With the recent announcement by the American President Donald J. Trump of the Trump policy and Trump Strategy regarding the 2001 US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan – and subsequent 16 year military campaign in that country and the Pakistan border, within Pakistan and throughout Central & South East Asia – it is a time to reflect on the fact that President Trump has set out a terrible policy which will only lead to more lives, more money and more resources being lost in Afghanistan. The War in Afghanistan launched by President George W. Bush formally in October 2001 and staunchly supported by Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom has been running for 16 years now. Thousands of American and British soldiers have lost there lives, trillions of dollars (and pounds) have been spent, the credibility of NATO forces has been severely weakened and very little there is to show for it.
The Saudi created and sponsored Taliban are in control of huge swathes of the country. Helmand is back under Saudi sponsored Taliban control. The American/CIA-British/MI6 backed Government in Kabul is thoroughly corrupt and has little support outside of Kabul and certain sections of the population. Most of the international donor aid money from hard pressed taxpayers in the US/UK and other NATO/UN countries has been wasted and funnelled into the hands of American, British and Saudi backed cronies such as the former President Hamid Karzai and his family. Hundreds of thousands of Afghans, Pakistanis and other nationalities and ethnic groups from the region have lost there lives. The United States, Great Britain and NATO North American/European allies have turned Afghanistan into one giant weapons testing laboratory and slaughter house. Meanwhile the Saudi created Taliban grows more resurgent by the day and along the Afghan-Pakistan border the Haqqani network has outsmarted and outfought the US/UK led NATO backed alliance.
After 16 years fighting the Taliban/al Qaeda many commentators, academics, politicians, celebrities, music and entertainment activists, war weary publics and soldiers families are starting to ask what is this 16 year war in Afghanistan really all about? First President Bush and Prime Minister Blair told the Western nations of North America and Europe that the war in Afghanistan was a "war on terror" in light of the Saudi-Bin Laden-al Qaeda attack on the American homeland of 11th September 2001. Then we were told by President Obama circa 2011/2012 after the death of Osama Bin Laden that al Qaeda had largely been defeated in Afghanistan-Pakistan and that the Taliban was on its knees and would eventually collapse or come to the negotiating table on American terms while al Qaeda in Iraq had also largely been defeated thanks to the Petraeus strategy and Bush surge of 2007. President Obama painted a picture of the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq as being so rosy throughout the run up to and during his 2012 re-election campaign that plans were executed to draw down American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However Libya had exploded and yet another US-UK-European regime change intervention had taken place this time in Libya while a CIA-Saudi backed Sunni uprising against the Shia Alawite rule of the Assad family in Syria had destabilised the region as profoundly as the regime change US-UK invasion of Baghdad in 2003. Just as President Obama was heading into his fall 2012 re-election campaign against Republican Mitt Romney Benghazi occurred. Then the Mujaheddin/al Qaeda/al Qaeda in Iraq metamorphosed yet again this time becoming a new incarnation in the form of ISIS or the Islamic State or ISIL or Daeash with large swathes of the Levant/Iraq/Syria under its form of neo-Nazi fascist control.
Donald Trump campaigned in the US Presidential Election of 2016 on a platform of ending nation building abroad and disentangling the United States from foreign conflicts. He has now completely abandoned his 2016 campaign pledge to end American involvement in the futile war without end in Afghanistan. His "new" Afghan policy is actually a complete continuation of the failed policies of Bush and Obama over the last 16 years with yet another surge of US-UK military forces underway in Afghanistan to ensure democracy and freedom for the Afghan people while blowing the country to smithereens and targeting ISIS forces. The Trump Doctrine on Afghanistan is pure Pentagon and redolent of where America found herself coming to the end of the Vietnam War.
It is also deeply flawed when viewed through the prism of increasing Indian involvement in the dispute. That is like a red rag to Pakistan and it is something the Indian Government would be best advised not to pursue. Clearly certain elements in the American Government have got at President Trump in order to ease some of the pressure from him due to the Russia related investigations. In return for the easing of the burden regarding these matters President Trump has embraced the failed policies of the Bush & Obama administrations. This is a great disappointment and heart-breaking shame as now President Trump's war in Afghanistan will cost British and American and European people even more wasted money and wasted lives.