Obama’s Afghanistan Surge: What’s Going On?

Crossposted from Antemedius

Today in “The secrets of Obama’s surge” Pepe Escobar says that “the President is not exactly telling all that’s going on in AfPak”, and argues there are many more strategic issues at play than meets the eye – and the President and his team’s spin:

President Obama’s highly anticipated new strategy for what the Pentagon now calls AfPak – Afghanistan and Pakistan – is full of grey areas.

Most extra troops will be deployed to poppy-growing areas, not to fight al-Qaeda, the President’s stated number one objective.

The President talks about building trust – but as the US cannot trust the Pakistani ISI, the Pakistani people don’t trust the US or even their own government.


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    • Edger on April 1, 2009 at 18:59
  1. I just posted this on Magnifico’s essay:

    Afghanistan was, as with Iraq, another war of aggression.  It was a target long before 9/11.  

    The Afghans do not want us there.   They are sick of having their people killed and they are sick of the killing.  

    This whole new effort for Afghanistan is sooo reminiscent of our efforts in Saudi Arabia long ago.  Boosting their electricity, roads, adequate water, sewage, etc., with the real objectives being:

    maximizing payouts to U.S. firms and making Saudi Arabia increasingly dependent on the United States.  [This would require] long-term service and management agreements.  MAIN, Bechtel, Brown & Root (now KBR), Halliburton, Stone & Webster, and many other U.S. engineers and contractors would profit handsomely for decades to come.    From “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man ,” by John Perkins


    And, of course, ensuring access to Saudi Arabia’s oil.

    This same effort to “upgrade” Iraq was attempted, but Saddam Hussein was not interested in the proposition.  Thus, we had to bomb the shit out of Iraq, a country that was already vulnerable because of having endured sanctions for years.   And, of course, we have to stay until certain “benchmarks” are met, i.e., the Iraq hydro-carbon law has yet to be signed.

    And all such efforts have been made in other countries, particularly, Latin American.

    From, Sherwood Ross,

    President-elect Obama should drop his plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a country that never attacked America, out of pity for a helpless civilian population that will only suffer increasing misery from an expanded fight against the Taliban and its allies. . . . .

    Little known to most Americans is that Afghanistan likely was invaded because its Taliban government refused to okay pipelines sought by Union Oil Co. of California (UNOCAL).

    “Since Central Asia is landlocked, the United States government wanted to find a way to get the oil and natural gas out, while avoiding Iran, Russia, and China,” Boyle said. “The easiest way to do that was to construct a pipeline south through Afghanistan, into Pakistan and right out to the Arabian Sea. UNOCAL had been negotiating with the Taliban government of Afghanistan for quite some time, still with the full support of the U.S. government into the summer of 2001, but their negotiations had failed. The U.S….then rendered a proverbial offer that could not be refused to the Taliban government.”  . . . .

    Hasn’t Afghanistan suffered enough? The U.S. would be far better off if instead of pouring tens of thousands of troops into Afghanistan it sent in a like number of unarmed Peace Corps volunteers with a comparable budget. Time to give non-violence a chance. C’mon, guys, show a little imagination, huh?

    And, from Pepe Escobar,

    All geopolitical junkies need a fix. Since the second half of the 1990s, I’ve been hooked on pipelines. I’ve crossed the Caspian in an Azeri cargo ship just to follow the $4 billion Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline, better known in this chess game by its acronym, BTC, through the Caucasus. (Oh, by the way, the map of Pipelineistan is chicken-scratched with acronyms, so get used to them!)

    So, hopefully, creating dependence upon us by Afghanistan, we can use this period to “upgrade” Afghanistan, with all the construction, we can also get those pipelines constructed.  Oh, and “benchmarks” are being created for Afghanistan, as well.  Gee, I just wonder what they might be.

    And this, from William S. Lind, at AntiWar

    Ironically, the reported decision duplicates the Bush administration’s error in Iraq, another lost war (the next phase in Iraq’s Sunni-Shi’ite civil war is now ramping up). The error, one that no tactical or operational successes can overcome, is setting unattainable strategic objectives.

    And, this from by Justin Raimondo, at AntiWar,

    They [the Neocons] are ecstatic that Obama is launching a major offensive on the Afghan-Pakistan front, and they are urging him to do more. Their latest campaign is undertaken in cooperation with the “progressives” over at the Center for American Progress and the Center for a New American Security, both conduits for recent and future administration appointees. . . . .

    Having exhausted their previous host, the GOP, the neocons have no qualms about moving on. The Democrats will do just as well. Whoever’s in power is the object of their affection. Their role is to whisper in the ear of the prince, to make sure he gets the “right” information – and then sabotage him if he fails to respond to their ministrations.

    As the neocons hail Obama, their new conquering hero, the irony of all this underscores the difficulties of instituting real change in our foreign policy. The same old faces turn up no matter which party is in power, and the same old ideas – shopworn “internationalist” bromides – dominate a consensus that never questions whether an empire is good for the American people.

    What?  You mean the American people haven’t been considered in this process?  

    And neither have the Afghans been considered.  And Afghanistan is quite vulnerable now, too, so gotta’ strike while the iron is hot.  They will get “our program whether they like it or not, and, then, pay the consequences.  

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