Beyond the News - FACT Analysis

Trump’s momentary follies destroyed what the USA achieved after expending billions in Afghanistan

Harjap Singh Aujla

A proud nation of India was made to do a hurried, humiliating retreat from its second largest Consulate General Office in Kandahar in Afghanistan. Kandhahar is the second most important t city of the perpetually at war and terribly insecure country. This happened in the second week of July in 2021. India was there in full diplomatic strength despite not being a part of America’s NATO led military intervention force of 2001, which interjected following Al Queda’s worst ever terror attack on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon, the glowing symbols of America’s super power status. India has always been one of the biggest economic aid givers to the Government of Afghanistan, though the opponents of the people in power have mostly been opposing India.

George W. Bush Junior was the American President when the worst terror attack in its history occurred. The nation was furious and the president knew their mood. Without caring for the cost, the American President decided to land its troops in Afghanistan and to dislodge the Taliban from their illegitimate occupation of the country through the power of the gun. Initially the American armed forces used Pakistani and Northern Alliance bases in Afghanistan to mount air attacks against the Taliban and Al Quaeda hide-outs and safe homes, but later on the entire country capitulated before the Americans and democratically elected governments took power.

America’s air power was so accurate, overwhelming and deadly that the so-called fearless guerrilla elements in the ranks of Taliban fled their occupied areas without the semblance of a fight. At places, they could not find even a hiding space as a temporary relief. America bombed the hell out of the Taliban. In virtually no time America got the entire country vacated by the dreaded Taliban and later on their more extreme ISIS group too.

But another bitter fact is also well known that the Americans cannot stay at an unfamiliar and inhospitable territory for too long. They can stay in countries like Germany, Great Britain, Japan and Korea forever, but in the medieval settings of Afghanistan or in deeply divided nations like Iraq, they can intervene most reluctantly, but when it comes to staying put, they always find reasons to get out. Iran is another country, where the Americans cannot stay for too long.

Donald Trump is a soft business tycoon turned politician, who needs the ultimate of comfort and luxury in living conditions. For a president like him stationing his troops in a country like Afghanistan is not his cup of tea. From day one after entering the White House, he started planning an exit strategy, without caring for its frightening consequences. Before relinquishing office, Donald Trump had made sure that 90% of American troops were out of Afghanistan by the date he actually relinquishes office for the new incumbent.

The new President Joe Biden is not in a position to reverse Donald Trump’s visibly unwise and hurriedly taken decision, because of its financial implications and because this is what most American parents of the soldiers and the spouses of the soldiers want. India opened its well manned consulate general offices in Jalalabad, Mazar-E-Sharif and Kandahar in addition to the full fledged embassy in the capital Kabul, not for fleeing from there but for staying there for undertaking development work and to help the government of Afghanistan on a permanent basis. India’s intentions were perfectly noble and genuine, but when the so-called protectors of Afghanistan’s democratically elected government leave them in the lurch, what could the unarmed Indians do, who are not mandated to defend Afghanistan.

India claims that the withdrawal is only a temporary step, but prudent judgment indicates that the things will go from bad to worse with the passage of time. India can stay there armed to the teeth especially with their Sikh and Jaat army units with full support from the Indian federal authorities, if her soldiers are allowed to undertake self cultivation of land to feed themselves and a modern air-force is stationed in Afghanistan to give the soldiers air support when they need it in the event of a sudden Taliban attack. The Taliban are at best a hit and hide guerilla force, they cannot dig in their heels for a prolonged military operation against a modern army.

The marauding Taliban have started repeating their medieval savagery. In one city they asked the defending Afghan special forces to surrender, but when the forces laid down their weapons and raised their hands to surrender, they were gunned down brutally, not even one was spared. Such incidents spread fear in the general population. That is my take on the subject.  

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