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Friday, May 15, 2009

US to be buried in 'Graveyard of Empires'

Fri, 15 May 2009 | PressTV

US efforts to cut out a friendly Afghan administration could end up as disastrous as the previous international approaches on the country, says a former presidential assistant.

"The idea of trying to establish a central government…that is going to be pro-American is foolish," said political analyst and former special assistant to ex-US president Ronald Reagan, Douglas Bandow on Thursday.

He cited the unsuccessful British and Russian invasions of Afghanistan which respectively pursued colonial and Marxist goals. "We've certainly seen the Soviets run into that, as well as British before them. It's called the 'Graveyard of Empires' for a reason," Bandow said in an interview with Russia Today.

Afghanistan earned the notoriety following the 1842 massacre of the British army during their retreat from the capital, Kabul and the inconclusive 10-year Soviet presence there.

Of the 16,000 British soldiers, who had departed on the retreat, only one survived the attackers who had swooped on the troops from the encompassing mountains. The 1978-1988 Soviet confrontation with the Mujahideen insurgents has also been likened to the US war on Vietnam in its damaging and futile nature.

Bandow, however, doubted the objective of Americanization to be Washington's prime target after the stated aim of counter-insurgency, from which, it had deviated.

"The question is what is America doing? What is America's goal? It is very hard to know."

The comments came while President Barack Obama has assigned 21,000 soldiers and a great number of civilian experts to the Afghan-based contingents.

This is while the civilian deaths from the US attacks on suspected militant sanctuaries continue to rise and conjure up anti-American sentiment.

The Taliban insurgents have, as well, been fleeing from the attacks to neighboring Pakistan where main towns and cities are now tainted with militant influence - a pretext Washington has used to extend it military presence to the country.

Washington has, meanwhile, been warning that the insurgents could get hold of the Pakistani nuclear facilities any time -- an excuse, which critics say, threatened to explain the US presence in Pakistan after Afghanistan.

"I don't think that further militarization of this conflict is going to be the answer. So I am afraid that if Obama does not seriously engage in a new approach in terms of looking for diplomatic options and figuring out what his objective really is, the US could find itself here for another six years not achieving anything," the former official concluded.

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