NOW IT’S OBAMA’S WAR
Americans – one way or the other – have always been influencing the world, may that be economically, politically, from human rights point of view or making peace or war.
The current American policies to bring peace back to the world are quite controversial. If on one hand they vow to root out terrorism then on contrary to that they are fuelling feuds by strengthening the states and armies of their choice.
The US has considerably increased the number of troops in Afghanistan and is planning to pump in some more by the end of 2010. Almost 113,000 NATO and US troops are battling in Afghanistan with Taliban-led insurgences.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmusse, who visited Afghanistan for the first time, ever since NATO allies guaranteed 6,800 extra troops to fight alongside an additional 30,000 US soldiers committed by US President Barack Obama to fight the Taliban. He said the deployment of almost 40,000 extra US and NATO troops over the coming year will create momentum for a new phase in development."I am confident that the troop surge will improve the security situation," he further said that the extra troops are expected to be deployed by late 2010.
So by the end of 2010, about 183000 troops will be fighting in Afghanistan, though they aren’t sure for how long they would be fighting, and what for? On 11 October, a retired US General McCaffrey, while taking to NBC, told about war in this way, "Well, I think in 10 years, of $5 billion a month and with a significant front-end security component, we can leave an Afghan national army and police force and a viable government and roads and universities. But it’s a time constraint that we can’t change the things in 18 to 24 months. So I think we got to lower expectations."
A super power thinks about a country with 33,609,937 (July 2009 est.) population and economically and socially dead. Whereof America needs $ 60 billion a year for defense expenditures or in other words, in the next decade the basic Pentagon budget will grow by 25% or at least $133.1 billion. This is only for war and if we take into account and calculate the outlays of more than 700 military bases around the world, then the expenditure will see a phenomenal surge.
I wonder why America is depriving American by spending huge money for invasions and military adventures in other countries. Is that all about keeping peace around the world or fuelling the globe for deaths and disabilities? Today the entire war effort is being funded by borrowed money. Who will pay this back? As of now, the coming generations are all under debt for the fault of the trigger happy presidents.
America, buried Iraq in hell while searching for the WMD, which never were there in first place; this was under the false pretext of saving the Iraqis. It was not to save the Iraqis but to remove any resistance to Israel’s expansionist designs in the region. In the same context under the war against terrorism in Af-Pak, the real target is nuclear Pakistan.
By doing so, America is trying to achieve multiple objectives, gear up arms sales to the world to fill the pockets of the war mafia like a vicious circle; more wars more sales. Now America itself is the largest arm seller in the world. As per pentagon report in 2009 the US has sold $ 36.4 billion’s weapons to various governments and wants to remain the top seller that a peaceful world would not allow.
Prior to 9/11 terrorist attacks, 27 countries including Pakistan were banned from purchasing US made military equipment. However in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, bans on security assistance to many of these countries was lifted or suspended. The Bush administration lifted sanctions against Azerbaijan and Armenia. Tajikistan was removed from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) list of states prohibited from receiving U.S. military goods and products.
These changes have shifted the allocation of military aid. Foreign Military Financing, the Pentagon’s largest military aid program, increased by more than two-thirds (68.4%) from 2001 to 2003, jumping from $3.5 billion to nearly $6 billion over that time period, before levelling off in 2004 and 2005 and requests for 2006 to an average of $4.6 billion (which represents a more than 30% increase over pre-9/11 levels).
Many countries previously barred from receiving U.S. military aid, because of nuclear testing, human rights abuses, or their harbouring of terrorists, began to receive aid in 2001. Two dozen nations– including Afghanistan, Algeria, Pakistan, India ,Uzbekistan and Uruguay– either became first-time recipients of FMF during this period or were restored to the program after long absences. As a result, the number of countries receiving FMF assistance increased from 48 to 71 between 2001 and 2006, a 47.9% increase. During the same time period, ten countries saw their aid being increased more than three fold, and seven had their FMF assistance increased by five times or more. The biggest gainers in FMF assistance in dollar terms were Jordan (+$127 million), Pakistan (+$300 million) and Afghanistan (+$396 million).
So what is the policy for international peace? To increase weapons sales, establish new military bases and deprive the nations from their homeland and peace? In America itself people are unhappy with GWOT. In December, 2009, according to the Pew Research Centre’s poll, almost half of the Americans believe that the U.S. should "mind its own business" internationally and instead of meddling in other’s affairs let other countries get along the best they can. It’s high time for the American public to force the American establishment to review it’s policies before it’s too late.
Ghazala Awan is a lawyer and an anti-war activist based in London. She writes for Opinion Maker.