Forever war


PRESIDENT Joe Biden announced on Wednesday it’s “time to end” America’s longest war with the unconditional withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, where they have spent two decades in a bloody, largely fruitless battle against the Taliban.

In a nationally televised address, Biden said the United States had “accomplished” its limited original mission of crushing those behind the 9/11 attacks and named September 11 as the deadline by which the last US soldiers will have finally departed.

In an agreement, which forms the basis for subsequent accord between the Afghan government and Taliban as well as intra-Afghan dialogue, the United States was to leave the country by the Ist of May.

Though the new deadline is not far off but it conveys an unfortunate impression that the US has scant respect even for written accords.

The logic that the US would not make a ‘hasty exit’ is not understandable as American troops are there in Afghanistan for twenty long years and they are unlikely to bring about any visible/meaningful change in the ground situation in just four or five months if they could not do so in two decades.

In retrospect, the United States should have, at best, gone for a short mission in Afghanistan as twenty-year involvement only highlights pathetic failures to achieve anything worthwhile except loss of hundreds of thousands of precious lives and pushing the country into Dark Ages.

As the US is preparing to leave Afghanistan, the focus should now be on rebuilding and facilitating Afghans forge a consensus on future political set-up but unfortunately there is more focus on how to secure American geo-political interests. Afghans must not be treated like that.