The Mystery of the Afghanistan War

March 4, 2010

By  Christopher King | Middle East Online

A situation exists in which it may be in the interests of the United States to seek a ‘cold war’ situation with Russia and China as a pretext for defaulting on its external debt, attacking Iran, taking direct control of all Middle Eastern oilfields and effective control of Europe.

Let us consider a puzzle about the Afghanistan war. Recently, Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul, formerly of the Pakistani army and head of the country’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency (1987-89), remarked: “In this situation, what are the Americans trying to achieve – I don’t know. There is much ambiguity about their political objectives. Every military conflict must have a political purpose. I cannot discern that there is any political purpose.”


Economic irrationality of US wars

I had been thinking the same thing. General Gul had a key role in supplying matériel to the Afghan mujahidin and their defeat of the Soviet Union. He knows what is going on. If General Gul with his background and connections cannot understand American political objectives, they must be very unusual. He surmises for want of a better explanation that the motivation is domestic American politics. I have said previously that these wars are primarily for the US to consolidate its control of Europe and its economy through US bases and NATO. I believe this to be the US’s European objective but it cannot be the entire picture either.

What may be puzzling General Gul is the cost of these wars. Their cost is completely disproportionate to any evident benefits. An estimate for all-in costs for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is USD 3 trillion to date. There is no evidence that the US is getting a commensurate return from its occupation of Iraq; nor that there is any significant return to be had from Afghanistan beyond perhaps building some pipelines that might more easily have been built by bribing the Taliban. This figure demands a very good reason – something at whole-country economic level.

The US might be acting irrationally in endangering its economy by diverting resources from essential economic restructuring for religious reasons, party electoral advantage or feeding its military-industrial complex. Alternatively, these invasions are part of a rational plan. Let us assume that a rational strategic plan underlies them and make an attempt to identify it. We should also assume that to justify the enormous cost of these wars there must be an economic motive since they are wars of choice. We should note too that they take place in a world context of increasingly scarce and costly commodities and energy supplies, an increasing world population and the rise of the Asian economies.

Now, at the same time as supporting its wars, the US has a crisis deriving from medicare/welfare costs. The ex-comptroller-general of the US government, the government’s chief accountant, David M. Walker, spent years attempting to get future medicare obligations taken seriously. He resigned, evidently in frustration. The medicare liability is of government bankruptcy proportions. At present, President Barack Obama is finding difficulty in having legislation to deal with this passed. Even if passed, it will evidently have severe, perhaps unworkable deficiencies.

This is at a time when the projected 2010 US national debt is USD 13.7 trillion with GDP 13.1 trillion and the annual budget deficit USD 1.3 trillion. With interest payable on debt at about 500 billion, any increase in the interest rate that the US must pay will be very serious. This could come about if the US government finds it difficult to place its borrowing requirements and roll over current debt falling due. In this respect, China has about USD 1 trillion of US debt, has recently sold USD 34 billion and is showing reluctance to buy more. These figures are of a scale relevant to making sense of the USD 3 trillion cost of the US’s Middle East wars.

If its supporting countries should cease buying debt or, worse, sell their existing US debt, US finances would be in deep trouble. Russia is now a seller rather than buyer of US securities due to its waning confidence in the US economy, to say nothing of US missiles planned for its borders. An independent report suggests that at the present time the Federal Reserve might be secretly buying-in government securities for which there is no demand. Additionally, China’s currency is pegged against the dollar; the US considers that the renminbi is seriously undervalued, adding to China’s trading advantage and would like it revalued. The Chinese might do this soon – or might not.

The US, therefore, owes a great deal, has high unemployment due to the recession triggered by its own policies and bankers and will probably find borrowing increasingly difficult. Convenient figures are here. Together with increasing costs of medicare and social security, the US’s problems can be expected to get worse. Although GDP is forecast to improve, this will be mainly in the financial services sector. Benefits do not “trickle down” significantly within the economy and are a short-term possibility. The US’s most serious structural problem is the loss of manufacturing employment because manufacturing has shifted to Asia. Long term, the US faces severe unemployment and decline in its economy and living standards.

Three major fundamental problems are therefore loss of manufacturing jobs, high present and future government expenditure and issues arising from the need for external borrowing. The central problem, however, is loss of high value-added jobs from which all other problems flow. US manufacturing needs to be rebuilt but the present environment in the US is uncompetitive with Asia and, as matters stand, this cannot occur.

A solution to this problem is hinted at by the current government inquiry relating to safety issues around Toyota cars. Toyota imports about 45 per cent of its cars into the US, so it is possible that the purpose of this inquiry is to put pressure on Toyota to manufacture 100 per cent within the US, so increasing employment, reducing price competition with US manufacturers and gaining other benefits. As a general approach, however, this would not solve the US’s problems. Something more radical would be needed.

“Economic terrorism” – a new raison d’être for a new era of conflict?

The more radical approach that the US appears to be pursuing is to simply continue to do what it is doing now, that is, to continue to borrow and overspend in the interests of domestic stability. Sooner or later, other countries will cease to buy US treasuries. China and others will probably sell their treasury debt. At this point, they could be accused of economic terrorism, a term that the US increasingly uses as a justification for a conflict situation. Other grounds might also be found for conflict, particularly with China, for example over Chinese unwillingness to support sanctions against Iran. The point would be to find a pretext for trade sanctions against China in order to revitalize US manufacturing and re-create US jobs. It would be an attempt to recreate the path of industrialization that the US followed in becoming an economic superpower.

Such a strategy would probably involve default on US debt. This would create international chaos but it would be external to the US and temporary for it for an important reason. The US would hope to control the oil reserves of the Middle East and enjoy not only energy security but an energy export monopoly. Few other industrialized countries would have such security. The US would also be in a position to barter oil for raw materials and, because of its military strength, would be untouchable. Its long-term objective would be to restructure the world order around its own policies enforced by its control of most exportable energy and its military capabilities.

Iran and Iraq – the real targets of the Afghan war

I have said previously that the US cannot leave Iraq. A constant stream of excuses for staying are now emerging, such as this one by Thomas E. Ricks in the New York Times, who with others, presses the US’s concern for stability and the welfare of the Iraqi people. Saudi Arabia is already in America’s pocket, part of its new “sphere of influence” or “area of special strategic importance”. Only being bogged down in Afghanistan appears to prevent the US from attacking Iran and seizing its oilfields as it obviously wishes to do. From this viewpoint, the attack on Afghanistan would have been useful if it could have been done quickly and finally. It might then have been used as a base. When US planners thought that this had in fact been accomplished they moved on to Iraq as the next publicly acceptable target. The Taliban resurgence has caused a delay in (what we may assume to be) this plan.

In the meantime, Iran has been alerted. The US covets its oil reserves but Iran has strong conventional armed forces. They would be difficult to defeat as Saddam Hussein found. Worse, although the US intelligence services themselves report that it does not have a nuclear weapons programme, Iran’s growing U235 enrichment capability might give it the ability to create nuclear weapons in a relatively short time. This could be the explanation why the US is at pains to discover what knowledge of nuclear weapons construction Iran possesses and the importance it places on past research which, with current International Atomic Energy Agency inspections, would seem to be irrelevant.

This, therefore, is a plausible reason for the otherwise inexplicable virulence of US anti-Iran propaganda and sanctions. The US makes unprovable accusations of Iran’s intention to create nuclear weapons and, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, makes irrational demands to stop Iran’s uranium enrichment. Its insistence on a harsh sanctions regime follows the same path as it followed before attacking Iraq. If anything, it is giving Iran good reasons to develop a weapons programme.

It is not, we might conjecture, merely that the US wishes to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Afghan resistance and the Washington’s failure to quickly invade and control Iran prevents the US from controlling the entire Middle East and world oil exports. Meanwhile, Iran’s continued independence allows it to further develop its potential for nuclear weapons production as well as maintaining its potential for acting as a focus of resistance in the Middle East. If Iran were to have nuclear weapons it might justifiably use them against Israel or the US bases in Iraq and Afghanistan in the event of an attack against it.

This, then, is Afghanistan’s importance. I suggest that Afghanistan is in itself unimportant. It appears that the US considered that invading and holding Afghanistan would be easy, as in fact it was at first. The invasion was probably conceived as a classical army manoeuvre in outflanking Iran which, along with Iraq, were the primary targets. Control of Afghanistan on Iran’s eastern side, together with Iraq on Iran’s western border makes enforcement of sanctions against Iran more effective and facilitates invasion. This was probably the reason why the US chose to attack Afghanistan and the Taliban, against whom it has no legitimate quarrel, on the pretext that they “gave safe haven” to Al-Qaeda. Having made this error, it finds disengaging to be highly problematic.

If this analysis is correct, the Afghan Taliban are effectively defending the rest of the world from a US-planned economic meltdown in delaying a US attack on Iran and a crisis with China. If such an events should occur, there would be widespread suffering, starvation and the devastation of many economies. This would suit US purposes as such countries could not easily challenge the exploitation of their resources, whether mineral or agricultural. The US has proved itself to be indifferent to the suffering of others while loudly proclaiming its championship of the poor and oppressed.

US-Israel axis of occupation

Without de facto control of the entire Middle East, the outcome of world economic meltdown would be much more uncertain for the US. The reliance on de facto occupation is the strategy of Israel’s occupation both of the land on which it stands and the construction of settlements. This factor together with the hint of empire and cultural continuity that are the narrative of Jewish culture suggest that Jewish Zionist planners are prominent in US strategic planning. Such a plan for US Middle Eastern control also benefits Israel of course and would be merely an extension of current Israeli practice in concert with the US.

In this connection, we might recall the extraordinary Israeli confidence that Israel can both manipulate the US and ignore US demands to cease settlement-building activities while continuing to receive substantial military and financial aid. President Obama has had to back off from such demands. The indication is that Israel has a vital role in US Middle Eastern planning and possibly action. Despite Israel’s desire to unilaterally attack Iran, the US is discouraging this, conceivably because, occupied in Afghanistan, it is at present unable to take advantage of such an attack with a simultaneous invasion.

There appears to be no other means by which the US might restore its industrial and manufacturing strength and at the same time maintain its position as the most powerful country in the world. There is good reason to suppose the development of a multipolar world to be unacceptable to the US. What would be the reactions of other countries in terms of realpolitik? Very little could be done to reverse such a de facto confiscation of 60 per cent of the world’s oil reserves due to the US’s nuclear and military capabilities.

This is a zero-sum scenario in which the US gains what the rest of the world loses. In reality, this course is the only one open to the US if it maintains its present policies since they are leading it to economic collapse. To maintain its publicly-stated ambition to remain the most powerful country in the world, this appears to be its only option: to create chaos for others while regenerating its own manufacturing base on a war footing. In terms of economic policy, this course eventually generates export markets in the countries whose economies it ruins, reverting to a classical colonial model.

There are no indications that the US values a strategy that increases benefits for all countries, for example by investing the cost of its Middle Eastern wars in hydrogen fusion energy research. Indeed, by contrast with the UK’s internationally-supported energy-orientated fusion research programme, the US’s fusion programme is weapons orientated.

A new cold war with Russia

Ideally, the US would like the European Union as partner in this adventure and with the traitor Anthony Blair’s assistance has succeeded in involving the EU as far as invading Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the position of the EU is increasingly equivocal. In concert with Russia as an energy and resources supplier, the EU could maintain a reasonable equilibrium if the US should trigger world economic meltdown. The US appears to be determined to undermine such a relationship. To this end it persists in installing missiles on Russia’s border against all reason. After much talk about cooperation with Russia on arms, the US is currently in talks with Romania with a view to installing interceptor missiles on its territory. The only purpose that these could possibly have is as a provocation and disruption of EU-Russian relations. We have also seen the US-inspired Georgian provocation of Russia and problems with transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. A return to cold war relationships with Russia would be the US ideal.

At some point the US must retrieve jobs from China and Asia generally. This might occur during a period of world instability following a US financial meltdown or specific cause for breaking off relations with China in particular might be found. China’s support of Iran would be a useful pretext. The present situation in which China holds, in the form of US debt, an economic weapon against the US is intolerable from what we know of the US and its obsession with power and control.

It is noteworthy that funding for the US Intelligence Authorization Act 2010 was only passed after deleting prohibitions on torture and its penalties from the Act. Torture by the US intelligence services is now overtly legal and without penalty.

From a government with such morality, anything is possible. It is essential that the UK and EU hold to the rule of international law and the objective of peaceful relationships between countries. It is also essential to make alliances based on peace and to abandon current EU collaboration with the US in Middle Eastern aggression. It is not only morally wrong but the route to EU self-enslavement to the US.

In summary, a situation exists in which it may be in the interests of the United States to seek a “cold war” situation with Russia and China as a pretext for defaulting on its external debt, attacking Iran, taking direct control of all Middle Eastern oilfields and effective control of Europe. There are indications in the US’s NATO First Act and the military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan that such a plan may be in progress.

Let us contemplate this thought: Far from being enemies of Europe, the Afghan Taliban and Iran may be unknowingly holding off a chaotic world economic meltdown planned by the United States and Israel.




  1. There is nothing that surprises me anymore after USA Presidant’s Foreign Secratery Powell sitting in the UN Security Councel on a live transmission lied to the whole wide world, with the CIA head sitting right behind him, that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons. These people are capable at anything!


  3. i completely agree with communists…. US sucks. Us is the most evil country in the world, always poking nose into other country,s affairs

  4. The ultimate mystery may be why such a small part of any countrys population really seems to bother. Somehow it reminds me of stories from the nazi persecution of the jewish populations in Europe during the II World war. Normally there were no uprisings even where it would have mattered. There were few attempts at sabotaging and there were few attempted escapes. Mostly there was collaboration between the victims and their oppressors (contrary to popular belief); people on both sides “only doing what was expected of them”. Coincidence of birth and environment decided whether most people ended up with the Star of David or the SS-runes. And now? Really to me it seems that we are at this time embodying both the SS and their victims within us, herding ourselves towards some sinister future.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: