Recent weeks have seen an intensification of the resistance in Afghanistan that has astounded western onlookers in its scope and audacity.
Green on blue
Having infiltrated the ranks of the comprador police and army, resistance forces have unleashed a barrage of attacks from behind enemy lines, taking the occupation powers by surprise and completely destroying the confidence of the imperialist armies to operate jointly with their groomed cannon-fodder pawns. So common have attacks on the occupation by what are supposed to be the Nato armies’ ‘Afghan allies’ that a new phrase has been coined to describe the phenomenon: ‘green on blue’ (green being Afghan National Army and blue being the Nato armies).
This veritable state of siege led, in late September, to a number of high-profile announcements by high-ranking British, American and Australian army command and government bigwigs, in which they cancelled almost all joint operations with the Afghan army and police. Not only has this destroyed the ability of the occupiers to respond to resistance operations outside of their heavily-fortified bases, but it has also ignited fierce mistrust and suspicion between the imperialist and Afghan puppet armies.
And the icing on the paranoia cake has been the deployment by Nato of undercover ‘guardian angels’, who are tasked with watching everyone and summarily executing any Afghan soldier who they believe might be about to turn a gun on occupation forces. Successfully sowing such deep division amongst one’s enemies is the sublime masterstroke of a resistance movement that has reached an exceptional level of maturity and skill.
Strikes behind enemy lines have hit at almost every part of the Nato occupation force. In late August, five Australian soldiers died within hours of one another, three as a result of green-on-blue attacks. The New York Times reported:
“Soldiers were killed on Wednesday night when an Afghan soldier turned his gun on them in Oruzgan Province ... The attack happened at a fuel depot when a member of the Afghan National Army shot the Australians and then fled the base, coalition officials said. The international force command said that the motive was unclear and that it was investigating.” (i)
In fact, the command knows all too well the motivation of the Afghan resistance, but obviously needs more time to cook up some story to feed to the media presstitutes and to the bereaved parents of these squandered children. Australian prime minister Julia Gillard did her best to put on a brave face, putting forward the usual ‘coalition’ hogwash that “we cannot allow even the most grievous of losses to change our strategy”, but she was soon forced to announce the early withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan, formerly scheduled for complete withdrawal by the end of 2013, with Gillard admitting: “This is a very big toll ... our single worst day in Afghanistan.”
Such an admission is further proof, if more were needed, that imperialism is well and truly beaten in Afghanistan. The invaders have utterly failed, despite all their overwhelming fire power, drones, massacres, incursions, ‘surges’ and bribes, to prevent the forces of national liberation pressing on to complete victory. The latest losses for Nato have brought all manner of problems to the occupying armies and make the job of ‘policing’ (colonising) Afghanistan impossible.
Following the cessation of joint operations, journalist Matthew Rosenberg commented thus:
“After years of tightly intertwining its forces with Afghan troops, the American-led military coalition has sharply curtailed ground-level operations with the Afghan army and police forces, potentially undercutting the training mission that is the heart of the western exit strategy.
“The new limits, which were issued Sunday and require a general’s approval for any joint work at the small-unit level, were prompted by a spike in attacks on international troops by Afghan soldiers and police over the past six weeks ...
“Coalition officers said the order to curtail direct cooperation covers all work done with Afghan forces below the level of a battalion. An American battalion has about 700 to 800 troops, though some are larger or smaller, and is designed to be the smallest unit that can fight independent of a higher command.
“But in Afghanistan, where the Taliban blend easily and often strike in small groups, most of the combat goes on far below the battalion level, with small squads of about 10 men or platoons of about 15 to 40 soldiers or Marines ...” (ii)
Rosenberg, who was accused by Pakistani newspaper The Nation of being a US spy, has written several articles documenting Nato’s losses during the latest resistance offensive. In an article for the New York Times on 17 September he wrote:
“Afghan security forces killed six service members from the American-led military coalition in a pair of attacks in southern Afghanistan this weekend, pushing the number of international troops killed by Afghan forces in a single year past 50 for the first time ...
“The coalition’s ambition to leave behind a stable Afghanistan that can fend off the Taliban hinges on readying the country’s army and police for the task. Yet the spread of insider attacks has left coalition forces increasingly mistrustful of the Afghan forces they are training and fighting alongside. It also offered a window to the increasing resentment that many Afghans feel toward the massive foreign military presence here ...
“A day earlier, two British soldiers were killed in Helmand Province. The coalition said the attacker was a member of the Afghan Local Police, a village militia force that was created and is largely being trained by allied Special Forces to augment the Afghan army and police ...
“One factor driving Afghan resentment toward the coalition is the increasing number of civilian deaths after more than a decade of war. Afghan officials said the latest civilian deaths came before dawn on Sunday during coalition airstrikes on the slopes of a remote, forested valley in the eastern province of Laghman. The coalition said it was investigating.
“Gulzar Sangarwal, the deputy chairman of Laghman’s provincial council, said villagers in the Noorlam Sahib Valley told him that nine women who had gone into the forest to collect firewood were killed. Another seven were wounded, he said.
“The coalition said that the airstrikes were called into the valley around 2.00am during a firefight between its forces and insurgents that had been spotted moving through the area and that its reporting did not indicate that any civilians were killed.
“According to Maj Lori Hodge of the Air Force, the coalition forces spotted about 45 insurgents who were ‘engaged with precision munitions and direct fire’ – that is, airstrikes and gunfire. She could not say how many insurgents were killed.” (iii)
By the evening of the 17 September, the US military confirmed that it had indeed killed eight Afghan women who had gone into the woods in the early hours to collect firewood for their homes.
Attack on Prince Harry
After getting caught with his trousers down in Las Vegas, that pride of Britain Prince Harry very nearly got his arse fried in an audacious attack upon Camp Bastion in Helmand, where the pampered prince ‘serves’ as a helicopter pilot.
The slight difference between Harry and the other pilots, of course, is that Harry is accompanied by his own small army to protect him from any inconvenient attacks by insurgents that might interfere with his next Sun photoshoot or cameo for a Ross Kemp propaganda video. The Camp Bastion attack saw Harry very quickly spirited to safety whilst the poor subjects who do all the fighting for this ginger-headed twerp came under sustained rocket and mortar fire that left two US marines dead.
On the anniversary of the 11 September attacks, an Afghan resistance spokesman warned that they would do everything in their power to kill Harry. Alissa Rubin reported:
“In further remarks about the prince that appeared in jihadist media, Mr Mujahid urged the British to spend the money used to send Harry to Afghanistan on the poor.
“‘The objective behind his coming is to deceive his people more, and in Afghanistan, to give something of a morale boost to the defeated soldiers of his country so they continue until the date of their fleeing to Britain, which couldn’t do anything despite the presence of thousands of its soldiers,” he said. ‘So what can it do through one soft prince?’” (iv)
In a desperate bid to cover over the deteriorating situation inside Afghanistan, defence secretary Philip Hammond attempted to keep parliament in the dark about the plans to call a halt on joint operations. A piece in the Financial Times recorded his evasiveness:
“Philip Hammond has come under fire for failing to tell MPs or voters about the decision by Nato to scale back its joint patrols with Afghan forces.
“During a hostile Commons debate, the defence secretary was criticised by MPs from both Labour and his own Conservative party for not being clear about Nato strategy in Afghanistan.
“The decision to scale back joint operations was taken on Sunday, but Mr Hammond did not mention it during a debate on Monday or in subsequent media interviews.
“John Baron, the Conservative MP, forced Mr Hammond into the Commons to explain how and why the strategy had changed.
“Mr Baron told MPs: ‘At the very least there is confusion with regard to this issue ... The announcement adds to the uncertainty as to whether Afghan forces will have the ability to keep an undefeated Taliban at bay once Nato forces have left.’" (v)
After the debacle at Camp Bastion and the escalating attacks on troops, Mr Hammond must be praying for an end to the Afghan nightmare. In a month that has seen a remarkable offensive by the Taliban and the final withdrawal of the 33,000 ‘surge’ troops sent in by Obama with great fanfare two years ago, perhaps it is fitting to leave the last words to Mohammad Naim Lalai Amirzai, a parliamentarian in Kandahar:
“We were not happy about the arrival of the surge troops and we are not sad that they left ... as the American surge ends, the Taliban surge will begin.” (vi)
:: Libya Syria and the Middle East , ProletarianTV YouTube
:: Obama s Afghan nightmare , Proletarian issue 48 (June 2012)
:: Afghanistan -the utter failure of the imperialist predatory war , Lalkar(May 2012)
i ‘ Five soldiers die in Afghanistan’ by Richard A Oppel Jr and Matt Siegel, New York Times, 31 August 2012
ii ‘Coalition sharply reduces joint operations with Afghan troops ’, New York Times, 19 September 2012
iii ‘ Karzai denounces coalition over airstrikes ’
iv ‘ Afghan insurgents attack base where Prince Harry serves’ by Alissa J Rubin, New York Times, 15 September 2012
v ‘ Hammond under fire for Afghan ommission ’ by Kiran Stacey and Hannah Kuchler, 18 September 2012
vi ‘ Troop surge in Afghanistan ends with mixed results ’ by Rod Nordland, New York Times, 21 September 2012