The Syrian Civil War is still intense, but strategically it is nearing its end-game. The pro-Assad coalition has won and the focus of the Trump administration now is how to counter growing Iranian influence in the region. And that means renewed focus on Afghanistan.
A report on Monday in the in the War Street Journal says that Trump is considering winding down the troop deployment in Afghanistan. This is one week after CNN tried to gin up anti-Russian sentiment about them arming the Taliban.
On the heels of the WSJ article, none other than Warmonger-in-Chief John McCain inveighed against drawing down our presence in Afghanistan.
“More than six months after President Trump’s inauguration, there still is no strategy for success in Afghanistan,” he said in a released statement. “When the Senate takes up the National Defense Authorization Act in September, I will offer an amendment based on the advice of some our best military leaders that will provide a strategy for success in achieving America’s national interests in Afghanistan.”
McCain is the prime mouthpiece for the Military Industrial lobbyists in D.C. He never met a war he didn’t like. Moreover, his hatred of Russia is so strong that any move against them is justified, no matter how pointless or morally suspect nee reprehensible.
Trump is asking the right questions about our sixteen-year war in Afghanistan. What do we have to show for it?
The war against the Taliban is unwinnable. That’s what we’re fighting there. We know that Trump is committed to taking out ISIS, who are moving into the country with greater intensity now that their fake caliphate in the Syrian desert is about to be relegated to the garbage can of history.
For most of 2017, beginning in December, Russia, Iran, Iraq, China, Pakistan and India have been discussing ways to stabilize Afghanistan. And the talks center around Pakistan taking the diplomatic lead with the Kabul government to broker a peace deal with the Taliban and form an alliance against ISIS.
There have been multiple rounds of discussion on this point and the news the Pakistani Supreme Court removed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from power on corruption charges must be viewed with suspicion.
Any shakeup in the political situation in Pakistan should be viewed as a move to derail China’s One Belt, One Road project and a continuation of the Wolfowitz/Brzezinski Doctrine of chaos in Central Asia to prevent a real Eurasian Spring that truly stretches from Beijing to Jerusalem, with points beyond on the table as well.
So, the issue of Afghanistan is incredibly important because without a stable Afghanistan the OBOR project never reaches its full potential to bring all of the former Soviet ‘Stans out of abject poverty.
The fact that Trump is considering pulling out our existing troops versus automatically sending in more may be one of those things being discussed with Russia through the supposed diplomatic back channels I’m not convinced exist to any appreciable extent.
Trump’s owning of the sanctions bill through his public statements about it are worrisome. They speak to a willingness to destroy rapprochement with Russia for the sake of punishing Germany on trade:
Why Trump is so angry with China and Germany is that they have been allowed to be better mercantilists than the U.S. over the past twenty-odd years.
Therefore, it is right and proper for Europe to pay three times as much for its energy to ‘stifle the ambitions’ of Russia and save the U.S.’s fading petrodollar system. Any complaining from Germany on this is simpering because, as well, the “Germans are bad on trade. Very bad.”
It doesn’t matter that trade balances are irrelevant when you print the world’s reserve currency. Such subtleties are lost on Trump. His mental model is ‘trade surplus good,’ ‘weak currency good.’
That’s mercantilist thinking…
If Trump puts Afghanistan into the column of ‘good for American jobs’ then this talk about drawing down in Afghanistan is just talk. I’m sure he’s not happy with the OBOR project, but it’s something he’s not likely to influence beyond keeping the wounds open in Afghanistan.
And that may be enough for him to do the right thing and exit the stage and let Russia, Iran and the Taliban take care of ISIS. Stopping OBOR at this point is a reward too far in the future for him to see a reasonable return on.
He stifled the CIA’s arms program to Syria. Opium production under U.S. occupation has flourished. It was the Taliban that banned opium production in 2000. By 2001 the poppy fields were empty. By 2002, one year after our invasion, they were back in full force.
If Trump is committed to draining the swamp, ending the occupation in Afghanistan and allowing the Taliban to assist in restoring order and destroying the global heroin trade that we know is helping to fund ISIS would be a big step forward.