Afghanistan: Has the US failed or is a change of tack in its foreign policy? (Part 1)

By Sam Abdul Aziz Sewanyana-Junior
On 9 September 2021 at 10:38

The world was recently treated to dramatic yet terrifying scenes in the series of footages showing thousands of Afghan nationals trying to force their entry into a United States Air Force cargo plane known as C-17. Hundreds have, so far, been reported dead. I am not sure if I truly understand why the United States had to pull out of Afghanistan at such critical moment, but I will dissect its decision to give the audience a good understanding of the matter, if the latest Taliban’s seizure of power is a failure to the US administration or a pre-planned ploy to reach a peace agreement between the US and its perceived main threat so as to pull out of the country and concentrate on rescuing its struggling economy.

For the starters, it all began when the US together with her allied forces within NATO- North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched attacks on Afghanistan in retaliation of the World’s most horrific terrorist attack to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 1, 2011.

According to President George W Bush, the deployment of the US troops was meant to neutralize the terrorists and secure Afghanistan from the Taliban rule which had become a base of operations for Al-Qaeda terrorist activities. The presence of the US troops would as well see his country bringing the criminals to justice. But Bush’s hopes shattered. The Republican strongman invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban government, unfortunately it led to more shambles and loss of innocent lives both Afghans and those of the Americans, British and other allies. In other words, President Bush meant that there won’t be any withdrawal of the forces until all threats are neutralized but today it’s not the case, he failed then.

President Trump’s decision to release Baradar from prison was heralded ‘a failure’ in US’s Afghan mission. Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban co-founder was once listed as one of the most wanted terrorists and archenemy of the US and her allies. The fact that Trump’s administration approached Baradar for peace talks with the Afghan government corroborates the failure on the US side, he had figured that despite a huge number of the foreign forces, the military mighty and money would never provide durable peace, nor restore order in Afghanistan.

Trump’s efforts still did not bear fruit. In September 2020, Trump’s right-hand man and former State Secretary Mike Pompeo met Baradar in Doha, Qatar to broker a peace deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani. The US was itself between a rock and a hard place, it was desperately looking for a way out of as the situation was getting intense and unmanageable, the global power had foreseen the failure and realized it could no longer accomplish her mission.

In the Peace deal that Baradar signed, the US pledged to leave Afghanistan and pave way for unity government to rebuild the war-torn Arabic country. At this stage alone you realize that the Taliban had already won because their core mission has always been to kick the US, other foreign troops out of the country. This was another failure because the peace agreement was never implemented, and lately the US completely withdrew its troops giving plenty leeway for Taliban fighters to fully take over and crown themselves as victors of the two-decade long war.

At this juncture, one needs not to burn a midnight candle to understand the how the United States and her allies failed to deliver peace in the Afghanistan hence handing over the mantles of power to their archenemy the success of the Taliban movement.

Sam Abdul Aziz Sewanyana-Junior is a Political Analyst, Researcher based in the Great Lakes.

The withdrawal of US troops saw Talibans stepping up attacks and seizing power. Photo: Wakil KOHSAR AFP/File