Some time has passed since our last update, but the war has not been put on hold. The u.$. imperialists have continued their campaign of murder and theft against the Afghan people, and have met with stiffer resistance as a result. The “forever war” drags on, despite the supposed “absolute superiority” of the amerikan military, and the “backwardness” of the Afghan resistance to their occupation. Despite its long lifespan, the war cannot truly last forever. The amerikan empire as a whole is crumbling at the edges, and the more it fades into diplomatic and economic irrelevance, the less leverage it has in holding down the Afghan people. The world as a whole will not suffer amerika for all time, and with every moment that passes its day of reckoning draws nearer. When all is said and done, it will be said that the people of Afghanistan put one of the final nails in the coffin of amerikan imperialism. History owes them that much and more.
(June 2) Nearly 3,000 people have been killed and injured in 205 attacks in Afghanistan in May, showing 42 percent increase in casualties over April. Reports show 1,220 people have been killed and 866 others injured in 173 different attacks in 28 provinces of the country in April.
Reports based on different sources showed 1,762 people were killed and 1,190 others injured in 28 out of total 34 provinces of the country during May.
(June 6) The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, SIGAR, issued its corruption report, and again, to no one’s surprise, Afghanistan remains one of the four most corrupt countries on Earth (by public perception) behind war-torn Syria, Sudan and Somalia. Contrast these finding to the later report of the accountable and efficient government and services administered by the Taliban in its occupied areas.
(June 7) An australian parliamentary committee is now investigating reports from special forces personnel that australian troops were involved in crimes against humanity and war crimes as part of a wider sham investigation by the authorities of crimes against humanity in australia’s 15-year involvement in Afghanistan.
“I know there were over the last 15 years some horrendous things. Some just disgraceful things happened in Kabul,” one insider was quoted as saying. Obviously, progressive humanity has already weighed the evidence and found the imperialists guilty. No amount of faux concern for human rights violations by individual murderers in the context of a greater murderous enterprise will fool the masses, either in Afghanistan or otherwise. The crimes of australian, and all other imperialists, are too many to count.
(June 13) The three-day Eid ceasefire was a show of the discipline and unity of all Taliban forces, the resistance said in a communique. The Taliban refused a ten day extension to the ceasefire by the Kabul government, saying that, on midnight the following Sunday, “Mujahideen throughout the country are ordered to continue their operations against the foreign invaders and their internal puppets as before.” And so they did.
(June 13) As Ramadan drew to a close, Taliban leaders issued an ultimatum from a position of strength. “If the American officials truly believe in a peaceful end to the Afghan imbroglio, then they must directly present themselves at the negotiation table,” they said. “We also assure our nation a bright future for our country accompanied by peace and prosperity, Allah willing,” they added. Given the victories that have been achieved since the Eid ceasefire, the reports of immense corruption, as well as the relative efficiency and leniency of Taliban rule, their offers are indeed looking more and more satisfying to the Afghan peoples.
(June 14) A u$ government report admits, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, that opium production has not only not been curbed by the 8.6 billion dollars the u$ has sent for anti-narcotics operations in Afghanistan, but that production last year jumped 63% higher than the previous year, fueling not only the narco-capitalist comprador governors of Afghanistan, and the criminal and semi-criminal elements worldwide, but also striking the u$ and its parasitic middle classes especially hard via the opioid epidemic. “To put it bluntly, these numbers spell failure, and the outlook is not encouraging,” John Sopko, SIGAR inspector-general, said in prepared remarks at the launch of his office’s new report.
(June 21) The Washington Post reports on a study from the Overseas Development Institute, finding that the vast Taliban shadow government, far from a racketeering or brutal enterprise, runs accountable and efficient services, hears civil and criminal cases in local courts, runs schools, collects taxes, provides healthcare, and interacts with other civil administrations that they do not control, as well as foreign aid agencies.
“…foreign officials are worryingly unaware,” says the Post piece, “of how assiduously the Taliban has worked to exert local control, make bargains and influence services. Today, its leaders view themselves not as insurgents but as a “government in waiting,” the report says.”
(June 22) Kabul and u$ forces declared they had killed more than 160 “suspected” ISIS fighters in Nangahar, ending a three week operation designed to encircle and destroy suspected ISIS fighters on the Pakistani border. Each time the u$ and their comprador allies boast they have destroyed the majority of the small ISIS force in the county, they pop up again, proving that either their estimates or intentions, or both, are false.
As Jason Ditz at antiwar notes, this is another in more than half a dozen cases where the u$ and Kabul forces have claimed to kill ISIS fighters, but made no actual dent in the estimated number in-country.
The u$, at least, is brooding over this fact. As of July 16, another anti-ISIS operation by the Kabul army is drawing to a close, wherein the compradors claim they have “wiped out” ISIS in Nangahar, which they claimed to have done on several occasions. But the u$ commander, John Nicholson, recently complained about the Afghan army’s inability either to deal with ISIS, or to tell the truth about their gains or losses. The u$ is becoming increasingly skeptical about their puppet’s ability to hold together.
(June 23) The TAPI pipeline—an Afghan-led project with investment from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India with the goal of getting Turkmenistani natural gas through Afghanistan to markets in energy-hungry Pakistan and India—has the support of both the Taliban and the Ghani comprador government. Two competing factions of Taliban in Kandahar Province have both pledged to protect the project, as it will allow the Afghan government to move away from reliance on the u$ and build stronger ties to Afghanistan’s central and south-asian neighbors. The estimated $400 million dollars in yearly revenue would also be a boon to a Taliban-led government, which is probably what really lies at the heart of the matter, besides a general national interest.
But even this is not secure. Although the Taliban has denied responsibility, survivors of an attack on a surveying party in Kandahar that killed five workers say they were attacked by one or another faction of the Taliban. In response, the Kabul government says it will commit 7,000 troops to defend the pipeline, resulting in a staggering reduction in available troops to fight the Taliban advance. Shiroqa Sarwari, governor of Herat, summarized the hopes of the Kabul government: “We keep hoping that a miracle will happen, and all our problems will be solved, but that’s unpredictable… But here an economic revolution will come, people will be glowing, there will be opportunities, there will be hope, which is very important.”
(June 23) The Afghan Peace Convoy began its series of sit-in protests in front of the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan, and over the next three days, held sit-ins at all the embassies and consulates activists believed had a stake in the continuing war. The activists reached out to the Taliban to demand a month’s ceasefire, but received no reply.
The activists’ demands were internationalist. “During these three days, we will try to launch demonstrations in those countries that we are protesting against. By holding our demonstration’s, we want to create a relationship between our people and the citizens of those countries,” said Bismillah Watandost, the group’s organizer. “…we hope the citizens of the foreign countries ask their governments why Afghans are protesting outside their embassies.”
Sadly, their demands and their hopes came and went. There is virtually no anti war movement in the west, and even fewer who would organize simultaneous actions with peace activists in a country under imperialist occupation. Nevertheless, the Peace Convoy’s demands demonstrate the high level of consciousness among the Afghan masses, a high-mindedness and internationalism that imperialism cannot, and will not, defeat.
(Jun. 24) Following the conclusion of the Eid ceasefire, which the Taliban refused to extend, Taliban forces launched a series of dazzling attacks in a general offensive against the Afghan army and the state security corporation, “Afghan Public Protection Force” (APPF), successfully capturing 13 military checkpoints in Maidan Wardak, along with more than 70 APPF officers as well as their base of operations. Taliban forces killed 16 police in attacks on the 13 checkpoints, taking and holding two of them, and successfully ambushing reinforcements sent to assist. An assault on a Badghis military base days prior left 30 Kabul soldiers dead, and the base in th hands of Taliban forces. So far the Afghan state has not sent any additional reinforcements to the affected areas, and have only conducted airstrikes against the Taliban occupation.
In engagement after engagement, the government forces embarrass themselves. On July 12th, Taliban forces launched an artillery attack and assault on police checkpoints in Kunduz, killing 15 soldiers and losing 6 of their own. Although the attack was unsuccessful elsewhere checkpoints and stations continue to fall under a general push that threatens to overwhelm the comprador forces.
(July 10) After deliberations that began in June, the national security council in britain will send 440 additional “non-combat” troops to Afghanistan with the aim of providing training to the Afghan army, decided just before the NATO summit with the aim of reaffirming british loyalty to amerikan imperialism. No doubt this move is provoked by a growing rift between the uk and the rest of europe, and represents a sop to ingratiate itself further to the unpredictable u$ regime. The confused and spiralling uk imperialists will probably pursue an all-around stronger presence in amerikan military actions, as the situation calls for a further integration of foreign policy ahead of intensifying inter-imperialist competition. In either case, though big news as far as british involvement, it is unlikely that further british presence will impact the operational effectiveness of the Afghan resistance. At its maximum, the current plan for remobilization in Afghanistan hits far below the height of the occupation, with nearly two-hundreds thousand coalition soldiers and contractors in the country, and a growing Taliban throughout that period.
Indeed, the gesture may be hollow. The orange menace has intimated that the uk may have blown any chance of a trade deal with the u$ by warming to a “soft brexit”. The attempts to strongarm europe and other u$ allies are backfiring and further weakening a dying empire. Either way, the new total of 1,090 uk troops will change nothing.
It has been clear for a very long time that the imperialists are lost, even as their populations ignore solidarity and anti-war activism. Not even optimal social peace can save their crumbling enterprise, whether in Afghanistan or Africa or the South China Sea. Their occupation was always doomed, but now so are their historical projects.