Trump, NATO want more dead British soldiers in Afghanistan

This video from the USA says about itself:

13 April 2017

Vijay Prashad and Paul Jay ask if the US “mother of all bombs” dropped on Afghanistan and the missile attack on a Syrian airbase are PR events to show Trump and the US military will “fight without restraint” and “take on Russia“.

By Paul Mitchell:

NATO requests UK troops for US-led surge in Afghanistan

11 May 2017

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met UK Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street yesterday to discuss sending more British troops for a proposed surge in the 13,000-strong Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

Although the British combat mission in Afghanistan—which cost 456 lives— ceased in 2014 there are still about 500 military personnel training and advising security forces fighting the Taliban.

Stoltenberg’s visit came as US President Donald Trump approved a plan to deploy as many as 5,000 additional US troops alongside the 8,400 already in Afghanistan. Trump is demanding that America’s NATO allies contribute more than the 5,000 they have there. According to various sources, a formal request for more troops has been made to the UK without the numbers involved being made public.

NATO hopes to finalise numbers at a summit meeting of leaders in Brussels on May 25.

A NATO press release declared the Brussels meeting “comes at a time when the Alliance continues to adapt to the most serious challenges in a generation, with the biggest reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence since the Cold War and increased efforts to project stability beyond the Alliance’s borders.”

After his talks with May, Stoltenberg made a lengthy statement declaring, “When it comes to burden sharing, the UK is leading by example, investing two percent of GDP in defence, but also by providing capabilities and contributions to NATO missions and operations.

“The UK is leading our multi-national battle group in Estonia, leading our high readiness joint task force, and also providing planes to our air-policing mission in the Black Sea region.”

Stoltenberg lavished praise on Theresa May’s Conservative government for her commitment to “defence.” Speaking along Stoltenberg, May said, “I would like first of all to reaffirm the commitment the UK has to NATO… Obviously we’ve got at the moment a number of commitments—nearly 1,000 troops in Estonia and Poland, the RAF Typhoons in the Black Sea as part of that project there.”

Stoltenberg said that NATO members, after many years of decline, “are now following” the UK example.

The Stoltenberg-May talks confirm the assessment of the WSWS that behind the official reasons given for the calling of a snap general election—to strengthen May’s mandate for negotiating the terms of Britain’s leaving the European Union (EU)—is an undeclared aim of furthering the UK’s war agenda in alliance with US imperialism.

The placing of British imperialism on a war footing is also confirmed by the despatch of dozens more troops to its former colony of Sudan—boosting the 200-strong deployment already there. The aim is to increase the number of troops to around 400.

The deployment to Sudan follows the Guardian’s revelation last week from a “Whitehall source” that “The government is considering holding a vote to expand military action in Syria if the Conservatives win a big enough majority in the general election.” As in Afghanistan, such moves are primarily aimed at countering increasing Russian influence.

There has been a continuous loss of territory to insurgent forces in Afghanistan—the Taliban claims to fully control 34 of the country’s 349 districts and is fighting over another 167. Some 3,000 Islamic State (ISIS) fighters have gained a foothold in the country. Fatalities amongst Afghan troops soared by 35 percent last year to 6,700 deaths—three times that of US forces during nearly 16 years of the US occupation.

In April, Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster and US Defence Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis travelled to Afghanistan in an attempt to stem the crisis following high-profile attacks.

The prospect of a strategic defeat in Afghanistan is increasing US tensions with Russia. American officials are ramping up accusations that the government of Vladimir Putin is supporting and arming the Taliban to undermine the Kabul government and the US position in the country.

This is part of a general Russia-baiting campaign in the US, which has led to demands by the Democrats for the appointment of a special prosecutor or independent commission to investigate charges of collusion between Trump’s key personnel and the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign.

This has already succeeded in pushing the Trump administration into a more confrontational foreign policy in Syria, Central Asia, North Africa and Eastern Europe, where US imperialism regards Moscow as its principal opponent.

The head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, has labelled Russia a “malign influence” in Afghanistan. Mattis declared, “We’re going to have to confront Russia… For example, any weapons being funnelled here [Afghanistan] from a foreign country would be a violation of international law unless they’re coming through the government of Afghanistan for the Afghan forces, and so that would have to be dealt with as a violation of international law.”

Russia has rejected the accusations, saying that following the failure of the US to establish peace talks, it is intervening to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for ISIS and preventing its expansion into neighbouring Central Asia and then Russia.

On April 14, Russia sponsored a third conference including China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Central Asian states and the Afghan government—to discuss peace negotiations with the Taliban, which Russian officials readily admit they have been in contact with. The US and its NATO allies boycotted the talks.

Russia’s courting of Pakistan, whose influence in Afghanistan the US has tried to contain, is of major concern to Washington. Last September, Russian and Pakistani special forces conducted their first-ever joint military operation in Pakistan. On April 27, Minister of Defence Khawaja Asif met with his Russian equivalent, Sergei Shoigu, in Moscow and called on Russia to lead a stabilisation process. This strategy, they agreed, had to involve all the participants in the conflict.

The dropping by the US—on the eve of the Russia-led talks—of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, purportedly to destroy a small group of ISIS militants in eastern Afghanistan, was clearly aimed at intimidating its rivals. Washington does not intend to allow an end to the Afghanistan conflict on terms other than its own. Central to its strategy is the retention of strategic bases within close striking distance of Iran, China, South Asia and Russia itself.

In response to the May-Stoltenberg meeting, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn declared that “at the end of the day wars are not solved by the presence of foreign troops” and a political solution to the violence was needed. …

The author also recommends:

Leading ministers outline war agenda behind UK ’s snap general election

[22 April 2017]

Afghanistan: UK considers sending more troops: here.

TRUMP HAS GIVEN MATTIS AUTHORITY TO SET TROOP LEVELS IN AFGHANISTAN Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will have the authority to increase troop levels from the 8,400 currently stationed in Afghanistan. [Reuters]

Pentagon Reportedly To Send Nearly 4,000 More Troops To Afghanistan: here.

Secretary of Defence James “Mad Dog” Mattis is set to announce the deployment of up to 5,000 additional troops to wage war in Afghanistan in the coming weeks, following a decision Tuesday by President Trump granting Mattis authority to set troop levels: here.

NATO expands military spending and sends thousands of troops to Afghanistan: here.

Trump’s new UK ambassador wrongly accuses Britain of spending ‘minimum’ on its military. Billionaire Woody Johnson inflates US’ spending while suggesting UK’s status as a ‘powerful nation’ is at stake: here.

Driven by intractable crises and the further erosion of its global standing as it prepares to exit the European Union, Britain is seeking to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East as part of a new carve-up by the imperialist powers: here.

The Netflix satire War Machine is a forceful work that depicts the futility and madness of war in general and the war in Afghanistan in particular. The film revives a venerable tradition of anti-military and anti-war drama and comedy in the US, which the media and the establishment thought (or hoped) had been thoroughly suppressed and even extinguished: here.

Courage for peace, not for war, in Afghanistan: here.

May’s announcement of an escalating troop deployment is a servile response to the demands of US President Trump, who reversed his election promise to reduce US involvement in Afghanistan and has increased US troop numbers, telling his NATO allies to do likewise: here.

49 thoughts on “Trump, NATO want more dead British soldiers in Afghanistan

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  12. However lawmaker Nasrullah Sadeqizada expressed concerns over the plans pointing out that the US troops already in Afghanistan were not helping to solve the surge in Taliban activity.

    Sending additional troops to the country would be yet another violation of Mr Trump’s campaign promise to avoid foreign intervention.

    In April, Gen Mattis — who was granted autonomy to order air strikes earlier in the year by Mr Trump — ordered a giant eight-ton “mother of all bombs” to be dropped on an Isis cave hideout in eastern Afghanistan.

    And Mr Trump also ordered the bombing of an army base in Syria in March.,000-more-US-troops-to-Afghanistan#.WUVT9lFpwdU


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  14. Friday 30th June 2017

    posted by Morning Star in World

    NATO will pour 3,000 more troops into the 16-year Afghan war — but it was unclear yesterday where they would come from.

    Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg announced the troop surge yesterday morning before the start of a defence ministers’ summit in Brussels.

    The extra boots on the ground — to train Afghan forces, rather than fight the Taliban and Isis — will be in addition to some 4,000 troops that US Defence Secretary James Mattis is expected to send.

    However, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said Britain would only contribute 85 military personnel.

    “We’re in it for the long haul. It’s a democracy,” he said of the deployment to a country that has been ravaged by war since the US-led invasion of 2001.

    “They’ve asked for our help and it’s important that Europe responds.”

    Mr Stoltenberg said 15 countries had “already pledged additional contributions” and expected more to come, but confusion about the US plans may have held some nations back.

    “It’s for the Americans to decide the exact numbers that they are putting in and where they’re going,” Mr Fallon said.

    “But we’re clear. We’ve got to stay the course in Afghanistan.”

    The Taliban now controls more than half the country and has recently launched audacious and bloody attacks against major army bases and Kabul’s diplomatic quarter.

    Norwegian Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide predicted that allies would “come around” and make additional troop commitments, but he did not expect Mr Mattis’s new strategy to be announced until next month.,000-more-troops-to-train-Kabul-army#.WVZdjVFpwdU


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