18.01.2015 Author: Viktor Mikhin

Afghanistan and the Sad Result of the Western Occupation

A534535222The “democratic” Western media, following the order all as one, proclaimed in a loud voice that the military forces of NATO and the USA had completed “the combat mission on security assistance in Afghanistan”. In other words, the Western troops which occupied that country in 2001 under a hollow pretext now have to ingloriously hoist their sails.

In his statement that can be found on the official website of the organization Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said in a pompous manner that “We are completing our mission and opening a new chapter in our relationship with Afghanistan.” However, he did not say a single word about the fact that the occupiers had destroyed the country and its economy in the name of their own objectives. “The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has become one the largest coalitions in recent history, more than 50 countries have taken part in its activities. Our task was to restore order in the country and to create local security forces. We have accomplished that task successfully, having paid a high price,” the Secretary General stated demagogically.

In this case he remained true to himself as well as other Western political leaders, who attempt to whitewash themselves and their actions in every possible way. But the data show that over the 13 years of occupation ISAF lost in Afghanistan more than 3,500 soldiers, 2,200 of them US citizens, and spent around $700 billion. At the same time, more than 21,000 civilians have been killed by the western occupiers, for which the western leaders, according to international laws, should be brought to justice as was in Nuremberg, but they have not even apologized. Those are Afghans, so who cares – they are second-rate people and do not belong to the Western world, which is why the Western leadership, having no shame, thinks that they can be eliminated without the slightest prick of conscience.

However, having occupied Afghanistan, the West is not going to leave a country so promising in all respects. According to NATO’s plans, in 2015 about 12,000 NATO soldiers are to stay deployed in the country, of which 10,800 are Americans.

Observers note that despite the victorious statements of the representatives of the Western military and political leadership, the withdrawal of NATO soldiers is taking place amid a significant rise in activity of the Taliban movement, systemic economic and political crisis. In the last year alone the number of casualties among Afghan personnel rose by 6.5% to 4,634 people. And at the same time the state budget of Afghanistan, “thanks” to the West, is almost completely dependent on foreign aid, and the leadership of the country has been trying in vain to form a government of national unity for 3 months.

That is why there is another point of view on that problem and it is absolutely different from the Western one. For example, the Taliban movement issued an official statement according to which NATO forces have suffered an utter defeat in Afghanistan. “The International Security Assistance Force furled its flag in an atmosphere of disappointment and failure, without any substantial achievements,” reads the statement of Taliban representative Zabikhulla Muhahideen. He says, that “the demoralized forces formed by Americans will always suffer defeats, just like their masters.”

And one may agree with this point of view. For this is no way of victoriously leaving but rather of running away. On the 28th of December, in a setting of strict secrecy, the NATO flag was furled from above the headquarters of the allied group of forces in Kabul and the non-combat flag of another mission, “Resolute Support”, was raised, meaning a tenfold reduction of the number of foreign troops on Afghan soil (though instructors and special units still remain there). The only thing which was known was that the flag ceremony took place somewhere on Afghan territory. By the way, during that period American military and political leadership had visited Afghanistan only under conditions of complete secrecy; they were landing in the evening and, as a rule, never ventured out of the American bases. In the old days only a thief could behave in that way who would sneak into homes of citizens in the night and rob them.

At the same time, John Campbell, the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, stated not demagogically but impertinently: “We have led the Afghan people out of darkness and fear and given them hope for the future.” By the way, the Afghan state itself existed and prospered back when there was no United States on the world map. It is not clear what future the general sees, having been defeated in Afghanistan far more than once. Apparently, the “brave” general already dreams of resignation and is looking for a cushy position, like the one that is still occupied by the rather physically and morally demoralized Jennifer Psaki.

There can be no doubt that the US Army and its allies are leaving behind a Taliban strengthened and hardened in battle, whose morale and fighting spirit will rise even higher after such an exodus of occupiers. They are also leaving a record harvest of opium poppy which is many times larger than it was in 2001. They are leaving “dismantled” even those parts of Afghanistan that are commonly called “civilized”. Ashraf Ghani has been trying for 3 months to negotiate the formation of a new government with his sworn coalition partner Abdullah Abdullah. It is common knowledge that when the hope for a consensus is lost in the East, they find a pretext for a civil war, especially now that the American personnel took the trouble to leave piles of various kinds of weapon there. Venomous tongues state that soon all these weapons will be taken by the Taliban, as had happened previously in Iraq, when the Iraqi army “transferred” its weapon stock to the organization “Islamic State”. And then, beyond any doubt, a new tide of civil war will come.

Independent experts, all as one, assert that there will be no peace and order in the ancient land of Afghanistan, despite the task which had been given to the coalition forces. The acts of terrorism continue to take place on the territory of the country, cars are being blown up, people are dying, some are being taken hostage, and drugs are being produced. While the coalition forces were in Afghanistan, the production of drugs increased by a factor of three! “The presence of coalition forces in Afghanistan,” summarizes the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram, “on the one hand was useless, and on the other, it just sharply aggravated the situation.”

The assessment of the situation by the more serious mass media is similarly pessimistic. The Washington Times has published confidential government documents on the state of the government’s infrastructure in Afghanistan. The periodical draws the conclusion that the USA has failed to create a reliable system of civil authority in that country. Almost all the ministries of the Afghan government are not capable of providing qualified governance after the withdrawal of American troops.

The newspaper came into possession of assessments of the national and state building program in Afghanistan, prepared by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Gaps in the knowledge of high-ranking officials, their preparedness and competence of governing were often assessed as “critical”. If they are left to their own devices, the whole government infrastructure will soon collapse. The periodical says that the State Department tried to conceal these facts from the public. From the point of view of the newspaper, the general conclusion of USAID’s report is that “in forming a sustainable civil government in Afghanistan, American leadership often bet on apparently corrupted politicians and extremists who were trying to destabilize the country.”

The Washington Times also presented information about US expenditures in Afghanistan. Since 2001 the country has spent $600 billion on military operations and the maintenance of a military contingent, $102 billion on the “reconstruction of the government”, and another $20 billion on financing USAID in Afghanistan.

All these efforts have not had any important influence on the activities of the Taliban, drug traffic dynamics, or the potential for a civil war which may break out with new force at any time. The Taliban themselves did not like the idea of coming out of the “darkness”. Close to Afghanistan, the international terrorist network took an epic form in “The Islamic State”.

After 13 years, the economic basis of Afghanistan has not been created, and the unemployed population of the country has no choice but to grow the most profitable crop – opium poppy. Even the US State Department admitted that production has reached its historic maximum. Afghanistan produces up to 90% of illegal opium in the world. Obama gives speeches, and caravans loaded with raw narcotic material renew old trails and blaze new ones. Class struggle is flaring up in the USA with murders and massive protests – the fact that Boeings are no longer crashing into the Pentagon has not made the country a safer place.

Thus, the sad result of the longest US war in Afghanistan is chaos, the demolition of peace and international security, and also a huge blow to American and European taxpayers. And what is going to happen to the Afghan people who have been thrown into the abyss of poverty and discord by NATO is of no concern for the West.

Viktor Mikhin, associate member of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.