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Donald Trump will make a special address about the War in Afghanistan on 21 August

Will Trump withdraw troops or will he argue for a military push?

A U.S. Marine from the First Battalion Eighth Marines Alpha Company patrols in the town of Nabuk in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, October 31, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST MILITARY)

Afghanistan is known as the graveyard of empires and it is looking increasingly likely that as America declines, Afghanistan may be remembered as America’s quietest but most thorough defeat.

In 1979, Afghanistan descended into war as the previous year’s socialist Saur Revolution faced resistance from local reactionary tribes.

These tribes were augmented by foreign fighters who became the Afghan Mujahideen or the Seven Party Mujahideen Alliance. The Mujahideen was strongly backed by the United States based on a policy spearheaded by Jimmy Carter’s powerful National Security Advisor, the Polish born Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Early in the war Brzezinski was infamously filmed giving a motivational war speech to the Mujahideen who in the 1990s became al-Qaeda, the terrorist group led by Afghan war veteran Osama bin Laden.

Brzezinski’s policies were followed into the Reagan years and after a tense war of ten years, the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989.

In 1992, the socialist government fell and Afghanistan officially became an Islamic State(no relation to the group commonly known as ISIS which formed decades later in Iraq). In 1996, a more radical group known as the Taliban effectively took over the country. The Taliban claimed to represent the interests of Pashtund, the largest ethnic group in the country. As part of the Taliban’s extreme rule, the former socialist leader of the country, Mohammad Najibullah was gruesomely executed before he was dragged through the streets by a truck and hung lifeless from a post.

As the Taliban took power, the Islamic Republic factions formed the Northern Alliance, a government backed by Russia, Iran, India, Turkey, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. By contrast the Taliban received support from elements in Pakistan, at that time a strong US ally.

After 911, the US became actively opposed to the Taliban and united with the Northern Alliance to oust it from power in 2001. The proximate cause of the US war was the fact that the Taliban had aided and sheltered members of the terror group al-Qaeda.

Since 2001, the Taliban have both factionalised and perversely regained a substantial deal of influence in the country even as the leadership of two main Taliban factions remain at odds with each other. Al-Qaeda and other Salafist groups remain generally loyal to the Taliban. At the same time, terror cells loyal to the so-called Islamic State have also arisen in Afghanistan.

While President Obama formally handed over control of military operations in the country to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in 2014, the internationally recognised government in Kabul, American forces for all intents and purposes remained in position with little noticeable change on the ground.

Donald Trump inherited a quagmire where a divided central government is facing a factionalised Taliban and various terrorist groups including ISIS.

What has changed is that as America proves totally incompetent in respect of bringing peace and stability to the country, other countries including China, Russia and Iran are becoming increasingly seen as possible peace keepers and economic partners in spite of historical enmity between Kabul and Tehran and the fraught war the Soviet Union fought in the country during the 1980s.

The Taliban have asked the US to leave and Pakistan is growing increasingly irritated by the US presence. Pakistan’s increasingly good relations with Russia combined with its historically good relations with China mean that there are many in Islamabad who now see Russians as part of an Afghan solution rather than as part of a prolonged problem.

On the 21st of August, Donald Trump is to address the nation in a speech concerning Afghanistan. Many are wondering whether Trump will announce a pull-out or a final military push that may very well result in few tangible results.

Steve Bannon who has recently left the White House was known to be a proponent of total withdrawal. His absence may mean that those in favour of a US troop ‘surge’ may win the argument.

Donald Trump will make his address at 21.00 EST on the 21st of August. 

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Simon
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Simon

There is only one winning strategy for the US. Accept defeat and leave. Even this privatisation idea is a form of that. Besides Blackwater won’t last 6months – they are not the United States (that’s a big difference, for everyone). But they won’t do that. Some kind of surge will be their answer. Even 50.000 troops will not change anything significantly. They will announce something far less. The US are obsessed with their geostrategic games of Risk. they think they are somehow ‘encircling’ Russia, China and Iran from their Afghan bases. Wheres it is their Afghan base which is encircled.… Read more »

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

“Even 50.000 troops will not change anything significantly.”

Obama beefed up the US contingent to 100,000 troops in 2009, and that changed nothing.
“Winning the war” in Afghanistan has no sense.

Simon
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Simon

Exactly.

Punisher 1
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Punisher 1

“combined with its historically good relations with Russia” I think he meant to say China here. And typed the wrong word. But on another matter. I think with Trump surrounded by generals now. He may announce another “surge”. But that would not be a smart move. He’d be better off to do what he promised his base.And stop involvements in foreign wars.It would show his “independence”. And he could probably set up a “peace conference” and get Russia,China,Pakistan,to join it. That way if it succeeded he’d look like a “great statesman” . And if it failed he could “share the… Read more »

Wesa F.
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Wesa F.

Then they will start on NK and if thats not enough look out Venezuela

mikhas
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mikhas

And the strategy is……….outsourcing the occupation to Prince’s Blackwater aka Academi. US has also shipped ISIS to Afghanistan and unmarked helicopters according to Russia, has been air-dropping what appears to be weapons and munitions to them for months.

Afghani airspace is controlled by NATO….

samo war
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samo war

mickey mouse ?

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

See also https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/08/solution-afghanistan-withdrawal-iran-russia-pakistan-trump/537252/.

I concede that it takes a “dialectician” to appreciate such an article, but also a sense of humor. The subtitle basically says enough: “A full withdrawal will force Iran, Russia, and others, to step up.” If Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires, let it be the graveyard of someone else’s empire. Not a bad idea, just requires thinking 2 steps ahead, something for which the US (and its generals, of course) is not exactly renowned.

JNDillard
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JNDillard

This will be a major defining moment of Trumps presidency. In Syria he has set a precedent of withdrawal in face of reason. He very much wanted to mark his administration as a renouncing of all things Obama. Here is another chance. Is he smart enough to see when he has been dealt a losing hand? We are about to find out. My prediction is that he will try to cut he baby in half, like Solomon: one last push.

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

After 17 years, no victory and causing so much pain, misery, destruction…time to gather the belongings and go home – where you belong.

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Trump has just declared: “We must never forget: this is not a war (in Afghanistan) of choice. This is a war of necessity.”

NOT a single war waged by US since 1945, has been a “war of necessity”, ALL of them were wars of choice. Look at this world map and tell me, which war was “of necessity”, which country where US intervened militarily had attacked or threatened the United States since the end of WWII? Osama bin Laden was not Afghani, he was Saudi. comment image

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

80 years ago, George Orwell nailed it: “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”
The US industrial-military complex wants the war in Afghanistan to go on and on and on, they are making hundreds of billions dollars out of it. Bush, Obama and now Trump bowed to their wish.
The presidents change, the warmongering policy does not.

The choice for Russia: aircraft carrier or ‘aircraft carrying cruiser’?

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