Communist Party USA

  The decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan was correct. They had no business there in the first place. The manner of leaving is a tragedy. U.S. imperialist foreign and military policy is in deep crisis, and the lessons must be drawn — the most important of which is that war was never a viable option or solution. Comparisons have been made to Vietnam. This by far will be worse: in both the human toll and its political consequences. Remember there was no internet when Saigon fell to Vietnam’s heroic fighters who liberated and then rebuilt a war-devastated country. But the Taliban is no NLF. What will play out in the next days, weeks, and months will likely have a far more devastating impact in almost every way possible. With the fall of Kabul and the video of people desperately trying to leave the country, there is much hand-wringing and recriminations in the capitalist press over how Afghanistan was “lost.” Losing a war is equated with “losing” a country. This mindset is the problem — Afghanistan is not “ours” to lose. But the U.S. is an imperialist nation, and this thinking, repeated by politicians and the media, accurately reflects the problem. One answer to the question of why Kabul fell so quickly is that the soldiers and police, funded and trained by the U.S., at a cost estimated at $2 trillion, simply did not support the government. The kind of government imposed by the U.S., not its own people, was completely contrary to traditional centers of power. The U.S. demand that Afghanis defend a corrupt government imposed by the U.S. occupying army is arrogant. A U.S.-created “mess” U.S. imperialism is responsible for the “mess” that pundits call Afghanistan. The Bush government started the war on October 7, 2001, ostensibly to end the terrorism emanating from that country, defeat Al-Qaeda, and get rid of Osama bin Laden. But Bin Laden left Afghanistan for Pakistan in December 2001, and instead of pursuing him there, Bush and Company expanded the war to impose their will on an entire people and supposedly engage in “nation building,” that is, profit making. The “mess” goes back to 1979–89, when the U.S. funded the Mujahidin, the ultra-conservative forces fighting the Soviet-backed government. The CIA-engineered program, “Operation Cyclone,” began under the Carter administration and was ramped up under Reagan, ultimately costing taxpayers about $3 billion. The political outlook of the Mujahidin was irrelevant; all they wanted was to oust the Soviets during the Cold War. During the civil war, many of these forces formed the Taliban, which became the predominant power in 1996. The U.S. trained, armed, and financed the very forces it then fought for 20 years.   The cost of war After 20 years of an “illegitimate, illegal, immoral, inhuman” war, what did we get? Reportedly, over 38,000 Afghan civilians lost their lives, but the government didn’t track the numbers of deaths, and 100,000 lives lost is more likely. Over 2,400 U.S. troops were killed, and four times as many troops have committed suicide as were killed in wars since 9/11. The war was expensive in terms of financial cost, too. The U.S. spent more money on Afghanistan than it did on the Marshall Plan, the massive effort to rebuild Western Europe after World War II. Our government spent about $90 billion to train Afghan soldiers and police, $10 billion to fight the narcotics trade while seeing opium production rise, and $24 billion on economic development — all to no avail. Who benefitted from this massive outpouring of tax dollars? Private corporations, of course. Contractors took over…

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Afghanis pay the price of U.S. intervention