Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, has called for postponing a decision to send more American troops to Afghanistan until the Karzai government proves its worthiness by eliminating corruption at the highest echelons of the government. U.S. generals, Mike Mullen, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are all advocating the deployment of at least 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan. The narrative of the Afghan campaign against the Taliban could have been written by Samuel Beckett or Harold Pinter.
It’s clear that the main actors in this absurd fiasco either are unaware of the real history of recent events in Afghanistan or are consciously pursuing the transparently de facto objective of stabilizing the country under American control for the purpose of constructing and safeguarding a pipeline from the Caspian Basin to the ocean.
In 1996, the Clinton administration extended the red carpet for the Taliban when they took power because they were under the mistaken impression that they could cajole the Taliban into negotiating an agreement to construct a pipeline. After wining and dining the Taliban and UNOCAL executives the Clinton officials discovered that the Taliban had already signed an agreement with an Argentinean company and refused to revoke it.
Another issue that the Clinton administration was determined to resolve with the Taliban was their support for terrorist training camps in Afghanistan who were responsible for a number of terrorist attacks such as the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen leaving 7 dead and 10 missing.
President Clinton negotiated an agreement with the Taliban in which the Taliban would abandon support for the training camps in exchange for foreign aid. Unfortunately, George W. Bush was sworn in as President before the deal was signed. The Bush administration had secret plans to invade Afghanistan to build and protect a pipeline. The planning for the invasion began in March six months before 9/11. Recognizing the dangers ahead, the Taliban offered three times to hand over bin Laden to the Americans but were rebuffed each time. Finally after the invasion in 2001, the Taliban, in an attempt to save their regime, extended the offer to hand over bin Laden to closing down all terrorist camps.
They were rebuffed again because the real motive was not bin Laden but the pipeline. America and NATO is now engaged in a bloody foundering war with the Taliban and angry Afghans who have lost relatives or friends to American indiscriminate bombing. Thousands of innocent peasants have been killed by collaterally challenged NATO bombers.
There is no real economic development in Afghanistan and the only opportunity for amelioration of conditions is the withdrawal of all foreign troops who have no right to be there in the first place and have been committing war crimes since they first stepped on Afghan soil.
DAVID MODEL is a Professor of Political Science at Seneca College in Toronto.