Afghanistan: The Graveyard of Empires or the Start of a New Era?

The above is the title of an article written by Helga Zepp- LaRouche on July 10, following the withdrawal of most Western troops from Afghanistan. If anything positive is now to come out of the 20 years of war waged there by the United States and NATO, she cautions, then the West must urgently examine why and how that intervention “was such a catastrophic failure”.

The alleged justification for declaring the war in 2001, she recalls, was to punish and defeat the authors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. But the investigations into those attacks were systematically bungled and covered up, and there were so many inconsistencies in the official versions put out over the years by Washington that no one found credible the so-called “war on terror”.

The 9/11 attacks “brought the world not only the Afghanistan War but also the Patriot Act”, and thus “the pretext to set up the surveillance state that Edward Snowden shed light on,” with the subsequent erosion of fundamental civil rights and freedoms. International law and the UN Charter “were replaced by an increasing emphasis on the ‘rule-based order’, which reflects the interests and the defense of the privileges of the trans-Atlantic establishment,” and in which Tony Blair played a key role. U.S.-led NATO wars ensued in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, which have all had disastrous results.

However, Helga Zepp-LaRouche continues, “it is only now that the priority has shifted to the Indo-Pacific and to the containment of China and the encirclement of Russia that this absolutely pointless war [in Afghanistan] is ending, at least as far as the participation of foreign forces is concerned.”

The withdrawal of NATO troops therefore “offers an excellent opportunity for a reassessment of the situation, for a correction of political direction and a new solution-oriented policy. The long tradition of geopolitical manipulation of this region, in which Afghanistan represents in a certain sense the interface, from the 19th Century “Great Game” of the British Empire to the ‘arc of crisis’ of Bernard Lewis and Zbigniew Brzezinski, must be buried once and for all.

Instead, all the neighbors in the region –Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Turkey –must be integrated into an economic development strategy that represents a common interest among these countries, one that is defined by a higher order, and is more attractive than the continuation of the respective supposed national interests.

“This higher level involves the development of a trans-national infrastructure, large-scale industrialization and modern agriculture for the whole of Southwest Asia, as it was presented in 1997 by EIR and the Schiller Institute in special reports and then in the study The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge” (available at

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