On 3 October at the Senate’s Armed Forces Committee Hearing, Generals James Mattis (Defense Secretary) and Joseph Dunford (Chief of Staff of the Joint Armed Forces) have declared that the US armies would stay indefinitely in Afghanistan so that the Taliban could never hope to return to power [1].

Initially, the United States and the United Kingdom had entered Afghanistan on the pretext that they wanted to take out the Taliban, which was protecting Osama Bin Laden, the man responsible for the attacks on Sept 11 2001 [2]. The US and the UK had invoked UN Charter art 51 on the right to self- defence. 16 years later, the two countries declare that Osama Bin Laden has been dead for some time now and that the Taliban is no longer in power. So, from this moment on, their intention in remaining in Afghanistan is to prevent the Taliban returning to power, an objective that does not appear compatible with art 51 of the Charter.

In actual fact, the Office for Transforming the Armed Forces (Pentagon) has a plan that intends for Afghanistan in particular and Central Asia in general, to be occupied for an “infinite duration” [3].

Anoosha Boralessa

[1Political and Security Situation in Afghanistan”, US Senate Committee on Armed Services, October 3, 2017.

[2Letters from ambassadors John Negroponte and Stewart Eldon, 7 October 2001, to the President of the UN Security Council (Ref. S/2001/946 et S/2001/947).

[3Source : The Pentagon’s New Map, Thomas P. M. Barnett, Putnam Publishing Group, 2004. Analysis :“The US military project for the world”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 22 August 2017.