.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 24 2021 4:51 utc | 91

I am glad to hear the US will stay in Afghanistan, hopefully with a much broader engagement, spending a couple Trillions more of their toilet money - and that money drain will hasten the collapse of the US........by a few days maybe, but every little bit helps!

Posted by: Peter | Feb 24 2021 5:25 utc | 92

Norwegian #1

You got it right. Drive the warmongers out of every corner of our planet beginning with the USA.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 24 2021 7:14 utc | 93

Almost 150 years ago the englanders were sent packing from Khabul and slaughtered ever mile of the way. Now for USA+NATO to get the same fate. If the Taliban need SAM missiles, there is bound to be a supplier in their now global network.

It was the same dirty double dealing that undid the englanders occupation all those decades ago.

Posted by: uncle tungstenb | Feb 24 2021 7:21 utc | 94

It's interesting that in two decades of occupation, Afghan fighters haven't been supplied with SAM, MANPAD, ATGM, drones or even modern small arms. The Yemen Resistance has access to better gear and Syria/Lebanon are chock full.

Taliban probably already have some access, but they haven't shown up on the battlefield (except for special occasions like shooting down Michael D'Andrea's plane).

Should modern gear ever find its way into the hands of the Taliban things would quickly get very bad for NATO/USA.

It would be fairly easy for Iran, Russia, China or Pakistan to provide those arms.


Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 24 2021 7:50 utc | 95

No reference to the poppy fields, b?

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Feb 24 2021 8:07 utc | 96

Haassaan #95

One of my speculations at the time was that the Michael d'Andrea intelligence control plane was shot down in a special deal between ISIS and Iran as a once only revenge shot. I do not think it is in anyone's interest to let ISIS fanatics get hold of them. It is bad enough that USAi fanatics have them. Perhaps this is why those Ukrainian ammunition storage depots went off so spectacularly all those years ago, I am sure Russia knew of the contents and dreaded the dispersal of same throughout the "friendly rebel world".

On revenge shots, this item from NEO is worth a read.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 24 2021 8:11 utc | 97

karlof1 @57

I am not clear what your answer is. Are you saying if the Taliban takeover again at least the war comes to an end even if the women get oppressed more what happens on balance is better for them? The duty to protect doctrine didn't work out so well in Syria and Libya. But what about the situation in Afghanistan now and over the next 20 years?

I am asking about the capacity of the US to go to war, not what Iran can defend against. There are only 40 active duty Army combat brigades and Marine Corps regiments. About half of those units are deployed at any time. If 20,000 US troops are stationed permanently in Afghanistan, that's a big chunk of capacity in Afghanistan. Why do you ignore this fact? If the US fulfills its responsibility to the government of Kabul, it will also take away capacity against Iran.

Posted by: whatissowrong | Feb 24 2021 8:32 utc | 98

Democrats getting 'Biden' Remorse?

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/02/report-democrats-dont-want-biden-full-control-nuclear-weapons/

Nearly three dozen House Democrats on Monday called on Biden to relinquish his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, in the latest appeal to reform the command-and-control structure so that no single person can initiate a nuclear war.


“…Vesting one person with this authority entails real risks,” states the letter spearheaded by Rep. Jimmy Panetta of California. “Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president’s judgment.“

Posted by: gm | Feb 24 2021 8:53 utc | 99

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 24 2021 3:40 utc | 87 -- "The civilization war is being won by China with its example of public focused governance and international relations. The barbarian countries on the opposite axis are in the process of eating their own as they war themselves to death....what a shit show to watch."

The West thinks in black-white, win-lose terms: they think that good guys win when they pound bad guys to a pulp. While they may sometimes win a battle, they gradually, inexorably lose the war.

That is how China is now winning by 'not fighting'. That is how Russia is now winning while still calling the West their 'partners'. That is how Iran is now calling the shots while bidet biden is reacting, improvising on the fly, running around like a headless chicken (quoting The Saker on the latter analogy).

I was impressed when China proposed a Medical Silk Road while still in the throes of battling covid19. What strategic foresight. Over and above serving the needs of her citizens, China was proposing to also serve the world, and what better win-win than to make vaccines a global public good !!!

Posted by: kiwiklown | Feb 24 2021 10:19 utc | 100

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