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Lecture

The War on Islam in Afghanistan II (L07)


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT204H1
Professor
Leslie Jermyn

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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 โ€“ there has to be
another way, they said, a Third Way
oโ€œWhy canโ€™t we trade with both superpowers? The Cold War is your issue not
oursโ€
oE.g., Castro wanted to continue trading with the US in his own terms, not
theirs โ€“ he was vilified for that. All he wanted was to clean up Cuba of the
greedy aspects of US capitalism. Itโ€™s not that they wanted to be
communist/socialist, they just wanted another option
oUS, USSR thinking = โ€œMy way or the highway. No third way.โ€
-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) โ€“ 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 โ€“ 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 powersโ€™ 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) โ€“ an attempt to build a natural gas
pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and to the Indian Ocean โ€“
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 shouldnโ€™t be friends with Al Qaeda supporters โ€“ 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 โ€“ sole source
of income for most Afghan families
-Plight of Afghan women sensationalized around this time
oSensationalized when the Taliban stated that theyโ€™re 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 govโ€™t
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, Chevronโ€™s 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 โ€“ comes to be in response to dramatic change
oPeople who believe in some sort of religious fundamentalism are holding on to
tradition, donโ€™t want to modernize
oโ€œreligious traditionalistsโ€
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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