U.S. Prepares Afghan Offensive in Spring

February 10, 2004

The Bush administration is preparing a U.S. military offensive in Afghanistan this Spring that would involve cross-border raids into neighboring Pakistan.

Citing sources familiar with details of the plan, the Chicago Tribune recently reported that the Pentagon is assembling a team of military intelligence officers and special forces that would be posted in Pakistan ahead of the operation. The offensive would involve Special Operations forces, Army Rangers and Army ground troops. A Navy aircraft carrier would also be deployed in the Arabian Sea.

A series of planning orders for the offensive were issued in recent weeks. The plan is characterized within the Pentagon as "a big effort." Thousands of U.S. forces would be involved, according to the Tribune. Some of the U.S. troops now in Afghanistan would be shifted to the border region as part of regular troop movements, while others would be deployed within Pakistan.

Many leading government officials throughout the region stressed that such plans by the U.S. were an open violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and would face stiff opposition from the people.

U.S. officials have been trying to keep the facts hidden from the public eye, but in truth they are deeply worried about the inability of the U.S. military to maintain stability in occupied Afghanistan. The Pentagon has admitted that U.S. troops are coming under attack on a daily basis and that it has no control over areas outside of the capital of Kabul. In the south and southeast of the country, recent

U.S. military offensives have failed to stop the growing insurgency. Despite occupation by nearly 12,000 U.S.-led troops, and thousands of additional NATO troops, the resistance forces are expanding their ranks and include a broad front of Afghan political and religious groups.

The Bush administration plans to spend billions of additional dollars for fighting the war in Afghanistan, and many leading Democratic party spokesmen have called for increased military escalation while criticizing Bush for "not being aggressive enough" in fighting the war.

Make no mistake about it -- the Pentagon is continuing its war and occupation in Afghanistan because U.S. imperialism wants to secure the country as a strategic base in Central Asia and the Middle East, a base from which it can oust its competitors and threaten and bully the entire region. The U.S. aims not only at subjugating Afghanistan but at using that country as another strategic base in its struggle for world domination.

We must keep the demand "U.S., Out of Afghanistan" in the forefront of the people's anti-war movement.