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

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 12:37:20 CEST 2021

A big sorry!

In the very opening line, "2011" has to be read as "2001".


On Tue, 17 Aug 2021, 15:34 Sukla Sen, <sukla.sen at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
> Undoubtedly.
> <<“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: <
> https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/16/us/politics/biden-afghanistan.html>.)
> 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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