ON the eve of the Afghan conference in London this week, UK and other Nato troops are to launch an offensive to take control of areas of southern Afghanistan, namely in Helmand province.
UK General Carter said the operation would ‘assert the control’ of the Afghan government, whose president Karzai came to office in a rigged election a few months ago, in parts of Helmand.
He termed Helmand, where hundreds of British troops have been killed and wounded, as ‘a work in progress with parts simply ungoverned’.
Carter admitted that parts of Helmand were governed by a ‘parallel governments provided often by the Taleban’. He added: ‘If we’re going to win the argument on behalf of the Afghan government then we need to assert the government’s control over those areas which are at the moment ungoverned.’
The 30,000 US surge troops are to be used to occupy ungoverned areas so that the Karzai government will actually control some areas outside the capital.
Under Carter’s new policy, the aim is not to step on the toes of the local Taleban in their self-governed areas, but to try and work with them, so that through a judicious mixture of bribery using bags of gold, plus aid of all kinds, sections of the Taleban can be convinced to become part of the Karzai administration.
Parallel with this, the US and UK killing machine will be using its drones, and missiles, and bombers in an attempt to wipe out the ‘irreconcilables’.
It is a variation of the long-standing British policy of how to deal with insurgencies that they cannot crush. This is that you identify the irreconcilables and kill them, while working with, and even preserving, those with whom you hope to make a compromise that will leave imperialism in control.
Carter has just been to Kabul to brief President Karzai about the operation, and there is to be a full gathering of tribal elders before the operation takes place. The area likely to be targeted includes central Helmand and to the west and south-west of Lashkar Gah, parts of which have not been under Afghan government control for months or in some cases years.
Carter says: ‘What’s really important is that if there is a conversation before the operation between the Afghans and the maliks, or the village leaders, on the ground, and it is explained to them what will happen when the government asserts control and authority over those areas, we often find the Afghans don’t fight – but they will welcome you.’
Yesterday, General McChrystal the US NATO commander stepped into the breach. Now masquerading as something of a pacifist, the imperialist war lord said ‘There’s been enough fighting,’ and that increased troop levels could bring ‘a negotiated peace with the Taleban’.
He added, posing as just another war weary soldier, that a political solution to all conflicts was inevitable.
General McChrystal, however, added that the level of ‘Taleban violence’ could increase sharply this year. The Taleban wanted to create the perception that Afghanistan was on fire, and that President Karzai and his Western allies could not cope.
However, if the new US-led strategy was successful, it is the militants who ‘could look desperate’ in a year’s time, said McChrystal.
The UN special representative, Kai Eude, went as far as suggesting that senior Taleban leaders should be removed from the UN list of terrorists, and that the time has come to ‘to talk to the relevant person in authority’, alluding to seeking a meeting with the legendary Taleban leader, Mullah Omar.
The fact that the US has given up any notion of winning the war and want to make a deal with their enemies is an indication of just how grave the crisis of imperialism is.
The reality is that a section of the Taleban may well take the US-UK gold, and then undermine the government before overthrowing it.
The reality is that the imperialists have lost the war and will be driven out of Afghanistan. British workers must say enough is enough, and take action to force the Brown government to withdraw all British troops from Afghanistan at once.