The US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was directed at “exploiting” the country’s “strategic resources” and to “encroach” on neighboring Russia and China, an author and analyst in Chicago says.
“Afghanistan has strategic resources…valuable resources, maybe worth on the order of a trillion dollars or more, America wants US corporations to exploit these things,” Stephen Lendman told Press TV on Sunday.
“The war in Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11, nothing to with [Osama] Bin Laden, nothing to do with the Taliban, nothing to do with al-Qaeda, it was about exploiting and controlling a strategic part of the world,” Lendman said.
Afghanistan is near Russia and China and “the idea is to control as many countries close to Russia and China’s borders, to put US bases there, to encroach on them, to target the heartland of these countries with the ultimate aim of regime change in both countries,” he contended.
A new report by the New York Times on Friday said US President Barack Obama has secretly signed an order that allows US troops to be involved in combat operations in Afghanistan throughout 2015.
The order will authorize American forces to continue their missions against the Taliban and other militant groups after the current mission ends next month, the Times report said, citing a senior administration official.
Earlier in May, Obama announced that the American military won’t have any combat role in Afghanistan next year.
He said nearly 10,000 troops remaining in Afghanistan will only be involved in training Afghan forces.
The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country, despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops.