Translated from “The Eternal Flame”, Central Organ of CMPA, Third Term, Issue no. 25
The Necessity for a Serious, Decisive, and Unavoidable Struggle to Determine the Principled Tactics of Struggle Conducive to the Changing Situation
On Friday July 15, 2011 a regiment of 650 members of the American occupying forces left Afghanistan. According to the plans announced by the American government, by the end of the summer of the coming year a total of 33,000 personnel, one third of the total of the American forces presently occupying Afghanistan, will leave the country. The 650 armed forces personnel that have already left Afghanistan represent the first phase of the withdrawal of this total of 33,000 armed forces. The entire plan for the gradual withdrawal of the American occupying forces is part of the overall strategy of “the gradual transfer of the security responsibility throughout Afghanistan” from the occupying forces to the armed forces of the puppet regime until the end of the year 2014––a strategy centered around and carried out through the establishment of permanent military bases of the American occupying forces in Afghanistan. Collusion and reconciliation with the present armed Islamist insurgents (the Taliban, the Islamic Party-Gulbadin Hekmatyar faction, the Haqani group, and the remnants of the Islamic Party of the Younos Khalis faction) would be an important part of this plan. Moreover, the occupying forces belonging to other imperialist powers have also started to withdraw their troops. However, it has become clear that the withdrawal of these forces, unlike the withdrawal of the American forces, would not be partial. It has now become apparent that the occupying forces of the Canadian, French, German and other European countries will completely withdraw from Afghanistan. Even the British, according to their declared plans, will not have a fighting force in Afghanistan after 2014. Although the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has signed a long-term agreement with Hamid Karzai on the basis of which the United Kingdom will establish a military academy for training the state security forces of Afghanistan, the presence of a British fighting force has not been mentioned in this agreement.
Even if the 33,000 of the American occupying forces currently present in Afghanistan withdrew from the country by the end of the summer of next year, the Americans will still have 68,000 armed forces in Afghanistan. In fact, the 33,000 forces planning to withdraw are generally the forces that were brought to Afghanistan in 2009 as part of Obama's so-called “surge.” In reality the Americans do not intend to withdraw their fighting forces from Afghanistan. The strategic relationship between the American government and the puppet regime in Afghanistan has to guarantee the presence of several strategic military bases for Americans in geopolitically sensitive locations. American imperialists clearly desire a long term military presence in Afghanistan and want to establish these military bases in important and sensitive geopolitical locations in the country. First of all, they want to continue to control and dominate Afghanistan through these military bases and, secondly, they want to keep their dominant position in relation to regional powers in order to have a closer control over them for future events in the region, thus trying to keep their global supremacy as the sole imperialist superpower.
Different aspects of this imperialist strategy of the American government towards the country, its people and different political forces are as follows:
- The condition of occupation and direct domination of Afghanistan will fundamentally remain the same but its form will be lightened and softened. In other words, the war will become more Afghanised : the military forces present in the American bases in the country, despite the fact of their overall strategic role of protectorate of the puppet regime, would not be the forces regularly present in the battlefield and in the daily tactical battles. In accordance with this aspect of the imperialist strategy of the American government, it is planned that by the end of the year 2014 the puppet regime will have a security force of 400,000 personnel that will carry out the daily security responsibilities and the daily tactical battles throughout Afghanistan.
- It is estimated that, in the case of the establishment of long term American military bases in the country, the total number of US forces will be around 40,000. Even if these forces were present in the battlefield and in the daily tactical battles, their expenditure and casualties would decrease by 60%. Currently, after all, the Americans' current military expenditure totals billions of dollars, an average of one million dollars per soldier, every year; their casualties average one thousand deaths, injury, or trauma victims each year, an average of three casualties per day. But if the American forces operate primarily out of their military bases, and play the role of a force supporting and protecting the puppet regime, the military expenditure of the Americans will seriously decrease; American casualties will be next to nothing compared with the current state of affairs.
However, with the Afghanization of the war, and the increasing of the number of armed forces of the regime up to 400,000, the military expenditure of the regime will be double of what it is at the present, though this expenditure would be very little compared with the current military expenditure of the occupying forces. Based on the estimations of the Ministry of Defense of the puppet regime, the military expenditure of a group of 40 Afghan National Army personnel equals the expenditure of one American soldier. In other words, the total expenditure of 400,000 armed forces personnel would be equal to the military expenditure of 10,000 American soldiers.
- Collusion and conciliation with the armed Islamist insurgents is being carried out through the politics of repression and appeasement; its purpose is to destroy or seriously weaken the armed Islamist insurgents while expanding the reactionary social base of the puppet regime. Replacing the foreign forces with armed forces of the puppet regime in the daily tactical battles changes the repression from one being conducted by the occupying forces to one being conducted by the armed forces of the puppet regime, though a designated contingent of the occupying forces would keep their direct repressive role. The minimum of the appeasement policy for the rank and file of the Islamist insurgents includes providing “amnesty” and, for the Islamist leaders, this includes removing their names from the “black list” of terrorists. Both scenarios are conditional on the Islamists' capitulation to the regime. The maximum condition of the appeasement plan is illustrated by the condition of the Islamic Party-Arghandiwal faction. This party is a legal and registered political party; it includes more than 75% of the total previous connections of the Islamic Party led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar. It has tens of seats in the puppet regime's parliament, possessing several ministerial portfolios and occupying many government positions at local and provincial levels. But the Taliban forces that have surrendered are not organized in a registered and legal political organization, even though they are present in the parliament in the “Supreme Peace Council”, the “Society of Clerics”, and in various other low ranking government positions.
- The advancement of the peace and conciliation process with the armed Islamist insurgents, and the increasing presence of the Islamists in different government positions, though perhaps preventing the reestablishment of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate, also means the further increase of the Islamist, chauvinist, and even more open autocratic character of the regime. This kind of situation will not only lead to increasing social oppression and exploitation of the masses of workers, oppressed nationalities, and women in the country, it will also tighten and reduce the political space for non-Pashtun reactionary forces, liberal and left forces that have surrendered to the regime, as well as the so-called civil society institutions and organizations (such as the "Independent Human Rights Commission", various women’s' rights organizations, etc.) that have been put together by the puppet regime and the occupying powers.
However, the American occupiers––by decreasing the number of their forces in Afghanistan, by retreating these forces from the daily tactical battles, and by putting them in military camps––are following several specific objectives:
- They do not want to have casualties in Afghanistan or want to decrease their casualties.
- They want to decrease their current and huge unbearable military expenditure .
- They want the puppet regime to have the opportunity and condition for false nationalism, fake expressions of independence, and capitulationist Islamist pretentions.
It is apparent that even after the process of the partial withdrawal of the occupying forces from the country began, and even after the completion of the process by the end of 2014, the American imperialist occupiers and their satraps should still be the main focus and target of the revolutionary struggle of the masses. But it should be noted that the condition and situation is undergoing a change in specific and particular areas. In short, it can be said that, from the fall of 2001 to the summer of 2011, the occupying imperialists and their puppet regime have been the principal target of the national and revolutionary struggle. After 2014, however, the puppet regime, with the occupying imperialists as its supporter and protectorate, will be the principal target of the national and revolutionary struggles. In such a context the overall composition of the principal enemies of revolution and the masses of the country will not differ, but the number one and direct tactical target of the revolutionary struggle will be the puppet regime.
The withdrawal of the 650 American military personnel on July 15, 2011 is the beginning of the transition from the first situation to the second situation. Paying careful attention and deliberation to the beginning, the progression and the conclusion of this process is a serious and unavoidable revolutionary necessity for determining the correct tactics of struggle suitable with the changing situation during the coming three years and after, necessary for a decisive and principled advancement of revolutionary strategy. A firmness and solidity in strategy is complimentary with flexibility in tactics.