U.S. Imperialism Hopes to Establish a Neo-Colonial Regime in Afghanistan by Providing It a Military with Offensive Capability
February 14, 2017
On February 9, the head of U.S. Forces Afghanistan testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee in favor of budget items he hopes will be spent on the U.S.-NATO war there. Already requested military spending from last year includes requests for $814.5 million to procure and refurbish UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters as well for training aircrew and to procure more MD-530 helicopters, A-29 fixed-wing close-attack aircraft and AC-208 fixed-wing aircraft. The Black Hawk helicopters are not currently an item in the Afghanistan inventory. The Department of Defense already has its sights set on later spending even more on AC-208s and Black Hawks for Afghanistan. Army General John Nicholson Jr. admitted that the additional U.S. funding for a local Afghan air force was so that it could establish an offensive capability.
Nicholson reminded the Senate Armed Services Committee of the over 75 interested States, businesses and NGOs that had already taken advantage of or confirmed acceptance of the lucrative opportunity to make capital investments there. He said their commitments to this end were based on their “confidence in the Afghan people and the Afghan government.” He also reminded the Committee of NATO’s July agreement in Warsaw to continue the war until at least 2020.
Nicholson claimed the highest number of enemy groups in Afghanistan ever, with the alleged count coming in at over twenty. And as far as the future is concerned, he testified that U.S. goals in Afghanistan still required an “enduring commitment.”
As of February 9, Nicholson felt that he had enough troops at his disposal as head of “counter-terrorism” operations but that he didn’t have sufficient numbers at his disposal as head of the mission to train an Afghan Army. “Congressional approval of funding for the Afghan air force is key to improving the offensive capability of the Afghan national defense and security forces and there is an urgency to this request in order to get these aircraft and aircrews into the fight as soon as possible.”
Nicholson compared Afghan Special Forces with those of all other countries of the region where such units don’t operate independently of U.S. command. He concluded that Afghan Special Forces surpassed all others when judged by the fact that they had the highest rate of independent military operations. In order to establish an offensive capability, the U.S. is now training the local air force in ground-attack aircraft and integrated intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance. Afghan piloted ground-attack aircraft became an added weapon in the war starting in April of 2016.
Nicholson also testified that the American people opposed the war because of the 7,400 miles that separated the U.S. and Afghanistan and that the length of the war (rather than its aims) was also to blame.
Make no mistake about it, U.S. imperialism wants to carry out its exploitation of the Afghan people through an alliance with an internal capitalist and landlord class.
The entire conduct of the U.S. government since 2001 has proven time and time again that it was never interested in bringing any criminals to justice, but was only using the bogey of “international terrorism” as a pretext for launching aggressive wars. Just as Bush arrogantly refused to follow the standard protocols of international law in response to the horrendous attack on the World Trade Center, Obama refused to respond to the demand of the people to “Stop the Wars!”
No, the “war on international terrorism” of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class does not aim at ending terrorism. Rather it aims to legitimize and fortify U.S. imperialism’s system of state-sponsored terrorism. Already, U.S. imperialism has invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, and Haiti while declaring war against the world and naming scores of other countries and peoples as targets.
Years before the launch of the so-called “war on terrorism” it was U.S. imperialism which for weeks rained bombs on civilian populations in Yugoslavia in order to carve up the country and grab part of its territory. It was U.S. imperialism which for years waged war to keep Iraq under its thumb, bombing the people and imposing economic sanctions which claimed the lives of millions of Iraqis. It was U.S. imperialism which armed and directed the Israeli aggressors in a war of subjugation and genocide against the Palestinian people. It was U.S. imperialism which organized death squads in Colombia and waged a counter-insurgency war against the people of that country.
It was U.S. imperialism which continued its illegal blockade against Cuba and which carried out covert, terrorist operations against the Cuban people. It was U.S. imperialism which stationed tens of thousands of troops in south Korea and maintained, by force of arms, the partition of Korea. It was U.S. troops which were stationed throughout the world, trampling on the sovereignty of peoples and militarizing the globe. It was U.S. imperialism which terrorized the peoples with nuclear weapons and other instruments of mass destruction. It was U.S. imperialism which set up aggressive military alliances and supported the most reactionary regimes all over the world. It was the C.I.A. which organized military coups d’etat and carried out sabotage and terror throughout the world.
These crimes against humanity extend back even further. Since the end of WWII for example, U.S. imperialism has launched hundreds of armed interventions against the peoples – in Korea, Lebanon, in the Dominican Republic, in the Congo, in Vietnam, in El Salvador and Nicaragua...
In the beginning of the 20th century, U.S. imperialism entered the scramble for colonies and economic territory by grabbing the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico through war. For decades, the U.S. marines openly made the law in Latin America while the U.S. companies plundered the wealth of the continent.
After WWII, U.S. imperialism emerged at the head of the camp of capitalism. But faced with the worldwide growth of the camp of socialist countries and the ever-rising tide of national liberation, U.S. imperialism initiated the most ferocious counter-revolutionary campaign, stepping into the shoes of Hitler. Under the banner of “containing” or “rolling back” communism, U.S. imperialism undertook to militarize the entire world, launch wars against the national liberation movements and prepare for nuclear war.
Nothing has changed except for the fact that over the last quarter of a century, U.S. imperialism has become more aggressive than ever.
Under the banner of the “war against international terrorism” (or occasionally the “war on drugs”), U.S. imperialism has appointed itself judge, jury and executioner. Instead of an international system which recognizes the sovereign equality of every country and in which existing states work to resolve problems through international law and without resort to the use of violence and war, U.S. imperialism seeks a world in which its military power gives it the “right” to make the law and trample on the sovereignty of the countries.
Most fundamentally, the U.S. “war against international terror” is directed against the peoples who rise in struggle for national liberation, progress and emancipation. In this era, it has been the colossal, history-making liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples which, side-by-side with the working class movement for emancipation, have forced the imperialist powers and international law to recognize, at least to a certain extent, the equality of all nations and to respect the sovereignty of countries. It is this great progressive tide of the last 100 years which U.S. imperialism is seeking to override and suppress.
So too, even while U.S. imperialism tries to keep its allies under its hegemony, contradictions and rivalries keep breaking to the surface. For the last 15 years, the U.S. wars in the Middle East have been directly linked not only to a return to colonialism, but also to the contradictions among the various imperialist powers. The growing changes in the European Community, including the creation of the “euro” and the new EU military forces reflect the growing rivalry and struggle within U.S. imperialism’s core NATO alliance. Struggles keep breaking out over trade barriers and currency flows, etc. At the same time, sharp contradictions continue to exist with Russia, China and other countries.
Trying to stop these centrifugal forces from undermining its hegemony, U.S. imperialism’s strategy is to foment tensions and militarize every situation in order to insert itself into the equation.
The entire program of war and militarism arises from the monopoly capitalist class and the imperialist system. The very social existence of the U.S. ruling class is based not only on the exploitation of the American workers but also on the superexploitation and domination of peoples throughout the world.
Although it is true that the years since the horrendous bombing of the World Trade Center have again brought home the extreme aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism, the events of this time also show that the world does not march to imperialism’s drumbeat. And while U.S. imperialism is unleashing new disasters on the peoples, the people too are still in motion – organizing and fighting against war and imperialism.
The system of violence against the peoples as well as the disequilibrium and conflicts amongst the imperialists themselves will continue as long as imperialism exists because at its very foundation imperialism is a system of exploitation and subjugation. In fact, rather than lessening or disappearing the contradictions of this system are becoming and will become even more intense.
However particular wars can be averted and imperialism defeated through the struggle of the workers and peoples.
To eliminate the cause of war, the peoples must overthrow the capitalist-imperialist system.