[url=http://www.ericmargolis.com/political_commentaries/afghanistan-a-war-of-... to author Erik Margolis[/url], prior to the September 11,2001 attacks, US intelligence was giving aid and support both to the Taliban and to Al Qaeda. Margolis claims that "The CIA was planning to use Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda to stir up Muslim Uighurs against Chinese rule, and Taliban against Russia's Central Asian allies."
The US clearly found other means of stirring up Muslim Uighurs against Beijing last July via its support for the World Uighur Congress. But the Al Qaeda "threat" remains the lynchpin of Obama US justification for his Afghan war buildup.
Now, however, the National Security Adviser to President Obama, former Marine Gen. James Jones has made a statement, conveniently buried by the friendly US media, about the estimated size of the present Al Qaeda danger in Afghanistan. Jones told Congress, "The al-Qaeda presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies."
That means that Al-Qaeda, for all practical purposes, does not exist in Afghanistan. Oops...
Even in neighboring Pakistan, the remnants of Al-Qaeda are scarcely to be found. The Wall Street Journal reports, "Hunted by US drones, beset by money problems and finding it tougher to lure young Arabs to the bleak mountains of Pakistan, al Qaeda is seeing its role shrink there and in Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports and Pakistan and U.S. officials. For Arab youths who are al Qaeda's primary recruits, 'it's not romantic to be cold and hungry and hiding,' said a senior U.S. official in South Asia."
If we follow the statement to its logical consequence we must conclude then that the reason German soldiers are dying along with other NATO youth in the mountains of Afghanistan has nothing to do with "winning a war against terrorism." Conveniently most media chooses to forget the fact that Al Qaeda to the extent it ever existed, was a creation in the 1980's of the CIA, who recruited and trained radical muslims from across the Islamic world to wage war against Russian troops in Afghanistan as part of a strategy developed by Reagan's CIA head Bill Casey and others to create a "new Vietnam" for the Soviet Union which would lead to a humiliating defeat for the Red Army and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union.
Now US NSC head Jones admits there is essentially no Al Qaeda anymore in Afghanistan. Perhaps it is time for a more honest debate from our political leaders about the true purpose of sending more young to die protecting the opium harvests of Afghanistan.