by Keith Jones
24 February 2009
US imperialism is set on a course to expand and intensify the Afghan War—vastly increasing the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan and extending the war into neighboring Pakistan.
The Obama administration’s Afghan troop “surge” and the ensuing ratcheting up of violence will have catastrophic consequences for the Afghani and Pakistani peoples. It adds a new, explosive dynamic to the decades-old geopolitical rivalry between India and Pakistan and will intensify the great power competition for control of oil-rich Central Asia, sowing the seeds for even larger and more destructive wars.
Since last August, the US has carried out 38 missile strikes inside Pakistan, the two most recent coming within days of a visit to Pakistan by Richard Holbrooke, Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to an article in last Saturday’s New York Times the two latest air strikes represented a change in US policy, bringing it even more directly into Pakistan’s internal politics. For the first time the US targeted Islamist militia who have not been involved in the Afghan insurgency.
The New York Times and other liberal supporters of the Obama administration have promoted the Afghan war as the so-called “good war,’ in contrast with the Iraq war (which the Times nonetheless also enthusiastically supported.) In fact, the two wars are of a piece. Both have been waged with the aim of imposing US hegemony in regions where there are vast reserves of oil and thereby securing US global predominance, under conditions where the US’s economic power has been vastly eroded.
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