LEAVING AFGHANISTAN November 1, 2012Posted by wmmbb in CENTRAL ASIA, Terrorism Issues.
The Prime Minister announced in parliament that Australian forces would be withdrawn from Afghanistan, while indicating the withdrawal would require additional personnel.
ABC News reports her saying “the transition remains on track”:
But she says there will likely be the need for extra resources to manage an orderly exit from the country.
“As we begin detailed planning for its final phases, which of course remain some time off, it is likely that we will identify the need for some additional personnel and resources to complete those final phases of practical extraction and repatriation,” Ms Gillard said.
“We will apply the lessons of previous operational draw-downs, to ensure stability and security through the whole period.”
Ms Gillard says by the end of this year, Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province will be more of an advisory role.
But she stressed that it will not be the end of combat operations for Australian soldiers.
“Our Special Operations Task Group will continue to operate against the insurgency and our Advisory Task Force will retain a combat-ready capability,” Ms Gillard told Parliament.
“This is the course of transition in Uruzgan.
“We know that as Afghan forces increasingly take the lead through 2013, the Taliban will seek to test them.
There was no debate, at least from the Opposition. Surely, in plain language, this amounts to saying we have lost the war, and we anticipate that the created Afghan National Army will not be able to stand up to the insurgency.
Something similar was said in April by by the Member for Denison
Mr Wilkie has told Statewide Mornings Leon Compton, that Australian troops were still in Afghanistan for two reasons.
“One for the government to appear strong on national and two to support our alliance partner, the US,” he says.
The Member for Denison says polls have shown strong public concern with Australia’s continuing presence in the region.
“The announcement that people are expecting today of an accelerated pullout from Afghanistan, while that’s good, it’s not quick enough and it’s still heavy with politics,” he says.
“It’s all about the Prime Minister wanting to get this off the table as an election issue at next year’s federal election.”
Wilkie, a former intelligence officer and lieutenant colonel in the Australian Army, says we must face the real prospect that we have lost the war.
He says it is a tactical victory, but within weeks of the troops pulling out, the province would be back in the hands of the Taliban.
“Like Vietnam in 1972, we’ll declare victory and pull out only to see the place collapse a year or two later,” he says.
It may be noted that the Dutch left the same province, and they are at least a member of NATO, and to date their has been no demand from the people to return to the fray. Somebody should ask what has been gained for the money spent, and whether there were better alternatives that would have helped the people of Afghanistan.
So far the the Australian Government has no expressed an opinion of the increasing drone terrorism against Muslim populations. By this characterization, not without accuracy, the United States is recognizably a terrorist state.
William Pfaff writes:
As a method of war, this is convenient, comfortable, efficient, totally illegal and totally unconstitutional, since the United States has not formally declared war on these people (only the Senate constitutionally possesses power to declare war, a formality now discarded in the United States), it has no legally tenable evidence of their wrongdoing or threat to Americans, and it violates the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which declares that “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”
The use of this weapon in circumstances of international illegality is—unhappily—consistent with the other illegal practices of the American military, such as the use of enriched uranium artillery munitions and bombs containing multiple fragmentation bomblets, “shock and awe” tactics against civilian populations, torture or the delivery of captives to torture, illegal sequestration and rendition of persons, and indefinite imprisonment of captives without trial. For these reasons, the United States also rejects the jurisdiction of international war crimes tribunals.
The indefinite duration of this war against Muslims is assured by its arbitrary and illegal character and its inevitable generation of resistance and retaliation by whatever available means, thereby reinforcing the American contention that it is threatened by terrorism. There have been no significant terrorist acts inside the United States since the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon in 2001, and none against American allies in Western Europe since the Madrid and London train and Metro bombings not long afterwards.
The original New York and Washington bombings were, according to their author, Osama bin Laden, acts of revenge for America’s insistence on stationing armed forces on the “sacred” territory of Saudi Arabia following the 1990 Gulf War against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. There seems no reason not to expect a continued pattern of retaliatory acts by Arab or Muslim activists in the future.
And so it goes: murder draws revenge killings according to the script and the custom of the Wild West and Warizistan.
This BBC program described the situation as “War without End”:
Mike Whitney, The Smell of Defeat (Counterpunch)