After almost 18 years of war, the USA negotiates with the Taliban in Qatar’s Doha. In December 2001, they officially ended the Taliban rule over Afghanistan and expelled their leadership team with Mullah Omar to Pakistan. Now the American diplomacy under the Afghan-born US special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalizad, accepts the Taliban as equal negotiating partners. With this so-called peace treaty, the Americans are obviously striving for an unchallenged withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Like the Soviet Union in 1989, the USA has lost this long-lasting war. The dead American soldiers were in vain and the over 1000 billion US dollars spent on warfare were in vain. As in the war of the 40th army of the USSR from 1979 to 1989, the Americans failed because of the topography of the country and the inflexibility of the Afghans. They thus complete the ranks of the great powers that have only suffered defeats in this mountainous country. Before them these were the British Empire and the USSR. Now the USA shares the fate of the defeated great powers in Afghanistan with their predecessors.
At first glance, the failure of the USA seems incomprehensible, since they have used the entire power of their military superiority in this war. Expression of this superiority was the use of long-range bombers B-1B and B-52. The American bombardments, however, could do little against the primitive Kalashnikovs of the Taliban. On the contrary, by killing innocent people1 they incited the anger of the Afghan civilian population and eventually drove them to the side of the Taliban.
What will remain of the intervention after the withdrawal of the troops of the USA and its allies? Actually little. Afghanistan will once again fall under the Taliban’s rule and the collaborators of the Kabul government, headed by President Ghani, will be settling abroad, especially in the USA. The Afghan population will remain poor and thus even more dependent on the drug bandits.
The American people will take note of this withdrawal, but will not recognise that this withdrawal will be a further step towards the abdication of the imperial status of the USA. Its President Donald Trump will at the same time celebrate the US withdrawal and thus this defeat as the culmination of his strategic decisions. He will thus share the fate of other world leaders. •
1 UNAMA registered 28,291 killed and 52,366 injured civilians only from 1.1.2017 to 31.12.2017. UNAMA, Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, Annual Report 2017, February 2018: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/AF/ProtectionCiviliansAnnualReport2017.pdf.
Source: Institut für Strategische Studien, 31 Janaury 2019
(Translation Current Concerns)
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