Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Lies That Sold Obama’s Escalation in Afghanistan

by: Gareth Porter, Truthout, July 6, 2011
 
Soldiers of 1st Squadron 61st Cavalry 101st Airborne Division listen to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates while he visits Field Operating Base in Connolly, Afghanistan, December 7, 2010. (Photo: Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison / DoD)

A few days after Barack Obama’s December 2009 announcement of 33,000 more troops being sent to Afghanistan, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Robert Gates advanced the official justification for escalation: the Afghan Taliban would not abandon its ties with al-Qaeda unless forced to do so by US military force and the realization that “they’re likely to lose.”

Gates claimed to see an “unholy alliance” of the Afghan Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban emerging during 2009. Unless the United States succeeded in weakening the Taliban in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda would have safe haven in Afghanistan, just as they had before the 9/11 attacks, according to Gates.

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