US mission in both Afghanistan and Palestine concluded with an embarrassing lesson; Invasion and intervention starts the path of defeat.
Under the most optimal circumstance, forming a military structure to suit the purposes of an invading force is a difficult goal. The United States has finally realized this, though not in time. Recent developments in Afghanistan confirmed this fact. We have also had other examples in the same era.
The annihilation of Mahmoud Abbas militants, who had US military and monetary supports, dates back to less than 15 years ago. Resistance forces imposed a defeated and dispersed the group as occurred in Afghanistan.
Regardless of their actual contrasts on various levels, the US ventures in Afghanistan and Palestine had a number of commonalities.
The Bush government turned down numerous offers to involve the Taliban in a political solution after crushing them two decades ago. High-rank Taliban commanders called Hamid Karzai, the fresh president, with offers to lay down guns and participate in democratic process. Donald Rumsfeld, then the US Secretary of Defense, refused all these offers outright.
Despite the denials at primary stages, the Taliban persisted in pressuring Karzai, who in turn pushed the US to initiate a political discussion. The attempts were entirely thwarted, resulting in the regime’s prohibition on any interaction with the Taliban.
The same US approach toward the Palestinian movement, particularly Hamas, was certainly even more aggressive. Interestingly, once the group secured majority in the elections in 2006, which were expected to boost the democratic reform, the US conduct started to entail more offense.
The Palestinian Authority didn’t have authority to interact with Hamas, as was the case about Karzai government. Following the elections, Hamas attempted to form “national unity government” with Fatah, but the latter firmly rejected, purportedly under pressure from Washington.
Afghanistan and Palestine; Two Missions with One Lesson
Washington’s workbook in Afghanistan and Palestine is majorly sabotaging political initiatives. As such, the blame is on the United States for the destabilization of both nations. The abuse of military and paramilitary groups has fueled persistent frustrations and divisions. In a similar way, the suppression of political rivals and critics has harmed political and democratic processes.
Fledgling security forces in Afghanistan and Palestine faced with a similar challenge. To put in a nutshell, they had no choice but to be everything all at once. While the Palestinian militia had the onerous burden of balancing concerns of Israel and Palestine, the Afghan security forces’ task ranged from fighting rebels and controlling terrorist attacks to tracking down drug lords and containing the development of opium.
Washington’s mission and its goals is still in haze following all of the wars, the fatalities and damage that followed them. “Our commitment to democracy is also challenged in the Middle East, which is my emphasis, and must be a focus of American policy for decades to come,” President Bush said in November 2003, shortly after 9/11.
18 years later, different vibes from the White House perplexed the already bizarre mission. “Our mission in Afghanistan was never to create a unified democracy,” Joe Biden said in justifying the US withdrawal. Joe Biden’s remarks further reinforced the theory that the United States supplies the perplexity to further secure its interests.
Military occupations, regardless of their roots or ideology, are inherently hostile to democracy and progress. Their most innocuous manifestations also breed opposition and thwart the sustainable and inclusive development. Examples include Afghanistan and Palestine. Afghans and Palestinians have been subject to countless assaults and colonization throughout history. The United States has now reached the end of line after twenty years.
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