[WSMDiscuss] The Tragedy of Afghanistan: A Brief Account and Implications

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 12:04:52 CEST 2021

I. The US, in October 2011, invaded the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in its
attempt to root out the Al Qaeda and apprehend/eliminate its leader Osama
bin Laden - in turn, to eliminate or at least very substantially cut down
global "terrorism", directed against the US and its allies.
In the wake of the traumatic 9/11, which the Qaeda/Laden had,
understandably, masterminded.

Not for restoring "democracy" or even "order" or whatever of that sort.

The Taliban was acting as a perfect host and, so, had to be unseated and,
if possible, liquidated - in the process.
And an alternative order was to be erected in place, which can eventually
take care of itself.

While Laden - hiding in a safe haven in neighbouring Pakistan that had been
helping both the US (openly, under compulsion) and the Qaeda (not so
openly, at its own volition), could be eliminated in a Bond-like operation
only in May 2011.
Even though the Qaeda regime had been dislodged, rather promptly, back in
December 2011.
The Qaeda, in the process, got largely dismantled, but the Taliban kept on
fighting - burrowing itself deep in the interiors.

At the end, with more than matching promptness, theTaliban captures Kabul
almost the moment the NATO forces leave.
The last batch had left on this July 2 last.
>From July 2 to August 16 - it's just one and a half month.

The attempt to install an alternative indigenous order has, as is so very
conspicuous, miserably floundered.
The attempts to come to a negotiated compromise solution with the Taliban
too bore no fruit at all.

III. Via the pathetic withdrawal, the US has, now, openly acknowledged the
limits of its capabilities to don the self-selected cap of "the leader of
the free world".
That's also of huge consequence.

III. The earlier spell of Taliban rule - marked by widespread brutal
violence, had been just horrific - even more so for the women and the
ethnic/sectarian minorities.

The Taliban had, however, gained global notoriety via, too spectacular,
demolition of the two giant sixth-century "Bamiyan Buddhas".

IV. Now, we are, in a way, back to the square one.
Afghanistan turns out to be a perpetually accursed land.

The Taliban, this time, appears to be a bit more restrained.
That's how it looks at this moment.
Let's see.

V. What happens in Afghanistan cannot but have a deep impact on the whole
region - and Pakistan, in particular.
Even the wider world is likely to be affected.

It's a tragic development.

<<“We gave them every tool they could need. We paid their salaries.
Provided for the maintenance of their airplanes,” Mr. Biden said. “We gave
them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide
was the will to fight for that future.”
We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: Get those who
attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001, and make sure Al Qaeda could not use
Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again. We did that. We
severely degraded Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. We never gave up the hunt for
Osama bin Laden, and we got him. That was a decade ago. Our mission in
Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building.

When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated
with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of
Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. The choice I had to make as your president was
either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to
fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season. It was
only a cold reality of either following through on the agreement to
withdraw our forces or escalating the conflict, and sending thousands more
American troops back into combat in Afghanistan, lurching into the third
decade of conflict.

I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard
way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces. This did
unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what’s happened?
Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan
military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight. If anything, the
developments of the past week reinforce that ending U.S. military
involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. American troops
cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan
forces are not willing to fight for themselves.>>

(Excerpted from: <

Also look up:
I. <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58232525>.
II. <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-conflict-idUSKBN2FI0AT>.
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