The NATO war in Afghanistan
By Keith Jones, 5 May 2009
The US political and military establishment and the American media have been mounting an increasingly shrill campaign to bully Islamabad into fully complying with US diktats in what Washington has redefined as the AfPak war theater.
By Bill Van Auken, 2 May 2009
The Obama administration is demanding that the military be given a free hand in directing the escalating US intervention in Pakistan, rejecting congressional conditions or civilian control over billions of dollars in military aid to Islamabad.
By James Cogan, 2 May 2009
The Rudd Labor government announced on Wednesday a significant expansion of Australia’s military commitment to the US-led occupation of Afghanistan.
By Paul Stuart and Paul Mitchell, 2 May 2009
Last month, Spain became the first European country to increase its military mission in Afghanistan.
By Keith Jones, 30 April 2009
Tens of thousands of Pashtun-speaking villagers have been forced to flee from their homes in recent days as the result of the punishing offensive the Pakistani military has mounted, at Washington’s urging, against pro-Taliban militants in the country’s North-West Frontier Province.
By Tom Eley, 14 April 2009
Last week the Obama administration appealed a district court decision that would have allowed a small number of prisoners at the Bagram Air Base prison in Afghanistan the right to appeal their detention in US courts.
By Bill Van Auken, 11 April 2009
With his request for $83.4 billion in “emergency” funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama is ensuring their continuation and escalation, as well as the extension of US military aggression into Pakistan and possibly elsewhere.
By Patrick Martin, 9 April 2009
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has unveiled the biggest military budget in world history, in anticipation of an endless series of Iraq and Afghanistan-style wars by American imperialism.
By Bill Van Auken, 4 April 2009
In a rebuke to the Bush and Obama administrations’ bid to hold so-called enemy combatants indefinitely without charges or trials, a federal judge has ruled that three detainees at a US prison in Afghanistan have the right to challenge their detention in court.
By Patrick Martin, 2 April 2009
The top US military commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, has formally requested the deployment of an additional 10,000 US combat troops for the increasingly bloody war in the Central Asian country.
By Alex Lantier, 28 March 2009
The policy announced by President Obama represents a massive increase in military violence not only in Afghanistan, but also in Pakistan.
By Patrick Martin, 24 March 2009
The chief official overseeing US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan arrived in Brussels Monday to brief NATO representatives on the Obama administration plans for the region amid press reports that the US intends to push aside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
By Tom Eley, 19 March 2009
A recent USA Today/Gallup poll shows that more than 40 percent of Americans believe the war in Afghanistan was a mistake—in spite of relentless efforts to promote it as “the good war.”
By James Cogan, 2 March 2009
In the midst of a deteriorating security situation, Karzai’s decision to call an early election has been met with open opposition from the Obama administration and exposed the rift that exists between the White House and the US client state in Kabul.
24 February 2009
The Obama administration’s Afghan troop “surge” adds a new, explosive dynamic to the decades-old geopolitical rivalry between India and Pakistan and will intensify the great power competition for control of oil-rich Central Asia, sowing the seeds for even larger and more destructive wars.
By Barry Grey, 19 February 2009
In a brief written statement issued by the White House, President Obama signaled that the escalation in Afghanistan would be combined with an intensified military intervention across the border in Pakistan.
By Barry Grey, 17 February 2009
The two missile strikes, bringing the number since Obama took office to four, were a clear signal that the new administration intends to escalate the US military intervention in Pakistan.
By Alex Lantier, 14 February 2009
Highlighting President Nicolas Sarkozy’s backing for the US-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, his trip to the Middle East managed to focus opposition to his foreign policy within the French public and political establishment.
By Bill Van Auken, 12 February 2009
Wednesday’s attacks on government ministries in the heart of Kabul underscore the mounting resistance to the occupation of Afghanistan, just as Washington prepares to escalate its intervention in the country and extend it further into Pakistan.
By Patrick Martin, 24 January 2009
President Obama and his new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, have selected former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, one of Washington’s most ruthless political thugs, to spearhead expanded intervention in Afghanistan and more widely in south and central Asia.
By Harvey Thompson, 21 January 2009
Britain’s defence secretary John Hutton delivered the UK government’s sharpest public criticism of its European NATO allies and called for an increase in troop deployment to the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.
By James Cogan, 20 January 2009
The first week of 2009 saw at least three incidents in which occupation forces stand accused of killing or injuring Afghan civilians during operations against the Taliban-led insurgency.
6 January 2009
In an ominous move posing the threat of wider war, the US plans to create new supply lines to Afghanistan in preparation for a doubling of its occupation forces under the Obama administration.
By John Mackay, 31 December 2008
The Globe and Mail is mounting a campaign for the country’s political elite to once again defy public sentiment and extend the Canadian Armed Forces’ intervention in Afghanistan beyond the current deadline of December 2011.
By James Cogan, 24 December 2008
US supplies into Afghanistan are under threat due to the expansion of the Taliban insurgency and the growth of Islamist activity inside Pakistan.
By Harvey Thompson and Julie Hyland, 18 December 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a “surprise” visit to Iraq yesterday, to announce a withdrawal of UK forces by July 2009.
By Barry Grey, 9 December 2008
A series of attacks on US and NATO military equipment depots in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar have underscored the increasingly dire security situation facing American and allied forces conducting the counterinsurgency war in neighboring Afghanistan.
By Harvey Thompson, 6 December 2008
Conservative estimates put the numbers of Afghans killed in violence related to the occupation in 2008 at around 4,000. Over 1,000 service personnel have now been killed in Afghanistan, the majority being US soldiers.
By Keith Jones, 28 November 2008
Whoever were the authors of this week’s terrorist attack in Mumbai, it was a vile act that will only serve reaction in India and internationally.
By James Cogan, 17 November 2008
A Pakistani military offensive against Islamist militants is now being extended into the tribal agency of Mohmand.
By James Cogan, 13 November 2008
The Iranian view that Obama’s election would lead to a shift in US policy was reflected most clearly in a letter of congratulations sent to the president-elect by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
By James Cogan, 8 November 2008
An Afghan government investigation into US air strikes carried out on Monday in the province of Kandahar has found that at least 37 civilians taking part in a wedding celebration were massacred. Another 30 people or more—men, women and children—were injured.
By James Cogan, 3 November 2008
In open contempt of the repeated protests by the Pakistani government, the US military carried out another two air strikes on October 31 inside Pakistan, killing at least 27 people.
By Harvey Thompson, 30 October 2008
Gen. Sir David Richards, recent commander of the NATO’s ISAF in Afghanistan, has been appointed the new head of the British Army.
By Keith Jones, 28 October 2008
The US military is now routinely violating Pakistani sovereignty, extending the Afghan War to its southern neighbor.
24 October 2008
While the world’s attention has been focused on the global economic crisis, the United States has continued to prosecute its neo-colonial war in Iraq and has expanded its military violence in Afghanistan and the adjoining border regions of Pakistan. Early Thursday morning, a US drone fired four missiles into a religious school, or madrassa, in a tribal area of Pakistan’s North Waziristan, killing 11 people, according to Agence France-Presse. It was the latest in a series of US strikes into Pakistan, including at least one commando raid by Special Forces ground troops, launched since the beginning of September.
By James Cogan, 24 October 2008
An increasing number of commentators describe the occupation of Afghanistan as a failure.
Biden’s chilling remarks at fundraiser
By Patrick Martin, 22 October 2008
In remarks made over the weekend in Seattle, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden warned that Barack Obama, if elected president, would be compelled to take deeply unpopular actions in both domestic and foreign policy within months of taking office.
By David Walsh, 16 October 2008
In an editorial October 15 entitled “Downward Spiral,” the New York Times calls for the next administration to carry out “a swift and serious buildup of troops” in Afghanistan.
By James Cogan, 15 October 2008
Seven years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the discussion in US political and military circles is increasingly focusing on some form of political settlement with insurgent organisations, including leading figures of the former Taliban regime.
By Bill Van Auken, 11 October 2008
Seven years after the Bush administration launched “Operation Enduring Freedom,” US intelligence agencies have concluded that the situation in the devastated country is on “a downward spiral,” according to a classified draft National Intelligence Estimate.
By James Cogan, 9 October 2008
US aircraft are attacking alleged militant targets inside Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA) at a growing rate.
By James Cogan, 6 October 2008
With insurgent activity rising and casualties at an all-time high, the representatives of the US and NATO occupation of Afghanistan are growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospect of establishing a stable client-state. This year has already registered the largest annual number of US and NATO casualties—236 dead and over 1,000 wounded so far—since the invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.
By Keith Jones, 30 September 2008
Washington and Islamabad are seeking to downplay the significance of last Thursday’s military clash between US and Pakistani armed forces on the Afghan-Pakistani border.
By Harvey Thompson, 29 September 2008
The United States, NATO, and the Karzai regime in Kabul have announced a joint investigation into the most recent coalition air strike massacre of Afghan civilians.
By Antoine Lerougetel, 25 September 2008
On September 22, the French National Assembly and the Senate voted for government’s motion approving the continued presence of France’s military contingent in Afghanistan.
Support from the LCR
By Francois Dubois and Peter Schwarz, 24 September 2008
On September 20, demonstrations were held in 10 different French cities demanding the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan. Protests against the war in Afghanistan were also held in a number of other European countries, including Britain, Italy and Germany.
By Ludwig Weller, 24 September 2008
The official explanation that the 3,500 German soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are only “construction workers in uniform” is no longer tenable. The events in which they are embroiled are becoming bloodier each day. Increasingly, German soldiers are killing insurgents and civilians, or are themselves being killed.
By Peter Symonds, 22 September 2008
The massive bomb blast that devastated the luxury Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday evening is one more sign of the deepening political crisis in Pakistan produced by the Bush administration’s spreading “war on terrorism”.
The perspective of the “peace movement”
the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Germany), 20 September 2008
Demonstrations calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan are taking place today in German, French and British cities. The Socialist Equality Party and the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit, the British and German sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International, support this demand. We call for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.
A new understanding?
By Keith Jones, 20 September 2008
Only hours after giving military assurances that US forces would respect Pakistan’s sovereignty, the US staged another predator-drone attack inside Pakistan, killing at least six people in a South Waziristan village.
By Bill Van Auken, 12 September 2008
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his Republican rival John McCain walked side by side down the ramp into the pit where the World Trade Center once stood Tuesday in what was promoted as a demonstration of national unity on the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
By Peter Symonds, 12 September 2008
In a reckless and criminal attempt to suppress the growing insurgency in Afghanistan, President Bush has secretly authorised the use of US Special Forces against targets inside the border areas of Pakistan.
By Bill Van Auken, 11 September 2008
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama blasted as too little and too late the decision announced by President Bush Tuesday to withdraw 8,000 US troops from Iraq and divert combat units to Afghanistan.
By Peter Symonds, 10 September 2008
A third US missile strike in less than a week inside Pakistan again underscores the danger that the escalating war in Afghanistan will spread into its neighbour. At least 20 people died on Monday when up to five missiles fired from US unmanned Predator drones hit a madrassa and a compound in North Waziristan.
By James Cogan, 10 September 2008
The wounding on September 2 of nine Australian special forces troops by Afghan insurgents loyal to the former Taliban regime has led to a renewed focus in the political and media establishment on Australia’s involvement in the US-led occupation.
US policy and Al Qaeda terrorism
By James Cogan, 8 September 2008
The propaganda used to justify the US-led occupation in Afghanistan typically leaves out any explanation of the origins of tendencies such as Al Qaeda, the Taliban movement and other Islamist groups resisting American and NATO troops.
By Olivier Laurent, 8 September 2008
Further information has emerged about the August 18 ambush that killed 10 French soldiers in Afghanistan and wounded 23 more in the valley of Uzbeen.
An expanded war
By Peter Symonds, 5 September 2008
A ground assault by US Special Forces troops on a Pakistani village on Wednesday threatens to expand the escalating Afghanistan war into its neighbour.
By James Cogan, 2 September 2008
The August death toll of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan reached 45 on Sunday—the equal highest monthly total of the near seven-year war. A Romanian soldier providing protection to a supply convoy was killed when the vehicle he was travelling in drove over a mine that had been planted on the main highway connecting the capital Kabul with the country’s eastern provinces. Three other Romanian soldiers were seriously wounded.
By Tom Eley, 1 September 2008
As anger mounts in Afghanistan over the August 22 US bombing of a village that killed ninety civilians, the great majority women and children, the Pentagon continues to claim a much smaller death toll comprised largely of “Taliban fighters.” Anonymous US officials, who claim to have investigated the attack in Azizabad in Herat province, insist that 25 Taliban were killed, along with five civilians.
Part 4: The refusal to investigate
By Patrick Martin, 24 January 2002
This series has reviewed evidence that US intelligence agencies had ample advance information about the September 11 attacks, from specific details of the methods and the likely targets to the identities of a number of the hijackers, including the alleged principal organizer, Mohammed Atta.
Part 3: The United States and Mideast terrorism
By Patrick Martin, 22 January 2002
An essential aspect of the official version of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—which maintains that these attacks came as a complete surprise to the US government and its intelligence apparatus—is the claim that the CIA and other intelligence agencies relied too heavily on electronic surveillance rather than on-the-spot agents infiltrated into the terrorist organizations.
By Peter Symonds, 22 December 2001
The new Afghan interim administration headed by Hamid Karzai is due to be sworn into office in Kabul today. While UN officials are withholding details of the two-hour ceremony for security reasons, it promises to be a low-key affair. To be held in the Interior Ministry auditorium, it will be attended by the 30-member cabinet, UN Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, US special envoy James Dobbins and a handful of other UN officials and diplomats, including the foreign ministers of Iran and Pakistan.
WSWS Editorial Board, 7 December 2001
On December 1 the last of some 80 survivors of the US-British-Northern Alliance assault on the Qala-i-Janghi prison fortress outside Mazar-i-Sharif emerged from their underground hideouts and surrendered to their assailants. For six days, beginning Sunday, November 25, American and British special forces joined with troops loyal to Northern Alliance General Rashid Dostum in a massive and one-sided attack on 400 to 800 non-Afghan Taliban who had surrendered the previous day in Kunduz. The US, Britain and Northern Alliance justified their slaughter of the prisoners, most of whom were killed in two days of American air strikes, on the grounds that the Taliban captives had staged an uprising.
By Patrick Martin, 20 November 2001
Insider accounts published in the British, French and Indian media have revealed that US officials threatened war against Afghanistan during the summer of 2001. These reports include the prediction, made in July, that “if the military action went ahead, it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.” The Bush administration began its bombing strikes on the hapless, poverty-stricken country October 7, and ground attacks by US Special Forces began October 19.
By Peter Symonds, 25 October 2001
The following is the second article in a two-part series on the history of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. The first part was published yesterday.
By Peter Symonds, 24 October 2001
The target of the latest US military aggression in Afghanistan is the Taliban. However, one searches in vain in the extensive media coverage of the “war on terrorism” for any coherent explanation of the origins of this Islamic extremist organisation, its social and ideological base, and its rise to power. The omission is no accident. Any serious examination of the Taliban reveals the culpability of Washington in fostering the current theocratic regime in Kabul.
By Nick Beams, 18 October 2001
From the outset of the military assault against Afghanistan, the World Socialist Web Site has explained that this is not a war for justice or security against terrorist attacks but is bound up with the geo-political aims of United States imperialism.
WSWS Editorial Board, 9 October 2001
The World Socialist Web Site condemns the American military assault on Afghanistan. We reject the dishonest claims of the Bush administration that this is a war for justice and the security of the American people against terrorism.
By David Walsh, 5 October 2001
A historical turning point has this benefit: it brings out an individual’s true political physiognomy. What has been extraneous or cosmetic falls away, and the essence emerges.
Economic and strategic interests at stake
By John Chan, 3 January 2001
Driven by a burgeoning demand for energy, the Chinese government has made securing access to the largely untapped reserves of oil and natural gas in Central Asia a cornerstone of its economic policy for the next two decades. Beijing's plans are ambitious, costly and have major geopolitical implications as China stakes a claim in a key strategic area of the globe.