1. heroin poppies & paste;
2. pipeline control;
3. access to valuable minerals in Afghanistan & adjoining regions;
4. DOD procurement pulling tax $$ into profits for KBR-Halliburton, Blackwater, Boeing, Raytheon, McDonnel Douglas, Northrop Grumman, etc., the giant weapons corporations that maintain the federally run socialist mini-state that is the US Military's global web of bases;
5. strategic regional encirclement;
6. the spooky unconscious collective aggression of US society, which both sacrifices its soldiers, and attacks the enemy, for lack of a culture more capable of diffusing aggression.
The cover story--about democracy and terror and humanitarian effort--is the absurd part. The actual reasons for this war and the hundreds like are not irrational or foolish, but evil.
This evil, however, is partly an ethical phenomenon where individual persons act immorally, and partly an amoral, natural phenomenon where these same behaviors are the expression of instinctual drives or neurological imperatives.
There is a parallel structure on the collective level, where states in conflict are both sinning against the truths of virtue & human decency, and acting out a merely amoral, natural logic of competitive strife that inheres in their very nature, to be epitomized in the all-ensnaring predicament of endemic militarism that results.