Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 February 2008

Bush and Brown's Afghan strategy lies in tatters

"MAKE NO mistake, NATO is not winning in Afghanistan." These are the words, not of an anti-war group but of the opening line of a report by think-tank The Atlantic Council of the United States. This report, which goes on to warn of Afghanistan becoming a "failed state," is just one of three released last week showing the US and UK strategy is in tatters.

Tom Baldwin

Another by the US-based Afghanistan Study Group states the need to "rethink our economic and military strategies" while Oxfam warns of humanitarian disaster without a "major change of direction."

These reports make uncomfortable reading for George Bush whose 2001 invasion was part of the 'neo-con' plan for American dominance of the region.

Since then the position has become no better for ordinary Afghans, the majority of whom live in grinding poverty. Life expectancy in the country is just 46 years. Farmers have turned to opium production to try and support themselves and last year was estimated to be a record drug crop. Despite changes to the law the repression of women is still an everyday reality.

Attempts to rebuild the country under NATO occupation are doomed to failure and Oxfam describe how "aid is wasted on very expensive consultants or on contractors who make quite significant profits."

Under these conditions the support for the Taliban and other insurgents has been increasing. 2007 saw the highest number of Taliban attacks since 2002 and the deputy governor of the southern Helmand province (where most British troops are based) was killed in a recent bomb attack.

The corruption and repression of the Karzai regime, along with the killings of civilians by western forces and the failure to bring about reconstruction, has provided fertile soil for the re-emergence of the Taliban. However the repressive forces of the Taliban offer no real answers to the needs of the Afghan people.

The US and UK have now been calling for their NATO allies to devote more troops to the country but other governments are unwilling to commit more forces to an unpopular and unwinnable war. Germany has recently refused to redeploy troops and Canada has even pledged to withdraw its 2,500 soldiers next year if Nato doesn't send more support for them.

However, even if more soldiers are sent, as in Iraq they will not be able to significantly improve security. Even the US-installed president Hamid Karzai recently criticised the inability of British forces to 'secure' Helmand province.

Apparently, the beleaguered president wasn't even told of British plans to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on buying off Taliban fighters and training them to be local police.

The occupation plays a divisive role; the Western powers are there to support their own interests and are not capable of improving people's lives.

On the basis of continued occupation a 'failed state' and humanitarian disaster seem inevitable. Only the withdrawal of all occupying forces and a government of the working class and the poor, basing itself on a socialist programme, can meet the needs of a majority of Afghans.

A united struggle to improve living standards can overcome division and allow the Afghan people to decide their own future.

Troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan demo

Called by Stop The War Coalition

Saturday 15 March,

Assemble 12 noon, Trafalgar Square, London.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 6 February 2008:

MPs' insult to low-paid workers

Their hands in our till

Protests as multinational grabs health centre

Rich avoid paying 25 billion tax bill

Why they call them 'fat cats'

War and terrorism

Bush and Brown's Afghan strategy lies in tatters

Socialist Party women

Fight attacks on abortion rights

Socialist Party news and analysis

Victory! Bristol campaign saves library

Victory! Hull youth workers save jobs

Inspiring victory for Polish workers

Fighting the BNP in Barnsley

Shell output is down, but profits hit new record

Young workers and Students

Young workers get organised

Protest against university fees

Refreshing student work in Bangor

International Socialist Resistance website

Socialist Students website

Environment and socialism

Incinerators: Our health at risk!

Stop the Anglesey nuclear time-bomb

Socialist Party debate

How can an alternative to the main political parties be developed?

International socialist news and analysis

Kenya: Workers' movement must provide an alternative

France: LCR votes to launch a new party

Workplace news

Birmingham: Thousands on strike against pay cuts

Workplace news in brief


Home   |   The Socialist 6 February 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleIraq - a brutal legacy of imperialist intervention

triangleSuleimani's assassination - Middle East thrown into turmoil

triangleMass protests rock the globe

triangleAssange arrest: US and allied governments seeking revenge for exposing dirty wars


triangleNorthern Ireland, August '69: 'Battle of the Bogside' and British troops on the streets

trianglePeterloo: "If the people were to rise and smite their enemies, was not this the time?" Samuel Bamford, demonstrator

triangle15 years since the invasion of Iraq: what we said

triangleSyria: No ceasefire for 'hell on earth' eastern Goutha


triangleThem & us


triangleBombing Syria won't stop Isis

triangleHiroshima - 70 years on


triangleSyria: Is an end to the war in sight?


triangleAnniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki


triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The occupation of St Benedict's Hospital in 1979





Revolutionary mood in Lebanon following horrific explosion



Cuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo


Nuclear weapons

Anniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki



Iran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes



Israel: Nurses strike and win


Hong Kong

Hong Kong: The fight for democratic rights


South Africa

South Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign



France: 20,000 rally against Paris's killer gendarmes



Black and white youth rise up against racism - US protester speaks to the Socialist



USA - another cop killing of unarmed black man sparks widespread protests



Outrage spreads globally following US police murder of George Floyd


Hong Kong

Chinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests



Economic collapse leads to renewed protests across Lebanon



Trump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race



India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020