Much like the Russians before them, the U.S. is looking to turn Afghanistan into an enduring central pillar of its Empire in Central Asia.
Long before September 11th, 2001, this was a strategic aim of the U.S., with efforts made in this direction, to varying degrees, by Presidents Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and then of course, Bush and now Obama.
With the former several Presidents, this was pursued by developing an alliance with the Mujahideen (the forefathers of today’s Taliban), while the latter two have declared all-out war on the Taliban.
Though the tactics are different, the goal of succeeding U.S. administrations, viz. Afghanistan, has ever been the same: winning strategic positioning for U.S. armed forces in this vital area of the globe, in a country situated just to the south of the Caucuses (and Russia), west of China, north of India, and east of Iran.
Russia, China and India concerned about ‘strategic partnership’ in which Americans would remain after 2014
American and Afghan officials are locked in increasingly acrimonious secret talks about a long-term security agreement which is likely to see US troops, spies and air power based in the troubled country for decades.
Though not publicised, negotiations have been under way for more than a month to secure a strategic partnership agreement which would include an American presence beyond the end of 2014 – the agreed date for all 130,000 combat troops to leave — despite continuing public debate in Washington and among other members of the 49-nation coalition fighting in Afghanistan about the speed of the withdrawal.
American officials admit that although Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, recently said Washington did not want any “permanent” bases in Afghanistan, her phrasing allows a variety of possible arrangements.