Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/232/9257
Not The End Of The 'Game'
BUSH AND the US military have now clearly stated their aims in this so called "endgame" in Afghanistan and the next phase of their "war against terrorism". They have sent in ground troops to help "finish off" the Taliban in Kandahar while Special US forces hunt Osama bin Laden.
However it is unlikely to be as simple as this. There is always the possibility of getting caught up in a messy guerrilla war against the Taliban or between feuding warlords.
The US may have reluctantly used the Northern Alliance to fight the war in the north but they are now working alongside them, overlooking their brutal murder of Taliban forces in Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz.
Splits have already opened up within the Alliance. Two Northern Alliance leaders have been arguing over the spoils of Kunduz. Large areas of Afghanistan are being re-claimed by Northern Alliance leaders and local warlords with the potential for further conflict.
In some cases Taliban leaders are surrendering to the Alliance and being allowed to continue ruling their areas.
The US has also made it clear that it is running this show, much to Blair's embarrassment. British troops sent in to secure Bagram airport will now get no extra back-up and are likely to leave.
Those coming together in Bonn this week to try to form a provisional government are unrepresentative of ordinary Afghan people. Whatever the outcome, real power could still remain with the warlords who already control many parts of the country.
Neither the Northern Alliance, local warlords or an imposed UN government will serve the interests of the masses in Afghanistan. Ordinary Afghan people can only rely on themselves to determine their own future. This needs to be part of a wider struggle in the region and internationally for socialist change.
Bush, confident of victory in Afghanistan, is now looking to take his "war against terrorism" to other countries. Not only has Iraq been mooted as a key target but also another 12 countries. These include Somalia, Yemen and Sudan who are accused of nurturing Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.
Any further action against other countries could massively increase instability internationally.
In the West, many youth and workers have witnessed the brutality and oppression of US imperialism and the capitalist system it champions. A growing minority are prepared to challenge the system and its effects. This is reflected in the continuing strength of the anti-war movement and will be reflected in the Brussels anti-war/anti-EU protests of 13 and 14 December.
The US and other capitalist representatives have still to feel the strength of their most feared enemy; millions of workers fighting against the misery of capitalism made worse by this growing world recession.
In The Socialist 30 November 2001: