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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Why US pulling out of Afghanistan is a big mistake?

The writer talks about how it is increasingly clear that the U.S. departure is so rushed and poorly planned that it will be impossible to evacuate everyone at risk of Taliban reprisal. He further talks about how the world should brace itself for a catastrophe in Afghanistan due to this withdrawal.

The United States of America has almost completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Evidently, the US claimed that it has achieved its major goals in Afghanistan in several ways. For instance, it has destroyed the network of Al- Qaeda, and the militant group is not in a position to hurt the super power interests anymore. Moreover, the prominent potential threat to the US, the Taliban has also agreed with the US that the soil of Afghanistan will not be used against any of its neighbors.

However, the hasty US withdrawal, cluttered behavior of Ghani’s regime and increasing influence of the Taliban leave the US, on the receiving end in the whole process. During its stay in Afghanistan, the US made several strategic blunders that converted the initial successes of the US into humiliating defeats, and it could only manage to make a quick withdrawal at the end.

Read more: One after another failure, is US declining as a super power?

Pakistan taking part in the war on terror: a big mistake?

After 9/11, Pakistan greatly supported the US and its allies in the war on terror inside Afghanistan. The Musharraf administration at that time, not only provided air and ground routes to the US but handed over hundreds of suspected people to it as well. But what the US did wrong at that time is that it never stopped India from using Afghan soil against Pakistan. India strengthened and empowered certain groups in Afghanistan, which always pursued anti Pakistan agenda.

In such circumstances, Pakistan had to counter the Indian anti Pakistan intentions inside Afghanistan, thus a shift occurred in Pakistan policy towards the Taliban. From here, the concept of “good” and “bad” Taliban emerged. The territory of Afghanistan became a proxy battleground between India and Pakistan. Such situations made the environment worst for the United States of America, and it struggled badly over the years.

Read more: A legacy of US failures that won’t be soon forgotten

Similarly, when the US invaded Afghanistan, soon it used the soil of Afghanistan for its specific political ambitions. It involved Afghan territory in certain activities that were opposing the interests of several regional stakeholders like Russia, China and Iran, despite the fact that China and Russia supported the US cause regarding the war on terror. As a result, these regional actors did not sit back, they had to safeguard their strategic interests. So, the involvement of Iran, China and Russia in the situations made the circumstances tough and complicated for the US and its western allies.

A questionable move by the US 

Moreover, after invading Afghanistan, the US opened a new front very soon as it attacked Iraq. Waging war on Iraq was a unilateral decision of the US, which was not only opposed by united nations but by its NATO allies as well. In those days, the Taliban resistance was very low, they were down and out, and the US could easily manage the internal situations of Afghanistan. But unfortunately for the US, it attacked Iraq which not only distracted its focus but also allowed certain countries like Iran to use Afghanistan’s soil against the US interests.

Read more: Taliban would not allow China’s enemies live in Afghanistan

The decision of withdrawing its forces by the US, itself is a very questionable move from a number of points of view. The US conducted a deal with the Taliban and kept the Ghani and his administration in dark from it. Similarly, it did not think about the post withdrawal situation but aimed at an immediate exit only.

Currently, in a situation when more than 90 percent of US withdrawal has been completed, the Afghan national army is badly struggling against the increased Taliban offensives. In the contemporary scenario, the US and other regional powers expect the Taliban to conduct a peaceful settlement with the Afghanistan government, which is looking nearly impossible.

Keeping the current status of the Taliban, why it will think to resolve the conflict through peace talks when it senses the victory through their armed struggle. There could have been more impacts of the US efforts of bringing Taliban to table talks, at a time when its troops were deployed in Afghanistan, rather than the post withdrawal situation.

The writer is Islamabad based columnist having a deep study on the Afghanistan issue. He writes for several national and international newspapers and can be reached at barkatullahbarakaat@gmail.com. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.