The NATO war in Afghanistan

Suicide claims more US military lives than Afghan war

By James Cogan, 6 January 2010

While a final figure is not available, the toll of military suicides last year is the worst since records began to be kept in 1980.

US drone missiles slaughtered 700 Pakistani civilians in 2009

By Bill Van Auken, 5 January 2010

US drone missile attacks have claimed the lives of over 700 Pakistani civilians since Barack Obama took office a year ago, according to figures released this week by officials in Islamabad.

US surge in Afghanistan exposes dilemma of German foreign policy

By Ulrich Rippert, 5 January 2010

The US decision to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan by a further 30,000 and step up its war in Pakistan has put the German government under pressure, both domestically and in terms of foreign policy.

Thirty years since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 30 December 2009

An examination of the US role in provoking the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan sheds light on the imperialist motivations behind US policy in Central Asia.

US military kills ten civilians in Afghanistan raid

By Tom Eley, 29 December 2009

On Saturday a US military operation killed at least ten Afghan civilians, among them eight children, in Kunar province.

US ground attacks reported in Pakistan

By Bill Van Auken, 24 December 2009

Amid a deepening political crisis in Pakistan, it has been revealed that over the past five years US special operations troops have conducted a number of secret cross-border raids into Pakistan.

Afghanistan: Karzai picks cabinet of US stooges and warlord cronies

By Bill Van Auken, 22 December 2009

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai announced his second-term cabinet last Saturday, retaining roughly half of his incumbent ministers, including US favorites, while appointing figures tied to Afghan warlords.

Kunduz: Is the German army empowered to carry out targeted killings?

By Peter Schwarz, 17 December 2009

Following new revelations about the criminal character of the German army attack in Kunduz, German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has gone on the offensive.

The Nation and the Obama Doctrine

By Joseph Kishore, 12 December 2009

President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize speech has been hailed virtually unanimously across the entire spectrum of the American political establishment, including the Nation magazine.

The Messenger and Brothers: The elephant in the room

By Joanne Laurier, 12 December 2009

The Messenger and Brothers attempt to deal with the psychological realities of soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The filmmakers’ efforts are limited by a refusal to tackle the character of the wars themselves.

Afghanistan massacre on eve of Obama’s surge

By Bill Van Auken, 10 December 2009

With the first elements of 30,000 additional US troops set to arrive in Afghanistan next week, the massacre of as many as 15 civilians in a US raid has heightened fears that Obama’s escalation will spell a dramatic rise in bloodletting.

German Green leader Joschka Fischer bangs the drum for Afghanistan war

By Peter Schwarz, 10 December 2009

The leading Green Party politician and former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer has gone public to defend the Afghanistan war.

How many Afghans will die in Obama’s war?

By Patrick Martin, 7 December 2009

In the media coverage of Barack Obama’s decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan, one question goes unasked and unanswered: how many thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians will die as a result of US military aggression?

Coverup of the German army’s role in the Kunduz massacre continues

By Ulrich Rippert, 7 December 2009

In last Thursday’s parliamentary debate on a continuation of the German military intervention in Afghanistan, the German defence minister continued to defend the Kunduz massacre.

As congressional hearings begin

Obama administration backtracks on Afghanistan withdrawal date

By Patrick Martin, 3 December 2009

The July, 2011 date for beginning a withdrawal of US forces in Afghanistan, announced by President Obama in his speech to West Point military cadets Tuesday night, is neither irreversible nor even a deadline, top US national security officials said Wednesday.

After Obama’s Afghanistan speech

German military pushes to overturn post-war constraints

By Peter Schwarz, 3 December 2009

After over six decades as a nominally defensive force, the German military is once again claiming the right to kill the inhabitants of other countries with impunity. In view of Germany’s history, such a change does not take place without creating tensions and upheavals.

Oppose Obama’s escalation of the Afghan-Pakistan war! Withdraw all troops now!

World Socialist Web Site editorial board, 2 December 2009

Obama’s speech last night, which packaged the deployment of an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan as the prelude to withdrawal, was a cynical exercise in evasion, double-talk and falsification.

Obama issues order for escalation in Afghanistan

By Barry Grey, 1 December 2009

At a White House meeting with military leaders on Sunday, President Barack Obama formally issued the order to send at least 30,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan.

Torture continues at US prisons in Afghanistan

By Tom Eley, 1 December 2009

Recent reports reveal that the US military continues to carry on torture and illegal detention in Afghanistan at a dungeon known to inmates as “the black prison.”

Obama to announce Afghanistan surge of over 30,000

By Tom Eley, 25 November 2009

Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan sets the stage for a deepening of US military violence in Central and South Asia and for a confrontation with the US working class, which increasingly opposes the war.

Four more US soldiers killed in Afghanistan

By Tom Eley, 24 November 2009

Four US soldiers died in Afghanistan on Monday, as Obama’s “war council” finalizes its plans to substantially increase the number of soldiers participating in the occupation.

Karzai inaugurated amid state of siege in Kabul

By Bill Van Auken, 20 November 2009

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai was inaugurated Thursday amid a state of siege in Kabul. Western officials who were present issued hypocritical demands that Karzai fight corruption.

US prepares contingency plans to seize Pakistani nuclear triggers

By James Cogan, 20 November 2009

According to veteran journalist Seymour Hersh, US officials have pushed for an “understanding” that American forces can enter Pakistan to secure its nuclear arsenal in the event of a direct threat, particularly a mutiny by anti-American Islamist tendencies inside the Pakistani armed forces.

Canada complicit in torture of hundreds of Afghan detainees

By Keith Jones, 20 November 2009

“We detained, and handed over for severe torture, a lot of innocent people,” a Canadian diplomat has told a parliamentary committee on the Canadian Armed Forces’ Afghan mission.

Washington’s crisis over Afghanistan deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 17 November 2009

The increasingly public dissension within the Obama administration over the proposed escalation in Afghanistan reflects the reality that US imperialism has no good options in the war that it launched more than eight years ago.

German defence minister defends Kunduz massacre

By Ulrich Rippert, 12 November 2009

Shortly after taking office, the new German defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, has justified the Kunduz massacre carried out at the beginning of September in Afghanistan.

Right-wing campaign against Brown to ensure Afghan escalation

By Robert Stevens, 12 November 2009

Sections of the British armed forces and the pro-Conservative Party press are waging a concerted campaign for the drastic escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

After troop deaths, British establishment rallies behind Afghan war

By Robert Stevens, 7 November 2009

The killing of five British soldiers by an Afghan policeman on Tuesday has only served to highlight the British government’s determination to remain in Afghanistan.

Hillary Clinton gives Obama’s Middle East game away

By Chris Marsden, 5 November 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spent the past days trying to limit the damage from her praise of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for making “unprecedented” concessions to the Palestinians by offering to “limit” settlement construction on the West Bank.

Afghan election farce ends, escalation to begin

By Bill Van Auken, 3 November 2009

The protracted and fraudulent Afghan election process ended Monday with incumbent Hamid Karzai decreed the winner. The end of this farcical exercise has set the stage for Washington to escalate its eight-year-old war.

The meaning of Europe’s “step change” in Afghanistan

By Chris Marsden, 3 November 2009

The European Union has endorsed an action plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan in support of the US-led neo-colonial war.

An exposure of corruption: Afghanistan, on the Dollar Trail

By Mathew Benn, 31 October 2009

Afghanistan, on the Dollar Trail, written and directed by Paul Moreira and produced by Sue Spencer

What are US troops dying for in Afghanistan?

By Bill Van Auken, 29 October 2009

After several days in which US troops suffered their worst casualties in the eight-year-old war in Afghanistan, it was revealed Wednesday that President Hamid Karzai’s brother, reputedly a key figure in the country’s drug trade, is on the CIA payroll.

Pakistani army offensive devastates tribal communities

By James Cogan, 28 October 2009

The military offensive into South Waziristan is having a devastating impact on the entire civilian population. Villages and towns are literally being bombed into rubble and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee for their lives.

US casualties rise as Obama prepares Afghan escalation

By Bill Van Auken, 27 October 2009

Eleven US soldiers and three drug agents were killed in the space of 24 hours in Afghanistan as the Obama administration’s war cabinet prepared to meet Monday on escalating the war.

The runoff farce in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 26 October 2009

The crisis over the fraudulent election in Afghanistan, culminating in President Karzai’s acceptance of a runoff, has laid bare the colonial character of the US occupation and the puppet status of the government in Kabul.

Karzai bows to US pressure on Afghanistan runoff

By Patrick Martin, 22 October 2009

In an action that was as predictable—and as degrading—as a serf prostrating himself before his master, the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, bowed to relentless pressure from the Obama administration and agreed Tuesday to a runoff election.

Reports of indiscriminate bombing in South Waziristan

By James Cogan, 21 October 2009

Civilians seeking to escape are being forced to walk out of the war zone under constant threat of attack.

US steps up pressure on Karzai over Afghan vote

By Bill Van Auken, 20 October 2009

The Obama administration and its European allies have stepped up pressure on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to reach a political settlement in order to resolve the crisis over the fraudulent August 20 election.

US soldier commits suicide in Indiana movie theater

By Alexander Fangmann, 20 October 2009

A National Guard soldier home on a 15-day leave from the war in Afghanistan committed suicide in a Muncie, Indiana, movie theater October 12.

Morale crumbling among US and British troops in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 17 October 2009

Several reports from the frontlines of Afghanistan this month provide an insight into the growing demoralisation among US and British soldiers.

Pakistan descends deeper into civil war

By Peter Symonds, 16 October 2009

As the Pakistani military is poised to launch a major offensive into the tribal agency of South Waziristan, Islamist militants carried out coordinated, high-profile attacks yesterday on police facilities in the city of Lahore.

“Obama’s War”: A glimpse of US debacle in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 15 October 2009

“Obama’s War,” the hour-long television documentary aired on “Frontline” Tuesday, provides a telling glimpse of the debacle facing the US intervention in Afghanistan, but no real explanation of why the war is being fought.

US Afghanistan commander requested as many as 60,000 more soldiers

By Tom Eley, 10 October 2009

The top-end request for an increase in US troop levels in Afghanistan presented to President Obama by Gen. Stanley McChrystal is substantially larger than the 40,000 previously reported, according to anonymous government sources.

UN agency bombed in Pakistan

By James Cogan, 9 October 2009

A Pakistani Taliban militant carried out a suicide bombing against the UN World Food Program headquarters in Islamabad on Monday, killing five UN workers.

The Australian Labor Party and the war in Afghanistan

Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 7 October 2009

Since its election in November 2007, the Rudd Labor government has escalated Australian military involvement in the Afghan conflict. Just as Afghanistan is now referred to as Obama’s war, so it has become Rudd’s war.

White House-military tensions over Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 6 October 2009

Growing tensions between sections of the military brass and the Obama administration have emerged openly in the conflict between the top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, and the White House.

General McChrystal publicly campaigns for Afghanistan “surge”

By Bill Van Auken, 3 October 2009

With his appearance Thursday before a British think tank, Gen. Stanley McChrystal intensified a public campaign for an escalation of the US war in Afghanistan.

US faces worsening military situation in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 3 October 2009

The anti-occupation insurgency has spread from the southern provinces that border Pakistan to the capital Kabul and northern provinces.

US, NATO reach “consensus” to sanction rigged election in Afghanistan

By Jerry White, 29 September 2009

The US and NATO countries involved in the occupation of Afghanistan have signaled their willingness to recognize the re-election of Afghan President Hamid Karzai despite evidence of massive fraud in the August 20 elections.

Five more US soldiers killed in Afghanistan

By Tom Eley, 26 September 2009

Five more US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on Thursday, as debate raged in Washington over the character of the next US “surge.”

France: Brutal eviction of migrants from Calais encampment

By Antoine Lerougetel, 26 September 2009

Hundreds of police officers carried out a brutal raid Tuesday on a camp near Calais, France, home to some 800 undocumented immigrants, mostly Afghans trying to emigrate to Britain.

US troops out of Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 24 September 2009

With the US commander in Afghanistan set to deliver a request for tens of thousands more troops, all sides in the Obama administration’s so-called strategy debate are pushing for increased bloodletting in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

US commander pushes for rapid escalation of Afghanistan war

By Bill Van Auken, 22 September 2009

With the release of a declassified version of Gen. McChrystal’s recommendations for a change of course in Afghanistan, the Pentagon command is pushing for Obama to approve a rapid escalation of the US-led war.

Australian adviser to US military provides chilling insight into neo-colonial mentality

By James Cogan, 19 September 2009

David Kilcullen, a top Australian-born advisor to the US military, delivered a lecture in Sydney on September 3. His remarks provide an insight into the methods and mentality of those directing the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Preliminary results in Afghan election show Karzai victory

Occupying powers debate moves against incumbent president

By Tom Eley, 18 September 2009

Final preliminary results from Afghanistan’s elections show Karzai winning 54.6 percent of the vote, amdist allegations of massive fraud.

What happened in Kunduz?

The German army steps up its deployment in Afghanistan

By Ludwig Weller and Peter Schwarz, 18 September 2009

Following the latest massacre in Kunduz there is a growing chorus of opinion in German military and right-wing political circles that it is time for the German army to pull off its kid gloves and conduct “proper” war in Afghanistan.

Following massacre in Kunduz

Left Party comes to the aid of German government

By Stefan Steinberg, 12 September 2009

Following the massacre in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the German Left Party has expressed its readiness to discuss an “exit strategy” with Germany’s ruling parties.

European powers seek UN cover for war in Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 10 September 2009

Plans for a United Nations conference on Afghanistan early next year are a political fraud directed against the Afghan people and the working class.

Against European calls for UN conference on Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 8 September 2009

Plans for a United Nations conference on Afghanistan early next year are a political fraud directed against the Afghan people and the working class.

New atrocity in Afghanistan

US airstrike incinerates scores of civilians

By Patrick Martin, 5 September 2009

An airstrike by a US warplane killed over 100 Afghans early Friday morning, most of them civilians incinerated when two gasoline tankers, hit by bombs, exploded in flames.

Britain: Eric Joyce MP resigns over UK policy in Afghanistan

By Robert Stevens, 5 September 2009

Eric Joyce, an aide to British Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth and Member of Parliament (MP) for Falkirk, resigned Thursday.

Afghanistan war escalation: The Nation seeks to “protect” the Obama administration from itself

By David Walsh, 3 September 2009

The war in Afghanistan is increasingly taking center stage in American political life. The Nation and other liberal elements continue to apologize for Barack Obama, who is now preparing a major escalation of the conflict.

US commander’s report paves way for military escalation in Afghanistan

By Tom Eley, 2 September 2009

A classified report issued by the US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, sets the stage for a major increase in US troop levels.

Gordon Brown reaffirms UK commitment to Afghan war

By Chris Marsden, 1 September 2009

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to the war in Afghanistan in the face of mounting domestic opposition.

Obama’s AfPak war intensifies on both sides of border

By James Cogan, 29 August 2009

The number of US and NATO occupation troops killed in Afghanistan during 2009 reached 301 yesterday—already the highest annual toll of the eight-year war.

US fears mount over Afghan election travesty

By Barry Grey, 26 August 2009

A partial vote tally reported Tuesday by Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission was overshadowed by mounting reports of pervasive vote-rigging, ballot-stuffing and intimidation of voters by various candidates and their respective ethnic warlord backers.

Obama administration uses Blackwater in drone killings

By Tom Eley, 22 August 2009

In spite of Blackwater’s well-established record of indiscriminate killings of Iraqi civilians, the Obama administration has retained its services in Afghanistan.


Washington praises Afghan election fiasco to justify war escalation

By Bill Van Auken, 22 August 2009

In an attempt to legitimize the escalation of a war opposed by the majority of the American people, the Obama administration, backed by the US media, has hailed Afghanistan’s August 20 election.

US presses Pakistan for offensive in South Waziristan

By K. Ratnayake, 22 August 2009

Washington sent its special envoy Richard Holbrook to Islamabad this week to pressure Pakistan into launching a major offensive in South Waziristan.

Britain: Government sued over illegal detentions in Afghanistan

By Julie Hyland, 22 August 2009

The legal charity Reprieve is suing the British government in connection with the illegal detention of two men held in Afghanistan.

Mass abstention and vote rigging in Afghanistan election

By Patrick O’Connor, 21 August 2009

Yesterday’s presidential election in Afghanistan featured massive abstention and blatant ballot rigging, underscoring the corrupt character of the exercise.

Obama pledges intensified war in Afghanistan and Pakistan

By Tom Eley, 18 August 2009

In a speech delivered Monday to the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), President Obama promised to intensify the US military engagement in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

US soldier sentenced to year in prison for refusing to fight in Afghanistan

By Hiram Lee, 18 August 2009

Sergeant Travis Bishop has been sentenced to one year in prison for refusing deployment to Afghanistan.

Violence sweeps northwest Pakistan in wake of Mehsud assassination

By James Cogan, 15 August 2009

The civil war between the US-backed government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Islamist and tribal militants is escalating in the wake of the assassination of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

British Army chief says military may have 40-year Afghan role

By Harvey Thompson, 14 August 2009

The head of the British Army, General Sir David Richards, has said Britain could still be in Afghanistan in 40 years time.

The assassination of Baitullah Mehsud

By James Cogan, 8 August 2009

The American political establishment and the US media, along with Washington’s client government in Islamabad, are reveling in the reports that missiles launched from an unmanned US Predator drone on Wednesday killed Pakistani tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud.

Mounting popular opposition to the war in Afghanistan

By Stefan Steinberg and Barry Grey, 7 August 2009

In the face of mounting popular opposition to the slaughter in Afghanistan, the US and European governments are stepping up their intervention and making clear that the neo-colonial occupation is open-ended.

As US, NATO casualties mount

Pentagon to press for more troops in Afghan war

By Jerry White, 4 August 2009

After the deadliest month since the Afghan war began, US military commanders are planning to press for more troops in order to mount a counterinsurgency campaign in the Central Asian country.

Britain’s political elite and the Afghan war

By Chris Marsden, 30 July 2009

Recent opinion polls have confirmed the deep-seated and growing opposition to the Afghan war amongst the British public. But there is barely any expression of this to be found within official political circles or the media.

Britain’s propaganda offensive on behalf of Afghan war

By Chris Marsden, 28 July 2009

The speech by Foreign Secretary David Miliband at the NATO headquarters in Brussels makes clear that Britain intends to deepen its collaboration with the United States in Afghanistan.

What imperialist war produces

Iraq veterans charged with murder and other crimes

By David Walsh, 28 July 2009

The atrocities US troops are committing in Iraq and Afghanistan are transforming a section of returning veterans into a genuine menace to society. Ten members of one army unit alone have been charged with murder, attempted murder or manslaughter.

The German offensive in Afghanistan

By Ulrich Rippert, 27 July 2009

The German army has dramatically intensified its intervention in Afghanistan in the past few days, employing heavy weaponry for the first time.

An Afghan voice against the US-led occupation

By James Cogan, 25 July 2009

“The occupation forces are supporting the enemies of my people and it is better that they leave.”

The Hillary Clinton doctrine

By Bill Van Auken, 24 July 2009

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s threat to arm the neighbors of Iran and target the country with nuclear missiles marks an escalation of US pressure on Tehran designed to influence the bitter internal struggle within the clerical regime.

US air strikes kill Afghan civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 18 July 2009

An attack by US warplanes left Afghan civilians dead and wounded, underscoring the grim human cost of the military escalation ordered by the Obama administration.

Crisis mounts over Afghanistan as UK troop deaths exceed Iraq total

By Harvey Thompson, 14 July 2009

The death of eight soldiers, three just 18 years old, in a 24 hour period brings total UK troop deaths in Afghanistan to 184, exceeding the 179 killed during the occupation of Iraq.

A war of colonial conquest in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 10 July 2009

It is remarkable that even as the Obama administration has escalated the war, it has virtually dropped the original pretext that was used to justify it. What ever happened to Osama bin Laden?

Obama smoothes passage of war spending bill by pledging to suppress torture photos

By Tom Eley, 15 June 2009

House and Senate negotiators Friday reached agreement on a $106 billion bill funding the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan through September after President Obama vowed to continue suppressing photos of US personnel torturing Iraqi prisoners.

New US commander in Afghanistan assembles team of assassins

By Bill Van Auken, 12 June 2009

Confirmed Wednesday as Obama’s new commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal has been given extraordinary powers to assemble his own staff and is drawing heavily from a super-secret assassination squad formed under the Bush administration.

US reinforcements in place in southern Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 11 June 2009

The Obama administration’s “surge” in Afghanistan is taking shape, with 10,000 marines completing the commencement of their deployment to the volatile province of Helmand over the next several weeks.

US proxy war continues in north-west Pakistan

By James Cogan, 5 June 2009

As part of completing the transformation of Afghanistan into a US client-state, Obama is demanding that the Pakistani government suppress the local Islamist movements that lend support to the Afghan resistance over the border.

Democrats back US militarism

Senate approves $91 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 25 May 2009

By a margin of 86-3, the US Senate voted Thursday to approve a $91.3 billion supplemental funding bill to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September 30. The bill brings the total expended on the two wars of aggression to more than $900 billion.

Two million rendered refugees by fighting in Pakistan

By Vilani Peiris, 25 May 2009

The Pakistan military offensive against pro-Taliban militia in the country’s North-West Frontier Province has produced a massive humanitarian crisis. More than one-and-a-half million people have fled their homes. The fighting and resulting exodus of Pashtuns from the NWFP is also exacerbating national-ethnic tensions in Pakistan.

Obama’s AfPak war engulfs Pakistan’s Swat Valley

By James Cogan, 23 May 2009

The Pakistani military assault into Buner, Lower Dir and the Swat Valley has rapidly degenerated into the savage collective punishment of entire Pashtun communities.

US military denies atrocity in Afghanistan’s Farah province

By David Walsh, 21 May 2009

On Wednesday the American military released the findings of its interim investigation into the mass killing of civilians in Afghanistan’s Farah province May 4. It was a whitewash.

After Afghan massacre, Washington says airstrikes will go on

By Bill Van Auken, 12 May 2009

In the wake of last week’s massacre of some 150 civilians in western Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai demanded an end to deadly US airstrikes. US National Security Adviser James Jones responded that the bombings will go on.

Canada’s Prime Minister inspects neocolonial occupation force in Afghanistan

By Graham Beverley, 12 May 2009

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Canadian Armed Forces’ base in Kandahar and other CAF positions in southern Afghanistan for ten hours last Thursday.

Letters from our readers

9 May 2009

A selection or recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site

US airstrikes kill scores of civilians in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 6 May 2009

On the eve of a tripartite summit between the US, Afghan and Pakistani presidents in Washington, US air strikes in western Afghanistan killed scores of civilians in one of the worst atrocities in the seven-and-a-half-year-old war.