Afghanistan: Such a victory never in foresight
THE race to victory in nine days will be remembered forever where the West claimed it might take up to 90 days.
But, the Taliban got there at driving time. Whom to be blamed for the fall of Kabul: The US weak position or strength/dedication of the Taliban? Western agenda became evident with media propaganda campaigns by top-notch news agencies against the Taliban.
The US blunders in Afghanistan escalated the power race between the Taliban and the US plus the Afghan Government.
The Afghan Army, that Biden claimed to be more competent kept surrendering and fleeing, left behind several questions regarding their training, trainers’ capabilities and on-ground realities.
To resolve the conflict, peaceful negotiations with the Taliban was the only agreeable solution but the US abolition of the Doha Agreement took away chances of having another set of negotiations with the Taliban. With the withdrawal of American troops and the Afghan Government, the status of western power politics in the region is getting gloomy.
The Taliban were on an ascending trajectory to capture, control and rule and have achieved their target peacefully without getting into bloodshed.
The outcome indicates that the US had grossly miscalculated if it believed that by unleashing B-52 bombers they would be successful in changing the on-ground realities.
The remote bombing of Afghan towns and cities had only added to the misery, destruction and deprivation of the people who have already long suffered from their country becoming a global theatre of superpower rivalry.
Americans by undertaking these missions also violated the terms of the Doha Agreement in addition to civilian casualties which makes Afghans more anti-American.
The result is obvious that the pro-government forces and warlords who are mobilized in the strength of American dollars refused to fight the Taliban and surrendered to flee which enabled the Taliban to establish control of Kabul in less than 24 hours.
Their pace to victory has set a global record. The Taliban now enjoy its sceptical military-strategic chowk points and Kabul.
The arrogant behaviour, intransigence, non-serious attitude and reliance on weak and frivolous think tanks led towards the fall of Kabul from the US hands.
It’s time to realise that the Kabul regime is supported by elements of the former northern alliances and Tajik hardliners who have over the past two decades used American dollars to enrich themselves and build their businesses abroad at the cost of the general population of Afghanistan who has benefited at all from the dollar inflows.
The only meniscal percentage of Afghan elite have been major beneficiaries of the US-led western intervention.
Hence, this is evident that the Taliban became victorious while the Afghan Government seems to be left with no set directions but to flee.
In this scenario, serious questions arise such as: After spending trillions of dollars, why was the US unable to resolve the conflict? Is it a failure in the training process of the Afghan troops who seem to be incompetent to deal with the rise of the Taliban or something else? What is the issue here? I think the lack of Afghan troops training is not an issue.
Seemingly, the Afghan troops have realized that it is a futile exercise to kill their Afghan brothers on the call of the US who already ran away from the battleground. This eventually built on frustration among the Afghan forces.
The second issue is that the Afghan forces were getting clearer from the writings on the wall that the Taliban are gaining ground. In this context, the Afghan Army cannot fight their fellow Afghan brothers.
Ultimately, they must surrender if bloodshed gets stronger and dirtier. The third issue is that expecting the Taliban to negotiate with Ashraf Ghani over ministries was again against the ground realities.
In the current scenario, the Taliban victory has proven it. All their way they never fought the war for having three to four ministries. The fourth issue seems to be that it will be a winner’s curse if the Taliban had to negotiate with the Afghan government when Kabul was slipping from the US hands.
The western world says that they will never accept the Taliban Government, who appear to be terrorists to the West, no matter if they win forcefully or not. But the question is what they can do? Should they establish a D-Chowk Dharna in South Asia, maybe in New Delhi? or accept reality and come out of their myopic vision!
The fifth concern is who is a terrorist? If the Taliban are terrorists then why did Americans enter into a deal with terrorists? According to a proverb, a man is known by the company he keeps. Seemingly, the US is equally a terrorist.
The western powers should shed their biases against the Taliban and the Taliban should be seeking advance recognition.
This is necessary because the Taliban have achieved freedom at a high cost to the population and resources that have been devastated due to the illegal actions of the West over the last two decades unmindful of the damage to the civilian population, women and children under the guise of fighting terrorism.
The political arrangement in Kabul cannot be sustained either by pressuring, launching propaganda or sanctions against the Taliban or by remotely conducting B-52 bombers or terrorist activities.
The Americans have not only lost the Afghan war but also lost the war of narrative to win global public opinion.
It is clear from the policy statement of the State Department as well as American-Indian strategists and scholars’ interest.
The Taliban fought over to restore their national dignity, honour and self-recognition by fighting with the occupied forces to reach Kabul. Under international law, they are fully entitled to fight for their national rights.
The West and its allies chant the same old mantra of the Taliban as a terrorist and hostile towards girls’ education. Sohail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesperson, said that they will be tolerant towards women’s education and work.
To conclude Afghanistan is the proverbial Bermuda Triangle in which all superpowers of their era got sucked in and exited only in mould conditions whether Alexander’s Army, Changez Khan Mongol Hordes, British Colonial Army, the Soviet military or the American GIs.
They all met the same sorry fate. It’s high time for the West to learn a lesson and come out of the pivot otherwise further lives ruined will be part of the western legacy! Also, before the western world calls the Taliban leaders ruthless, barbaric, cruel, etc.,
they need to reflect on their histories and check how America, the UK, Australia and many more got on the map of the world? They will get a satisfying answer!
—The writer is Assistant Professor, Department of Government and Public Policy, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, National University of Sciences and Technology.