Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

The US Endgame in Afghanistan Was Mineral Extraction, Not Democracy

By Nadia Ahmad Common Dreams

The American departure from Afghanistan was inevitable. We shouldn’t ask what went wrong? We need to ask: what could possibly have gone right?

Since the U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan, there has been no shortage of solidarity statements to mourn the demise of democracy and support the rule of law in Afghanistan. I appreciate the sentiment, but I am also concerned about the loss of lives and the violations of international law that occurred during the decades of U.S. military occupation in Afghanistan and the failure of the international community to protect the sovereignty of countries.

As a gentle history lesson, the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan was based on a series of lies perpetuated by President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and their numerous neocon chums. The U.S. was not in Afghanistan to establish democracy and respect for the rule of law and human rights. It was there to weed out the terrorists it had created decades earlier to fight the Soviet Union; the U.S. wanted to clear the field in order to secure one trillion dollars of mineral concessions for iron, copper, gold and lithium for which China and India had obtained the rights for during the U.S. occupation. In short, a decade ago, Afghanistan invited foreign investment and public bids from China, India and other countries, purposely excluding U.S. companies.

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