The NATO war in Afghanistan

What is the United States preparing in Pakistan?

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.

Obama administration seeks extraordinary military powers in Pakistan

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.

Australian Labor government escalates military involvement in Afghanistan

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.

Spain: Zapatero government sends more troops to 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.

Pakistan: Tens of thousands displaced by US-ordered offensive

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.

Obama moves to block court access for detainees in Afghanistan

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.

Obama seeks $83.4 billion to continue US wars

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.

Pentagon budget envisions a series of Iraq-style wars

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.

Court rules detainees in Afghanistan can challenge imprisonment

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.

US commander seeks 10,000 more troops for Afghanistan

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.

Obama announces escalation of war in Afghanistan, Pakistan

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.

US prepares new escalation of Afghanistan intervention

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.

Growing hostility in US to Afghanistan war

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.”

Washington in conflict with Afghan president over early poll

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.

Obama’s Afghan “surge” sows seeds of new wars

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.

Obama orders 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan

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.

Two US missile strikes in Pakistan in three days kill more than 60

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.

French President Sarkozy visits Baghdad

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.

Afghanistan: Attacks in Kabul expose US occupation’s deepening crisis

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.

Obama’s new foreign policy team prepares escalated bloodletting in Afghanistan and 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.

British defence secretary prepares escalation in Afghanistan

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.

More civilian casualties in 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.

US “surge” in Afghanistan threatens wider war

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.

Canada’s ‘newspaper of record’ calls for Canada to wage Afghan war beyond 2011

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.

US looks for other Afghan supply routes

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.

Britain: Brown announces pull-out from Iraq, more troops to Afghanistan

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.

Insurgent attacks on NATO trucks highlight US military crisis in Afghanistan

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.

Afghanistan: A rise in civilian deaths and foreign troop fatalities

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.

Terrorist atrocity in Mumbai

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.

Pakistani military launches new offensive in border areas

By James Cogan, 17 November 2008

A Pakistani military offensive against Islamist militants is now being extended into the tribal agency of Mohmand.

Iranian regime reacts to Obama’s election

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.

Another US massacre in Afghanistan

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.

US carries out more airstrikes in Pakistan

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.

Advocate of Afghan “troop surge” selected as head of British Army

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.

US carries out fresh air strike in Pakistan

By Keith Jones, 28 October 2008

The US military is now routinely violating Pakistani sovereignty, extending the Afghan War to its southern neighbor.

The economic crisis and war

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.

More recriminations over US/NATO quagmire in Afghanistan

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

What “incredibly tough” foreign policy actions is Obama preparing?

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.

New York Times demands escalation of Afghanistan war

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.

Afghanistan: Growing talk of a political deal with the Taliban

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.

US intelligence, military deliver dire estimates of Afghanistan war

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.

Continuing US air strikes in Pakistan’s tribal agencies

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.

British diplomat paints bleak view of Afghan war

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.

US-Pakistani skirmish points to threat of wider war

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.

Afghanistan: US, NATO, Karzai regime investigate Azizabad massacre

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.

French parliament votes for continued military presence in Afghanistan

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.

The LCR covers for “left” supporters of French imperialism 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.

Germany’s war in Afghanistan

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.

Marriott Hotel bombing: another sign of Pakistan’s deepening crisis

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”.

Withdraw all troops from Afghanistan and Iraq! A socialist answer to war and militarism

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.

US-Pakistani relations remain on the boil

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.

Obama and McCain on 9/11: “unity” in support of war and repression

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.

President Bush authorises US ground operations inside Pakistan

Pakistani anger

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.

Obama denounces Bush for sending too few troops to Afghanistan

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.

Another criminal US missile strike inside Pakistan

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.

Amid rising casualties, Australian establishment debates a wider engagement in Afghanistan

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.

Afghan president blames “the West” for Islamic extremism

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.

Controversy continues over French soldiers’ deaths in Afghanistan

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.

US attack inside Pakistan threatens dangerous new war

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.

A bloody month in Afghanistan

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.

Pentagon denies responsibility for US massacre of Afghan villagers

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.

Was the US government alerted to September 11 attack?

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.

Was the US government alerted to the September 11 attack?

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.

Washington’s man to be installed as Afghan prime minister

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.

The Geneva Convention and the US massacre of POWs in Afghanistan

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.

US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11

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.

The Taliban, the US and the resources of Central Asia

Part 2

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.

The Taliban, the US and the resources of Central Asia

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.

Behind the “anti-terrorism” mask: imperialist powers prepare new forms of colonialism

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.

Why we oppose the war in Afghanistan

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.

The political depravity of journalist Christopher Hitchens

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

China pushes into Central Asia for oil and gas

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.