The release earlier this week of the Afghanistan trove of papers obtained as a result of a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the Washington Post, reveal Pentagon and White House officials, from Bush, Obama and Trump, have all lied about the progress of the war in Afghanistan.
This news should not surprise anyone. No different than what happened with the Vietnam War that was revealed by the Pentagon Papers. Exaggerated wins, playing down losses and defeats all in the interest of perpetuating a war that is impossible to win militarily.
In other words, Americans were lied to again!
Winning a war in Afghanistan is impossible. The British and Russians found this out — as has America — a subject I devoted an entire chapter to in my 2005 book Custom Maid War for New World Disorder. Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires.
So why the lies?
Afghanistan is a strategic land bridge, the gateway, between Asia and the Middle East.
A U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would create a geopolitical reconfiguration detrimental to America and favorable to China. For China, an Afghanistan without America’s presence would create opportunities for greater efficiency in trade, and security benefits.
The great-power politics of the 21st-century between China and the U.S. has Afghanistan front and center.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative aims to create continental and maritime connectivity that shores up trade and resources, thereby facilitating a China-led world order.
When one superimposes the initiative’s routes over the region, Afghanistan’s strategic importance becomes obvious.
Controlling Afghanistan is an essential part of ruling the Eurasian land mass. What favors China is its shared border with and direct entry into Afghanistan through the Wakhan Valley. This passage was a transnational trade route for centuries under the old Silk Road. Additionally, surrounding Afghanistan are countries with favorable policies towards China. Tajikistan hosts a Chinese military base, Pakistan is a major node in Beijing’s Belt and Road, and Iran is a beneficiary of Chinese lifelines against U.S. sanctions.
Iran is an important strategic partner giving China direct access to the Middle East and its oil.
As China exercises its strategic patience, while increasing its presence and influence in the region, the U.S. has no choice but to maintain its current military presence in Afghanistan notwithstanding its bleak prospects of success.
The permanence of Afghan war policy is understandable to preserve political objectives without retreating and losing the war like Vietnam — resulting in Chinese influence there and control of Cambodia.
America has accepted and is living with a stalemate, unless of course, people take to the streets and protest against the war the way they did against the Vietnam War, an unlikely prospect these days.
The war in Afghanistan will likely continue indefinitely until America reaches accommodation, not only with the Taliban — but China and Iran.