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Lessons the US could learn from the Afghanistan crisis

ANI | Updated: Oct 30, 2021 03:29 IST

Washington [US], October 30 (ANI): President Joe Biden has said that the debacle in Afghanistan was the result of US efforts at nation-building, but an expert felt that the crisis happened because the Americans lacked clear objectives in their campaign in the country.
According to an opinion piece by Andrew Milburn in The Hill, Biden's speech in the wake of US withdrawal of the troops from the war-torn country attributed the disaster in Afghanistan to be the inevitable result of "nation-building".
The US troops withdrew from Afghanistan on August 30 this year after the Taliban warned the US of the consequences of not withdrawing before the end of the month. The Taliban took over Kabul on August 15.
The problem that surrounded the US during its war on Afghanistan was that the US did not embark on a campaign of nation-building, as it did to the other countries post World War 2 in the past. In reality, there was a lack of clear objectives and over-reliance on the military effort in the region which allowed the Taliban to flourish in the region once again, according to Milburn.
The discussion on the troop levels could not make the policymakers answer the most important question, "To what end?" stated Milburn in The Hill.
No consensus was reached after weeks of congressional hearings on the war in Afghanistan. The effort to avoid blame was put in by the Pentagon and the State Department by pointing fingers at each other.

"I would try to take the politics out of it," The Hill quoted a representative as saying in conversation with the newspaper.
The military units in Afghanistan fought on the ground. They would leave the war-torn country at the end of it and congratulate themselves for improving the shape of the country than the one they had found themselves in, according to Milburn.
An organisation like the Taliban, instead of being disliked and feared by the masses, steadily gained support, but no one tries to answer the question, why? asks Milburn in the opinion piece.
The Taliban and the government had fought each other to reach a standstill in 2017: the countryside was held by the Taliban whereas the cities were held by the government. This standstill remained stable just until August 15.
The two successive Presidents of the United States turned the phrase "No more Forever Wars" into a campaign slogan.
The campaign resulted in the "greatest single loss" of the American and Afghan lives in the war-torn country in a decade which even led to a loss of America's standing in the world, opines Milburn in the piece.
The lessons that the US should learn from the debacle in Afghanistan are that the country should take time and frame the problems in their foreign policy, besides designing and implementing the policies with clear objectives. (ANI)