Deeper Into The Afghan Quagmire


BRITAIN’S top general in Afghanistan has backed the call of his US commander for 40,000 more troops to be sent into the Afghan quagmire, including 1,000 more troops from the UK.

Lieutenant-General Jim Dutton entered the political arena on Monday when he said that he supported a formal request made by his boss, General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander, for up to 40,000 new troops.

Dutton said more than President Obama. The US leader said earlier in the week that he had not made his mind up, and wanted to complete a strategic review of the Afghan adventure, especially with the death toll and costs growing, before he committed himself.

General McChrystal has meanwhile warned that without more troops the US and the UK will lose the war.

Earlier this year President Obama ordered 21,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total foreign forces to more than 100,000.

General Dutton, meanwhile, is said to consider that the ideal ratio of civilians to security forces is 50:1. In Afghanistan that would mean 560,000 Afghan and international soldiers for an estimated population of 28 million. That is an awful lot of soldiers – especially when they are said to have liberated the country and the people.

There is a huge troop reinforcement ahead, since there are now ‘only’ 100,000 foreign troops and 174,000 Afghan security forces of all kinds.

Dutton is insisting that Britain and Nato are prepared to send more soldiers. ‘There’s no sense here that we are going to fail because the analysis has been rejected,’ he said.

However, critics of the projected campaign are already demanding that there must be a timetable for withdrawal.

The general’s reply to this is that ‘The Taleban and al-Qaeda, as far as they’re concerned, defeated one superpower. For them to be seen to defeat a second, I think, would have catastrophic consequences in terms of energising the extremist movement.’

In fact the Russian military have learnt something from their Afghan debacle. They have insisted that Russian troops will not under any circumstances intervene to assist NATO in the Afghan war.

They say that this war is already lost, and speculate about just how long the western politicians will allow their military chiefs to refight the Vietnam war.

In fact, many NATO governments, especially the Italian and the German, will not remain in Afghanistan much longer, especially if their troops continue to take the casualties that they have in recent weeks.

Meanwhile the British military is demanding that while the British government slashes and burns the Welfare State to get out of its debts, it must increase the military expenditure by whatever colossal amount is necessary to win the war.

The reality is that the economic and political cost of the escalation of the Afghan war will break the back of British imperialism.

British capitalism will not be able to finance it without increasing very greatly the oppression of the working class, and greatly sharpening the class struggle to the point of revolution, while the military will be unable to win the war and will become more and more bitter about the way that they were betrayed by the politicians back home.

In fact, both McChrystal and Dutton are demanding a colossal expenditure of both cash and lives to support a government that is so hated that it cannot declare the result of the election that it has just rigged.

The Taleban is expanding its operations all over the country now, and has been greatly strengthened by the grotesque rigging of the election by Karzai.

The UK trade unions must now launch a campaign of economic and political action to support the Afghan people and to demand the immediate recall of all foreign forces from Afghanistan.