The war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history, is based on lies made by top U.S. officials and was “idiotic” as there was no clear plan, according to the documents published by the Washington Post, dubbed the ‘Afghanistan Papers.’ According to the papers, the U.S. has wasted nearly $1 trillion of taxpayers money in war against Afghanistan, with it expecting to cost trillions more. Effectively, it is the taxpayer’s money being wasted to maintain the war and occupation so that shareholders in U.S. military industries can profit while millions of Americans remain in poverty.
Almost half a century ago, the famous Pentagon Papers revealed the secret history and embarrassing truth about the Vietnam War. Documents published by the Washington Post have effectively replicated this in relations to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which have been led with equal stubbornness by three different U.S. presidents – George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Although Trump proclaimed withdrawing from Afghanistan, approaching the end of his first mandate and 18 years into the war, there has been hundreds of thousands of victims and nearly a trillion dollars spent, with no end in sight.
General Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, behind closed doors, unaware that his words would once reach the public, testified that:
“There is a machinery that is behind what we do, and it keeps us participating in the conflict because it generates wealth.”
After all, former US diplomat James Dobbins was quoted as saying:
“We don’t invade poor countries to make them rich. We don’t invade authoritarian countries to make them democratic. We invade violent countries to make them peaceful and we clearly failed in Afghanistan.”
And the “staggering” amount of money spent so far on the war in Afghanistan – between $934 billion and $978 billion at no cost to the CIA, caught the attention of the Washington Post as it has never been audited and justified. We must not be mistaken and think it is conspiratorial, there is a powerful Military Industrial Complex that needs war for profit.
The Afghanistan Papers demonstrates that there is inertia in Washington’s endless war strategy that has been going on for decades. It has been shown time and again that the overwhelming U.S. forces cannot subjugate Afghanistan with the existence of the Taliban that are determined to fight for their country. This is not to endorse the Taliban, but it is to say that Afghanistan since the times of Alexander the Great around 2,300 years ago, has been a place of strong resistance to foreign occupation.
The Afghanistan Papers reveal that 775,000 U.S. troops have passed through Afghanistan since 2001, with some 2,300 killed and 20,589 wounded, yet, U.S. officials acknowledge that their military strategies have been fatally flawed. The documents reveal confusion on whether Al-Qaeda or the Taliban is the enemy; is Pakistan a friend or an adversary; or if there are jihadists on the CIA payroll. As the documents reveal, Washington has never been able to agree on a response. As a result, on the ground, U.S. troops were often unable to distinguish friend from enemy.
Officially, according to the Washington Post, one of the intentions of the occupation forces was to curb opium production. However, Afghan farmers now produce more poppies than ever before, with strong evidence that the CIA are involved in the cultivation and smuggling of the poppies. Last year, according to the United Nations, Afghanistan was responsible for 82% of global opium production. With over $133 billion invested in Afghanistan alone – more than the Marshall Plan for all of Western Europe, when the figures adjust for inflation, the achievement has only “been the development of mass corruption,” said former U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker, the top U.S. diplomat in Kabul in 2002 and from 2011 to 2012. He added, “Once it gets to the level I saw, when I was out there, it’s somewhere between unbelievably hard and outright impossible to fix it.”
The true goal of occupation of Afghanistan is actually quite clear: it is a central strategic point in the Eurasia area to counter Chinese and Russian interests in Central Asia. The true reason for the occupation of Afghanistan is actually quite clear, to control the more than $1 trillion of riches found in the country, and have access to other rich deposits of natural resources in Central Asia, a space traditionally influenced by Russia and China.
Although Washington knew these reasons for the invasion in 2001, the overwhelming majority of the American people and military did not know. As revealed in the Afghanistan papers: “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan—we didn’t know what we were doing,” said one general. A former commanding general in Afghanistan said: “I tried to get someone to define for me what winning meant . . . and nobody could. Some people were thinking in terms of Jeffersonian democracy, but that’s just not going to happen in Afghanistan.”
If the American people can escape the vicious cycle of endless wars and the accompanying lies that justify them, they will be driven by the very processes that are taking place in the rest of the world that are inevitably leading us to a balanced Multipolar system in which this kind of intervention will no longer be possible. The Afghanistan war was built on a system of lies, deceit and confusion and eventually has accelerated multipolarism.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.