James Cogan | wsws.org, 10 July 2009
The largest military operation since the Obama administration took office is now underway in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Some 4,000 marines, along with hundreds of British troops, are attempting to impose control over an ethnic Pashtun population that has opposed the US-led occupation ever since the 2001 invasion overthrew the Taliban government and installed a puppet regime.
At the same time, the Pakistani government, primarily because of financial and political coercion by Washington, has ordered its military into a brutal offensive against the Pashtun people of northwest Pakistan. Their crime is that they share a common history, language and culture with the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and provide support to the Taliban insurgency over the ill-defined border between the two countries.