The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 25th August 2017

Stop the War in Afghanistan

US President Donald Trump vowed to send more troops to Afghanistan this week — after having called for America to “get out” of the country in the years leading up to his successful bid for the White House.

During last year’s presidential campaign Trump vowed to “put America first” and reduce US imperialism’s military presence throughout the world. Now the chief US war-lord says he’s sending thousands more troops to Afghanistan to beef up the efforts of the American expeditionary force that props up the puppet government installed after US-led imperialism invaded and occupied the country in 2001.

No-one should be surprised at the mercurial twists and changes in the Oval Office. Which one of his promises has Donald Trump not broken in his first months of office?

But Trump’s orders are not the whims of an irrational billionaire property speculator. They are the considered views of the reactionary ruling circles in the United States who chose Trump as their figurehead in the first place.

The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, to give it its official name, has little authority beyond the range of the American guns. The ousted supporters of the sectarian Sunni Muslim Taliban movement control large swathes of the countryside whilst rival war-lords backed by India, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran switch from one side to another to maintain their local fiefdoms.

US imperialism wants to maintain overall control of the central Asian republic as part of its plan to encircle and threaten People’s China and the Russian Federation. It also wants ultimately to exploit the country’s oil and gas fields, and to plunder the vast mineral reserves that include the lithium, copper, gold, coal and iron ore coveted by the big capitalist corporations of the United States.

British imperialism backed the US invasion from the start, sending troops to support the Americans in 2001 and helping to prop up the puppet regime for the next 13 years. Although the last British combat troops left Afghanistan in October 2014, some 500 British troops remain, providing security in Kabul and training at the Afghan Officer Academy.

British public opinion may count for nothing amongst the American ruling class but the support of the British government for their Afghan escalation is another matter. Needless to say the May government, which reflects the views of that section of the ruling class that believes their global interests are best served under the protective wing of US imperialism, has been quick to do their bidding.

Defence secretary Michael Fallon almost immediately welcomed the Trump call, saying that Britain was playing its part by increasing by 85 the number of military trainers it had deployed in the country.

“Despite the challenges, we have to stay the course in Afghanistan to help build up its fragile democracy and reduce the terrorist threat to the West,” Fallon said.

If the past is anything to go by, the exact opposite will happen. Thousands more civilians will be killed, maimed or tortured. Many more will flee the country and some will become willing recruits for the next generation of ‘terrorists’ and suicide bombers.

Stop the War leader Lindsey German said: “There is only one solution which is to recognise that this intervention is a major part of the problem and to get all the troops out.

“Trump won his election in part on the basis that he would stop fighting costly wars — costly in terms of both lives and finance. He has now abandoned this aspiration. He and his allies like May flounder around with no idea how to end the wars, and are therefore committed to carrying them on. The cost is to the rest of us in wasted lives, millions made refugees, instability and terrorism.

“Theresa May’s continued invitation to Trump for a state visit to Britain is a disgrace, and should be rescinded now. That, troop withdrawal and a change in foreign policy that breaks with Trump are the only antidotes to this continued disaster.”

The labour and peace movement must make it clear to the Americans that we don’t want Trump here and we don’t want any British troops in Afghanistan!