WDIE Masthead

Year 2009 No. 48, July 20, 2009 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

Britain Out of Afghanistan! No Troops on Foreign Soil!

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

Britain Out of Afghanistan! No Troops on Foreign Soil!

Daily On Line Newspaper of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

Web Site: http://www.rcpbml.org.uk
e-mail: office@rcpbml.org.uk
Subscription Rates (Cheques made payable to RCPB(ML))
170, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LA.
Phone: 020 7627 0599:
Workers' Weekly Printed Edition:
4 issues - £3.15, 6 months - £19.95 for 26 issues, Yearly - £36.95 (including postage)

Workers' Daily Internet Edition Freely available online
Workers' Daily Email Edition Subscribe by e-mail daily:Free / Donate
Subscribe to WDIE Lead Article RSS Feed (free) {Valid RSS}

Britain Out of Afghanistan! No Troops on Foreign Soil!

Last week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown was forced to make several statements, both inside and outside Parliament, on the current situation in Afghanistan.

These statements have been made in the wake of the increasing number of deaths of British soldiers engaged in the military occupation and attempted conquest of that country, which have prompted criticism of the government by the major opposition parties. But rather than opposing an unjust war the parliamentary opposition have claimed that the main problem with the invasion and occupation is that the armed forces are inadequately supplied with the most appropriate equipment, or that even more troops should be sent, criticisms which seem to been supported by the head of the army but rejected by the Prime Minister. At the same time, he has also been forced to respond to the growing public opposition to the government’s military intervention in Afghanistan and the extremely widespread view that the interests of people in Britain are not served by the invasion and occupation of another country. Even the latest opinion polls show a majority of people want troops to be evacuated and brought home as soon as possible.

Gordon Brown has responded to criticisms of the government’s military intervention in Afghanistan, which is causing the loss of so many Afghan and British lives, mainly by claiming that this is part of the "war against terrorism". He asserts that terror plots aimed at Britain would be hatched in Afghanistan were it not for the military intervention of the Anglo-Americans and their allies. He also claimed that since the border areas of Pakistan have also been identified as a haven for those allegedly hatching such plots, the Anglo-Americans were also working with the government of Pakistan to carry out military operations in that region too. The government’s "strategic objectives" in the region were outlined in April in UK policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan: the way forward, which commits Britain to long-term interference in both countries not only on the grounds of allegedly combating terrorism but also in order to establish "good governance and effective development" in these two former British colonies. "Good governance" in this case refers to a political system based on the British model of representative democracy, and "effective development" to bringing economies within the orbit of the imperialist economic system.

The British government has therefore committed itself not only to military intervention, as troop numbers have almost tripled in the last three years in response to the growing resistance to the occupation in Afghanistan. It has also increased its economic intervention and political interference in Pakistan. The government has its second largest programme of "development aid" in this country, and is attempting to extend its influence over the economic and political life of Pakistan. The British government’s expenditure in the region is substantial. Military spending on Afghanistan alone has risen 36% from last year to £3.5 billion, while it has risen even more dramatically in the last five years from the £200 million spent in 2005-6. It is evident that the government is not being accidentally drawn into greater intervention in this region, as has been suggested, but has a strategy to increase its domination over the "cockpit" of Central Asia whatever the financial or human cost. As well as the deaths of British soldiers, over 2,000 Afghan civilians were killed last year, according to UN figures, and the government is openly declaring that recent military operations in Pakistan have resulted in "a major humanitarian cost" and over two million refugees.

The government’s assertion that its intervention in this region is in order to "make Britain and the world a safer place" is not borne out by the facts. The Anglo-Americans and their allies are engaged in a war that even the commander of British forces has admitted they are not going to win, a war which is making the entire region unstable and which is being waged to serve the strategic interests of the big powers.

There can be no justification for Britain’s continued military intervention and interference in Afghanistan, in the region as a whole or in any other of its unjust wars, and this intervention must end. The fact that the government and the other major parties are unwilling and unable to take this course points to the urgent need for an anti-war government which truly represents the interests of the majority of people in Britain and is answerable to them.

Article Index

RCPB(ML) Home Page

Workers' Daily Internet Edition Index Page