Australian troops to leave Afghanistan a year earlier than planned, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said … Australia expects to pull most of its troops out of Afghanistan nearly a year earlier than planned, the prime minister announced Tuesday, saying Australian soldiers have nearly completed their mission to transfer security responsibilities to Afghan forces in the decade-long war. Prime Minister Julia Gillard cited security improvements and the death of Osama bin Laden and many of al Qaeda's senior leaders among the reasons behind the accelerated withdrawal, which will likely see most troops home by the end of 2013. But one opposition lawmaker suggested the strategy was an attempt by Gillard to win over war-weary voters ahead of federal elections. – CBS
Dominant Social Theme: What the Taliban did is terrible. We didn't expect it.
Free-Market Analysis: The news today is all about Australia leaving Afghanistan earlier than planned, or so Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says. But there are several crosscurrents taking place in this still-continuing war.
While "allies" are deserting NATO – others have already pulled out – the US remains invested in the current timetable, which calls for troops to leave in 2014.
Not only that, but there are suspicions that the "withdrawal" from Afghanistan is not any different than the US withdrawal from Iraq that has left a significant presence in that country as well as large US/NATO military bases.
In order to achieve this continued presence, there are those who believe the violence in Afghanistan is actively being encouraged by the US and NATO.
Radio host and independent blogger Stephen Lendman is one of these believers. He believes the current Taliban offensive in Afghanistan is something that NATO and the Americans may have actively sought.
The "US wanted Taliban attacks to happen in Kabul," he says. In an interview on the RT news channel, he pointed out that the US is building huge bases "the size of cities" in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The US, he claims, really has no intention of pulling out.
Eventually, there may come a day when the US and NATO are removed from the Middle East but not before much time has passed and more bloodshed has occurred, he predicts.
He points out that there are numerous private contractors in the Afghan area so that even if US and NATO forces are drawn down, mercenaries remain to the do the bidding of those who continue to wish the war to be waged.
This actually makes some sense as the various issues that the US forces in particular have had of late with Afghan citizens has been a highly featured topic in the media.
The global power elite has something of a stranglehold on reporting worldwide – and owns much if not all of the major media. What is reported, especially at length, usually serves the purpose of the "owners."
In this case, those who are prosecuting the war in Afghanistan are doing so at the behest of an elite that seems to want to consolidate world government. Afghanistan seems to stand in the way.
Now, in response to US aggravations in particular – the terrible slaughter of Afghan civilians by a "crazed" US serviceman and recent episodes involving the defilement of the Koran – the Taliban has struck back.
It launched a series of coordinated attacks that included an assault on the presidential palace, parliament and NATO headquarters. These were widely reported, a state-of-affairs that should imply that those prosecuting the war from the Western side wanted the reports to circulate for various reasons.
It is perfectly possible that such attacks shall cause Western public opinion to call more vehemently for an end to the war.
On the other hand, those in charge of American policy can use the attacks to claim that native military and civilian forces in Afghanistan are not ready and that the planned 2014 drawdown of NATO and American troops is bound to further destabilize the situation.
Lendman doesn't think the Americans intend to leave then. He believes the US military-industrial complex intends to keep the war going for as long as it can.
Another issue is that Afghanistan is not by any means pacified. The Afghan Pashtuns and Pakistan Punjabis remain relatively defiant. This does not bode well for the global governance the elites apparently wish to impose.
The navel of the world is an important place. As of yet it is not subjugated to the control of the powers-that-be.