Thursday, August 24, 2017

Why the Military Wing of the Octopus of Empire Will Not Be Able to Defeat the Taliban

By Michael S. Rozeff
Secretary of State Tillerson has made it clear that the U.S. is in Afghanistan to deny victory to the Taliban even if the U.S. isn’t victorious. In other words, the U.S. policy is to buy time by indefinite stalemate. The hope behind this policy is that the U.S. can negotiate a face-saving exit from Afghanistan.
The U.S. wants Kabul, the Taliban and Islamabad to come to terms politically and stop fighting. The Taliban won’t do this if they can continue to gain ground using current tactics and if Islamabad supports them. They’ll do it but only as a temporary measure if they think that under cover of peace they can gain ground and eventually take over, as North Vietnam took over South Vietnam 2 years after concluding an agreement with the U.S. The Taliban have a strong home court advantage.
Trump said he’s out to kill terrorists, not nation-build. That’s an admission of failure because the U.S. cannot defeat the Taliban without the partnership of a strong Afghan state on the ground in Afghanistan that has effective and substantial armed forces. These essential conditions do not exist. That is to say, the U.S. can’t defeat the Taliban at any reasonable cost. Sending in huge forces is out of the question. Bombing the whole country into oblivion is likewise out of the question.
The Taliban will continue to build their own nation-state in this vacuum, that is, in the face of the weak and corrupt Afghan government. They will chip away at Afghan and U.S. pockets of strength. The U.S. has failed at building a viable Afghan state. This was a foreseeable blunder, repeated in Iraq and Libya. Vietnam was an earlier dramatic example that the U.S. cannot build states as a general rule and under most conditions. Haiti has been a longstanding example of this. When a country is completely flat on its back and when it has a homogeneous society and when it has a prior tradition of a strong state, then it’s possible that a new nation-state can emerge on terms heavily-influenced by the U.S. Japan and West Germany show this. But under other conditions, such as non-homogeneous societies that have been held together by strongmen rulers, such is not the case. In the case of Afghanistan, the prior tradition of a strong state has been absent and there are tribal divisions. These have spelled the failure of the U.S. to build a nation-state.
Trump now says that the U.S. doesn’t aim to nation-build in Afghanistan. This is a welcome statement, but he cannot by himself change the empire’s course, even if he wanted to. Not only is he surrounded by advocates of empire, but also he doesn’t have a clear aim of accomplishing the goal of downsizing the empire. Parts of the U.S. government still harbor frustrated desires of nation-building. Nation-building is strongly embedded in the U.S. military structure and doctrine. That now shows up in the U.S. training of military forces in many countries in Africa. This doctrine is part and parcel of the larger political ambitions of the U.S. government. The military forward strategy is an arm of the embracing octopus of empire along side of programs of “aid”, treaties of defense, bank loans, trade agreements and sanctions.
The above originally appeared at


  1. Although the USA regime has not clearly stated its objective for invading Afghanistan most people think they went in due to the Bin Laden/Al-Qaeda involvement in 9/11. If that is so, the USA should be able to claim mission accomplished.

    Why can't Trump say no more nation building. We got Bin Laden and Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan, we are done?

    1. You mistakenly believe POTUS has any real power. The military-industrial complex has determined we are a nation at perpetual war, and so we are.

    2. Among other powers the POTUS is Commander in Chief. And also has the power of the bully pulpit. Using these powers against the establishment may result in his demise but the power is his.

      I believe if a POTUS were to make a public statement that he is going to go against the establishment for the good of the world and this will put him, his family and others close to him in the cross-hairs, it would be difficult for the establishment to get away with their assassinations (be them of character or worse).

      What would happen if If Trump came out and said, "me and my family are being threatened because I am gong to take away the money train" (especially on the issue of Afghanistan that everyone is sick of)? It would be difficult for the establishment to take him down without revealing more than they dare of their deep state.