Europeans see what America cannot

At this week’s NATO conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, an angry U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates accused some Europeans of not being prepared to “fight and die” in Afghanistan in the battle against the Taliban.

The undiplomatic Gates is quite right. Most Europeans regard the Afghan conflict as a) wrong and immoral; b) America’s war; c) all about oil; or d) probably lost.

To many Europeans, the NATO alliance was created to deter the real threat of Soviet aggression, not to supply foot soldiers for George Bush’s wars in the Muslim world.

While Gates and the Harper government were pleading for more troops, the commander of the 40,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. Dan McNeill, landed a bombshell. If proper U.S. military counter-insurgency doctrine were followed, McNeill admitted, the U.S. and NATO would need 400,000 troops to defeat Pashtun tribal resistance in Afghanistan.

When the Soviets occupied Afghanistan, they deployed 160,000 troops and about 200,000 Afghan Communist troops — yet failed to crush the mostly Pashtun resistance. Now, the U.S. and NATO are trying the same mission with only 66,000 troops, backed by local mercenaries grandly styled the Afghan National Army.
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Cheney’s Oil Law For Iraq Is Neocolonial Theft

by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach

Global Research, October 8, 2007
Although a great deal more is at stake in the Iraq war than oil, there can be no doubt that the rich petroleum reserves of the country have stood high on the agenda of the war party since long before the 2003 invasion, and continue to be the focus of policy for the occupying powers.

Alan Greenspan, of all people, recently let the cat out of the bag, when he reported in his autobiography, The Age of Turbulence, that the war was “largely about oil.” Brenan Nelson, the Minister of Defense of Australia, one of the “coalition of the willing,” also admitted this when he stated on July 5, that “resource security” was one of his country’s priorities for defense and security, and that Iraq was part of that equation.

On one level, this motivation for the war, as summed up in the anti-war movement’s slogan, “No blood for oil,” is all too facile; the deeper reasons behind the invasion must be sought in the neoconservatives’ longterm strategic aim to destroy Russia and China, as perceived economic-political threats.

As outlined in a series of strategic doctrines drafted by various task forces under the direction of Dick Cheney, from 1991 to 2002, the neocons asserted the right of the United States, as the (in their eyes) sole remaining superpower after the collapse of communism, to intervene with preemptive wars, including with nuclear weapons, against any nation or group of nations which the U.S. perceived to constitute a potential threat against its hegemony. Iraq did not and does not represent such a threat, but Russia, China, and India, especially if allied, do.

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