The U.S. is 11 years into its current war in Afghanistan and still losing. We never had a chance to "win" this war of vengeance – and while few in Washington are ready to admit that, they’ve continued to revise and redefine just what "winning" might look like.
It wasn’t the events of September 11th that changed the world, but the events of September 12th and beyond, when the Bush administration took the world to war in response; that changed the world, and continues to threaten U.S. and global security, and shred U.S. democracy.
Debate over the 10-year-plus war in Afghanistan tends to focus on how and when it "can be won," obscuring the fundamental question of whether it was morally acceptable in the first place. Now as the US gets closer to consolidating its imperial presence in the region for decades to come, the high cost to the Afghani people continues to be ignored.
Israel's defence minister spends much more time in Washington than the nation's pro-"ethnic cleansing" foreign minister; no wonder when the US is committing hundreds of billions of US taxes to Israel's militarization.
After the Vietnam War, the US repeated its pledge (the first time being after the Korean War) never to enter into a quagmire like that again. And yet it has. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the US has no clear enemy, no clear goals, no clear exit strategies and apparently no limit to the costs borne by citizens in the US and elsewhere. The current US “quagmires” will contribute to a global power shift away from the US, Gabriel Kolko argues.
This article analyses the intersection of torture, aggressive war and Presidential power in the 21st century, with particular attention to the current US Constitutional crisis and related international humanitarian/human rights law.
Obama's Cairo speech shifted the discourse, away from justifying reckless imperial hubris, unilateralism and militarism and towards a more cooperative and potentially even internationalist approach. It is the task of people across the US to mobilise and turn that new language into new policies.
Scarce attention to poverty alleviation and blind reliance on military might has brought the western forces in Afghanistan to a standstill. Putting Pakistan into the equation is a key to any solution in Afghanistan.