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A failed mission

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on August 20, 2021 with No Comments

As the United States continues its withdrawal from Afghanistan, a catastrophe is unfolding.  US remained in Afghanistan for good twenty years, however the government that it has been backing collapsed as Taliban insurgents swept into Kabul to take over the control. Instead of asking the army to put up a fight, which could have led to blood bath, President Ashraf Ghani left the country and left the Afghanis in utter chaos.

Desperate scenes of people trying to leave the country by sitting on the wheels of a plane taking off the Kabul Airport left the world awestruck and close to five dead who fell of the plane as it was airborne.

The US may have claimed that ending its military mission in Afghanistan as  a “Mission Accomplished” on the “Global War on Terrorism”, but in reality, its discomforting and ill timed exit will continue to haunt its reputation for a long time.US failed to foresee that its move to exit Afghanistan may lead to disaster. Democracy may perish, and it happened. Economic gains could be reversed and Afghans may not be left with any worthwhile funds.  More jobs and homes and lives will be lost. Ethnic minorities will be put in danger and extremist groups encouraged.  Much of the human progress the U.S. has bought with the roughly $2 trillion it has spent in Afghanistan over two decades could be wiped out in weeks. For women and girls, the threat is especially frightening. All these now being witnessed in Afghanistan.

Taliban were able to judge the urgency of the US to exit and were prompt to encash the same. They put up the demands like the release of 5,000 prisoners which the Afghanistan government had agreed under US pressure. These released prisoners only added more fighters for the Taliban.

Despite about $89 billion budgeted for training the Afghan army, it took the Taliban little more than a month to expose the training that the army had received from the US.  There has been shock at the lack of resistance put up by many Afghan army units. Some abandoned their posts and others reached agreements with the Taliban to stop fighting and hand over their weapons and equipment. Going by the US account, the provincial governments asked security forces to surrender or escape, perhaps in order to avoid further bloodshed because they assumed defeat was unavoidable.  US army invested in providing defence equipment, but when it came to building the morale it failed miserably.

The capture of Afghanistan emphasizes the failure of the United States to create a fighting force that could match the image of its highly professional army that could remain motivated under a well trained leadership that was equipped high-tech weaponry.

Twenty years of occupation of Afghanistan must have made the United States realize that no power however strong can occupy another country for long.  Puppet Governments can be supported,  kept propped up only for a short period. Moment props are removed the government can collapse under its weight.

Developments in Afghanistan are a disturbing for regional stability and world peace. Hope a coalition of forces can be organised to contain the evil Empire and limit damage.


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