The War on Islam in Afghanistan II (L07)

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15 Jun 2011
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War on Islam in Afghanistan II
-Cold War, sphere of influence
oUS, USSR gathering as many territories that would agree to trade solely
with them, choosing between siding with socialists or capitalists
-However, some 3rd world countries refused to side with either there has to be
another way, they said, a Third Way
oWhy cant we trade with both superpowers? The Cold War is your issue not
ours
oE.g., Castro wanted to continue trading with the US in his own terms, not
theirs he was vilified for that. All he wanted was to clean up Cuba of the
greedy aspects of US capitalism. Its not that they wanted to be
communist/socialist, they just wanted another option
oUS, USSR thinking = “My way or the highway. No third way.
-Cold War tactics (assassinations of key leaders, instigations of civil wars, etc.) still
used to this day
-Cold War conflict was all about acquiring strategically placed areas. Concept of
MAD implemented during this period. Also involves the nuclear arms race
oMutually assured destruction (MAD) doctrine of military strategy and
national security policy in which a full-scale use of high-yield WMDs by two
opposing sides would effectively result in the destruction of both the attacker
and the defender, becoming thus a war that has no victory nor any armistice
but only total annihilation. It is a strategy in which neither side, once armed,
has any incentive to disarm. (Wiki)
-Great game, Afghanistan, Britain, Russia, access to southern oceans
oAfghanistan is strategically-placed that acts as a buffer between the USSR
and the Western powers
oThe Great Game term for the strategic rivalry and conflict between the
British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia in
which Afghanistan plays a huge part because of its location
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-After the Cold War, the world powers’ interest shifted from the acquisition of trade
allies to acquisition of hydrocarbon-rich regions
oHydrocarbons drive the economy (its consumption)
It is involve in every single aspect of living these days
E.g., all stages of food production involves use of fossil fuels
Non-renewable and running out >> pressures world powers to find
reliable sources before everyone else
-Oil a major force in geopolitics
-1979, Soviet invaded Afghanistan, US countered invasion by supplying arms directly
and setting up CIA-backed training camps for resistance group
oAfghan-Arabs from other areas trained by the CIA to resist Soviet
o Mujahedeen
-Stinger missiles turned the tide of war
-Soviet withdrew, left a vacuum, 1989
oMujahedeen warlords competed for power
oTaliban rose as top contender, 1994
-1996, Taliban captured Kabul
oUS established diplomatic ties and commercial relationships with the Taliban
oUnocal, oil and gas company, one of the key players in the CentGas
consortium (has 1/3 of the interests) an attempt to build a natural gas
pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and to the Indian Ocean
who made a deal with the Taliban to make this happen
-1998, Kenya and Tanzania, Al Qaeda bombings of US embassies
oAl Qaeda thought to be based in Afghanistan
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oUS decided that they shouldnt be friends with Al Qaeda supporters i.e., the
Afghans for harbouring the Al Qaeda in their country
Unocal thus pulled out of the consortium
-However the Taliban decided to hold conference with the other consortium members
and decided to go ahead with the pipeline project without US help and interest
-Clinton decided to freeze Taliban assets and eradicated the poppy fields sole source
of income for most Afghan families
-Plight of Afghan women sensationalized around this time
oSensationalized when the Taliban stated that theyre happy to be without US
involvement
-Start of the propaganda that depicted the Taliban were evil
-Pipeline, 2002, Unicol signed back on, poppy fields brough back because the US govt
refused to give aid to the impoverished of Afghanistan
-Top leaders of Afghanistan formerly affiliated with oil and gas companies
oE.g., Karzai and Khalilzad former consultants for Unocal and associates
-Bush surrounded himself with people formerly involved in the oil and gas industries
oDick Cheney, former CEO of Halliburton (oil and gas equipment and
services ); Condoleezza Rice, Chevrons former Central Asia expert
-Post-Sept. 11, all we heard about are the Taliban and the plight of Afghan women,
not the pipeline project
-Fundamentalism comes to be in response to dramatic change
oPeople who believe in some sort of religious fundamentalism are holding on to
tradition, dont want to modernize
oreligious traditionalists
oAll religious fundamentalisms have relatively short histories
oPeople turn to religion to help them get over crises
Alter their religious beliefs to try and cope with deep crises
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