The United States plans to send another thousand troops to Afghanistan to strengthen its contingent there. Now the Pentagon is deciding which military personnel will be sent to this country. We shall note that US troops have been stationed in this country since October 2001, which has cost US taxpayers $680 billion dollars. During this campaign, more than two thousand American soldiers have been killed and another 20,000 wounded. According to the US media, at present, there are 15,282 US troops in Afghanistan. It should be said that President Donald Trump fully complied with the request of General John Nicholson, who believes that under his leadership in Afghanistan there must be at least 16,000 soldiers.
Seventeen years seemed to be enough for peace to reign on the ancient land of Afghanistan. However, the tragedy of the Afghan people appears to have no end in sight. It can be said that Afghanistan, as a single state, has long been gone. The US and its coalition allies, gathered from all corners of the world, for many years have contributed to the persistence of a bloody conflict, and the settlement between the Afghans themselves has not progressed one iota. The Iranian newspaper Tehran Times wrote the following about this: ‘Washington, having occupied Afghanistan, took responsibility for the cessation of the war, the restoration of peace, the elimination of internal contradictions, the revival of an eroded economy. However, this did not happen, except for the presence of American troops in the country, the continuation of chaos and the war of all against all.’
Now on the backstages of the White House and the Pentagon there is approvingly discussed the plan that Eric Prince, the former head of the Blackwater Private Military Company (PMC), put forward, about the creation in Afghanistan of an analogue of the East India Company and the establishment of the similarity of the post of viceroy who would be responsible for everything that is happening in the country, as was done by Great Britain in India. The viceroy, according to Eric Prince’s idea, would solve all the issues in the country individually without bureaucratic delay and endless meetings with Washington and would answer only to the US president. The ‘brave warrior’ suggests sending contract soldiers to Afghanistan for a long time so that they live, bear all the hardships of the service and fight shoulder to shoulder with divisions consisting of local residents. The main investors of the project, according to Eric Prince, could be large Western corporations that are interested in the extraction of Afghanistan’s natural resources. It should be recalled that the cost of minerals in the country is estimated at between one and three trillion dollars. That’s where the genuine reasons are revealed and explain Washington’s entire policy in this country.
The US itself cannot leave Afghanistan either for reputational reasons or for fear that the country may fall into the sphere of influence of Iran, China and Russia, or the authorities will completely transfer to the Taliban, and Afghanistan will then become a hotbed of jihadists. The current administration in Washington needs to seek out some kind of third way. That’s why Eric Prince’s plan began to receive more attention. The idea of shifting all costs and losses of the war in Afghanistan to private companies and contractors looks increasingly tempting for the current president-businessman Donald Trump. And now we see how this diabolical plan to turn Afghanistan into an American colony on the model of British, and the appearance of new ‘contract soldiers’ begins to be implemented. If you look at them more closely, they turn out to be terrorists from Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra, rescued in Syria and Iraq by Americans, and then transferred by American planes in Afghanistan.
During the meeting of the Council of Heads of Security Authorities and Special Services of the CIS, Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service of Russia, noted that the movement of terrorist groups to Central Asia poses a threat to the security of the region: ‘The main centre for the concentration of bandits is Afghanistan, where there are already positions of the so-called “Islamic state” and where the militants have the opportunity to infiltrate the territory of the CIS countries’.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said that the north of Afghanistan is turning into a base for international terrorism, as he said during a speech at a meeting of the UN Security Council dedicated to the situation in Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.
It is interesting that Qatar, a small state situated in the Persian Gulf zone, has also actively entered into the settlement of the Afghan crisis. For example, recently a delegation of the Qatari representation of the Taliban arrived in Islamabad; the Pakistani media reported referring to anonymous sources from the pro-Taliban and diplomatic circles. According to the reports, the delegation included three high-ranking Taliban leaders, including Shahabuddin Dilawar. It is assumed that the recent visit was part of the efforts of the Qatari leadership to promote an intra-Afghan peace dialogue. A few weeks earlier, a Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Abbas, made a trip to Qatar, discussing the prospect of peace talks in Afghanistan, according to the Pakistani newspaper Daily Times.
But for the global hegemon – the United States – there is no opinion of the UN and other international organisations. They continue to violate all conceivable and unthinkable international laws, providing assistance to terrorists. For example, the US Department of Defence used a loophole in legislation to continue training, providing equipment and assisting other units of the Afghan security forces who committed ‘gross human rights violations’. Such confession is contained in a declassified report prepared by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko. Legislation prohibits the US government from assisting foreign forces that commit gross violations of human rights, but exceptions can be made for reasons of national security.
The Diplomat newspaper reported that during a recent telephone conversation between US President Donald Trump and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the mining industry was discussed, and that the White House plans to send a special representative to Afghanistan to assess the necessary investments in mining. For example, the country has huge lithium reserves, the demand for which will increase as the electric vehicle industry and electronic gadgets grow, as this metal is used in the creation of batteries. Afghanistan is even called the ‘Saudi Arabia of lithium’. It should be noted that today the extraction of natural resources in Afghanistan is the second most important source of income for the Taliban.
The protection of deposits, mines, transportation, etc. looks like the ideal application of private military forces, and not American soldiers in uniform. Donald Trump’s team, as the US media writes, have already consulted with the head of the mining company, American Elements. In addition, billionaire Steve Feinberg, who personally advises Trump on Afghanistan and owns one of the most powerful corporations in the world of military contracts – DynCorp International, is constantly showing increased interest in the exploitation of Afghani deposits.
In other words, today’s northern Afghanistan is beginning to play an ever-increasing role for Washington. First of all, by sending terrorists from Syria and Iraq there, the American rulers are creating a new hotbed of tension on the border of the former republics of the USSR and, therefore, threatening Russia’s security. Secondly, by actively developing the richest deposits in the north of the country, President Donald Trump shows his voters the professional grasp of the ‘businessman’, who has no business creating a peaceful society in Afghanistan.
Viktor Mikhin, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”