Will the surge in Afghanistan be the end for the US?
On December 20, U.S. Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen announced the intention of sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan by next summer. This would be in addition to the 31,000 U.S. troops already in Afghanistan as well as 35,000 other Allied troops under NATO command. This represents a dramatic escalation of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan not only in terms of numbers, but also in the speed-up of the timeline for sending in more troops. Previously, Pentagon spokesmen had said it would be 18 months before any new military personnel were sent over in full force. Now Admiral Mullen has stated there will be a far greater number of soldiers sent to Afghanistan than mentioned before, and in as little as six months.
The reason for this escalation is because the occupation has been failing when confronted by a growing opposition that is becoming more sophisticated in combating the foreign occupying troops.
The escalation of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the continuing war in Iraq, and all the potential effects of spreading instability and more war is beginning to hit the American public hard. They voted for Obama in hopes for a change. However, as a capitalist Democratic Party politician, he has no more ability to fundamentally reverse course than a pig has the ability to fly. As unemployment soars, pensions collapse, health care rots, and the social safety net gets hacked away, the astronomical cost of the U.S. wars and occupations will leave more people questioning the viability of the system we live under. People will begin to pointedly ask, “Why do the politicians spend so much on destruction rather then production? Why are the rich bailed out, but not the workers?” And these thoughts will be expressed by many more people. When a system can no longer provide for its people, while vast amounts of resources are spent on wasteful destructive adventures,
then that system is in all likelihood doomed.
It will take a mass, working class-led movement to make any real change. In order to do this, it is necessary that the anti-war movement hits the streets in a mass united way on March 21st. Especially in light of the escalation in Afghanistan, too much is at stake to passively wish Obama will change things. We must mobilize to shout in as large a collective voice as possible, “End the War and Occupation in Iraq & Afghanistan Now!”
Mark Vorpahl is an anti-war activist and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org) He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org