Mohammad Zainal Abedin: The expansionists of New Delhi spend perturbed days, thinking that their self-styled superpower India gets besieged soon after the foreign troops walk out of Afghanistan, as President Biden rightly declared on April 14, 2021 “it is time to end the forever war” in Afghanistan. He said, the United States had long ago accomplished its main mission of denying terrorists a haven in the country and that leaving American forces there was no longer worth the cost in blood and money.
Defending the President’s decision, a section of strategists explain h0w America has already reached the goal for which it invaded Afghanistan 20 years ago and it has no justifiable reason to prolong its presence there.
Adnan R. Khan who writes for ‘MACLEAN’S’ opines:
- The goals of the 2001 invasion were to bring Osama bin Laden to justice and destroy al Qaeda’s ability to operate in Afghanistan. The U.S. accomplished those goals when they killed bin Laden in 2011.
- The U.S. is spending billions of dollars a year and using thousands of troops to prop up a government in a place that is fundamentally ungovernable.
- There are more pressing threats to deal with in the world, including the rise of China and the resurgence of Russia, the rise of authoritarian regimes, and the fracturing of the post-WWII global order.
A report (April 19, 2021) of “Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs” of Brown University claims, America drained down $2.26 trillion during in Afghan war. This cost continues to rise daily, without any returns.
Perhaps, for this reason, ‘Defense One’ an American online media outlet branded the Afghan war as a “misguided mission”. On October 13, 2020, briefly narrating the cost of Afghan war, it said, “More than 2,400 U.S. troops died. Over 20,000 Americans in uniform have been injured. The attempt to turn Afghanistan into a stable, functioning democracy has cost U.S. taxpayers at least $2 trillion, or 15-times more than what the United States invested in the Marshall Plan. Since 2002, the United States has devoted more than $35 billion to support governance and economic development in Afghanistan. Still, corruption remains the lifeblood of Afghan politics. Transparency International ranks Afghanistan 173 out of 180 on its corruption perceptions index. Washington has cut checks totaling $10 billion for counternarcotic operations, but Afghanistan continues to source 90%of the world’s opium supply. Despite spending $86 billion to build an Afghan security force that is both effective and self-sustainable, Kabul remains entirely reliant on the United States for everything from funding to close-air support toward off Taliban offensives. By now, about three-quarters of Americans and roughly the same share of veterans would support a decision to bring U.S. troops home, recent polls show.”
Little research work suggests American presence will ultimately fetch any benefits for America. President Biden is justified in ending the unwinnable war in Afghanistan, a decision taken earlier by his predecessors President Barak Obama and Donald Trump. U.S. allies, including NATO, that have forces in Afghanistan also announced to simultaneously leave Afghanistan.
Only the enemies of the Afghans and the Americans can advocate and argue to prolong the presence of alien forces in Afghanistan. It is India, an exception, that wants America to continue its occupation costing its money and men. To the Indians, perhaps, human miseries and lives do not have any value. Indians lost their minimum sense of humanity as they commit more heinous crimes in occupied Kashmir and elsewhere in India.
The loss and sufferings of the Afghan people are indescribable. According to Brown University Watson Institute of International & Public Affairs’ report (April 19, 2021), “About 157,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan war since 2001. More than 43,000 of those killed have been civilians.” This is of the tempest blew over the Afghans over 20 years.
“Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the country itself lay in ruins, completely devastated by a war which had raged on for nearly ten years within its confines. More than one million Afghans had died and close to 3 million had fled the country for refuge in neighboring Pakistan. Of those that remained, the great majority were either wounded, impoverished, or racked with drug problems.” (Afghanistan, The United States, and the Legacy of Afghanistan’s Civil War (stanford.edu)
Washington Post (April 16, 2021) said 158,000 Afghans, including 43,000 civilians killed by wartime violence.
None should forget the annihilation during the Soviet occupation. Still how India cries for its so-called investment and advocates to prolong American occupation when America’s three consecutive presidents decided to leave Afghanistan to its people.
Still, how the Indians get logic to try to deter the U. S. decision. Indian army chief general Bipin Rawat said, “Our concern is that the vacuum that will be created by the withdrawal of the United States and NATO should not create space for disruptors.” (Reuters, April 15, 2021). These unnamed “disruptors” are the Taliban forces and their allies. These so-called “disruptors” are the real Afghan patriots, who are the eyesore of India. Should they be cursed for Indian interest in Afghanistan.
Rawat and his mentors are aware of the gravity of crimes that they committed in Afghanistan since 1979. These patriotic Afghans, whom Rawat branded as “disruptors” will naturally kick the Indians out of Afghanistan. Indians cannot avoid the responsibility for backing the invaders in Afghanistan that caused death, misery, and destruction to the Afghans.
Exposing their wrath, the Talibans, throughout the peace process, denied sitting with India, as they cannot forget India’s mischievous role of collaborating with the invaders, which aggravated the miseries and agonies of the Afghans.
So, the Indians are psychologically weak and terrified apprehending the retaliation of the Afghans, who may not tolerate the presence of the Indians in their soil, which ultimately will jeopardize India’s investments there. India may have to walk out of Afghanistan.
Indian policymakers also feel they will face regional isolation and pressure after the pullout of the U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan. An undeclared strategic alliance among Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and China looms on India. Besides, none of its neighboring countries Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Maldives, not to speak of Pakistan, will side with India, in case of any war between India and China. Even India’s western allies will not physically fight for India. This is for the first time India, after its independence, becomes entirely isolated which originated out of its hegemonic greed to bring Afghanistan under its fold under the cover of supporting foreign invaders *
Mohammad Zainal Abedin is a Bangladesh-origin American journalist & researcher.
Date: April 24, 2021