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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

End of the road in Afghanistan

AS THE LAST American troops withdraw from Afghanistan the sectarian Taliban Muslim militia has seized nine provincial capitals in an offensive than now directly threatens what poses as the national government in Kabul.

In 2001, an American-led invasion drove the Taliban out of Kabul to install a puppet regime in the “war on terror” that the imperialists launched following the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. The invasion of Iraq soon followed, along with “regime change” in Libya and a less than covert bid to do the same in Syria that was thwarted by the steadfastness of the Syrian people and the timely intervention of the Russian air force.

American forces and those of their NATO allies, including Britain, installed a puppet regime in Kabul that they said would bring prosperity and democracy to Afghanistan.

Twenty years later the Americans and their allies are leaving with their tails between their legs whilst the Taliban, which is backed by Pakistani intelligence, battles it out with northern and western war-lords who can count on the support of Russia, India and Iran.

Some 2,300 US soldiers were killed in the Afghan campaign and over 20,600 wounded. Hundreds of mercenaries, called “contractors”, also died at the hands of the Afghan militias – and whilst no-one in the West bothers to count accurately the Afghan losses, most observers believe that about 241,000 people were killed in the Afghan and Pakistan war zone since 2001. More than 71,000 of those killed were civilians.

Some senior British officers and Tory politicians who really should know better are now bleating on about the “betrayal” of the Afghans. They would be better advised to heed Kipling’s words after the illusionary British victory in the Boer War: “Let us admit it fairly, as a business people should. We have had no end of a lesson: it will do us no end of good.”