A Philosophical Perspective

The conflict in Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere ultimately comes down to the assertion of power, whereby entities are trying to expand or maintain their power (or existence) through the weakening or elimination of other entities, whereas other entities are trying to protect their power from the expansion of other entitiesé. There is no good or evil entity; rather, there are opposing and non-opposing entities.

The basis for the determination of power is the exploitation of strengths and weaknesses. In the context of the United States government, it has used its air superiority, or weakness in the Taliban air defense, to its advantage; whereas the Taliban has used its connection with Afghan people, or weakness in the U.S.’s position on the ground, to its advantage by dispersing into the Afghan and Pakistan populaces and the mountainous hideaways in Afghanistan, and even giving power, as in Kandahar, to allied tribal/militia groups.

Russia has used its political and military connection to the Northern Alliance, and weakness of the American’s position on the ground, to establish itself in Kabul.

Based on the theory of exploitation of strength and weakness, how will the Afghan conflict unfold:

Pakistan having been betrayed by the United States for letting the Northern Alliance into Kabul and not providing fair representation of Pushtons in the interim Afghan government, may revert to re-strengthening its connection with Afghan Pushtons and work towards their return to power, instead of having to face a pro-Indian and Russian Afghan government.

A major weakness of the United States government is that it is a secular based government, and therefore its actions lack a religious basis, which manifests itself in merciless, inhuman actions when combined with U.S.’s radical use of inventions. In other words, U.S. foreign policy lacks forgiveness, compassion. (e.g. the ongoing massacre of Afghan civilians or the massacre of Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners of war.) So no matter how effective U.S. military and economic onslaughts may be, they will produce corresponding hatred against the U.S.

Another major weakness of the United States government is that it is overstretched with vulnerable interests in most parts of the world. So we should expect more attacks against U.S. interests like the East African bombing, or even more lethal attacks than the September 11 aircraft attacks.

A major strength of the U.S. is its economy, thereby spending power, but there are limits to what money can buy viz., some things like an individual’s faith are not for sale.

A major strength of the Taliban and al-Qaeda is that they are decentralized, which makes them difficult targets. So we should expect them to maintain their decentralization.

However, a major weakness of the Taliban and al-Qaeda is that they appear to be lacking significant support by a major entity, which makes even their decentralization vulnerable if they are attacked systematically on the ground. Though the use of independent cells and their strong faith in Islam can offset this vulnerability.

As the Taliban and al-Qaeda are decentralized even further, it appears that the Afghanistan conflict will revolve around control of Afghanistan viz., the Indian, Iranian, and Russian backed Northern Alliance and the U.S. and Britain Afghan puppets, which could potentially trigger a new war. (A sign of this potential war may be the recent U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 ABM treaty, which may have been partly triggered from the U.S.’s inability to lessen Russian support for the Northern Alliance.)

It appears that there is no immediate end to the Afghan conflict in sight, though the U.S.’s secular approach to the conflict and its radical use of inventions, and thereby its mercilessness and utter destructiveness, appears to be a deciding factor, which will only continue to work to the U.S.’s disadvantage similar to Israel’s aggression against Palestine, especially in consideration of the decentralized nature of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and the vulnerable U.S. interests. Clearly, the U.S. is not in a position to fight a global gorilla war.

Mr. Stephen Garvey is a philosopher and writer, and publisher for Inexpressible Publications who resides in Canada.