Subscribe to Afghanistan
October 7th marked sixteen years since the start of the US War in Afghanistan – America’s longest war. In an effort to justify the continued and expanded presence of US troops in the country, President Trump is seeking a plan to have US companies extract minerals from resource-rich Afghanistan.
My name is Jamal Juma', I am the coordinator of the Palestinian grassroots movement against the wall and settlements, which is ghettoising and limiting the population in very limited areas surrounded by walls nine metres high, with all the surveillance and cameras and watch-towers and machine guns that have been fixed there, and military guards that are patrolling the area.
Militarism is guns, armored tanks and drones, but it’s also a state of mind. Militarised mentalities have permeated many police forces and amplified dramatically the force of police violence against our communities.
It seems almost an annual news item. In October 2009 (see CO-Update No 51) and in February 2010 (see CO-Update No 54) we reported about discussions in the Afghan and US administrations about the introduction of conscription in Afghanistan. Now the Washington Post reported on 28 April that "Karzai considers military draft in Afghanistan instead of all-volunteer army" - so the headline of the article. According to the Washington Post:
Without any doubt, geo-strategical and economic interests played and play an important role in the military intervention of NATO in Afghanistan. But there is much more at play in the Hindu Kush. From the point of view of the West, nothing less than the future of NATO will be decided there.
On June 21 Jerry Torres, whose company provides translators and armed security guards in Iraq, was invited to testify before the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC). The bi-partisan body was created by the U.S. Congress in early 2008 to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in military contracting services in Afghanistan and Iraq.
There have been several reports in recent months that Afghanistan might move to introduce conscription in the near future, to increase the strength of its Armed Forces. According to BBC News, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told a conference of the world's top defence officials in Germany that he is considering introducing conscription. The Afghan president said at the summit in Munich he wants to build an army and police force of 300,000 by 2012.
The Telegraph reported on 25 September 2009 that Afghanistan may introduce conscription in order to recruit sufficient troops for the troop levels demanded by the USA and its NATO allies. General Stanley McChrystal, commander of Nato-forces in Afghanistan, demanded in his recent strategic assessment of the situation in the country that the army should grow from 92,000 to 134,000 in the next year. It should then reach 240,000 as soon as possible, which commanders admit would need the recruitment and training of 5,000 men each month.
Confronting the war alliance with mass protests
In spite of all predictions of its imminent dissolution, in recent years NATO has developed a frightening war dynamic. On all levels, the alliance is preparing itself for future wars.
The Center for Public Integrity is releasing their latest investigative report. Following up the Center's highly acclaimed 2003 Windfalls of War, which profiled U.S. contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, their staff have worked to expose further information about what's behind those contracts:
KBR, Inc., the global engineering and construction giant, won more than $16 billion in U.S.
Presentation for the ESF Seminar USA's military bases and the militarisation of the European Union in the service of "global war against terror".
With the New Year and the situation globally changing, I have tried to look at how the US strategy is affecting countries other than Afghanistan.
-- Tilly Sheridan
Police militarisation country profiles