Access to the oil plays a role in the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. But there are additional strategic reasons for the U.S. wanting to control that part of the world. A recent interview with long time anti-war activist Rick Rozoff offers a compelling argument that the U.S. intends a permanent military occupation of Afghanistan. You can read the entire interview at Dandelionsalad.
Why is the US in Afghanistan?
I’ll give you my personal estimate and I think it’s the one that became apparent with the initial thrust into Afghanistan almost ten years ago, which occurred less than three months after the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the summer of 2001. My supposition is – not withstanding the hunt for Osama bin Laden and whatever else was presented as the casus belli for the invasion of Afghanistan and its continuation for ten years – that, in essence, the US and its Western allies wanted to plant themselves firmly at the point of confluence where Russia, China, Iran, India, Pakistan and other nations might be able to cooperate in building a multipolar alternative to the US-dominated unipolar world by being in Afghanistan and its environs. . . .
How would you characterize the entire campaign by NATO and the US in Afghanistan? As a complete failure, or were there any gains?
There was an article recently by the US Department of Defense, the Pentagon’s, press agency, American Forces Press Service, that just happened to mention in passing that the Shindand Air Base in Herat Province has tripled in size recently to become the second largest military air base in Afghanistan next to that at Bagram.
Last year, the US and its NATO allies stepped up the extension of air bases in Afghanistan – in Kandahar, in Mazar e Sharif, in Jalalabad in addition to Bagram and Shindand – they are going to have air bases that control the entire region, a good deal of the Greater Middle East, if you will, in addition to continuing troop transits.
They’ve also set up the Northern Distribution Network. It’s an extensive network of air, rail and truck transportation, which now includes 13 of 15 former Soviet Republics, all except Moldova and Ukraine currently.
Men and materiel are being moved in and out, and this is an amazing network, when you look at it, including just recently the first air flight from the US over the North Pole and then over Kazakhstan into Afghanistan. So, in terms of building up a military network around the world – and we also have to remember there are troops from over 50 countries serving under NATO in Afghanistan, which is the largest amount of countries offering troops for one military command in one nation in world history. We also have to recall that Afghanistan has become a training ground, if you will, to place US-NATO allies and partners in real-life combat situations, to integrate the militaries of at least 50 countries under, basically, US command, using English as their common language. I’m arguing that Afghanistan is a laboratory for integrating the militaries of these various countries.
Photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense