Wed Aug 23, 2017 09:21AM

US soldiers walk at the site of a Taliban attack in Kandahar on August 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
US soldiers walk at the site of a Taliban attack in Kandahar on August 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
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US President Donald Trump has unveiled his administration’s new strategy in Afghanistan, saying he would continue the military intervention in the South Asian country. However, he did not provide details about the exact number of troops or the cost of a prolonged presence there. Press TV has talked to member of the ANSWER Coalition Brian Becker as well as congressional defense policy advisor Frederick Peterson to get their opinion on Trump’s new Afghan strategy.

Brian Becker believes the United States has no intention of winning the war in Afghanistan, because the country is in fact a “cash cow” for the Pentagon and military contractors, adding that Trump’s plan for the deployment of additional troops there is just a way of “maintaining a war without end.”

He also asserted that the president of the United States, regardless of his personal political beliefs, functions as a “frontman” for the real institutions of power in Washington - the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies – for whom Afghanistan is not a war to be won.

“This is a self-perpetuating corruption machine,” which according to the analyst means that as long as the Taliban don’t win and the US can have military bases in the country, there can be allocations of hundreds of billions of dollars for the Pentagon.    

“So as long as there is not a lot of political blowback at home because there is not that many Americans dying, as long as the bleeding is being done by Afghans and as long as this sort of enduring corruption, which is what the US military presence in Afghanistan constitutes, continues and continues to generate funds, the Pentagon planners are perfectly happy.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Becker noted that the “purported retaliation” for the September 11, 2001 attacks, which is what the US invasion of Afghanistan was about, has been “a complete and utter colossal failure,” considering that 16 years later, Daesh is growing in the country instead of the al-Qaeda terrorists.

The 9/11 attacks were a series of strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.

US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts have raised questions about the official account. They believe that rogue elements within the US government orchestrated the attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda on the pretext of the so-called war on terror.

Becker further maintained that if the US were to send a million troops to Afghanistan, there could be a possibility to win the war but given Washington’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, which left thousands US soldiers dead, “the American people have no stomach for sending a large contingent of troops anywhere.”

According to the analyst, the reason why the United States can get away with the war in Afghanistan is that it has tried to minimize the number of Americans who are getting killed “so it does not become a political liability or generate a new anti-war movement.”

US commander in Afghanistan John Nicholson (R) talks with soldiers ahead of a handover ceremony at Leatherneck Camp in Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province on April 29, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The other panelist, however, defended Trump’s plan for the deployment of additional troops to Afghanistan. Frederick Peterson said the decision has been based on new intelligence briefings which suggest a greater and a continued engagement in that country.   

“Donald Trump, having been recipient of a large amount of intelligence and new information, changed his mind and came upon a decision now that in order to achieve the principles of the United States, of peace, of prosperity, and of anti-terror in the global war against terror, an engagement must be kept and carried in Afghanistan,” he said.

He also argued that the war in Afghanistan was preemptive rather than retaliatory, adding that it was meant to prevent the spread of terrorism throughout the world.  

The analyst further expressed optimism that Trump’s recent remarks present an opportunity for a new day in American foreign policy vis-à-vis Afghanistan and the war on terror, hoping that he will not withdraw prematurely until the interests of the United States and of world peace are secured.