On Aug. 21, Donald Trump gave a major speech endorsing the war in Afghanistan and pledging to continue the brutal occupation that has lasted nearly 16 years. While refraining from releasing specific plans, Trump made it clear that he plans to deploy additional U.S. troops to the country and escalate the war.
The ANSWER Coalition demands that the United States immediately withdraw all of its troops and contractors from Afghanistan.
While there appears to have been considerable debate inside the Trump administration about its Afghanistan policy, it was not one between anti-war and pro-war positions. The alternative was essentially the privatization of the war in which the killing would be subcontracted to Blackwater and other mercenary firms. Once again it has been made perfectly clear that imperialist war is a central part of the Trump agenda.
The war in Afghanistan is the longest in U.S. history, and has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Afghans and thousands of U.S. soldiers who were sent to die for the profits of the big banks and corporations. Democratic and Republican Party politicians are united in support of the war -- which began under George W. Bush, was vastly expanded under the Obama administration's "surge," and is now being escalated yet again by Trump.
Fundamentalist armed groups have flourished under the occupation. The claims that the war is being waged to protect democracy or women's rights are completely hollow, and in fact it was the U.S. government's intervention in the 1970s that fueled the growth of ultra-right-wing religious groups and military organizations.
The U.S. military must leave Afghanistan so that the people will be free to determine their own destiny.