WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Donald Trump’s decision to keep US troops in Afghanistan, reversing his campaign pledges to withdraw from conflicts around the world, will backfire and create many more dedicated terrorists instead, global peace activist Dr. Helen Caldicott told Sputnik.
In his August 21 speech, Trump unveiled what he called a new US strategy in Afghanistan that would focus on destroying Taliban and other extreme Islamist forces instead of engaging in nation-building and strengthening civic society in the country.
However, Caldicott — founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the organization that was the co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize — warned that the new policy was falsely conceived and would create far greater terrorism problems instead of eradicating them.
“Trump implied, no more nation building: just killing of terrorists,” she said. “But the opposite prevails, converting peoples’ families into body parts inevitably creates more and more dedicated so-called terrorists.”
Caldicott said Trump had allowed himself to be manipulated by his military advisers, especially National Security Adviser and Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Secretary of Defense and retired Marine Gen. James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly.
“Trump was a soft touch for his ‘killer’ advisers, having virtually no historical knowledge and only a background in real estate deals,” she said.
Caldicott recalled that during the 2016 presidential campaign trump had repeatedly been critical of the long US military commitment in Afghanistan that stretched back to late in 2001.
“It is well known that he saw no reason to continue the military trauma in that country that had been proceeding for 16 years, and even before that, years of hideous war as the United States fought the Soviet Union on Afghani soil,” she said.
However, Trump’s opposition to the war had now been exposed as insincere and superficial, Caldicott maintained.
“Donald Trump’s about turn on Afghanistan shows the vacuity of the man’s thinking and commitment,” she said.
The generals had all been associated with costly, bloody and entirely unsuccessful policies in Afghanistan that had failed totally, yet all they could recommend to Trump was more of the same, Caldicott noted.
“Billions of dollars wasted on war, weapons and bribery, hundreds of thousands killed, opium trade never been more lucrative, and still Trump’s generals advise more war,” she said.
Continuing those policies would continue to generate more enormous profits for the US military-industrial complex, Caldicott observed.
“Well you see it’s good for the military industrial complex which simply must have more wars whenever and wherever they can perceive and organize it,” she said.
However, there was no rational or moral defense to continue such demonstrably disastrous policies, Caldicott argued.
“To quote Einstein ‘It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder,’” she said.
The emergence of the Taliban was facilitated by the United States and its allies, who tried to use the terrorist threat to maintain their control over the Central Asian region while simultaneously posing a challenge to America’s geopolitical competitors, Russia and China, Afghan experts have told Sputnik.