PRESIDENT Obama has shaken his supporters with his admission that the war in Afghanistan is not being won, and that he is willing to negotiate with the more moderate elements of the Taleban in a reconciliation process.
A month into his presidency, Obama authorised the deployment of up to 17,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan, and also made known his dissatisfaction with the government of the US puppet President, Karzai.
The Obama administration had a public quarrel with Karzai, who was insisting that Afghanistan’s presidential election take place in April. Obama insists that it must be in August, at a time when the US would be able to bring forward its alternative candidate.
Now Karzai has given way and agreed to a new date, August 20.
He is already being seen as the first casualty of the new US policy. In fact, his presidency ends in May so he will be just another citizen, and perhaps not even a candidate, when the US-designated polling day arrives on August 20.
The clincher is that by that date the 17,000 extra US troops will be in Afghanistan.
The new US search for support stretches far and wide, even as far as Iran. Iran has let it be known that it would consider a US invitation to a conference on Afghanistan later this month.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Brussels this week Iran should be included in an Afghanistan summit.
Iranian government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said: ‘If America and European countries and others need us, they should give us the invitation.’
Iran is signalling that for a price it would be willing to assist the US in Afghanistan as it did with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Just why the US has had to adopt a new course is obvious from the statement of the ex-SAS commander Major Sebastian Morley.
Morley said of the Afghan campaign: ‘This is the equivalent to the start of the Vietnam conflict, there is much more to come.
‘We hold tiny areas of ground in Helmand and we are kidding ourselves if we think our influence goes beyond 500 metres of our security bases.
‘We go out on operations, have a punch-up with the Taleban and then go back to camp for tea. We are not holding the ground.’
He called for 20,000 British troops to be sent to Afghanistan.
The war is clearly only just beginning. This is why the US is now desperate to much widen its base of support.
But the aim of the war has changed. There is not just talk of a reconciliation with a wing of the Taleban- Osama bin Laden and his whereabouts are not even a talking point.
This war is not about Osama bin Laden at all. He has become its forgotten man!
The war is about Afghanistan’s strategic position on the oil and gas crossroads of central Asia, and it is also about securing Pakistan.
Already, US drones and special forces are crossing the border of Afghanistan into Pakistan, and the US ambassador to Pakistan recently put forward the novel theory that it was not the situation in Afghanistan that was destabilising Pakistan, but the situation in crisis-ridden Pakistan that is destabilising Afghanistan!
The US is seeking to stabilise its position in Afghanistan, all the better to intervene in Pakistan to organise a regime change that will see Pakistan pacified and with its nuclear weapons handed over, and the US put into a much stronger position in central Asia.
The British trade unions must oppose the war in Afghanistan and its expansion into Pakistan. All British troops must be withdrawn at once, and the trade unions must take action to achieve this policy.
Otherwise, Morley is correct. The US and the UK are on the brink of central Asia’s Vietnam War.