Voices from Russia

Saturday, 10 July 2010

An Afghan “Bag” for NATO

Filed under: Barack Obama,EU,military,NATO,politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Funeral service for Bundeswehr soldiers killed in Afghanistan to further American Corporatist ambitions… such is the cost! Even one is too many… how many sons of the oligarchs serve at the front? Don’t forget… they all had faces… they all had names… and they all have grieving families!


The Afghan War grows ever more expensive for NATO… and the alliance doesn’t know how it can get out of the morass…

Relatives of Bundeswehr soldiers caught in the Afghan inferno steel themselves to prepare for the worst. Dire predictions sounded directly from Minister of Defence Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. During the summer months, it will be especially hot in the spur of the Hindu Kush, therefore, you should expect “an increase in the number of dead and wounded”, he declared. To make such a statement, you don’t have to be clairvoyant. According to figures from the French news agency AFP, June 2010 was the bloodiest month since the beginning of the NATO operation in Afghanistan in 2001. Coalition forces lost exactly 100 soldiers. July started the same way as previous month ended, with rebel incursions across the country and more casualties on both sides.

Herr zu Guttenberg, unlike many of his colleagues in the coalition government, avoiding pronouncing the word “war”, but was not afraid to give a realistic assessment of what’s happening. He called on politicians to abandon their illusions, stating, “Absolute stabilisation in Afghanistan is impossible”. Why then continue a decade-long war that has seen massive casualties? Such pessimism recently claimed the job of the commander of the NATO contingent in Afghanistan, American General Stanley McChrystal. Contrary to US media reports, the general didn’t show any disrespect to his Commander-in-chief. He only tried to convince the political élite of the futility of the current strategy for the pacification of Afghanistan. His former chief of operations, Bill Mayview, was less diplomatic, “There’s nothing like victory; it doesn’t smell like a victory, and it doesn’t taste like one”.

However, the announced phased withdrawal has a hitch… there is no one to pass the baton on to. The Taliban is everywhere, and it refuses to sit down at the negotiating table. Caution is tantamount to surrender. “The upcoming course of events in Afghanistan will affect how the world perceives the credibility of NATO”, Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel said. She’s not alone… it’s the prevailing view of those responsible for Euro-Atlantic policy. Nevertheless, one sees that this monolith is showing distinct cracks. Those who have announced the forthcoming withdrawal of their troops already include Canada, Netherlands, Poland, and even Britain, which previously was ready to follow the USA anywhere, even to the graveyard.

Former German Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt explained that Article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty strictly defines and governs the conditions under which NATO can commit its forces beyond its geographical limits. The original intent of the alliance was to protect Europe, “not to rebuild the world. Don’t even imagine that it somehow commits us to a supergovernment”. However, Herr Schmidt is convinced that, since 1991, NATO has become a “strategic tool of the Americans, who intervene anywhere where they believe they will not meet a particularly strong resistance. Iraq, Afghanistan, or the bombing of Belgrade are textbook examples. The UN Security Council mandated action against Al-Qaeda, and they have been expelled from Afghanistan. The UN authorisation does not apply to the present war against the Afghan insurgents. However, the war goes on, kept alive by guerrillas and terrorists”. What’s the verdict of Helmut Schmidt on the motives [of the Americans]? “It’s only imperial ambitions”.

6 July 2010

Sergei Guk

Voice of Russia World Service



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