THERE is no need for major changes in current Afghan strategy, US president Barack Obama told Congress according to a letter released by the White House on Monday.
‘We are continuing to implement the policy as described in December and do not believe further adjustments are required at this time,’ Obama said in the letter sent to the Senate and House of Representatives.
As the Congress continues its deliberations on the way ahead in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I want to continue to underscore our nation’s interests in the successful implementation of this policy,’ Obama said in the letter, dated Sept. 30.
The Obama administration decided last December to send additional 30,000 occupation troops to Afghanistan, and to begin withdrawing troops from that country by July 2011. A major review of the strategy is due to be submitted to the Congress in December.
The strategy is reportedly opposed by the military leadership and sections of the administration.
Obama said the only major change was the appointment of General David Petraeus. The former head of the US Central Command assumed military command of US troops in Afghanistan in July.
Petraeus has however opposed the withdrawal date and insists that the US will have to stay in Afghanistan until the job is done, and that this will take some years beyond the Obama timescale.
In fact the war has gone much further, and much faster than either Obama or Petraeus grasp.
The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that the Taleban and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai have begun high-level talks over a negotiated end to the war in the country.
The Post said the talks are believed, for the first time, to involve representatives authorised by the Quetta Shura, the Afghan Taleban group based in Pakistan, and Taleban leader Mohammed Omar.
‘They are very, very serious about finding a way out,’ a source close to the talks told the Post, referring to the Taleban.
Omar and other Taleban leaders on both sides of the border have insisted for years that no peace talks were possible before occupation soldiers had left Afghanistan.
The Post added that negotiations were in line with this perspective and involve agreements to allow Taleban leaders positions in the Afghan government and the withdrawal of US and NATO forces.
US General David Petraeus, the commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, said last week that the Taleban was approaching the Afghan government and foreign forces with ‘overtures’ about quitting the fight.
In fact the Taleban are negotiating with Karzai the withdrawal of US troops from the country and the division of government ministries.
The Taleban is now rapidly advancing its cause in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Taleban militants torched on Wednesday NATO oil tankers for the fourth time in a week, in an attack the group claimed as revenge for US drone strikes.
Fighters opened fire on a depot housing 40 tankers on the outskirts of the southwestern city of Quetta, killing a member of staff and destroying at least 10 vehicles.
Taleban militants claimed the attack and other raids this week in which nearly 60 trucks were torched and three people died. They vowed more attacks to disrupt NATO’s supply route through Pakistan.
There is no doubt that the end is near for the imperialist powers in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Their defeat and the consequent demoralisation of a large part of the imperialist forces and officer corps will be a mighty blow in favour of the socialist revolution in the UK, Europe and the US.