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Additional troop dispatch will only worsen Afghan situation
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that the United States will send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan without showing any intention to solving the present problem, simply emphasizing the need to fight terrorism. His gnew strategyh will bring the total number of U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan to 100,000. The number has tripled since the inauguration of the Obama administration.

The president made clear that he will not begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan during the next 18 months. The length of the Afghanistan war will be almost the same as that of the Vietnam War.

If NATO countries send additional troops to Afghanistan in response to Obamafs request, the troop level in Afghanistan will comply with what the U.S. field commander is asking for.

One of the causes of the Afghan war getting bogged down in a quagmire is the rising number of civilian casualties from operations by forces of the United States and other NATO countries. The living conditions of Afghan citizens are rapidly worsening. It is no wonder that Afghanis are becoming increasingly opposed to foreign forces stationed in their country.

The legitimacy of the Hamid Karzai government is called into question not only in the country but internationally due to allegations of widespread fraud and corruption in the recent presidential election. Nevertheless, the Obama administration is trying to bolster the trust of the international community in the Karzai government by putting pressure on it to eliminate corruption.

However, what the United States is doing today is refusing Afghanistanfs right to sovereign independence.

Afghan people see the reinforced U.S. forces and NATO forces clearly as occupation forces.

The United Nations is the only international organization qualified to play a role in resolving the conflict in Afghanistan. The Obama administration is unilaterally pushing ahead with its military strategy without allowing any serious discussion in the United Nations, which is contrary to Obamafs promise to promote international cooperation in dealing with the Afghanistan crisis.

Organized terrorism often arises from issues related to social injustice such as the poverty and suppression of basic human rights. Terrorism cannot be eradicated militarily. The international community is called upon to work together using legal means and humanitarian assistance to combat terrorism.

An effort to achieve peace through political processes is essential. The effort to resolve the Afghan crisis must focus on reducing poverty and solving other social problems facing the Afghan people today. International cooperation within the U.N. framework is necessary. This is why we are calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

- Akahata, December 3, 2009


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