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14 Jul, 2010 22:26

Afghan war illegal and more expensive than Iraq

Special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke testified before the Senate Foreign Relations committee focusing on the progress of the civilian efforts in Afghanistan.

Author and anti-war activist David Swanson however is looking at the war in Afghanistan from a broader sense, questioning the legality of the war.

Under the UN Charter, which is a treaty our nation is party too and therefore under Article 6 of our constitution war is illegal. War is a crime, with two very specific exceptions; one being defense if a country comes to the United States or maybe its imperial possessions, then we can fight back. The other is if the UN Security Council specifically authorizes a use of the military. In this case we don’t have either of those exceptions,” said Swanson.

He added that current US conflict in Afghanistan is simply “the continuation of an illegal invasion.”

Swanson argued that this issue is rarely brought up by anyone, especially other states, because many fear the power and strength of the US and because both the Republicans and Democrats are heavily invested in the war.

The war in Afghanistan is possibly triple the cost of the Iraq war, said Swanson. And the costs of the war include more than military funding, the costs include other supplies, veteran care, effects on other market sectors and more.

The preset July 11, 2010 withdraw date has become more of a drawdown date to begin the process of leaving Afghanistan. However, there have been no answers on what the goal is or what an end will look like. The US government has given no insight into a withdraw plan.

Swanson said that both parties are continuing to support war funding and defense, even though they have continually argued there is no military solution, only political solution. However, the details of any solution have not been given. Swanson said no one seems to know what a solution might look like.

I can’t tell you, Ambassador Holbrooke can’t tell you, nobody will tell you,” said Swanson.

Military experts have said it would take hundreds of thousands of troops to accomplish anything. However, the US does not that option.

You would have to have a draft. And then Americans would have to be affected personally, not just theoretically. And then there would be resistance,” said Swanson. 

RT's military analyst Yevgeniy Khrushchev believes that stepping up efforts to curb the illegal narcotics trade could help turn the tide in the war in Afghanistan.

The international community should back up, in this case, General Petraeus’ initiative and stop playing footsies with the Taliban’s Haqqani,” Khruschev suggested.