Socialist Worker

US and Nato humiliated as Afghan offensive postponed

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2206

Fears of an insurgent attack meant that David Cameron had to call off a planned appearance at a military base on his first trip to Afghanistan last week.

This shows the growing strength of the resistance to the Western occupation of the country.

There was another devastating announcement for the occupation forces on the same day.

General Stanley McChrystal, the man in charge of Nato and US forces in Afghanistan, said that the planned offensive around the city of Kandahar had been delayed and will not start until September.

It was supposed to start this month.

“When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them,” said McChrystal.

His clear implication is that the people don’t want the US and its Afghan allies in their region.

And any offensive will make the situation worse, according to a senior United Nations (UN) official.

Richard Barrett, who heads a UN team tracking the Taliban and Al Qaida, said, “Putting more troops in is in danger of making things worse.

“If you push troops into these areas, then clearly they are no longer going to be quiet.”

Lukewarm

He added that Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, had been “notably lukewarm about the whole Kandahar thing”.

Barrett also dismissed the argument that the troops in Afghanistan are protecting security in Britain: “That’s complete rubbish. I’ve never heard such nonsense.

“I’m quite sure if there were no foreign troops in Afghanistan there’d be less agitation in Leeds, or wherever, about Pakistanis extremely upset, or suspicious about what Western intentions are in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

At least 35 Nato soldiers have been killed this month in Afghanistan, including at least 23 Americans.

On 6 June six Nato troops were killed. The next day 10 were killed.

Two US soldiers and a British soldier were killed in separate incident on Tuesday of last week.

Four more US soldiers died the next day when their helicopter was shot down in Helmand province.

The death toll so far this year for US and Nato forces is more than double that of a year ago.


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Tue 15 Jun 2010, 18:43 BST
Issue No. 2206
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