Zepp-LaRouche: Afghanistan Requires a Completely Different Approach
The final communique of the June 14 NATO summit in Brussels officially confirmed the end of the alliance’s military operation in Afghanistan, while claiming a highly dubious victory. That followed the announcement by U.S. President Biden in April of the gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops – after two decades of “counterinsurgency” warfare estimated to have cost about $2.6 trillion! As of July 1, both Germany and Italy had withdrawn the last of their troops, and very few European forces remain on the ground.
The future of the country now remains very much in question. There is great apprehension in all the neighboring countries, and also in China and Russia, of the takeover of the Taliban and a dangerous surge in terrorist activity in the entire region. Helga Zepp-LaRouche was asked to give her evaluation of the situation in an interview with Zhong Shi for CGTN’s “Asia Today” that aired on July 3 (https://www.cgtn.com/tv/replay?id=CCfBcA).
She pointed to the likelihood that a civil war would now erupt between the Afghan government and the Taliban, backed by ISIS forces prepared to descend on Kabul. Therefore, “I think it does require some other approach. Something completely different than just withdrawing and leaving the place as it is.”
Helga Zepp-LaRouche also questioned the motivations behind the NATO decision. The withdrawal from Afghanistan as well as Washington’s reduction of logistics in parts of the Persian Gulf are, in her view, part of the shift to a “focus on the Pacific, on Russia, on China. So per se, it’s not an Afghanistan policy, but it’s more a policy led by geostrategic considerations. I think this is a path to disaster as well.”
Another problem that she raised in this context is the production of opium in Afghanistan, which provides some 85% of the total world supply. Just last year, it rose by 45% and the Taliban can certainly be expected to further increase production and trafficking to finance their military operations. “The deaths will be in the streets of the United States and Europe, of the many addicts.”
The war in Afghanistan cannot be won militarily, Helga Zepp-LaRouche insisted. “That was proven by the Soviet Union trying to win for 10 years, and now the United States and NATO for 20 years.” A “completely different approach” is needed.
“The only way there would be any hope to stabilize the situation is if you bring real economic development to Afghanistan, but also to the entire region –to Iraq, Syria, Yemen, all these countries which have been destroyed by the endless wars. This could be taken as one region.” The problem of terrorism and of drugs, she went on, “concerns all countries –the United States, Russia, China, Iran, India. They should all work together for an economic development perspective. One could extend the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Silk Road… to develop Afghanistan.”
Helga Zepp-LaRouche proposed that a UN Security Council special conference be convened to consider “how to prevent Afghanistan becoming a source of terrorism, drug trafficking, and just a nightmare for everybody. And how to stop thinking in terms of geopolitical confrontation, and concentrate on the common aims of mankind.”