‘Defensive Strike’? US Hits Taliban Targets in Afghanistan Days After Peace Deal Reached
Via sputnik.com, March 3, 2020
“US forces carried out an airstrike against Taliban militants on Wednesday, USFOR-A spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett announced on Twitter. According to the statement, it was a defensive measure, as the Taliban resumed operations against Afghan forces earlier this week. He also noted that the movement’s forces conducted 43 attacks on Afghan troops on Tuesday in Helmand.
To be clear- we are committed to peace, however we have the responsibility to defend our #ANDSF partners. #Afghans & US have complied w/ our agreements; however, Talibs appear intent on squandering this opp. and ignoring the will of the people for #peace.
— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) March 4, 2020
“Reports previously suggested that the Taliban had attacked two checkpoints in the city of Kunduz, killing at least 20 Afghan soldiers and police officers.
Shortly thereafter, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the airstrikes breached the deal between the Taliban and Washington as the movement did not technically violate the agreement signed in Doha.
‘This clearly violates the Doha agreement, because the Taliban did not take any obligations toward the Afghan government, but only to the United States and they have not violated them so far“, Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov stressed.’ [rather confusing language, it seems; anyway, here’s more from tass.com)
‘US strikes Taliban as Trump’s Afghanistan peace deal risks collapse’ 4 Mar, 2020, RT.com
“A spokesman for US forces said that an airstrike had targeted Taliban fighters in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand, who were “actively attacking” an Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) checkpoint. The Pentagon insisted the strike was defensive and aimed at “disrupting” the Taliban assault, claiming that it was the first US attack on the Taliban in eleven days.
The spokesman also called on the Taliban to stop “needless attacks” and to uphold their side of the ceasefire.
The militants reportedly killed around 20 Afghan soldiers and policemen in a string of overnight attacks, AFP reported, citing government officials.” [snip]
The US is currently trying to broker a peace deal with the Taliban, and has pledged to withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months if the Taliban agrees to security guarantees and talks with the government in Kabul. The deal also includes a prisoner swap, but the Afghan government has refused to comply and has argued that Washington cannot negotiate on its behalf.”
On Feb. 22, 2020 Bill Van Auken at wsws.org had added some fascinating details in his ‘A “ceasefire” in Washington’s Afghanistan debacle’, including some Qs I’d asked on Pluto's Rebublic's thread:
Pluto’s Republic thread:
“This carnage has continued right up until the announcement of the partial cease-fire Friday. Virtually every day this month has brought reports of the slaughter of civilians in US air strikes. Five civilians, one woman and four children, died under US bombs in Badghis province on February 6. On February 7, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission reported three civilians were killed and one wounded in a US strike, all of them university students on their way home from a funeral. On February 8, five civilians died in an airstrike on a vehicle in Farah province. Another eight civilians were killed in a US strike in Nangrahar province on February 14.”
[He chronicles some of the history of US Imperialism’s efforts as far back as 1970s…]
“The war ended with the Taliban, a student-based Islamist movement, gaining control over the vast majority of Afghanistan in 1996. And, while Washington never established formal diplomatic relations with its government, it knew that the Taliban’s leadership were men with whom one “could do business.” The Trump administration’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who negotiated the current deal, worked in the 1990s for the energy conglomerate Unocal—now part of Chevron—negotiating with the Taliban on a deal for a trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline.
Both before and after September 11, 2001, the Taliban offered to cooperate with Washington in bringing Osama bin Laden to trial. US officials rejected all such overtures, with the CIA doubtless having its own uses for Al Qaeda, which had originated as part of the agency’s mujahideen operation of the 1980s.
The intervention in Afghanistan, planned well in advance of 9/11, was launched not to prosecute a “war on terrorism,” but rather to project US military power into Central and South Asia in pursuit of geo-strategic interests, seizing control of a country bordering on the oil-rich former Soviet republics of the Caspian Basin, as well as China.” [snip]
“The war in pursuit of these aims was a war of aggression, a violation of international law that gave rise to a host of other crimes: massacres, rendition and torture, Guantanamo and CIA “black sites,” as well as the US Patriot Act and a wholesale assault on democratic rights within the US itself.
In the end, this war has proven an unmitigated debacle. If all Washington wanted was a deal with the Taliban to exclude Al Qaeda and similar forces from Afghanistan, it could have gotten that two decades ago without sending a single soldier.
“The puppet character of this regime is confirmed by its exclusion from the US-Taliban talks.
The results of the last election, held in September with a record-low turnout of less than 25 percent, were just announced this week amid charges of gross fraud. Opposition candidate Abdullah Abdullah, installed as “CEO” after the last fraudulent election, has refused to accept the legitimacy of President Ashraf Ghani’s reelection and has vowed to set up a parallel government, severely complicating proposed intra-Afghan negotiations on “a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political roadmap for Afghanistan” that are supposed to follow the signing of the US-Taliban deal.
As for the Afghan security forces, while suffering grievous losses, they have proven incapable of resisting the Taliban without intense US air support and American special forces “advisors.” The number of “insider” attacks, in which Afghan soldiers turn their guns on US and NATO trainers, has continued to mount.” [snip]
“Whether the deal announced Friday will culminate in an end to the US military presence in Afghanistan is far from certain. A similar agreement that was to be signed at Camp David last September was called off at the last minute by Trump on the pretext that a Taliban attack had claimed the life of a US soldier.”
“The supposed move to end America’s longest war is bound up with the preparation for what would be the world’s most catastrophic military confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia and China.
It is no coincidence that the announcement of the limited deal with the Taliban came on the same day that the first of 20,000 US troops began arriving in Europe for the largest war games on the continent in a quarter century, being staged as a rehearsal for a war of aggression against Russia.”
On March 2, 2020 Van Auken had also noted:
“Unconfirmed reports state that secret clauses in the agreement include the retention of a US Special Forces and CIA contingent on the ground in Afghanistan. In an op-ed column published in the Washington Post Sunday, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper wrote that “the United States will continue its financial and military support to the Afghan government and its security forces.” [snip]
“Abdullah denounced Ghani for secretly sending a delegation to Doha for talks with the Taliban on upcoming negotiations. “Sending a team from the Presidential Palace to Doha, without consulting with other people in Afghanistan, as representatives of Afghanistan … these were the issues which caused the absence of a big number of politicians in [Saturday’s] ceremony” in Kabul, Abdullah said.
Among those absent were the Afghan warlords Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Hizb-e-Islami, and Abdul Rashid Dostum, who holds the post of first vice president. Also staying away were former president Hamid Karzai, the head of the High Peace Council, Mohammad Karim Khalili, and the second deputy chief executive, Mohammad Mohaqiq.” [snip]
“The war begun in 2001, launched on the pretext of combating terrorism and capturing Osama bin Laden, had been prepared well in advance. It was aimed at projecting US military force into the energy-rich region of Central Asia in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Washington’s drive for hegemony in the country, which borders Iran and China and is in close proximity to Russia, will continue.
Also continuing to drive the Afghan conflict are the conflicting interests of the region’s two nuclear-armed powers—India, which has backed the Kabul government, and Pakistan, whose military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) provided sanctuary to the Taliban leadership. Saturday saw India’s foreign minister attend the ceremony in Kabul, while his Pakistani counterpart was at the signing in Doha.”
And…from the militarytimes.com, Aug. 16, 2019: ‘Analysis suggests warlords in Afghanistan are bracing for civil war once US, NATO troops exit’
“According to analysis from the Institute for the Study of War, ethnic groups in Afghanistan including Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras are preparing for a possible civil war once U.S. and NATO forces depart Afghanistan — similar to the civil war that ensued after the Soviet Union pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989.
“Afghanistan is dangerously poised for a new Afghan Civil War reminiscent of the instability that followed the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in the 1990s,” Afghanistan research assistant Scott DesMarais wrote in the analysis published Aug. 15.
The analysis claims these groups have signaled they’ve already started mobilizing their communities in order to safeguard them against the Taliban, a Pashtun organization. Pashtuns comprise more than 40 percent of the Afghan population, according to the World Atlas.
“These preparations in and of themselves raise the likelihood of a new civil war by increasing the strength of power centers outside the Government of Afghanistan and setting conditions for a rapid dissolution of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF),” DesMarais writes.” [large snip]
“As a result, DesMarais cautioned that the peace plan would cripple the Afghan government.
“It will remove the government’s core source of leverage over the Taliban — namely, the military forces and international aid money brought by the U.S. and NATO to Afghanistan,” DesMarais said.
The analysis cited international and local media reports, along with academic reports and Facebook posts from leaders of the ethnic groups.
The sacrifices of our #Afghan partners made this #RIV possible. They are the fearless guardians of #Afghanistan. We stand side-by-side in the fight to protect our homelands. #ThisIsANDSF #IamAGuardian pic.twitter.com/3e5N3avkBk
— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) February 28, 2020
@USFOR_A · 10h10 hours ago
"On March 3rd alone, the Taliban conducted 43 attacks on #ANDSF checkpoints in #Helmand. The Taliban claim to be fighting to free Afg. from int’l forces, the Feb 29 agreement provides a conditions-based path to withdrawal."
"The reduction in violence was a confidence builder. We're very serious about our obligations and we expect the Taliban will be serious about their obligations. The United States has been very clear about our expectations—the violence must remain low." – Gen. Scott Miller
"the violence must remain low"
If that were the case then the US should just get the fuck out and stop instigating it.
The peace deal with the Taliban was screwed from the beginning. 5000 Taliban prisoners were not to be released as part of this plan. In any event, the government in Kabul had no intention of allowing it to happen because it would have destroyed their highly lucrative "State Building" arrangement with the US government (not to mention the CIA losing their black op money making opium business).
I don't see the US actually leaving Afghanistan anytime soon. The US MUST remain in an attempt to check China's BRI. Afghanistan is on the road to Europe and Pakistan is part of the road to Africa.
This has just been for show - Trump is "bringing the troops home". Same old, same old, Syria, Iraq. The stoopids and the gullible in America fall for this shiite every fucking time, especially around election time. The Great Game will go on as long as the US retains it's Empire.
not to mention that the US puppet ashraf ghani hadn't ever agreed to the prisoner swap, as it was arranged by pompeo, zalmay khalizad, and one taliban leader (Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradarin) in secret.
khalizaid's CV as per his wiki page is illuminating as hell, and one site said that trump had almost chosen him to be his SoS.
afghanistan, besides the opium, is chock full of mineral resources, and back in the day i remember reporting that general pillow-talk petraeus had written the forward in a book noting that staying in-country would create a new silk road, but...would necessitate massive infrastructure to (rape and pillage) the gems, gold, and so on.
an you may remember that the US had
bribedpaid the taliban to keep the passes open, the trains running, and so on.
#KeeptheViolenceLow; but #StayaLittleLonger because: US Imperialism requires full command-and-control.
China bought the Aynak copper mine in Afghanistan
with a $3bn 30 year investment in 2007 but has not managed to bring it into production due to instability in the area (a rail line to China was built in 2016 to service the area). There are about a dozen workers care-taking the site currently. This is the place where the five Afghani police were killed on Tuesday that helped to blow up the Taliban deal.
There's a lot going on that we don't know the truth about but you can be damned sure that China's rise with the success of the BRI is an existential threat to America's future as the global hegemonic power. I imagine the PTB in the Washington cesspit are high fiveing over China's struggle with COVID-19. But, watching the current rise of US cases, this may be a double edged sword in the end and will cut both ways.
The sooner America's rapacious Empire comes to an end, the better off the world will be as a whole.
china's also invested in
africa, especially infrastructure as an alternative to the epically odious Africom. fascinating first link, and how timely: your rumplestiltskin link at SC was the author of the link i'd given to the other maven. this that you'd pasted in made me smile:
thank you, CB.
War is Peace, Murder is Justice,
Lies are facts, and everybody else in the world is our Enemy.
Economic collapse cannot happen too soon.
There is no justice. There can be no peace.
what's a step beyond
'orwellian'? (yeah, he was a socialist/commie hater)
but you've reminded me of a lengthy piece at dissident voice i'd intended to use as a companion piece to a planned an anti-imperialist/anti-capitalist essay: 'Why the Coming Economic Collapse Will NOT be Caused by Corona Virus', by Matthew J. L. Ehret it's in plain speak, so even being out of practice, i could grasp most of it. ; )
(it's a brief history of the Federal Reserve., and was written even before the Fed jiggered rates again for corona-virus and Wall Street)
i know this is beside the point, but on
pluto's republic's thread, i'd been struggling to remember what the meetings with the putative war lords with oh, so corrupt hamid karzai had been called back in the day, and this a.m. i'd finally twigged: jirgas! now this is the wiki, dunno how accurate, but briefly:
A regional jirga in Jalalabad, Afghanistan
Afghanistan = Vietnam
It's easy to conquer these Asian nations.
It's really, really hard to keep them conquered.
Just ask Britain and France.
We'll be leaving Afghanistan the same way we left Vietnam
leaving affghanistan by
helicopters on the roofs of embassies? well, i'm not entirely sure that afghanistan (the graveyard of empires from the soviets (then, mujahadeen) to the US) = vietnam, but i would appreciate hearing your reasoning.
I think gjohnsit means
slinking away while loudly proclaiming "victory".
There is no justice. There can be no peace.
ta for the possible translation.
or dubya on board the deck of an aircraft carrier in his flight suit with the sign bellowing: Mission Accomplished?
i'm under the weather, and it may be that my
home health cures have made me even funkier for the nonce, but tonight's closing song just has to be this one from john gorka. thanks, all, and g' night.
via consortium news:
‘THE ANGRY ARAB: The Lessons of the Taliban’, The U.S. humiliation [as w/ vietnam, he writes] in Afghanistan shows that the empire can’t impose its will, no matter how much violence it inflicts, writes As`ad AbuKhalil, March 4, 2020, CN.com
h/t b at MoA:
i thought i'd check in w/ the iranian FM, as he'd smacked around modi's thugocracy recently...Namaste Modi told him to mind his own bidness...it's an internal affair!
The US will never really leave Afghanistan
or Iraq until the pain to it's economy finally forces it out.
The biggest mistake the US made was to completely alienate Russia by pillaging the country in the 1990's and moving NATO to her very borders. The fuckers in Washington were celebrating and crowing it was "The End of History". The US was in military and financial control of the entire globe. It then proceeded to destroy nation after nation that failed to kowtow to it's demands with little push-back.
By the time Obomba took control, the world power structure was rapidly changing vis-a-vis both Russia and China but the hubris running rampant in Washington at the time blinded those in charge of the true ramifications of this fact. The person most responsible for this fatal error was Her Heinous herself. As SOS she spent way too much of her efforts enriching the Clinton Foundation and setting herself up to be the next Empress of America by bedding the neoliberal and neocon power brokers in the swamp.
The end result of this prostitution was the destruction of Libya, Syria and Ukraine. But she failed miserably to bring Russia to heal. Putin had her number. More than likely he was reading, in real time, all her SOS emails sent on her completely unsecured server. Putin probably CC'd relevant emails to his BFF Xi (more likely Xi was also reading them in real time).
By the end of Obomba's first term, both Russia and China had become impregnable fortresses well equipped to withstand America's advances within their expanding spheres of influence. What is even worse for the US, President Validmir Putin and Secretary Xi Jinping, both of whom are exceptional, forward thinking men, completely outclass what America has to offer. (Sorry, I don't think Bernie has any foreign policy chops at all and Trump is just Howdy Doody in a suit with various hands shoved up his ass to make his mouth move.)
History has now started up again and the light from the
ShiningRusting City on a Hill is flickering.
many say that a dying empire
is at its most dangerous (and i'd add most likely to exhibit loose-cannonism in its foreign policy). the days of the west are fading fast, as the recent munich security council seems to have shown. not even the EU wants to depend on the the US/nato alliance, nor do the nations want to cede to trump's 'no bidness with china!'.
yes, now with obomba's 'pivot to asia', the enemies are not a new axis of evil, but 'the great competitors', and the failure to ceded to a multi-lateral planet is not only hubristically ignorant, but dangerous. it's interesting watching the new alliances at play, especially with iran, VZ, cuba, vis a vis china's and russia's benevolence, isn't it?
i agree w/ you on bernie's lacking any foreign chops, and trump as the worst flailing puppet of all. as a side note, i found myself asking mr. wd this a.m. if a trump is what we deserved in the end, having given so much power to neo-cons clinton and obomba; trump's just doubled, triple-down on so much FP that came before him. i love your thought here:
iirc, putin had said recently that (their superior) russian weapons of war and defense are an attempt to show that no one should fuck with them, as there have been so many *simulated* drills on russia lately (and on/with china in the s. china sea, for that matter). iran is the other boogey-man to the west, and it bothers me a lot, to say the truth. i dunno what the fall-out from the 'new hardline government' will be, but the west is overly prepared to take down that beleaguered nation 'by any means necessary' if it comes to that.
i just read a major piece of iranian agitprop at counterpunch that made my head spin, for instance... well, do please answer my Q in PM, okay? my worries have been strong, as there were a day or two i hadn't seen you on the boards.
p.s. nuclear madness is rising, and obomba began that, too, to the tune of how many trillion bucks over ten years?
The article at Counterpunch is nonsense
This asshole doesn't know what he is talking about.
The US took longer to do that in Iraq and they had been bombing Iraq since 1990
Iran has three times the population with the majority, 90%, unified under one religion compared to Iraq where less than 17% were willing to fight for Saddam. Iraq had already been gutted by Iraq War I. Iraq is mostly exposed desert whereas Iran is mountainous with well fortified and hidden missile sites. The Iran military is well equipped and trained unlike Saddam's poorly trained, ragtag army using WWII equipment that was bought for scrap prices. Iraq had no air-force in operation and only next to useless scud missiles that were lucky to even come close to a target.
The US lost 5,000 men plus over 80,000 wounded and lasted years (still going on 20 years later). An invasion of Iran would require mobilizing the entire US army just for this. They would have to bring back the draft. Only an idiot would enlist.
All Iran has to do is shut down oil/gas moving through the Straight of Hormuz. This amounts to over double the entire US production and 30% of world's consumption. The entire world would drop into deep recession within 30 days and the US economy would be in the very bottom of that shitpile.
Luckily for the world, there are smarter and cooler heads in the world - Putin and Xi - both of whom are working diligently to bell the American cat.
PS Feeling better now. The virus/pneumonia just knocked me off my feet for a few weeks or so.
that propaganda you went
and read (really, i hadn't meant you do so so) was a very creepy example of concern-trolling to me. and from what he says of his CV, he should have known better than to channel mikes pompeo and pence.
interesting fact on the military forces in iraq v. iran's, but as i understand it, iran doesn't want to block the strait of hormuz because: casus belli. plus they've already been falsely accused of doing that, and their ships have been stolen, investigated, then repatriated, as far as i can recall.
and of course, 'our partners in peace' saudi arabia and israel' keep that war of control alive. time to see if all the votes have been counted in israel's may 3 election...
lord luv a duck: elijah magnier on twitter:
Could you imagine if COVID-19 hits
the millions of refugees in Turkey that are anxious to get into Europe? 100,000 have entered Greece in the last week despite border security. If these people panic, bullets won't stop them.
Nobody knows how many refugees are in Turkey. They are from places like Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Georgia. 3 million, 4 million?
i haven't kept on on
refugee #2 nor corona #s, but as with iran, the WHO had praised the way china has dealth with minimizing contagion, and building so many 3-d print horse-pitals (not that i can imagine how that 3-d print stuff works...
but the virus had clearly been weaponized against both china and iran early on.
and 2 headlines from RT.com this a.m.:
Dozens killed as Afghan ceremony attacked while peace council chairman delivered speech (VIDEO), 6 Mar, 2020
Starting a nuclear conflict now ‘a political option’ for Washington, Moscow believes , 6 Mar, 2020
Here's a short video on how China built two hospitals
in 2 weeks for 2600 patients. They used prefabricated components that were built off site and shipped from all over the country. This included state-of-the-art medical equipment.
The damn US government has gone berserk with their threats to the rest of the world. They know their days as world hegemonic power are rapidly coming to a close due to fantastic advances by China and Russia and responding with the use of military force, threats and coercion is all they understand to do. That is why they are continuing to flail against the superior intelligence and wisdom of leaders like Xi Jinping and Putin.
The western (US) war mongers are making a huge mistake if they think China will be fatally damaged by this current outbreak of Covid-19 or that Russia will cower from Obomba's ongoing $1 trillion plan to make nuclear weapons "user friendly". Both these countries will continue to make significant strides and will outpace the US in providing services to benefit their peoples and those in the countries they have good relations with.
The US is on a downward trajectory which is speeding up unless it changes it ways and starts to interact with other nations in a fair and equitable manner. Their days of pillaging are coming to a close.
The current election cycle is a joke. The DNC will purposefully lose the election rather than let Bernie become President. Trump will serve their masters just as well as Biden will and they can just blame it all on him - it's a win-win for the fuckers in control of the DNC.
zounds on the video,
including that the construction co. is state-owned.
you're right of course in your "Unless" paragraph, but it's hard to imagine the US will ever cede to being anti-imperialist, until 'they come for us, those who must and will' as shoot that arrow, an erstwhile commenter at the café used to predict.
an an avid anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist (
‘Every single empire, in its official discourse, has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort.’
my sincere apologies, CB
for not responding, but mine eyes are tripping out once again, and i'm still under the weather, as is mr. wd.
i'll sign off with this timeless tune as a message to the US Empire:
g' night. tomorrow then. ; )