BRITISH troops are to to leave Afghanistan by 2014, and a phased withdrawal is due to begin before the end of 2010. This is the news that is being leaked to the media by the MoD and the coalition.
The deal is set to be announced this week, by President Karzai.
The Afghan president is set to reveal the plan for British troops to scurry out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 to an international conference on Afghanistan’s future to be held in Kabul on Tuesday.
The conference will also hear that British government aid to Afghanistan is be quadrupled, at a time when it is slashing everything else, a testimony as to just how desperate the British ruling class have become to quit Afghanistan and do a deal with the Taleban.
The money is to go for the construction of the Afghan infrastructure and the building up of the Afghan security forces, who currently are showing how thoroughly they have been infiltrated by the Taleban with their deadly friendly fire attacks on British troops.
There is no doubt that the quadrupled British aid will simply provide a salary for a large number of Taleban sympathisers and members.
British troops will have no problem working out that over the next four years, at the current casualty rate, up to 1,000 British troops could be dead, at the hands of the Taleban, who are growing stronger, not weaker, and are growing more and more confident that they can force British troops out before 2014.
Remember it was not so long ago that we were being told that this was the summer of the surge and we would see the enormous NATO firepower being used to destroy the Taleban.
The exact opposite is happening. Nato troops are being demoralised by the very determined and well organised resistance that they are meeting.
British troops have already worked out that they are fighting a war that was hopeless and stupid to begin with, and that it is now well and truly lost.
The consequence of this is that there is not a single reason why they should continue to sacrifice themselves or risk their lives for this lost cause. This is the war that stupid Labourite politicians saw them off to in 2006 by saying that not one shot would be fired, a contention that was supported by generals who have lost their memories about Afghanistan and the Afghans, and the fate of British troops in the previous Afghan wars.
In fact, already, the British military are urging talks with the Taleban, and efforts to bring them into a government.
They will no doubt be negotiating local truces with the Taleban fighters, a la Vietnam, to try and keep their casualty rate down and to preserve the British army for the action that is on hand at home against protesting British workers.
Yet with oil and gas pipelines planned through Afghanistan, to take central Asian gas and oil to the West, the British and US governments want to hang on for as long as they can, and negotiate the return of a Taleban-led government that can be trusted to look after the interests of the British and US ruling class.
The Taleban now know that they have time on their side and have no need to placate the UK in any way. There is no doubt that this situation will cost the lives of a lot more British soldiers and cost the US and UK governments many billions of pounds and dollars in more ‘aid’.
The British working class must take action to stop this war! The British trade union leaders must be got off their knees and be made to tell the UK coalition that the whole military programme – to replace Trident, for three new aircraft carriers, and a hundred new RAF planes – must be cancelled, and that all UK troops must be withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq.
The vast majority of the British people are opposed to the Afghan war, as they were opposed to the Iraq war. They are for slashing the military, not health and education and jobs.
The message from the TUC must be that it will take action to bring the coalition down if it does not quit Afghanistan now!