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Obama’s Afghanistan surge offers no solutions

Issue No. 2181

Afghans clear the streets of rubbish. More Western troops won’t improve their situation (Pic:» Guy Smallman )

Afghans clear the streets of rubbish. More Western troops won’t improve their situation (Pic: » Guy Smallman)

Barack Obama’s decision to send a “surge” of 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan will make the situation bleaker for the people of that country, and deepen the crisis for the occupying powers.

The new aim is to strengthen the Afghan army with training and equipment, but it is haemorrhaging recruits.

The occupation is so unpopular that young men are not joining the Afghan forces. And the Afghan authorities are so weak that local militias are starting to police their own neighbourhoods, creating another force hostile to the occupation in the country.

There is a strong mood against the war across the world. Because of this Germany and France are still refusing to join the rest of Nato in contributing further forces – 7,000 more troops were promised from across Europe at a Nato summit last week.

While Obama is sending 30,000 more troops, he has also set July 2011 as a withdrawal date. The US Republicans criticised him for this and he is now attempting to backtrack.

Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, said, “We’re not talking about an exit strategy or a drop-dead deadline.”

But for Afghan people, Nato forces cannot leave soon enough. A report by Human Rights Watch on Monday showed that women and girls are suffering acutely under the conditions created by the occupation.

A survey found that 52 percent of women had experienced physical violence, while 17 percent reported sexual violence.

Obama’s desperate decision, made the week before he collects his Nobel Peace Prize, will just cause more deaths. All the troops should be brought home.

Protest at Nato meeting

Gordon Brown is to host a conference of Nato leaders – and Afghan president Hamid Karzai – in London next month.

The meeting is supposed to be tackling questions of corruption in Afghanistan.

The Stop the War Coalition will be protesting outside the event calling for an immediate end to the occupation of Afghanistan and for all the troops to come home.

Go to » for more details in January

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Tue 8 Dec 2009, 18:40 GMT
Issue No. 2181
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