Press TV has interviewed Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center in New York, to discuss Obama's new plan to keep nearly 5000 troops in Afghanistan into 2017.
What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Certainly, a couple of embarrassing admissions. I would think that ever since 2001 to 2014 and the US has not really been able to stabilize Afghanistan and has to now remain even beyond 2017. How do you feel about that?
Flounders: Well it really shows that the entire mission has been a howling horrendous failure by every measure even by the stated US reasons.
And President Obama’s press conference today; the one point he made is that “the nature of the mission has not changed”. So that means we should not expect any success in the continued US participation, but it is also important to point out there is a real fraud in the numbers that are continually put forward in terms of US involvement. President Obama announced 90,800 troops who remain there now going to 5,000 troops. But he also just… the involvement of 42 nations. There is thousands of more NATO and other troops that are in Afghanistan and there is every plan for them to stay. There is also more than 30,000 contractors, these are mercenaries. More than three times amount of military official forces that are in Afghanistan are also contractors and that number has gone up and gone up.
And in the meantime, Afghanistan is about the poorest countries in the world. One in three people in Afghanistan live in absolute poverty; half the urban populations still does not have access to safe drinking water. These are the conditions after the longest war and also just to keep in mind that the US has been involved in Afghanistan since 1979 and still in lead with same warlords that it was in 1979 and none of it has helped the people of Afghanistan at all.
Press TV: Where did it all go wrong for President Obama? You know his presidency was meant to be different, he was not meant to be the war-mongering president that he has turned out to be.
Flounders: He certainly came in promising to close Guantanamo, withdraw US forces from wars around the world, but he is only a president and we should keep in mind with all of the talk of a new around elections’ debates among candidates that the real power in the US today is the Pentagon and Wall Street, is the banks, is the military industries. For them, war is endlessly profitable and they have no interest in ending US wars, military domination around the world.
But every one of these wars, not one of them has succeeded, they create by the very policy failed states, they bring terrible ruin for the people of the region and no possibility of stability. But that is fine with the military industries because their purpose is not stability, is continued war.