Failure in Afghanistan did not start in Kabul, Herat, or Kandahar. To better carve the roots, Washington must go under the lens.
A “war on terror” that contaminated the Middle East following Afghanistan war in 2001 turned to ashes twenty-one years later. What George Bush claimed to have sown only turned out to be a failure in Afghanistan in Biden era.
In an impressive speech that Bush made in 2001, he emphasized on American role in the war against terrorism. “Ultimately, one of the best weapons, one of the truest weapons that we have against terrorism is to show the world the true strength of character and kindness of the American people,” he stressed.
What the world witnessed of the “true strength of character” of American people was way far from kindness. The US two-decade direct involvement in Afghanistan only lent hand to the debilitation of Afghan government and its security arm.
The US billion-dollar expense in Afghanistan in these years was void of any significance in aiding Afghanistan following US withdrawal. That’s because the US was not here to train an independent administrative and military structure. Almost all American military equipment remained in Afghanistan are useless, as the operators are gone. All these, and not them alone, indicated the truth behind US failure in Afghanistan.
Taliban Advancement and Imminent Government Collapse
US failure in Afghanistan, against a popular view, is not limited to “nation-building.” The US military defeats, along with its allies, is an obvious evidence showing the US military failure in Afghanistan.
Ghazni and Herat were taken by the Taliban two days ago. It is the most spectacular examples of conquests since they began their attack. Taking Ghazni, a strategically significant city, enhances the Taliban’s chances of capturing Kabul in the coming weeks.
Kandahar, the second Afghan biggest city, is also experiencing severe warfare. While US departs after 20 years of military campaigns, Taliban has advanced quickly, capturing fresh territory nearly every day.
The speculations revolve over the fact that Ashraf Ghani, the Afghanistan president, might leave the country any moment. In a TV address in Friday, Ghani said he is working with local leader and international partners to impede the collapse of Kabul. “As your president, my focus is on preventing further instability, violence and displacement of my people,” Ghani said in his speech.
The Afghan president talked only hours after the Taliban militia took over Pul-e-Alam, the capital of Logar province. The region is one of the gateways to Kabul only 40 miles away from it in the south.
The instability in the vicinity of Kabul went so far that the United States sent troop to take its diplomatic and military delegates fully out of the city. Washington claims that the Afghan people who worked with the US during the years will also be among the group.
A failure in Afghanistan is costing the lives and security of millions of people there. Washington and its allies occupied the country to destroy the Taliban, but handed the country it over two decades later.
Failure in Afghanistan; Who Is Responsible?
The fast disintegration of Afghanistan has already caused doubts about American trustworthiness, exacerbating the traumas of the Trump era and strengthening the notion that America’s support for its partners is finite. But is the failure in Afghanistan the end of story?
Analysts anticipated that Biden’s takeover of the White House would rebuild America’s strong role in international affairs. This is particularly significant as China and Russia seek to expand their clout. The United States’ withdrawal has sown misgivings.
The new developments show that the United States started a way to downfall apart from who sits in the oval office. The imminent downfall of Kabul is the offshoot of Washington’s inability in keeping its leading role sharply exposed by the failure in Afghanistan.
From China and Russia to Iran and Saudi Arabia, Biden administration policies has proved a submissive approach in its seven-month history. Failure in Afghanistan seems to be the beginning of a sad story for Washington.