After nearly eight years of blood shedding in Afghanistan, Obama Administration has escalated the war to a new bloodier height that has no end in sight. Now this bloodletting is not confined to Afghanistan, but the 'AfPak War' is being waged on both sides of the Durand Line, which has never been recognised by Kabul as the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. David Kilcullen who helped plan both the Iraq and Afghanistan troop surges, told the British Independent last week as to what was being openly discussed in the White House and Downing Street. He said: "We are looking at 10 years at least in Afghanistan, and that is the best case scenario, and at least half of that will be pretty major combat. This is the commitment that is needed, and the people in America and Britain should be told, and also about the cost involved." The biggest military operation since the Obama Administration took office is now underway in the province of Helmand. About 4,000 marines, along with hundreds of British troops are attempting to impose control over ethnic Pashtuns who have all along been opposing US occupation of Afghanistan since after 9/11. In the latest drone attacks in the tribal areas this week alone, more than 100 men, women and children were killed. Islamabad, primarily because of financial and political coercion by Washington, silently watches the violation of its sovereignty and the massacre of its citizens. In the latest escalation launched in Afghanistan, the Pentagon and its NATO allies have embarked on the largest combat offensive to date in their eight-year war on Afghanistan. Operation nicknamed "Khanjar" (strike of the sword) with 4,000 marines, attack helicopters, tanks, and Operation Panchai Palang (Panther's Claw) with several hundred British engaged in airborne attacks in Helmand, is perhaps the largest ground combat operation conducted in Afghanistan since the Vietnam War. During the first 10-days 15 British soldiers were killed bringing the total to 184, which is more than the total loss they suffered till the end of the operations in Iraq. Foreign Secretary Miliband had to admit that the British troops were engaged in a very, very difficult mission. The embedded British journalists with NATO forces in Afghanistan had told the Guardian last month that "the coverage of the war was lamentable, outrageous and indefensible." Thomas Harding of the Telegraph admitted: "We have constantly been told that everything is fluffy and good, whilst we and the public have been lied to." Characteristic of the official lies was the statement of General McChrystal was quoted in the USA TODAY that the US troops were in Helmand to "create a new ambience in which the Afghans would reject the Taliban and their culture of fear and intimidation." In reality, as the New York Times acknowledged last week, the Taliban are gaining support due to hatred for the US/NATO occupiers and their puppet government in Kabul. On July 3, correspondent Carlotta Gall noted that the mood of the Afghans has hipped into a popular revolt in some parts of Southern Afghanistan and that the people had taken up arms against the alien troops to protect their homes or in anger at losing their near and dear ones in air strikes. To suppress the popular resistance, the US marines are imposing a regime of fear and terror on the 250,000 inhabitants of the Helmand River Valley. The tactics being directed by McChrystal are modelled on the counter-insurgency methods he had applied in Iraq. The main towns have already been placed under military rule and the movement of the populace to markets, shops and hospitals would be monitored by curfews, checkpoints, constant searches and street interrogations. The local leaders would be pressurised to identify insurgents, who will then be targeted for assassination or capture by Special Forces' death squads, called the "Armed Reconnaissance Patrols." The ostensible legal basis on which the US troops are in Afghanistan is the "Authorisation for USE of Military Force", the joint resolution passed by the US Congress on September 18, 2001; one week after 9/11. The resolution authorised military force for the purpose of capturing or dissipating Bin Laden and his network to prevent any further terrorist attacks. Now, after about eight years, there hardly is a pretence that American forces are in Afghanistan to hunt down Bin Laden or his network. Instead, the war is going on against the Taliban, a label indiscriminately applied to any Afghan, who resists the US-led occupation. However, at no time there was an accusation that the Taliban had a role in 9/11. Whatever happened to Bin Laden is rarely ever mentioned and Al-Qaeda has been pushed into the background in the official propaganda and media accounts. So the AfPak war is not a war against terrorism, or for democracy, or to help the long-suffering Afghans or the tribesmen on both sides of the Durand Line. It is an indefinite colonial war with the central aim to turn Afghanistan into a US client state and ensure that Pakistan remains firmly under Washington's geopolitical strategy in the region. The writer is former inspector general of police