At Bagram air base, picking through the graveyard of military equipment that was until recently the headquarters of America’s 20-year occupation of their country. officials say the last forces slipped away from Bagram in the dead of night, without notice or coordination.scrap merchants are already
The Taliban are rapidly expanding their control over hundreds of districts in Afghanistan, usually through negotiations between local elders, but also by force when troops loyal to the Kabul government refuse to give up their outposts and weapons. A few weeks ago, the Taliban controlled a quarter of the country. Now it’s a third. They are taking control of border posts and large swathes of territory in the north of the country. These include areas that were once strongholds of the Northern Alliance, a militia that prevented the Taliban from unifying the country under their rule in the late 1990s.
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People of goodwill all over the world hope for a peaceful future for the people of Afghanistan, but the only legitimate role the over the horizon” should cease. The and its corrupt puppet government lost this war. Now it’s up to the to forge their future.can play there now is to pay reparations, in whatever form, for the damage it has done and the pain and deaths it has caused. Speculation in the political class and corporate media about how the can keep bombing and killing from “
So, what about America’s other endless crime scene: 150,000 bombs and missiles they have dropped on and Syria since 2001 were not enough, and dropping a few more on allies there will appease some hawks in Washington without starting a full-scale war with .? The corporate media only mention when our leaders suddenly decide that the over
But for 40 million, as for 40 million , America’s most stupidly chosen battlefield is their country, not just an occasional news story. They are living their entire lives under the enduring impacts of the neocons’ war of mass destruction.
Youngtook to the streets in 2019 to protest 16 years of corrupt government by the former exiles to whom the handed over their country and its oil revenues. The protests were directed at the government’s corruption and failure to provide jobs and basic services to its people, but also at the underlying, self-serving foreign influences of the and over every government since the 2003 invasion.
A new government was formed in May 2020, headed by $150 billion in oil revenues by officials of previous governments, who were mostly former Western-based exiles like himself. He is now walking a fine line to try to save his country, after all it has been through, from becoming the front line in a new war on .Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, previously the head of ’s intelligence service and, before that, a journalist and editor for the Al-Monitor website. Kadhimi has initiated investigations into the embezzlement of
Recentairstrikes have targeted the Hashd al-Shaabi, known in English as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The PMF, which is made up of mostly Shia armed groups, was formed in 2014 to fight the Islamic State (IS). At the time, IS had seized territory spanning both and Syria, breaking the border between the two countries and declaring a caliphate. The PMF comprises about 130,000 troops in 40 or more different units. Most of them were recruited by pro- political parties and groups. Now, the PMF is an integral part of ’s armed forces and is credited with playing a critical role in the war against IS.
Western media represent the PMF as militias that requested a transfer out of . He complained that the PMF paid no attention to him.can turn on and off as a weapon against the . But the PMF has its own interests and decision-making structures. When has tried to calm tensions with the , it has not always been able to control the PMF. General Haider al-Afghani, the Revolutionary Guard officer in charge of coordinating with the PMF, recently
But no date has been set, no detailed agreement has been signed, manydo not believe forces will leave, nor do they trust the Kadhimi government to ensure their departure. As time has gone by without a formal agreement, some PMF forces have resisted calls for calm from their own government and and stepped up attacks on forces.
At the same time, the Vienna talks over the independent of and cultivated a closer relationship with Kadhimi. This was evidenced in Kadhimi’s attendance at a huge military parade in June to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the PMF’s founding.nuclear agreement have raised fear among PMF commanders that may sacrifice them as a bargaining chip in a renegotiated nuclear agreement with the . So, in the interest of survival, the commanders have become more
The next day, the later, some of them resumed rocket and drone attacks on targets.bombed PMF forces in and Syria, drawing public condemnation from Kadhimi and his cabinet as a violation of sovereignty. After conducting retaliatory strikes, the PMF declared a new ceasefire on June 29, apparently to give Kadhimi more time to finalize a withdrawal agreement. But six days
Whereas Donald Trump only retaliated when rocket attacks in Joe Biden has lowered the bar, threatening to respond with airstrikes even when militia attacks do not cause casualties. But air strikes have only led to rising tensions and further escalations by militia forces. If American forces respond with more or heavier airstrikes, the PMF and Iran’s allies throughout the region can respond with more widespread attacks on bases. The further this escalates and the longer it takes to negotiate a genuine withdrawal agreement, the more pressure Kadhimi will get from the PMF and other sectors of society to show forces the door.killed Americans, a senior official has revealed that President
The official rationale for thepresence and that of NATO training forces in Kurdistan is that the Islamic State is still active. In January, a suicide bomber killed 32 people in Baghdad. The group still has a strong appeal to oppressed young people across the Arab and Muslim world. The failures, corruption and repression of successive post-2003 governments in have provided fertile soil.
But the mission in Kurdistan. This mission is being expanded from 500 to at least 4,000 forces, made up of Danish, British and Turkish troops.clearly has another reason for keeping forces in , as a forward base in its simmering war on . That is exactly what Kadhimi is trying to avoid by replacing forces with the Danish-led NATO training
If Biden had quickly rejoined the nuclear agreement withafter taking office in January, tensions would be lower by now and the troops in might well be home already. Instead, Biden obliviously swallowed the poison pill of Trump’s policy by using “maximum pressure” as a form of “leverage,” escalating an endless game of chicken the cannot win — a tactic that Barack Obama began to wind down six years ago by signing the JCPOA.
The critical role as the principal mediator.withdrawal from and the nuclear deal are interconnected, two essential parts of a policy to improve – relations and end Washington’s antagonistic and destabilizing interventionist role in the Middle East. The third element for a more stable and peaceful region is the diplomatic engagement between and Saudi Arabia, in which Kadhimi’s is playing a
The fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as thedeal is formally known, is still uncertain. The sixth round of shuttle diplomacy in Vienna ended on June 20 and no date has been set for a seventh round yet. Biden’s commitment to rejoining the JCPOA seems shakier than ever. Ebrahim Raisi, the president-elect of , has declared he will not let the Americans keep drawing out the negotiations.
In an interview in June, Secretary of State Antony Blinken upped the ante by threatening to pull out of the talks altogether. He said that if continued to spin more sophisticated centrifuges at higher and higher levels, it will become very difficult for the to return to the original deal, which was signed in 2015 under Obama. Asked whether or when the might walk away from negotiations, he said, “I can’t put a date on it, [but] it’s getting closer.”
What should really be “getting closer” is the most of the last 30 years. The fact that the military is still conducting “defensive airstrikes” 18 years after the 2003 invasion and nearly 10 years since the official end of the war proves just how ineffective and disastrous this intervention has been.withdrawal of troops from . While Afghanistan is portrayed as the “longest war” the has fought, the military has been bombing for
Biden certainly seems to have learned the lesson in Afghanistan that the said: “For those who have argued that we should stay just six more months or just one more year, I ask them to consider the lessons of recent history.” He added: “Nearly 20 years of experience has shown , and the current security situation only confirms, that ‘just one more year’ of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution but a recipe for being there indefinitely. It’s the right and the responsibility of the people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”can neither bomb its way to peace nor install puppet governments at will. When pilloried by the press about the Taliban gaining control as troops withdraw, Biden
The same lessons of history apply to beautiful cities and unleashed so much sectarian violence and IS fanaticism. Just like the shuttering of the massive Bagram base in Afghanistan, Biden should dismantle the remaining imperial bases in and bring the troops home.. The has already inflicted so much death and misery on the people, destroyed so many of its
Thepeople have the same right to decide their own future as the people of Afghanistan. All the countries of the Middle East have the right and the responsibility to live in peace, without the threat of American bombs and missiles always hanging over their heads.
Let’s hope Biden has learned another history lesson: that theshould stop invading and attacking other countries.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
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