Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Wrangle over Afghanistan's Future

Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, has suspended talks on a long-term security deal to keep US troops in his country after Nato leaves in 2014, accusing Washington of duplicity in its efforts to start peace talks with the Taliban.

This wrangle proves that US troops are not being withdrawn by 2014. The oily term now used by US and British government officials is "drawdown" of troops because the main task of stabilising Afghanistan in order to facilitate the infrastructure projects ( e.g. The TAPI gas pipeline ) is not yet acheived.

One US website 'Countdown to Drawdown' gives 10 facts about the fiction of US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. This war is by no means at all over because the central geopolitical war aim of getting the TAPI pipeline secured has not been fulfilled yet.
Fact 1: It is not the case that all US troops will be removed from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
In June 2011, President Obama announced his plan to begin the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. But the president did not say that all US troops would leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. What he did say was 10,000 troops would be removed by the end of the summer 2011, with 23,000 additional troops leaving at the end of the summer of 2012. After that, according to the President: our troops will continue coming home at a steady pace as Afghan security forces move into the lead. Our mission will change from combat to support. By 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security. Notice that the President did not say that our mission in Afghanistan will end by 2014, only that it will cease to be a "combat" mission and become a "support" mission. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has since confirmed that President Obama never said US troops would be completely withdrawn by the end of 2014. What you should be asking yourself is, "what is a support mission?", "how many troops will be required for it?", and "how long will it last?" We will get to these questions shortly. First, it's important to highlight one thing:
Fact 2: There is currently no end date for the war in Afghanistan.
Nowhere in the President's June 2011 speech did he mention a deadline for the full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, and no date for full withdrawal has been specified since then. In fact, the Strategic Partnership Agreement, which was struck between the United States and Afghanistan in June 2012, provides for a US military presence after 2014, although the magnitude of the presence was not specified.
On November 15, 2012, it was reported that Afghanistan and the United States had begun negotiations for a bilateral security agreement, which will govern the US military presence in Afghanistan post-2014, including how many troops are left in Afghanistan, and for how long.
Why have British newspapers not yet commissioned an article challenging the official narrative and also revealing the long term geopolitical ambitions and war aims that have been central to this war ? The Afghanista War has always primarily been about the New Great Game for energy supply routes.

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