NATO’s Afghanistan War Is Over, It’s Time for Peace
On Aug. 30, one day ahead of schedule, U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie officially announced “the end of the military component of the evacuation,” and “the end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.” The withdrawal also signifies, although the commander did not say so, the end of a failed system, that of permanent wars designed to uphold a unipolar (trans-Atlantic) world.
As we at the Strategic Alert have insisted from the outset, this offers a historic opportunity to establish a new world order based on mutual development and cooperation. Concretely for Afghanistan, that means the West must work together with Russia, China and the countries in the region, which all have an interest in engaging the new government, stabilizing the situation, and preventing the spread of terrorism and opium from the Afghan territory.
That perspective is hysterically opposed by the defenders of the old, imperial world order, the most outspoken of whom have been the British (cf. below). Thus, at the G7 meeting on Aug. 24, pressure was put on President Biden, in particular by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to postpone the deadline for withdrawal, but in vain. Then France and the United Kingdom convoked an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council for Aug. 30 to propose a resolution calling for establishment of a “safe zone” in Kabul and similar “humanitarian corridors” elsewhere in the country, over which the government would relinquish sovereignty. As the text had no chance of passing, a watered-down version was finally proposed calling on the Taliban to allow all those who wished to leave the country, but with no mention of a safe zone.
Meanwhile, terrorist attacks apparently carried out by local ISIS organizations are being used to call for redeployment of U.S. and other military forces into the country, in addition to carrying out drone strikes. Moreover, war by others means is being pushed by the infamous British Royal Institute for International Affairs, namely financial warfare. Since Aug. 20, the RIIA has published a spate of articles on the subject, one of which notes that as Afghans face a harsh winter, “the Afghan economy is being brought to its knees by the closure of banks and offices receiving remittances, a collapse in the value of the currency, shortages of food and fuel in the cities, price inflation, the disruption of trade, and the inability to pay wages.”
Another article, titled “Money Can Be the Milk of Taliban Moderation”, asserts that “a skillful use or denial of Western aid combined with other tools can shape the Taliban’s behavior,” at least a little.
As Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed out at an Aug. 21 Schiller Institute round table (cf. SAS 34/21), using the weapon of economic warfare would be tremendously foolish. On the contrary, the West should offer the perspective of rapid economic development for the country as a whole and all its components, for example by integrating it into China’s Belt and Road Initiative. That is the most effective way of bringing about political change.