Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Afghanistan and NATO

Is Afghanistan Quagmire going to become a new and improved Vietnam?

NATO signals Afghan reinforcements

A NATO spokesman said an extra 26,000 of the 32,000 Allied troops in Afghanistan are now "more usable" for combat with the lifting of national caveats.

He added that there was also an Allied commitment for more helicopters and more fighter aircraft, and that some nations had agreed that their troops could be used in more "emergency" situations.

It seems Bush was successful in getting more support in Afghanistan and bumping up the combat action quite a bit. More countries are throwing in with the idea of taking this war up a notch.

While countries have committed to help in emergency situations, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have stressed they will not be sending their troops to fight the Taliban in troubled areas in the south and the east.

The South and the East is where the incredibly profitable heroin trade is doing record business. The drug lords have expanded their kingdoms and they are shipping out opium and heroin in never before seen volumes. All under the watchful eyes of the United States. We do know how to reward our dope pushing friends, when they help us fight against religions that we don't like.

Coincidentally the areas to the North and the West are claimed by an international consortium of petroleum corporations that are expanding the pipelines through Afghanistan. Back in the late 1990s, we were on speaking terms with the Taliban when that came to Texas to talk with oil industry leaders at Enron's corporate offices about building this pipeline. Evidently, Ken Lay wasn't able to find a deal that everyone could agree on, so when he appeared at Dick Cheney's Energy task force meetings, one of the topics was likely plans on killing them, so that the pipelines could be built without paying those pesky natives a fee.

With US troops severely overstretched, NATO troops are going to find themselves in the unenviable position of being mercenaries for international oil interests. Though the mission might be sold as a peace keeping mission, you can be that each nation is going to be asking for a cut in profits, commiserate with the casualty rates and costs will endure.

The US has a long history of sending in its armed forces to negotiate with natives in other countries for mineral rights by killing them. The US taxpayer doesn't mind paying for these adventures so that international corporations can reap big rewards, but that's because in America, we just borrow from our kids and live high on the hog. But smaller nations that can't just print an infinite quantity of money to pay for things, will see more immediate sacrifices and be looking for others to cover costs, or they'll look for an exit.

Bush is saying that the war in Iraq must be won, for the sake of our children or grandchildren. I hope its for them, because they'll spend their lifetimes paying for this war. Perhaps Bush can get our great-grandchildren to pay for the NATO adventure in Afghanistan?

I've noted that the Christmas/Hanukkah Holiday Season has often been a good time to start wars. People are distracted by home and hearth and tune out bad news. Perhaps that's when military action against Iran will begin? Our great-great grandchildren can pay for that. Perhaps Bush will tell us that this war is for the children not yet born?


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