Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Keith Preston: US using Daesh as cover to stay in Iraq, Afghanistan

Press TV. Listen here:

The expanding US military campaign against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in Afghanistan is a cover for Washington to restart the wars in the region and maintain its military presence, a political analyst in Virginia says.

The fact that the US is broadening its operations from Iraq and Syria into Afghanistan also indicates that it is losing the war against Daesh, said Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of

“This war against Daesh provides the United States with an excellent cover for returning to Iraq and Afghanistan and the other nations where they were waging war some years ago,” Preston told Press TV on Monday.

The battle against Daesh is not the chief priority for the US in the region, Preston noted. “Far more important to them than fighting Daesh is maintaining control over Iraq and eliminating the Syrian government, and I think that is true in Afghanistan as well.”

“The American strategy seems to be to contain Daesh but not eliminate them because they can use them as a tool against some of their other enemies in the region,” he added.

The US military has conducted at least a dozen operations in the past three weeks against militants aligned with Daesh in Afghanistan, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

The operations followed a decision by the administration of President Barack Obama last month to broaden the authority of American commanders to attack Daesh’s new branch in Afghanistan, the newspaper said.

The Obama administration is revamping plans for how it fights the terrorist organization in regions where it has developed affiliates. The administration has been accused by Republicans in Congress of not having a strategy to defeat the group.

While Obama has declared an end to combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the supposed campaign against ISIL is part of an ongoing and potentially expanding American military presence in the Middle East, south-central Asia and Africa.

“When President Obama declared the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be over, he wasn’t really telling the truth; those wars have really continued on a much lower level of intensity,” Preston said.

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