Two Decades of US Occupation of Afghanistan
Statement drafted by the Anti-War Working Group and amended and passed by the National Action Committee
In Fall 2001, the Socialist Party USA held its biennial convention and discussed the then-recent attacks of September 11, 2001 and the beginning phases of what became the twenty year long USA-led War in Afghanistan. The Convention produced a statement which condemned any moves toward war while calling on the government of the USA and the people to pursue peaceful resolution of the conflict. The statement of the SPUSA predicted a long conflict that would kill thousands, destroy the country of Afghanistan, create more terrorists rather than eliminating them, and cost the USA vast sums of money, before failing. The Party condemned the lack of transparency in the decision-making process, the explanation of intelligence concerning the targets and strategic objectives, and the destruction the USA was about to thrust upon the people of Afghanistan.
After almost 20 years to the date, the USA is finally leaving Afghanistan behind, having accomplished what it claimed was its one strategic objective, namely to murder Osama bin Laden. In the end, US and Afghan forces murdered more civilians than the Taliban; who had offered to hand over Osama bin Laden to the Bush administration several times.
Over the last two decades, the USA has occupied Afghanistan with as many as 150,000 US servicemen and women, untold numbers of private military contractors, and countless billions of dollars-worth of advanced military technology. We have dramatically altered the physical face of Afghanistan, primarily in and around the capital city of Kabul, while not altering the situation much at all in much of the country. We have dumped more than 2 trillion dollars, most of which has not been accounted for in any way, into the effort. Along the way enriching warlords and US defense contractors, and funding building projects that in many instances served political rather than practical purposes and which were poorly executed to boot.
We have raped, tortured, maimed, and/or killed tens of thousands of Afghans in an ongoing civil war that our presence in the country perpetuated, and created more than 100,000 Afghan refugees, both internally displaced, as well as externally fled. We have allowed our warlord allies in their 'poppy palaces' to profit unchallenged from opium sales. And still, we left the country at least as insecure with regards to international terrorist organizations as it was when we invaded it. After 20 years of USA military presence, it took two weeks for governance to fall into the hands of the Taliban.
Those in our government who were responsible must be held accountable for their unconscionable inhumanity towards the men and women of our own military and the hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan whose lives were destroyed by their criminal war of choice. Included in this list are current and former Presidents of the USA, and their puppets in Afghanistan, Secretaries of State, Defense, Homeland Security and Treasury, leaders and members of both house of Congress who authorized this action, voted repeatedly to continue to fund it, We know who these people are: their addresses are public. None of them are hiding. It is time they are held accountable and responsible for their crimes against humanity.
The Anti-War Working Group of the Socialist Party USA issues this statement in unequivocal opposition to not only this war, but ALL wars, and in solidarity with those who lost their lives due to American ultra-militarism, war-profiteering, and imperialism. We will continue to call for alternative, peaceful resolution to international conflict.