On October 7th, the Afghan war officially entered its 17th year, persisting as amerika’s longest running overseas conflict. The Trump regime is attempting to win an impossible war against the will of the Afghan people, and has violently reasserted the role of the united $tates in Afghanistan. In response to the troop surge and recent bombing campaigns, the Taliban has set the precondition for peace in Afghanistan at the full withdrawal of amerikan forces from the country. The united $tates, entirely unwilling to accept such a condition for peace, has lead the intensification of fighting in Afghanistan, and due to the reluctance of the imperialist media to effectively cover the ongoing genocidal campaign, we at Anti-Imperialism feel that it is necessary to create semi-regular updates and commentary on the recent events in the war. This format is a work-in-progress, so one can expect significant changes to it in the future. If you have any suggestions or submissions for this ongoing project, please direct them to us via the information on our contact page or in the comment section below
(Oct. 10) Last month the amerikan bombing campaign hit a 7-year record in airstrikes with 751 reported by coalition forces, marking a significant increase in amerikan involvement in the war in Afghanistan. Although the overall 1-month record for airstrikes stands at 1,043 in October 2010, inflicting countless civilian casualties, it was in July of 2017 that the UN marked a record high in civilian casualties. This comes as part of a general intensification of the bombing campaign in Afghanistan as Mattis revises the previous rules of engagement to allow for greater “flexibility” in the amerikan strategy. Such revised conditions include the ability to strike supposed/suspected Taliban and Islamic State held positions without having direct contact with enemy forces. These new conditions have paved the way for an even more deadly air-campaign in Afghanistan, which has already claimed the lives of countless thousands of Afghan civilians.
(Oct. 7) The amerikans have recently unveiled a plan to equip the Afghan security forces with new amerikan equipment as part of an intensification of the air-campaign against the Taliban. This has included the deployment of 159 blackhawk helicopters and the retraining of Afghan pilots to move from older soviet equipment to new amerikan equipment. Although the new equipment is intended specifically for Afghan pilots, the amerikans have remained persistent in the increase of foreign troops in Afghanistan to combat the Taliban and Islamic State. In an ominous speech given the amerikan butcher, General Nicholson, he stated “a tidal wave of air power is on the horizon” and that the Taliban would surely be defeated. This is only one part in a 5-year plan to expand and “modernize” the Afghan Air Force, which includes an array of missile/weapons technology for new helicopters, and additional planes.
(Sept. 27) The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack on the Kabul international airport, and stated that the intention of the attack was to kill Defense Secretary Mattis as he was preparing to leave the country. In response to the attack, coalition forces scrambled several attack helicopters and launched two hellfire missile strikes at the suspected location of the fighters which resulted in a number of civilian casualties, however coalition forces are suppressing the exact scale. The coalition has claimed, instead, that the largest factors in the high civilian casualties was the insurgent tactic of utilizing “human shields” (in other words, attacking from locations other than an open fucking field with nobody around) and a “weapons malfunction” which caused one of the rockets to miss its mark, striking a residential area.
(Oct. 10) Coalition forces conducted an airstrike in the Raghistan district of the Badakhshan province in the northeast of the country, claiming 8 lives and injuring 15 others. While the coalition claims that those killed were Taliban fighters, the Taliban claims that no fighters were killed in the strike, insinuating coalition propaganda or wanton murder of the rural populace. This would certainly not be outside of the standard operating procedure of the coalition forces, who have had a standing rule of engagement for drone attacks which considers military age men (16+ years of age) to be combatants in “hostile areas” and all surrounding individuals to be “associates” in order to make their program appear more effective. Nevertheless, coalition forces have also claimed the destruction of a local weapons cache used by the Taliban in this strike.
(Sept. 29) A Taliban attack on a police checkpoint in Farah province has left 5 policemen dead. However, in an act of deliberate misinformation the imperialist media has conflated this attack with a similar suicide attack which occurred in Kabul on the same day, which claimed the lives of 5 (supposedly, police) at a police checkpoint outside of a prominent Shia mosque. The attack which occurred in Kabul was not claimed by any faction, however it has been assumed to be related to either the Taliban or the Islamic State. The attack in Kabul injured an additional 29 people.
(Sept. 24) The Taliban claimed responsibility for an IED attack against a coalition convoy in Kabul which resulted in mixed reports from both sides. The Taliban has claimed that the attack resulted in the deaths of 16 coalition soldiers, however the coalition maintains that no casualties were suffered in the attack. Nonetheless 3 civilians were injured in the attack, which was directed against Danish troops, serving as part of the international contribution to the NATO force occupying the country.
(Sept. 30) An airstrike in a village near Lashkar Gah killed 26 civilians in Taliban controlled territory, of those dead 7 were adults and 19 were children the youngest of which was just 2 years old. Around this time the Taliban had been hotly contesting the area, attempting to capture the city of Lashkar Gah and establish control over the provincial capital. The amerikans have stated that they can “neither confirm nor deny” their responsibility in the murder of civilians near the city, but have affirmed that it came in the context of a heated battle between Taliban and coalition forces. However, the UN has contested this fact in their report on civilian deaths in July 2017, stating that no fighting was happening at the time of the airstrike, suggesting that it had been a deliberate strike by the amerikans in Taliban controlled territory.
(Sept. 15) The CIA is seeking approval from the Trump regime to conduct their own drone strikes in Afghanistan in the same manner they have in Pakistan. If the Trump regime were to grant them this power, it would be the first time they were to have the ability to order such strikes in Afghanistan. This comes just months after they were given permission to order similar strikes in other countries without pentagon approval, a stark contradiction with earlier Obama-era restrictions placed on the CIA. Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director, sure of Trump’s coming approval, has stated that “When we’ve asked for more authorities, we’ve been given it. When we ask for more resources, we get it.” If such an authority would be given to the CIA, it would surely mean a stark increase in the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
(Oct. 10) The Taliban has issued a warning to the local telecommunications companies in Ghanzi to shut down their services between 6:00am and 6:00pm in order to reduce the effectiveness of the destructive coalition bombing campaign. They have stated that the purpose of these measures is to prevent local coalitions spies from reporting the locations of Taliban positions and movements to amerikan air-power, who have caused untold destruction in the region in a desperate attempt to push out the Taliban. This is part of a larger national strategy to slow down the amerikan air-war being waged over the country, and to ensure the security of Taliban controlled regions. Some residents express worry over the new conditions of service, since many of them have no other method of communication outside of their home provinces. However, the telecommunications companies which pay taxes to the Taliban governments are allowed to resume services between 6:00pm and 6:00am.
(Oct. 10) A video was released by the Taliban showing the aftermath of a nighttime assault on an Afghan military base in Balkh Province, which comes at the head of a months-long campaign to assume control of the province entirely. The base was held for an extended period of time before it was abandoned to avoid the ensuing NATO response from the air. Taliban forces seized weapons and materials from the base before retreating from the base.
(Oct. 6) The Solidarity Party, a left-wing anti-imperialist party in Afghanistan, rallied the people of Kabul against the NATO occupation of their country, which has claimed the lives of 1,662 people in the first half of 2017 alone. “We can’t bear occupation anymore,” one comrade of the Solidarity Party said, “every day we witness [the amerikans] bombing our cities and thousands of innocent people are killed.” The organization has lead a boycott of elections throughout the amerikan occupation, stating that there can be no real democracy so long as the united $tates occupies the country, they will not be made complicit in the occupation of Afghanistan by the imperialists. It is deeply troubling that while such efforts are being made unilaterally by the Afghan people to end the amerikan occupation, virtually nothing is felt by the indifferent amerikans who continue to deny responsibility in ending the war.
(Oct. 8) In a report published by Khaama Press, they cited local sources involved in the development of a supposed planned ceasefire between the Taliban and the Islamic State. Claims such as these have been made as early as December of 2016, however none have yet materialized as significant differences in the aims of the two groups have obstructed effective cooperation. Nevertheless, the source states that the Taliban leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, believes that in light of a renewed amerikan air-war against the countryside in Afghanistan, such a ceasefire would be beneficial to the movement. One of the major obstacles to the initiation of any greater cooperation, however, has been the violent sectarianism of the Islamic State, who is known to carry out attacks which specifically target Shia Muslims in Afghanistan, rather than security forces.
(Oct. 5) Following a decision in the european union to declare Afghanistan “safe” for resettlement of asylum seekers, various european governments have already set about returning more than 10,000 refugees to the country. This is despite contemporary reports showing that violence and civilian casualties are on the rise in Afghanistan with the intensification of amerikan bombings in the country. This was even recognized by the european union who acknowledges “record levels of terrorist attacks and civilian casualties” and a “worsening security situation and threats to which people are exposed.” However this has not moved europe to change its position, which now states that as many as 80,000 refugees could be forcibly returned to a country which has been destroyed by the national interests of european and north amerikan countries. This move by european union will undoubtedly lead to even more significant civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan.
Amerikan Anti-War Update
So far there is very little action coming from the amerikan people to counter the growing genocidal conflict in Afghanistan. However, several groups in the Twin Cities area have organized weekly vigils and had planned demonstrations against the war in Afghanistan marking its 16-year anniversary. For the sake of anti-imperialist struggle it is absolutely necessary that if you know of such events, you attend them and help to foster struggle committees to push the anti-war movement in an anti-imperialist direction. Additionally, if you hear/know of any anti-war demonstrations or progressive anti-war committees (that meet semi-regularly) which have not been covered in this update, please contact the editors via the contact page so that they can appear in further updates. It is paramount that anti-imperialists, and especially communists, be involved in rebuilding the anti-war movement to end the war in Afghanistan and put an end to western aggression in the rest of the world.