- One of the most remarkable aspects of the Obama Presidential
agenda is how little anyone has questioned in the media or elsewhere why
at all the United States Pentagon is committed to a military occupation
of Afghanistan. There are two basic reasons, neither one of which can be
admitted openly to the public at large.
- Behind all the deceptive official debate over how many
troops are needed to "win" the war in Afghanistan, whether another
30,000 is sufficient, or whether at least 200000 are needed, the real purpose
of US military presence in that pivotal Central Asian country is obscured.
- Even during the 2008 Presidential campaign candidate
Obama argued that Afghanistan not Iraq was where the US must wage war.
His reason? Because he claimed, that was where the Al Qaeda organization
was holed up and that was the "real" threat to US national security.
The reasons behind US involvement in Afghanistan is quite another one.
- The US military is in Afghanistan for two reasons. First
to restore and control the world's largest supply of opium for the world
heroin markets and to use the drugs as a geopolitical weapon against opponents,
especially Russia. That control of the Afghan drug market is essential
for the liquidity of the bankrupt and corrupt Wall Street financial mafia.
- Geopolitics of Afghan Opium
- According even to an official UN report, opium production
in Afghanistan has risen dramatically since the downfall of the Taliban
in 2001. UNODC data shows more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past
four growing seasons (2004-2007), than in any one year during Taliban rule.
More land is now used for opium in Afghanistan, than for coca cultivation
in Latin America. In 2007, 93% of the opiates on the world market originated
in Afghanistan. This is no accident.
- It has been documented that Washington hand-picked the
controversial Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun warlord from the Popalzai tribe,
long in the CIA's service, brought him back from exile in the USA, created
a Hollywood mythology around his "courageous leadership of his people."
According to Afghan sources, Karzai is the Opium "Godfather"
of Afghanistan today. There is apparently no accident that he was and is
today still Washington's preferred man in Kabul. Yet even with massive
vote buying and fraud and intimidation, Karzai's days could be ending as
- The second reason the US military remains in Afghanistan
long after the world has forgotten even who the mysterious Osama bin Laden
and his alleged Al Qaeda terrorist organization is or even if they exist,
is as a pretext to build a permanent US military strike force with a series
of permanent US airbases across Afghanistan. The aim of those bases is
not to eradicate any Al Qaeda cells that may have survived in the caves
of Tora Bora, or to eradicate a mythical "Taliban" which at this
point according to eyewitness reports is made up overwhelmingly of local
ordinary Afghanis fighting to rid their land once more of occupier armies
as they did in the 11980's against the Russians.
- The aim of the US bases in Afghanistan is to target and
be able to strike at the two nations which today represent the only combined
threat in the world today to an American global imperium, to America's
Full Spectrum Dominance as the Pentagon terms it.
- The lost 'Mandate of Heaven'
- The problem for the US power elites around Wall Street
and in Washington is the fact that they are now in the deepest financial
crisis in their history. That crisis is clear to the entire world and the
world is acting on a basis of self-survival. The US elites have lost what
in Chinese imperial history is known as the Mandate of Heaven. That mandate
is given a ruler or ruling elite provided they rule their people justly
and fairly. When they rule tyrannically and as despots, oppressing and
abusing their people, they lose that Mandate of Heaven.
- If the powerful private wealthy elites that have controlled
essential US financial and foreign policy for most of the past century
or more ever had a "mandate of Heaven" they clearly have lost
it. The domestic developments towards creation of an abusive police state
with deprivation of Constitutional rights to its citizens, the arbitrary
exercise of power by non elected officials such as Treasury Secretaries
Henry Paulson and now Tim Geithner, stealing trillion dollar sums from
taxpayers without their consent in order to bailout the bankrupt biggest
Wall Street banks, banks deemed "Too Big To Fail," this all demonstrates
to the world they have lost the mandate
- In this situation, the US power elites are increasingly
desperate to maintain their control of a global parasitical empire, called
deceptively by their media machine, "globalization." To hold
that dominance it is essential that they be able to break up any emerging
cooperation in the economic, energy or military realm between the two major
powers of Eurasia that conceivably could pose a challenge to future US
sole Superpower control-China in combination with Russia.
- Each Eurasian power brings to the table essential contributions.
China has the world's most robust economy, a huge young and dynamic workforce,
an educated middle class. Russia, whose economy has not recovered from
the destructive end pf the Soviet era and of the primitive looting during
the Yeltsin era, still holds essential assets for the combination. Russia's
nuclear strike force and its military pose the only threat in the world
today to US military dominance, even if it is largely a residue of the
Cold War. The Russian military elites never gave up that potential.
- As well Russia holds the world's largest treasure of
natural gas and vast reserves of oil urgently needed by China. The two
powers are increasingly converging via a new organization they created
in 2001 known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). That includes
as well as China and Russia, the largest Central Asia states Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
- The purpose of the alleged US war against both Taliban
and Al Qaeda is in reality to place its military strike force directly
in the middle of the geographical space of this emerging SCO in Central
Asia. Iran is a diversion. The main goal or target is Russia and China.
- Officially, of course, Washington claims it has built
its military presence inside Afghanistan since 2002 in order to protect
a "fragile" Afghan democracy. It's a curious argument given the
reality of US military presence there.
- In December 2004, during a visit to Kabul, US Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld finalized plans to build nine new bases in Afghanistan
in the provinces of Helmand, Herat, Nimrouz, Balkh, Khost and Paktia. The
nine are in addition to the three major US military bases already installed
in the wake of its occupation of Afghanistan in winter of 2001-2002, ostensibly
to isolate and eliminate the terror threat of Osama bin Laden.
- The Pentagon built its first three bases at Bagram Air
Field north of Kabul, the US' main military logistics center; Kandahar
Air Field, in southern Afghanistan; and Shindand Air Field in the western
province of Herat. Shindand, the largest US base in Afghanistan, was constructed
a mere 100 kilometers from the border of Iran, and within striking distance
of Russia as well as China.
- Afghanistan has historically been the heartland for the
British-Russia Great Game, the struggle for control of Central Asia during
the 19th and early 20th Centuries. British strategy then was to prevent
Russia at all costs from controlling Afghanistan and thereby threatening
Britain's imperial crown jewel, India.
- Afghanistan is similarly regarded by Pentagon planners
as highly strategic. It is a platform from which US military power could
directly threaten Russia and China, as well as Iran and other oil-rich
Middle East lands. Little has changed geopolitically over more than a century
- Afghanistan is in an extremely vital location, straddling
South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Afghanistan also lies along
a proposed oil pipeline route from the Caspian Sea oil fields to the Indian
Ocean, where the US oil company, Unocal, along with Enron and Cheney's
Halliburton, had been in negotiations for exclusive pipeline rights to
bring natural gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan and Pakistan to
Enron's huge natural gas power plant at Dabhol near Mumbai. Karzai, before
becoming puppet US president, had been a Unocal lobbyist.
- Al Qaeda doesn't exist as a threat
- The truth of all this deception around the real purpose
in Afghanistan becomes clear on a closer look at the alleged "Al Qaeda"
threat in Afghanistan. According to author Erik Margolis, prior to the
September 11,2001 attacks, US intelligence was giving aid and support both
to the Taliban and to Al Qaeda. Margolis claims that "The CIA was
planning to use Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda to stir up Muslim Uighurs against
Chinese rule, and Taliban against Russia's Central Asian allies."
- The US clearly found other means of stirring up Muslim
Uighurs against Beijing last July via its support for the World Uighur
Congress. But the Al Qaeda "threat" remains the lynchpin of Obama
US justification for his Afghan war buildup.
- Now, however, the National Security Adviser to President
Obama, former Marine Gen. James Jones has made a statement, conveniently
buried by the friendly US media, about the estimated size of the present
Al Qaeda danger in Afghanistan. Jones told Congress, "The al-Qaeda
presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating
in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or
- That means that Al-Qaeda, for all practical purposes,
does not exist in Afghanistan. Oops
- Even in neighboring Pakistan, the remnants of Al-Qaeda
are scarcely to be found. The Wall Street Journal reports, "Hunted
by US drones, beset by money problems and finding it tougher to lure young
Arabs to the bleak mountains of Pakistan, al Qaeda is seeing its role shrink
there and in Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports and Pakistan
and U.S. officials. For Arab youths who are al Qaeda's primary recruits,
'it's not romantic to be cold and hungry and hiding,' said a senior U.S.
official in South Asia."
- If we follow the statement to its logical consequence
we must conclude then that the reason German soldiers are dying along with
other NATO youth in the mountains of Afghanistan has nothing to do with
"winning a war against terrorism." Conveniently most media chooses
to forget the fact that Al Qaeda to the extent it ever existed, was a creation
in the 1980's of the CIA, who recruited and trained radical muslims from
across the Islamic world to wage war against Russian troops in Afghanistan
as part of a strategy developed by Reagan's CIA head Bill Casey and others
to create a "new Vietnam" for the Soviet Union which would lead
to a humiliating defeat for the Red Army and the ultimate collapse of the
- Now US NSC head Jones admits there is essentially no
Al Qaeda anymore in Afghanistan. Perhaps it is time for a more honest debate
from our political leaders about the true purpose of sending more young
to die protecting the opium harvests of Afghanistan.
- F. William Engdahl is author of Full Spectrum Dominance:
Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order. He may be reached via his
website at http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net