The US seeks to continue the Afghan war into a “perpetual state of low intensity guerilla conflict”, preventing the country to rebuild its infrastructure, says a prominent political analyst.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for an investigation into what is described as the biggest coordinated Taliban attacks this year.
Karzai says intelligence failures on the part of US-led forces allowed the militants to sneak into the most secure neighborhoods. The weekend assault in the capital Kabul and elsewhere left over 50 people–including four civilians and 11 Afghan soldiers –dead.
Washington has dismissed Karzai’s claim, saying the attacks were likely carried out by the Pakistan-based Haqqani network. This comes weeks ahead of the NATO summit in Chicago, where Karzai is expected to ink a strategic pact with the US.
Meanwhile, the US is reportedly gearing up for a major offensive in the war-torn nation. Reports say the US-led spring offensive will be in the regions that control the main access routes into Kabul.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Webster Griffin Tarpley, an author and historian in Washington, to further talk over the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: How much of an impetus would Sunday’s events provide the US-led forces for their own spring offensive which is being described as a major one in Afghanistan?
Tarpley: This is kind of a mini-Ted; something like the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in the early months of 1968 but on a much smaller scale and it shares with Tet the idea that the main results here are political rather than military.
Militarily, these 7 attacks, 3 in the capital [Kabul], Jalalabad and Gardez, a few other places, these have not militarily been very successful; politically, they have been extremely successful and it raises once again here in the war weary American people what is the point of all this.
The standard answer is that it is to prevent al-Qaeda from gaining a base but, of course, the US and the British have been helping al-Qaeda to take over large parts of Libya as a base or Somalia, if they want that. So really does not amount to anything.
I also think Karzai may have a point on this. We have had a series of events. The attack on the US embassy last September; we had the insult to the dead bodies of the Afghan guerillas in January; the Qur’an burning in February and then the murder of almost 20 civilians by one or more US forces. All of these seem to be somehow too easy. What they seem to add up to is a desire to accelerate the departure and I think also the following.
What circulates here in Washington is called the divine plan. Divine was a CIA official and the divine plan says forget about counterinsurgency. Focus on counterterrorism only that means drones, aircrafts and at most some Special Forces flying around in helicopters and then leave the rest to the Afghan forces. And I think we can just take that one step further.
If it is Karzai on the ground, that is fine but maybe from the US point of view, it is better if it is the Taliban because Karzai, as soon as he is on his own, is going to bring in the Chinese whereas the feature of the Taliban that the US has always liked is that they keep everybody out; they cannot get along with anybody, at least the old Taliban.
If the current Taliban are anything like the ones in the 1990s, they cannot get along with anybody, not Russia, not China, not Iran, just nobody. So in many ways, that would be the goal for the US.
Press TV: Dr. Tarpley, the events unfolding in the country at the moment are being used as a basis for pushing through the strategic security pact between the Afghans and the Americans. The American Ambassador to Afghanistan, Crocker, just recently said that the events of Sunday prove the US cannot leave the country, at least not as far as the deadline that has been set by Obama goes. What do you say to that?
Tarpley: Well, I think that’s a losing of minority position. Again, what I outlined just a minute ago was a strategy for an open-ended, endless US presence. It doesn’t end in 2014; it just goes to a different mode.
It keeps Afghanistan in a perpetual state of low intensity guerilla conflict where no oil pipelines can be built, no natural gas pipelines can be built, and no railroads from India to Europe can be built from the Cairo pass.
It remains a kind of a dead-zone of economic development. If you can keep the Chinese out of the mineral deposits that have been found in the last couple of years, so much the better.
The sad thing is that we have no peace movement left here in the United States. Under normal circumstances, a peace movement would be able to say, ‘alright, this is enough; now get out – get out’. Since the foundations here control the peace movement, and the foundations are supporting Obama’s timetable and his benchmarks, so to speak, there’s very little popular resistance.
It may well be that in NATO countries that are participating in this adventure, there may be a backlash. Maybe France might be one, who knows what could happen there – or some other NATO countries.
If they begin to leave, that could also accelerate the departure. Anything that’s signed by Obama and Biden I think are not worth the paper that it’s written on, especially if it’s a pledge to Karzai whom the US has barely tolerated all these years.
Press TV: The Afghan president wants to launch an investigation into Sunday’s attacks. What would you say has prompted this considering serious intelligence failures have taken place before in the course of the US occupation?
Tarpley: Again I think he may be on to something. I think he is probably right that there are intelligence factions on the US side that wanted one or more of these things to happen for reasons that are maybe hard to reconstruct from afar or from the outside.
But I think there is every reason to investigate this and the statements of course from the State Department go right into the circular file. This is simply the big lie, as practiced at Foggy Bottom.