Sputnik | August 15, 2018: Despite the US’ claims that they’re staying in Afghanistan to improve the country, Kathy Kelly, the co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence, tells Sputnik that it’s really more about Washington trying to send a message to other countries in the region.
The US-led coalition in Afghanistan finished its combat mission in December 2014, marking the formal end of the longest war in American history. Since then, US troops have remained in the country acting in a supervisory role, training Afghan soldiers and offering their military assistance whenever requested.
But the people of Afghanistan aren’t the ones benefiting from the US acting as the world police, Kelly told Sputnik Radio’s By Any Means Necessary on Tuesday.
”The beneficiaries are the people selling the weapons,” she told hosts Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon. “They are still running to the banks with their portfolios stuffed so they can sell warplanes and drone surveillance and all manner of bombs.”
“It certainly hasn’t in any way created a safer place for people to live in Afghanistan,” Kelly stressed.
Since early Friday, Taliban militants and Afghan security forces have been stuck in a deadly battle in the country’s Ghazni province. At least 90 soldiers and some 200 militants have been killed, according to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense. Offering their aid in the matter, the US carried out multiple airstrikes and dispatched military advisers to assist Afghan officials.
Citing the NGO Transparency International, Kelly told Puryear that projects established by the US to help Afghan residents fleeing from Taliban-occupied areas aren’t actually helping said locals.
“It’s a curious situation, because four times a year a report is filed… and they have listed through plenty of documentation… the corruption and mismanagement of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan… where money has gone into projects that have lined the pockets of contractors and not even produced what they were meant to,” she said.
Although locals are also enduring one of the worst droughts in recent years, Washington has focused its millions of dollars in funding on its approximately 18,000-strong troop presence and on airstrikes. “The United States every day is spending millions of dollars to maintain its troop presence, its special operation forces and constant bombing. And you’ve got people who are increasingly facing the terror of death by starvation or thirst.”
According to Toby Lanzer, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan, the war-torn country could “face a calamity” if the international officials don’t step in and offer drought aid, Al Jazeera reported. The last major drought ended after the region was hit with major snowfall.
At the end of the day, Kelly said that “the United States’ desire to remain in the country has nothing to do with humanitarian concern to protect people from the Taliban.”
“It’s a maintenance of a system of greed and control and a desire to send other signals to other countries in the region that the United States isn’t going to go away,” she said.