Trump Administration Seeks to Police Afghanistan Permanently

February 11, 2019

During his state of the union speech, President Trump reiterated his desire for a long-term "counterterrorism" policing role in Afghanistan. He said, "My administration is holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban. As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counterterrorism."

U.S. Special Adviser to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is talking to organizations in Afghanistan about the future role of the U.S. in the NATO occupied nation.

Khalilzad's demands, as he describes them, start with the underlying theme that all parties must agree to respect and respond to American "values" of "human rights, freedom of the press, women's rights, and all that we stand for." These demands turn truth on its head. They are nothing but political cover for the fact that it is the U.S. which organized invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. It is the U.S. which bombs and kills many thousands of Afghan men, women and children in the name of "fighting terrorism." It is the U.S. which is trampling the sovereign rights of the entire nation into the dirt.

The people of Afghanistan have long since, quite famously, joined with the rest of the world in putting the struggle against imperialism, the struggle for national liberation and social emancipation, on the agenda. In order to misinform the American public about the anti-imperialist character of the national liberation war in Afghanistan, U.S. officialdom is relying on the tactic of disinformation to incite more war. For example, according to spokesmen such as Khalilzad, it is the people of Afghanistan, not the U.S. and NATO, who are to blame for the conflict there. In a recent speech presented to the U.S. Institute of Peace, Khalilzad flat out ignored the conditions of colonial war and occupation and instead declared that the "roots of the conflict in Afghanistan is not only in Afghanistan but also in the region."

That remarkably unworkable story is meant to facilitate a worldwide discussion in which it becomes the forces of the national liberation war which must take on the responsibility for ending the occupation by committing to concession to the invaders. Priority concessions presented by Khalilzad so far include permitting the invaders to exercise enforcement powers at times decided by the United States. This would not only tie the knot for more wars by allowing the U.S. military to permanently keep its foothold in the strategic crossroads at the heart of south-central Asia, it would also allow the U.S.-NATO chiefs in Washington and Brussels to continue legitimizing whichever form of government they wished to recognize for Afghanistan.

Washington is still hoping to win its doomed Afghan war by seeking a military pact to consolidate its privileges and overlord position as judge, jury and executioner of the affairs of the Afghan nation. This chauvinism and militarism cannot stand. Every time we drag such warmongering into the light of day, we shift the balance – we help more people come forward and step up the struggle against war and imperialism.