Democratic process installed in 1964, a Marxist faction, the Peoples Democratic
Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was founded in 1965 and continued to grow and
gain in power through to 1978.
In 1978, a prominent PDPA member (Akbar Khyber) was killed, PDPA leaders
publically accused the government of being responsible. Protests surrounding
the dubious conditions of Khyber’s death led to the arrests of the majority of
Military factions loyal to the PDPA staged a coup in April of 1978 and PDPA took
control of the country. As the PDPA attempted to instill state atheism and equal
rights for women, religious Afghans began to rebel, with arming, funding, and
training provided by the United States whose chief concern at the time was
preventing the spread of communism. These forces became known as the
Mujahedeen. To attempt to quell the rebellion, PDPA officials
requested soviet military re-enforcement. US support
of the Mujahedeen skyrocketed and the proxy war
against the Soviet Union was engaged.
Soviet forces withdrew in 1989, leaving behind
a great amount of military equipment for use
PDPA and Mujahedeen engaged in civil war
from 1989 to 1992, while the US, Saudi Arabia,
and Pakistan continued to fund Mujahedeen.
In 1992 with the Soviet Union dissolved a well
funded and armed Mujahedeen finally toppled
the PDPA, Islamic State of Afghanistan is born.
Civil war between different factions of the
Mujahedeen essentially broke out in 1992, with
the Taliban taking control in 1996, but regional
violence has continued unabated to the present.
In the years leading up to September 11, 2001,
the Al-Queda network, an international group
with anti-western aims conducted training and
recruitment all over the middle east. Very few
local governments attempted to curb this in
any way. The US attacked training camps in
Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon, Jordan, and
Afghanistan. Al-Queda, a Wahabi group, is
strongest and recruits most of it’s members in
Saudi Arabia which is also the hub of
Osama Bin Laden openly supported the
Taliban regime, and was thought by some in
the intelligence community to be hiding in
Afghanistan after 9-11. Seeking Osama Bin
Laden to hold him accountable for the 9-11
attacks may have legitimately been a part of
the reason we invaded.
However, the Taliban agreed to cooperate and
turn over Bin Laden to the US if the US would
provide evidence that he was indeed
responsible for the attacks.
Unical (Union Oil/Chevron) was engaged in
negotiations with Afghanistan to build a
pipeline across Afghanistan opening up 4.7%
of the worlds natural gas reserves. Caspian
natural gas reserves currently flow at about 4
trillion cubic feet per year. Negotiations broke
down in August of 1998. The US had
reasonable diplomatic relations with the
Taliban up to this point. Bombing campaign
began within days.
Afghanistan holds some of the worlds largest
reserves of copper, bauxite, aluminum, iron,
cobalt, gold, and lithium. In July the Pentagon
announced that a US Geological survey
estimated the reserves’ net worth at over 1.4
Bombing began in 1998.
With the breakdown of diplomatic relations,
the US began planning a small scale invasion,
India and England both committed troops to a
US invasion during the summer BEFORE 9-11.
Realistically isn’t the bulk of our invasion a
retaliation for 9-11?
Caspian Pipeline is still not open.
Minerals are not being harvested by US Interests.
We still have a strategic interest in that part of the
Taliban have popular support and resources to
retake country without our presence.
The counter insurgency manual was published
in 2006 and was written under the supervision
of Army Lt. Gen. David Petreaus and Marine
Lt. Gen. James Amos.
“Defeating such enemies requires a global,
strategic response—one that addresses the
array of linked resources and conflicts that
sustain these movements while tactically
addressing the local grievances that feed
them.” Counter Insurgency Manual 1-23 on Al-
“People who have been maltreated or have had
close friends or relatives killed by the
government, particularly by its security forces,
may strike back at their attackers. Security
force abuses and the social upheaval caused by
collateral damage from combat can be major
escalating factors for insurgencies.” Counter
Insurgency Manual 1-45
“An operation that kills five insurgents is
counterproductive if collateral damage leads to
the recruitment of fifty more insurgents.” 1-141
“Twenty counterinsurgents per 1000 residents
is often considered the minimum troop density
required for effective COIN operations”
Counter Insurgency Manual 1-67
Population of Afghanistan as of 2010:
28,395,716 CIA World Factbook.
Minimum troop density required for effective
COIN operations in Afghanistan: 567,914
Post-surge troop density: 102,000, or roughly
18% of minimum for COIN.
“Insurgencies are protracted by nature. Thus,
COIN operations always demand considerable
expenditures of time and resources.” Counter
Insurgency Manual 1-134
“Historically, Counter-Insurgency Ops have
gone nine or ten years.” –General David
Petraeus on Fox News
Cost to put one soldier in Afghanistan for one
Minimum number of troops required to
conduct a counter-insurgency campaign in
Amount of time required 9-10 years.
Total “direct” costs= $5,111,226,000,000.00-
There were four high-ranking Generals who
publically took positions on the best strategy in
Afghanistan in the fall of 2009 as President Obama
weighed his options.
McChrystal and Petreaus each favored increasing
to troop levels more conducive to a counter-
insurgency campaign (60-80,000 additional troops
to begin) and continuing operations indefinitely.
McCaffery and Eikenberry each leaked or released
statements suggesting that without reliable
partners in government in Afghanistan, or the
resources to successfully conduct a counter-
insurgency campaign, the United States and
coalition forces should begin withdrawal.
President Obama opted to compromise
between the two plans, and institute a slight
surge to roughly 102,000 troops (+33,000); but
to begin withdrawal with no firm timeline
dependant on “conditions on the ground”
beginning in July of 2011.
This compromise between beginning a counter-
insurgency campaign, and beginning a
withdrawal has thus far been disastrous and
has led to substantial increases in civilian
casualties, US and coalition casualties, and
substantially bolstered the popularity and
influence of the Taliban.
Afghanistan Study Group