America, Taliban and Afghanistan

Who’s responsible for what is now panning out with electric speed?
America, Taliban and Afghanistan
Representational Pic

It was all about America and Americans. Nothing else There are no doubts left that the American administration wanted its troops back home from Afghanistan and it moved them out as swiftly as possible, just to avoid confrontation with the Taliban that has now taken over Kabul. It is the de-facto government in Afghanistan. There are no ifs and buts left to be discussed and debated, but the self-interest of Americans that landed Afghanistan into this chaos from which the people of the country may not be able to come out any time soon.

The US has come out very clearly as to what it wanted, and how it achieved the same. There is only reference to America and NATO. Not much of the thought has been spared for the Afghans and the rest of the region. This is a new kind of foreign policy of America, or perhaps, a rehash of many such policies of the past, that has now played out in Afghanistan to the dismay of the whole of South Asia.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s explanation that, ‘had the President ( Joe Biden) decided to keep forces in Afghanistan beyond May 1st , attacks would have resumed on our forces. The Taliban had not been attacking our forces or NATO during the period from which the agreement was reached to May 1st.’

Blinken told Jake Tapper of the CNN : ‘The offensive you’re seeing across the country ( Afghanistan) now to take over the provincial capitals would have commenced, and we would have been back at war with the Taliban, and I’d probably be on program today explaining why we were sending tens of thousands of American forces back into Afghanistan to war , something the American people simply didn’t support. ”

What it makes amply clear is that all the claims of the US administration that it wanted a stable, secure Afghanistan where there was respect for human rights and women were either a self-nurtured illusion or a deception or they were simply outmaneuvered by the Taliban. The third possibility is more convincing.

The thrust of the Biden administration from the very beginning has been that it has achieved all that for which it went into Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 terror attack that shook the foundations of American supremacy in the unilateral world. It thought that it would be able to kill all terrorists and terrorist networks of al-Qaeda and Taliban, responsible for 9/11 soon. In fact, it did achieve its purpose to a large extent. Within months its blitzkrieg had left al-Qaeda hideouts and Taliban’s support network in tatters. But, it did not know what to do next? It was looking for symbols and not the ground situation. For it killing of Osama bin Laden was a high priority than securing Afghanistan and its future.

The killing of Osama-bin Laden in garrison town of Abbottabad in Pakistan was considered as the final nail in the coffin of the terror threat posed by al-Qaeda. This was a mistake. A latest UN report has discovered the presence of the al-Qaeda in 14 districts of Afghanistan. The threat exists as al-Qaeda still cooperates with Taliban. The belief of the US that it no longer poses a threat because it cannot plan any attack on the American soil is as wrong as was its calculation that Taliban would not be able to take over the whole of Afghanistan as the Afghan forces would be able to resist and fight back the Taliban.

The Biden administration has now added Taliban-ruled Afghanistan as a new terror threat to America.. Earlier, it had presumed that there were threats emanating from Islamic State in Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Now there is no guarantee that Afghanistan will not become haven for the terrorist groups. In the recent months, it should have drawn this conclusion. American lives are as precious as that of Afghans and others living in the region. This is a complex region and Americans cannot claim that they have all the knowledge of the places and the people. Satellite images and the high-tech equipment can beam its signals of what is happening on the ground – even that failed as the fall of Kabul has shown – they are unable to read the human psychology.

Americans, especially under Joe Biden, should have gone by what Barack Obama had written about the killing of Osama bin Laden and Pakistan’s role in his book “ A Promised Land”.

“The fact that that the Abbottabad compound was just a few miles from the Pakistan military’s equivalent of West Point only heightened the possibility that anything we told the Pakistanis could end up tipping off our target.” Obama had also noted as clearly as he could, “it was an open secret that certain elements inside the country’s ( Pakistan ) military and especially its intelligence services, maintained links to the Taliban and perhaps even al-Qaeda, sometimes using them as strategic assets to ensure that the Afghan government remained weak and unable to align itself with Pakistan’s number one rival, India.”

It all has happened, and Afghans have been left in an unending state of agony .

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