WHILE President Obama remains undecided and continues to dither about what the US strategy should be in Afghanistan, his diplomats are making their minds up.
With some of his generals screaming for at least 40,000 more troops for Afghanistan, Matthew Hoh however, who fought in Iraq and joined the US State Department after leaving the military, has made his mind up.
He has resigned from his post as the senior US civilian operative in Zabul province, a Taleban stronghold.
He wrote in his resignation letter, dated September 10th but published on Tuesday: ‘I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war but why and to what end.
‘To put it simply, I fail to see the value or the worth in continued US casualties or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is, truly, a 35-year-old civil war.’
Hoh continues: ‘This Fall will mark the eighth year of US combat, governance and development operations within Afghanistan. Next Fall, the United States occupation will equal in length the Soviet Union’s own physical involvement in Afghanistan. Like the Soviets, we continue to secure and bolster a failing state, while encouraging an ideology and system of government unknown and unwanted by its people.’
He adds: ‘If the history of Afghanistan is one great play, the United States is no more than a supporting actor, amongst several previously, in a tragedy that not only pits tribes, valleys, clans, villages and families against one another, but, from at least the end of King Zahir Shah’s reign, has violently and savagely pitted the urban, secular, educated and modern of Afghanistan against the rural, religious, illiterate and traditional.
‘It is this latter group that composes and supports the Pashtun insurgency . . . I have observed that the bulk of the insurgency fights not for the white banner of the Taleban, but rather against the presence of foreign soldiers and taxes imposed by an unrepresentative government in Kabul.’
Hoh continues: ‘The United States military presence in Afghanistan greatly contributes to the legitimacy and strategic message of the Pashtun insurgency. In like manner our backing of the Afghan government in its current form continues to distance the government from the people.’
Hoh continues to condemn: ‘The glaring corruption and unabashed graft of the Afghan government and a president whose confidantes and chief advisers comprise drug lords and war crimes villains who mock our own rule of law and counter narcotics efforts.’
Hoh adds: ‘Our support for this kind of government’ reminds him ‘horribly of our involvement in South Vietnam’.
He ends his letter by stating: ‘Thousands of our men and women have returned home with physical and mental wounds, some that will never heal or will only worsen with time.
‘The dead return only in bodily form to be received by families who must be reassured their dead have sacrificed for a purpose worthy of futures lost, love vanished, and promised dreams unkept.
‘I have lost confidence such assurances can any more be made. As such, I submit my resignation.’
Meanwhile, Afghan officials are about to hold a ‘run-off election’ between President Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah after nearly a third of Karzai’s votes were declared rigged, dropping him below the 50 per cent threshold required for a first-round win in the 36-candidate field. Also, 200 UN employees who organised the election rigging have been sacked. The rerun will be just as rigged as its predecessor.
The dirty war continues. The UK trade unions must take industrial and political action to stop this unjust, corrupt and murderous imperialist war, which even Obama’s diplomats are beginning to reject.