Obama set to expand the Afghan war

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PRESIDENT Obama is set to throw tonnes of petrol onto the Afghan flames.

After months of strategic and tactical discussions with his military and political leaders, the military are to get their way with a major expansion of the war.

be sent to Afghanistan to put the situation right, especially in Helmand province, and that they will be joined by several thousand more British troops.

Pakistan has already warned the US administration that sending tens of thousands more soldiers to Afghanistan will push the Taleban over the southwest border into Pakistan.

Pakistan prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani stressed: ‘We want a stable Afghanistan. However, we don’t want our country to be destabilised.’

He added: ‘We have already discussed with the US administration that the influx of militants towards Balochistan should be taken care of, otherwise Balochistan will be in a critical situation.’

The coming reinforcement of some 35,000 US troops, will see the US military practising the right of ‘hot pursuit’ into Pakistan.

There will be extremely heavy fighting, with Obama banking on being able to bully and bribe a section of the Taleban to defect, so that a national unity government can be set up with them, and a withdrawal of some US troops can begin, with the public target of a complete withdrawal in eight years.

Pakistanis are already angry with their government for supporting the US army in Afghanistan, and then capitulating to US pressure to attack pro-Taleban forces within Pakistan. The two operations that have been carried out have killed very few Taleban, but have created hundreds of thousands of refugees and hundreds of dead civilians.

Obama will be announcing the extent of the reinforcement at a gung-ho rally at the West Point military academy, surrounded by officers and officer cadets, this Tuesday.

The Afghan Taleban leader Mullah Omar has completely rejected the idea of peace talks with the corrupt Kabul regime, or forming a national unity government with it.

Omar said: ‘The people of Afghanistan will not agree to a negotiation which prolongs and legitimises the invader’s military presence in our beloved country. Afghanistan is our home.’

The US currently has about 68,000 troops in Afghanistan while its Nato allies have about 42,000.

Nato chiefs are committed to discuss sending more troops to Afghanistan in early December.

The issue remains whether a decisive section of the Taleban will be willing to defect to the side of the US-UK imperialists.

The evidence of history suggests that this is not going to happen, and that the reinforcement of the existing occupation armies will see the conflict escalated and expanded throughout the region.

Obama’s declared willingness to finish the Afghan ‘job’ reflects the strategic needs of the US ruling class to have the oil and gas bearing regions in its grasp.

Holding Afghanistan is vital for this purpose. It is also vital for any operations that may have to be carried out against Iran, which has a common border with Afghanistan.

The prospect is that a temporary expansion of the war will become permanent and the reinforcements, instead of being withdrawn, will themselves have to be reinforced.

The only solution to the crisis that this imperialist war has created in the region is for US and UK and NATO troops to be withdrawn at once.

The trade unions and all UK workers must demand the withdrawal of all British troops at once, and take industrial and political action to achieve it.