Is the US finally leaving?

It’s Pakistan that is arranging the current US-Taliban talks since they know they are to reap its strategic dividends.
Is the US finally leaving?
File Photo

On-paper analysis doesn't always translate into the on-ground reality, notwithstanding the analyzer's confidence to predict. This element of surprise acts as an equalizer, in the unipolar world we live in. It deters the will of the superpower, to some extent, which would've created havoc, if its whims and desires were really to come true, all the time.

After the Vietnam War, which lasted 19 years and 5 months, the war in Afghanistan has already reached 17 years and 2 months. Why has then the 'imperium' that the United States professes to be, lost the Afghan war to the Taliban? Why has the most technologically-advanced and militarily-superior nation failed to defeat the most rugged fighters in the mountains of Afghanistan? Why hasn't the expenditure of astronomical US$6.4 billion facilitated the US to achieve its objectives? Why hasn't the world-support in the form of NATO forces obliterated the Taliban or their power of resurgence from Afghanistan? First, the Operation Enduring Freedom (2001 to 2014) failed, and now even the Operation Resolute Support (2015- current) has not succeeded.

General Joseph Dunford – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff likes to put it euphemistically as 'Stalemate', and not as a loss. Be that as it may, but the fact of the matter is the objective of the invasion was 'to destroy the Taliban'. The reality on the ground in the 18th year of war is that the Taliban controls more than 60% of the districts of the country.  The US declared its loss when it announced talks with the Taliban. The negotiations with the Taliban are happening in the UAE, in which the Saudis, Pakistanis, and Emiratis are involved. The Taliban are in such a strong diplomatic position that it has plainly refused to directly meet the Afghan-government, on the grounds that they consider them to be the puppets who exist because of the foreign support. For the first time, the US envoy has met the Haqqani network- a group officially designated as the terrorist group by Washington. It's interesting when the Taliban asked the US to share evidence of Osama's involvement in 9/11, back in 2001, the Bush and his British ally cited the policy of 'not negotiating with terrorists'. However, the harsh realpolitik has brought it down from high horses of idealism to the realism, onto its knees to sit down with the same terrorists and negotiate. Not only are they negotiating, but they have lost the war and are attempting to secure some face-savers. The world media, that has always been, and still is, on the side of the US, may not highlight this reality in a way it deserves to be, but it is too evident for anybody to miss.

The Taliban renaissance with the re-emergence of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan may not have any considerable international consequences since the Taliban never seemed to have any global ambitions. However, it is bound to have major repercussions in the region. India was already at the back-foot due to the CPEC that led to the convergence of Sino-Pakistan interests- economic as well as security. The rebirth of the Taliban government is bad, bad news for New Delhi. The Taliban will be even closer to Islamabad this time. It's Pakistan that is arranging the current US-Taliban talks since they know they are to reap its strategic dividends. With the anti-India sentiments touching new skies in Kashmir held by India, it seems India's writ begins to wane from the point it enters Kashmir. It may maintain its military hold onto the valley, but beyond that, its diplomatic impact has been torn to shreds with the new development in the strategically important region. In fact, with the history of Pashtuns crawling down the high mountains into the deep valleys of Kashmir- with a reinvigorated Pakistani intelligence, military, and political apparatus to support it, im combination with the local angst in Kashmir, it would be in the interest of India to do what the US did, i.e. sit down and negotiate with the people it does not like. Talk before the war in Kashmir too gets awry. The threat is real, not abstract. Act before one is acted upon.

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir