US Military Escalation in Afghanistan: Kill Muslims and Test Weapons.
The first rule of counterinsurgency is it never succeeds. Ever!
The United States have tried and failed in the Philippines, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The history of colonial conquest is bookmarked with doomed efforts to suppress a local populace into submission, and anyone who has undertaken even a single undergraduate unit in security studies has, at one point, written a paper on it.
From “hearts and minds” to “COIN,” no matter the slogan or acronym used to dress a counterinsurgency; it will fail nearly 100% of the time.
Put simply, you can never win the trust of a people you invade and occupy.
Every ranking officer in the US military knows this to be true, and anyone with even a rudimentary comprehension of Afghanistan’s history knows all too well that even the best intended counterinsurgency strategies always fall well short of success.
The United States, the greatest military power the world has ever known, has occupied Afghanistan for 16 years, nearly four times the duration of the Second World War, twice as long as it was in Vietnam, and at one stage more than 100,000 US military personnel were scattered from Kabul to Kandahar.
Yet, the Taliban not only thrives, but also holds more territory now than at any other stage since 2001, while ISIS affiliates continue to recruit in high numbers.
Trump knows damn well an Afghan insurgency can never be put down, as do every one of his advising generals, but that’s the point: the US isn’t again escalating its military footprint in Afghanistan to win a war or even eliminate the Taliban and ISIS.
The US is escalating its war in Afghanistan for three reasons: to funnel taxpayer money to its most influential donor class — the military-industrial-complex; to test military hardware and strategy; and to kill Muslims — because nothing sates Trump’s political base more than the knowledge the US is killing Muslims, somewhere, somehow.
And for Muslim hating Trump supporters there are plenty of reasons to cheer. Actually, there are more than 150,000 reasons for them to celebrate, because that’s the total number of Muslims killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan since the US “War on Terror” began in 2001 — a number that includes nearly 50,000 civilians.
Effectively, the number of civilians killed in both Afghanistan and Pakistan is the equivalent to the death toll from more than 16 times September 11.
Ok, so let’s discuss 9/11 and its relevance to the Afghan people.
A survey conducted by The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) found that 92% of Afghan men who reside in Helmand and Kandahar know nothing of the attacks on New York and Washington DC in 2001. In fact, they even know nothing of hijacked planes finding into US buildings.
“The lack of awareness of why we are there contributes to the high levels of negativity toward the NATO military operations and made the job of the Taliban easier,” says ICOS President Norine MacDonald.
But even if the Afghan people were today made familiar with the events of 9/11, it would mean little to them given the US terrorized their country with 1,337 bombs in 2016 alone, and in April of this year Trump detonated the largest conventional sized bomb in military history, nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” killing 92 Afghan insurgents and an untold number of civilians.
In other words, the United States tested its new WMD on the Afghan people, and former President Hamid Karzai called it an “immense atrocity” against his countrymen.
“My message to president Trump today is that he has committed an immense atrocity against the Afghan people, against fellow human beings,” said Karzai. “If the American government sees us as human beings, then they have committed a crime against fellow human beings, but if they treat us as less than human beings, well, of course they can do whatever they want.”
These are the people whom winning the trust and “hearts and minds” is the central component of a successful counterinsurgency operation. Only a Western Orientalist mind could conceive that killing 150,000 locals, injuring many hundreds of thousands more, while testing weapons of mass destruction in their backyard, could make a successful counterinsurgency possible. It’d be comical were it not so perverse.
Beyond perversion, US counterinsurgency efforts are self-defeating. For every insurgent you kill, another 10 insurgents are instantly created. Killing locals only radicalizes dozens of more locals to take up arms against the foreign occupier, which is the negative compound effect of counterinsurgency operations, one that was emphasized in War Machine, a film that mocked the entire premise underpinning US counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan.
“After every [US drone] strike, people, sometimes the whole clan, join our fight,” a Taliban-allied commander told The Intercept. “Especially when women and children get killed, the anger is enormous, they don’t have any other choice than to fight.”
But as stated earlier, the US is not escalating its military footprint in Afghanistan for the purpose of attaining some kind of measurable victory there, but rather to reward military contractors, test weapons, and kill Muslims.
Consider that a report found that the US has fired off an estimated 250,000 rounds of ammunition for every insurgent killed in both Afghanistan and Iraq. US ammunition manufacturers are not only failing to keep up with demand, but Israeli contractors are being used to make up the shortfall.
Ultimately, greed and total disregard for Muslim lives is why the US is again expanding its military operations in Afghanistan. Like always, Muslim lives don’t matter, only obscene and limitless corporate profits do.
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