The US Myopia

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Naseebullah Achakzai
The abrupt, unplanned, and grievous withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan is proving to be a flawed decision. The country has tumbled once again in the clinches of unrest, devastation, violence, and war. The Taliban has advanced from different sides of the country whereby they have captured twenty six out of thirty-four Afghan capital cities yet. Analysts within America and the world are condemning Biden’s strategy. They are agreed that the same mistake has been iterated as it befell after the Soviet pullout from Afghanistan when the US and its allies had left the Afghans at the mercy of chaos, anarchy, civil war, and destruction.Many analysts and prominent media outlets call this a disaster of American foreign policy and have been severely criticizing not only the hasty pullback by also raising the questions on nation-building and military capacity of Afghanistan who were trained by the US during their twenty years stay by spending trillions of dollars.Although, the US envoy ZalmaiKhalilzad has observed that the Taliban has changed but seasoned observers negate it and opine that the five thousand Taliban prisoners who were freed as per the Doha agreement (on the condition that they will not take part in future wars) are taking part in the war. The former President of the United States George W Bush has called the withdrawal decision a mistake and questions that how will the Taliban treat the Afghan women, children, along with those who supported Americans and the US forces? He said, ” I am afraid that the Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm.”Expert and ex-Ambassador of Pakistan to America Hussain Haqqani calls it a disastrous withdrawal and opines that the Taliban victory is not going to be a local matter and warns that it will create a haven for the Islamist global Jihadist movement. David Petraeus who commanded war efforts in Afghanistan as the CENTCOM commander and commended the US troops fears that” What I see now sadly is the onset of the US, what is going to be quiet a brutal civil war, considerable ethnic and sectarian displacement, assassination of government officials, millions of refugees, and we will see the return of Al-Qaida and the Islamic state.The defense secretary of the UK Ben Wallace opined that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan was a mistake and said that the international community will probably pay the price. And that al Qaeda would regain a base in Afghanistan. The Washington Post criticizing Biden by saying that Afghan lives ruined or lost will be part of Biden’s legacy. Whereas CNN observes that Biden deserves blames for the debacle in Afghanistan. David S Sedney says if the US had stayed, the offensive would not have happened. Most of the Taliban gains are not from military actions but from Afghans, who seeing the US abandoning Afghanistan, have decided they must deal with the Taliban. This is a political, not military loss.Sadly, the US has not learned from history. When it left Vietnam in 1973 abruptly, in one year 80000 Vietnamese were killed as a result of internal war. Retired US Army Lt. General Daniel Bolger, who commanded the US-led coalition mission to train Afghan forces in 2011_2013 pointed that,” In the wake of President Biden’s withdrawal decision, the US pulled out its air support, intelligence, and contractors servicing Afghanistan’s planes and helicopters. That meant the Afghan military simply couldn’t operate anymore. The same happened with another failed American effort, the South Vietnamese Army in the 1970s” Moreover, after the Soviet withdrawal, the US and its allies abandoned the Afghans and the region. The result was Chaos, anarchy, civil war, and destruction in Afghanistan and the region. The same blunder has been repeated.Abandoning Afghanistan at the mercy of the situation by the US and its allies would prove fatal and disastrous. The issue is not of the Taliban or Ashraf Ghani government but of the Afghans who are paying the price. Whether the Taliban takeover or not it is a secondary question. The dolefulness is the short-sightedness of the US policy, which is leaving Afghanistan and the region in great haste without the proper future strategy of peace, development, and nation-building.When Biden was asked whether he trusted the Taliban, he said,” I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of war.” It has been proved wrong by the advancement of the Taliban. The US planners themselves had been saying that the Ghani government will fall in 6 months. Which is the negation of Biden’s strategy. The question is that if the US strategists were aware of the Taliban’s strength and the weakness of the ANDSF forces, then on what ground they have left their ally in the quagmire, devastation, war, and without future planning and peace?The analysts are also raising the question that why the US did not mediate between both the Taliban and the Afghanistan government until reaching the consensus? Why the US is leaving without the success of Intra_Afghan talks? The moral responsibility was to pressurize both the parties and had not withdrawn during the pandemic and war. The week presumption, poor judgment, strategy faults, mismanagement, and a tactless decision would lead Afghanistan towards destruction as the US, the Nato, the EU, and the UNO observe that they will not recognize the Taliban if they takeover Kabul by force. If they are in no mood to recognize the Taliban regime, despite their analysis of falling the Kabul to the Taliban in six months,(while writing this opinion the Taliban has captured 26 provincial capitals in 22 days) then how the pullout was announced? Had it not better to attune both the Taliban and the Afghan government prior to retreating from Afghanistan?What will be the risks attached to the victory of the Taliban? Will Afghanistan again be an epicenter of terrorism, human rights violation, violence, civil war, chaos, anarchy, political unrest, and a collapsing economy? The answers to these questions are uncertain. But, right now the people of Afghanistan are in the ocean of blood, economic fragility, humanitarian crisis, and violence. Unfortunately, the damage has been done. And they are paying for the sins which they have not committed.

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