web analytics

Afghanistan pushes the US out

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, March 4th, 2020 - 16 comments
Categories: afghanistan, Donald Trump, International, us politics, war - Tags:

I have really no idea who to cheer for about the Afghanistan peace
agreement. If the Taliban were the answer, it was a pretty fucking
stupid question.

Nor am I qualified to talk about its costs, neither human nor financial.

But the Afghanistan peace agreement is worth a note.

The U.S. and its allies have been at it there since 2001. Nigh on two decades.

In 2008 some people were hopeful of what had been achieved.

And there’s bitter lessons on aid and development to be learned,
bitter lessons aplenty.

After two decades of pretty much futile war led by the United States,
who knows maybe Donald Trump is the first president since Nixon to
really know how to end a war, and lose gracefully in doing so.

That was a weird sentence to write.

Deep in the bowels of the Pentagon, I’m hoping for some pure career
military people who don’t give a flying fig about a job with military
companies, who will take stock of why the United States keeps losing
or drawing, over the bodies of thousands of their own people, and over
decades of damage.

First, they don’t resource the right way.

The Pentagon directs its ample budget toward purchases of complex
high-tech weapons, which are designed to fight wars against Russia and
China, rather than on cheaper and simpler weapons and training for
troops in the tactics needed for the sorts of counter-insurgency wars
the U.S. in fact fights. The Vietnamese in the 1960s and the Afghans
and Iraqis in the twenty-first century figured out simple and
inexpensive methods to circumvent high-tech American weaponry by
utilizing old weapons (most notably mines) and developed cheap new
weapons (above all IEDs) that inflicted enough casualties on Americans
to get to the next one, namely ……

Second, opposition by the American public.

Televised American casualties with flag-draped coffins on the tarmac,
form an aversion that developed as part of the growing resistance
during Vietnam and after to US aggression abroad, forces the adoption
of war strategies that limit interactions between American soldiers
and warzone civilians, reducing the possibilities of accumulating the
intelligence and local goodwill necessary for winning
counterinsurgency wars. The sharp decline in the number of U.S. war
deaths the American public considers acceptable from Vietnam to the
current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has limited the number of troops
that can be sent into combat in the first place and quickened the pace
with which they must be withdrawn or confined to rear bases.

Third, local rage.

Populations are further alienated by the U.S. government’s turn in the
twenty-first century to a form of plunder neoliberalism in the
countries it invades. For example, the U.S.-directed Coalition
Provisional Authority in Iraq refused to allow government-owned
enterprises to reopen after the invasion unless they were privatized.
In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. demanded the governments open
natural resources to exploitation by American corporations.

Such measures reduce opportunities for local elites to enrich
themselves and therefore make it almost impossible for the U.S. to
enlist reliable local allies. It also impoverishes the mass of locals
when the U.S. forces the privatization of state firms and demands
brutal cuts in government budgets, creating enough anger and
desperation to power insurgencies.

Finally, the Middle East campaigns, begun wayyy back in the Bush
administration, have put a new emphasis on the goals of expropriation
and plunder of the local societies for the benefit of its own
occupying forces — instead of any commitment to national development
it may have had previously — thereby insuring that it cannot build
support among the local population.

They lose with the wrong weapons.
They lose with local alienation.
They lose with greed.

I have nothing at all against the people of the United States and wish
all of their military service men and women the best of luck and a
peaceful, quick, and safe retirement.

But in the middle of election year, and to commemorate the Afghanistan
peace agreement signed recently, I’d like to see the next President of
the United States continuing a policy of full-on global military

Maybe after 70 years of losing or grinding out draws they could see
some sense in that.

16 comments on “Afghanistan pushes the US out ”

  1. Re – your penultimate paragraph:

    I'm sorry, Ad, but you have more faith in the military-industrial complex that has 'Murica' by the short and curlies than I have.

  2. mpledger 2

    The Taliban are never going to stick to any negotiated peace deal. They are just going to go back to the way they were before the invasion.

    • In Vino 2.1

      Of course – who would expect otherwise?

      I myself am still sneering at the American propagandists who claimed at the beginning that there was no parallel with Vietnam… It seems to me that this peace deal is just about dead parallel, as much of the war was all along.

  3. Wayne 3

    I don't think there are hardly any "western" business investments in Afghanistan. Mostly Chinese and Indian. However there was probably 100 billion (mostly western aid money) spent on schooling, health, roading and electric power for most of the country.

    In 2009 the Afghan Interior Minister told me the "west" had to keep paying the Afghan govt for at least 20 years or else they would lose the war to the Taliban. He had been in the Afghan govt prior to its defeat in 1995, which he said was because the Afghan government ran out of money to pay the army.

    Basically the Afghan government gets only a small fraction of its expenditure from tax and customs. The rest is aid money and international loans (really grants). That is how they pay the civil service and pay for the Army and police. The Americans and NATO are going to have to pay for at least the next two decades, around $10 billion per year. Even then the Afghan govt's writ will only extend to about 50% of the country.

    Nevertheless the Afgahn govt still pays the salaries of teachers, health workers and infrastructure workers in the Taliban controlled areas. If they didn't, all those things would stop, just as they did when the Taliban were the government from 1995 to 2001.

  4. The United States makes another face-saving peace deal so it can get the heck out of a war it has been losing for years, and leaves everyone who supported them to the mercy of the enemy

  5. Sabine 5

    they have been in Germany for nigh on 75 plus years. They don't leave.

    they have over 120 bases the world over, can you imagine the upset if they had to take these soldiers, their spouses, children and civilian contractors back home to what? Nothing. lol……

    As for Afghanistan, no invader ever won they all only left bones and bodies behind when they retreated. And the US has yet not enough bled on this country.

    Also minerals, mining etc etc etc Who would not want to be the one to exploit the riches of Afghanistan. 🙂

    • Wayne 5.1

      As for minerals in Afghanistan, they are mostly way too hard to extract, unless it is a particularly rich ore body (copper etc, not iron or coal). The only logical transport routes out of Afghanistan are to the north, so all ores have to go out by rail on huge long rail journeys (thousands of km). In contrast, in Australia most big mines are relatively close to the coast (around 200km inland on flat land) so the cost of shipping is very low. Ocean shipping is less than a tenth the cost of rail.

      So unless Afghanistan finds very valuable ores, most of its minerals will remain in the ground.

      Economically Afghanistan seems incredibly challenged. No oil and gas, hard to extract minerals, mostly desert or arid lands, no sea coast. There is better agricultural land in the north of the country so there is some potential there. It does have a rich artistic heritage which could provide more wealth in tourism and in exports. However, even without the war Afghanistan would likely still be one of the poorest countries in Asia.

  6. Blazer 6

    AD…the 'money' shot.


    the U.S.-directed Coalition
    Provisional Authority in Iraq refused to allow government-owned
    enterprises to reopen after the invasion unless they were privatized.
    In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. demanded the governments open
    natural resources to exploitation by American corporations.

    Such measures reduce opportunities for local elites to enrich
    themselves and therefore make it almost impossible for the U.S. to
    enlist reliable local allies. It also impoverishes the mass of locals
    when the U.S. forces the privatization of state firms and demands
    brutal cuts in government budgets, creating enough anger and
    desperation to power insurgencies.'

  7. Byd0nz 7

    The reason they want to pull out of Afghanistan, (lets hope they dont) is because they want to relocate their troops down under to counter the so called China threat.

  8. Gosman 8

    What do you mean losing a war? If the agreement stands then the US achieved what it was hoping to achieve when it intervened in 2002. This was to deny Al Qaida a safe haven to organise and train for military operations against US and Western targets.

  9. Byd0nz 9

    Al Qaida was funded by the US in the first place, then they done the dirty on them(as per usual) then bin Laden allegedly took out the twin towers in revenge. When thieves fall out eh.

    • Gosman 9.1

      What conspiratorial nonsense. Al Qaida was NEVER funded directly by the US. Bin Laden may have received funding while he was fighting the Soviets however much of that was indirectly via Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 9.1.1

        "Al Qaida was NEVER funded directly by the US." Since Al-Qaeda was founded (in 1988) has it EVER been funded and otherwise supported indirectly by the CIA? Ah, I see you already know the answer.

  10. joe90 10

    Fake deal.

    The United States has carried out an air raid against Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, a US forces spokesman said a day after President Donald Trump spoke to a senior Taliban leader by phone.

    "The US conducted an air strike on March 4 against Taliban fighters in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand, who were actively attacking an ANDSF [Afghan National Defence and Security Forces] checkpoint," said Colonel Sonny Leggett in a tweet on Wednesday, adding that it was a "defensive strike".


  11. Another important point that was missed here is the nature of Afghans. They are fond of fighting and resistance. They fought against British and Soviets in the past and largely remained successful. The better option for USA after 9/11 was to deal with Al Qaeda but they decided to punish Taliban for sheltering them. This only resulted in losing thousands of lives (American and Afghan) and millions of dollars.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Worsening housing crisis must prompt action
    A growing public housing waiting list and continued increase of house prices must be urgently addressed by Government, Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago