Guest Post: The Strategic Ramifications Of A US-Led Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Tyler Durden's picture

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bugs_'s picture

Not happening.  Non-conventional presence for a long long time.

hound dog vigilante's picture

Wrong. Will happen. Is happening.

The reason why (US is insolvent) is more frightening than any future chaos scenarios sprouting from tribal Afghanistan.


Warmongering neo-cons are in denial.  The military gravytrain has permanently derailed. The US is morally and fiscally bankrupt.

Cursive's picture

Leave Afghanistan?  No way!  Didn't you read that declassified DOD study that there are $1T of natural resource reserves in Afghanistan?  (rolls eyes)

jeff montanye's picture

not to mention eternal war is the only stimulus package guaranteed republican approval. drug addiction is a health problem, a personal will power problem, an economic development problem, probably others.  it is not a law enforcement problem, a military problem, a black arts secret political subversion, etc. problem.  

perhaps the surest sign of the disingenuousness of the global war on terrorism is the unwillingness of the u.s. to consider repeal of its absurd drug prohibitions which clearly offer its supposed existential enemy enormous resources and which prohibition alienates the peasantry (yet while importing alcohol of all things into an observant muslim country).

StychoKiller's picture

I view Afghanistan and virtually ALL other problems/crises mentioned on this site as Intelligence test(s) for Humanity and TPTB -- we are in EPIC FAILURE territory folks!

Tenma13's picture

think it the same one they rolled out in the 80s :P

RockyRacoon's picture

Thanks for the article.  Can someone tell me why we should not just pack up and come home from Afghanistan?  When a situation is untenable what solutions are there?  None, by definition.  Save what money and lives we have left.  Just my ignorant view.  There seem to be a lot of Congress-folks who have opinions, yet didn't have the guts to declare an honest war. 

SteveNYC's picture

The American way is to keep running toward that "cliff" you describe. Close your eyes, run faster, never admit you were wrong......never......

RockyRacoon's picture

Funding should be cut off.  Since Congress did not declare a real war, it should not have the ability to approve funds for this military invasion.   We should also remember that an embargo is a classic act of war -- just in time for the Iranian "action".

-Michelle-'s picture

If they were really afraid of the drug problem, they'd have already come up with some type of genetically-modified blight that would wipe out the poppies.  I can't believe that this is an impossible task.

dark pools of soros's picture

why does ZH fail to use simple img src method???

RockyRacoon's picture

Only contributors can post images.  All others post links.

dark pools of soros's picture

bah humbug but thanks you much for pointing it out

RockyRacoon's picture

Yeah, Leo can post videos of Greek debauchery, and RobotTrader can post pictures of nekkid wimmin.  We're stuck with blue characters only.

knukles's picture

Jeeeezuzzzz Kerrist!

Wipe out the poppies?  Who?  The US military is Protecting the Poppies for the Farmers so that the Farmers can earn a Reasonable Income, selling their own production as opposed to having it expropriated by the Taliban. 

A splendid example of the Law of Unintended Consequences in implementing a Politically Correct policy of Winning Hearts and Minds whilst engaged in Armed Conflict.   

The US's current formal policy is the protection of poppy cultivation.  This is well documented and in the public domain. 

i-dog's picture

You are half right ... the US military IS protecting the poppies (and shipping the heroin), but not for the farmers (though they do get a couple of $mil a year at farm gate prices).

No, they are protecting them for TPTB, who take their cut from the $400 BILLION a year street price of the heroin in Europe and America.

The revenue from their military-protected heroin trade is clear profit, because the US taxpayer pays the costs of protection.

The Taliban ripped up the poppies back in 2000, so the 2001 crop was down by 96%. Then 9-11 "happened" and they had troops in there within 4 weeks to get the poppy growing industry back up and running in no time. The 2002 crop was almost back to 2000 levels, then production just kept growing to new record levels each year with all the US and other troops on the ground.

Statistics availabe from the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (it's all hidden in plain sight):


Marla And Me's picture

Few prople understand that major international banks make enormous profits off of wars, the drug trade, and numerous other black market activities:

Once you realize this, then all of their other actions also make sense.  Your elected leaders aren't here to help you; they are here to help their true paying masters. 

Tenma13's picture

would make alot of sense, the cynic in me think that the US wants the drug trade to adversely effect Russian society.

dan22's picture
Understanding “Blowback” and the Case for a Non Interventionist Foreign Policy In fact, long before Hamas was created Western governments, mainly the United States and Britain supported the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in order to sabotage the efforts of the Pro-Soviet Arab Nationalist leader Abdul Nasser. Abdul Nasser wanted to end Western domination and control in the Middle East and was perceived as a great threat to Western interests. So, Western government used the Islamic brotherhood to destabilize the Nasser government. Ironically, On 6 October 1981, Anwar Al-Sadat the president of Egypt who replaced Nasser, signed a peace treaty with Israel, and “switched sides” in the cold war was assassinated by the same Islamic Brotherhood which continues to conduct terrorist activities in Egypt up until this day. Understanding “Blowback” and the Case for a Non Interventionist Foreign Policy The same kind of crooked logic motivated the efforts to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which was headed by Yasser Arafat. In 1978, under the government of then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Israel approved the application of Sheik Ahmad Yassin to start a “humanitarian” organization known as the Islamic Association, or Mujama. The roots of this Islamist group were in the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, and this was the seed that eventually grew into Hamas. In its first years it was fertilized and nurtured with Israeli funding and political support. Begin and his successor, Yitzhak Shamir in an attempt to undercut the PLO, created the so-called Village Leagues, composed of local councils of handpicked Palestinians who were willing to collaborate with Israel and received Israeli payroll. Sheik Yassin and his followers soon became a force within the Village Leagues. As mentioned before, this tactical alliance between Yassin and the Israelis was based on a shared antipathy to the militantly secular and leftist PLO. Yassin’s group to publish a newspaper and set up an extensive network of charitable organizations, which collected funds not from the Israelis and from Arab states opposed to Arafat. Years later, Israeli helicopters and warplanes killed Yassin since he was the leader of Hamas.
jeff montanye's picture

this is all or at least largely true.  ron paul is absolutely right on this one.  the amazing fuck ups who run our country (and lots of the world) would feel less important but we the people would be much better off (and the wretched of the earth in fanon's phrase would be transcendentally, incalculably better off) if we limited our efforts to trade and aid.

Orly's picture

I think you will be surprised and amazed and how easily the locals can eradicate the poppy fields without the US Marines standing guard over it.

Orly's picture

For whoever "Junked" me, have a look at this picture, then "unjunk" me.

Wake up, people!

Arthor Bearing's picture

Junked because the graph doesn't convey much information, and doesn't cite a source.

i-dog's picture

The source is the UN Office for Drugs and Crime, here:

Now wake up to what is really going on, and unjunk him!

"Doesn't convey much information" ... !?!?!?!?!

Put on your spectacles and actually have a look at the 96% dip in production in 2001 after the Taliban RIPPED OUT the opium poppies in 2000. Then note the new record production levels after the US troops arrived just 4 weeks after 9-11. (It took them 18 months after 9-11 to go into Iraq, but just 4 weeks to get cracking into Afghanistan).


jeff montanye's picture

the problem is that as long as the potential for incredible wealth based on opium cultivation exists, powerful forces will try to wrest control of the area from the taliban or others who replace them.  and from time to time they will.  the only way to beat the sucker is legalization.  al capone, broadly defined, was never defeated while the volstead act was in force.  any other perspective is cynicism or delusion.   

Arthor Bearing's picture

I unjunked him, and never would have in the first place if he had provided proper context. In this day and age you just can't expect for a bunch of different-sized bars and numbers to be convincing, because that's exactly the kinds of methods that the propagandists use.

In all sincerity though, thanks for your insight

Carl Marks's picture

Decriminalize drug use and have the government take over the trafficking. That would eliminate the terrorist and criminal threat. Alternatively eradicate the poppy fields and the farmers, nuke Afghanistan and bring the troops home.

David449420's picture

Problem Solved !

Who would have thought it was so simple to solve.

Just out of curousity, What color is the sky in your world ?


turds in the punchbowl's picture

purdue pharma llp says: horoshim pomoshchnikom gospodina Medvedeva

NOTW777's picture

“We are making these drugs for Satan: America and the Jews. If we cannot kill them with guns so we will kill them with drugs.” 

"religion of peace"  and murder and drug dealing

NOTW777's picture

what logic

"The US Ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, reiterated that the US would not take Russia’s advice about eradicating Afghanistan’s opium harvests anytime soon for fear of engendering popular alienation."

In other words, we know opium funds our enemy, but we refuse to cut off that source of funding because it might offend the locals; so we will allow our enemies to be well funded and spread terror to other places.

ZackAttack's picture

"for fear of engendering popular alienation."

Can anyone remember a time when that 'winning the hearts and minds' shit ever actually worked in a conflict of any significance?


jeff montanye's picture

this is the essential contradiction at the heart of george bush's (and now barack obama's) foreign policy:  the whole arc of the story leads to democratic voting (underlined) where the people you just invaded are supposed to vote for a government sympathetic to the ends and means of the invaders.  that is just the flat out case of this.  as rumsfeld famously doubted: are we making more of them than we are killing?  clearly making many many more than we are killing, in part by killing them, wounding them and trying to but missing.  

so stop the killing and the missing and change the dynamic from israel to vietnam after we "lost" the war.  we are not omnipotent.  we will bankrupt our treasury and our morality with this insane strategy.  look at the british empire and it was much better at it with a much greater historical advantage.

Tenma13's picture

British in Malaya, check out the book 'Eating soup with a Knife for a detailed account.' 

Blankman's picture

Patrick Ward, the Acting Deputy Director for Supply Reduction at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, warned that intense anti-narcotics operations “will further undermine the rule of law and reinforce the nexus between drugs and terrorism”


Mr. Ward also stated off the record - "How the hell else do you think the CIA is going to fund its black ops?  We have a cut in this narcotics operation."

Pope Clement's picture

Right on brother blank, Jim Willie writes that it is a CIA operation and the money is laundered thru the gangster banks, interesting parallels with the 19th century Brit opiate trade in China etc...

knukles's picture

Gangster Banks?  Gangsta Banks? 
Who?  What?  You mean to tell me that none of our major US banks are NOT involved in the formal laundering of drug, criminal enterprise, governmental black or political funds?

Wachovia's old operation just the other day admitted to facilitating such.

And Why in Hell Does Anybody think that the Fed Will Never Be Audited?  Nobody.  Nobody gives a rats ass about auditing the Open Market Committee's Deliberations.  That is not what Paul and others had in mind, but became a shill to dismiss the actual intent of the formal audit proposed. 

Come on folks, every single wire transfer, clearance of checks goes through the Federal Reserve System.  Lock, stock, barrel, penny and dime.  Ever heard of a Fed Wire (transfer) Number?  Fair, earned or criminal.  Every single one.  No shit they'll never be audited, for then every single last transgression could/would be able to be made public.

Never Gonna Happen.
Never gonna see the light of day of the Fed's gold operations.  Nor offshore funds transfers of.......... 
You get the picture. 

jeff montanye's picture

yes, we see (that's when i fell for ...)

Sparkey's picture

I'm afraid I do believe this, I've read many times that the Taliban are against drugs on religious grounds, and that before the invasion Opium had been virtually eradicated, now, as US troops guard the fields Afghan Opium is again becoming the scourge of the world, Is this like the British -Chinese Opium wars,- some (anonymous folks must be living a high life on their "cut" of the action.

jeff montanye's picture

let's see: is there anyplace else in the world other than afghanistan where the opium poppy can be grown and the local government is not committed to drug eradication to the point of suicide?   hmmmm.

Tic tock's picture

..peace presumably with everyone but Satan.

-Not that they're right, they probably just feel that the 'Jew Bankers' who are stealing billions and live in a world not remotely connected to the 'ordinary man' -or maybe the Israeli state which exists and therefore must ban the imports of food and the development of agriculture to the troublemakers - and the US, who bomb anyone if they don't accept to have a pipeline, or other economic interest be paid for by some puppet state... killing people is wrong, doing so on religious grounds- what do you say -one should believe in something else? Besides, how may have the 'Christian west' killed over the last twenty years? ..they see Muhammed as a figurehead because he compromised rarely, he said some strange things, like having 'four wives, if you can do justice to all them, which you can't' and he was a hard bedou, like David who had so much blood on his hands that despite being most beloved of God, was not allowed to build the temple. Muhammed has rallied angry men - and you know, I think it is early to call whether they are angry without cause.

Blankman's picture

"Muhammed has rallied angry men - and you know, I think it is early to call whether they are angry without cause."


What?  I am not a very religious person for several reasons.  This line being one of them.  Anyone who believes in any form of "organized religion" should just do the rest of us a favor stop breeding.  Organized religion for the past thousand? years has stood for anything but faith in god.  It has been, and will be, a means for those in power to facilitate control of those with unrecognized fears, lack of self confidence/awareness and nothing past a public education - including college.  Start believing in oneself before you go and throw away your life following some "sacred" stones.  It always blows my mind when I try to discuss religion with people who hold a steadfast belief in the fact that their particular religion is the right one.  Compare chiristianity with the muslim faith or any faith: 


-all have a savior from god

-all have books written by man, not god (e.g. 500 years from now people may worship doctor suess)

-all have equally rich tales that the other religions say are preposterous

Don't get me wrong there are a lot of people who need to be led, perhaps religion satisfies that need.  i just want people to start looking to themselves for the answers to their own questions instead of blindly following words of someone they deem holier than them.    

lesterbegood's picture


Religion is the opiate of the masses - Vladamir Lenin

Arthor Bearing's picture

I find your lack of faith disturbing

You're a nihilist. Read this book and begin your initiation:


What's wrong with having leaders and followers? Wouldn't that require some kind of "means of control"?


Blankman's picture

Why do we need a means of control?  Have you no faith in the common decency of people?  I for one do.  I feel that man who has been given ultimate freedom will choose a life of peace over a life of violence and hatred.  I will read the book you recommended.  I do not watch much tv, occasionally watch movies as they are almost considered books of our times.  Just watched the "Book of Eli" found it to be spot on.  Whomever directed it was teaching you that it is not religions fault for its problems but the people who are in charge of religion who mess it up, take advantage and destroy what was once a great message.

Tenma13's picture

Religious deference boils down to a contest about who as the best imaginary friend. 

Noah Vail's picture

I mean really, who gives a rat's ass what happens to Afghanistan? Time to stop playing world policeman and deal with our own problems at home before it is too late.