The Taliban In Afghanistan: Why Has The United States Lost So Many Wars Since World War II?

After the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, an attempt is being made to find out why the world’s most powerful country, which has the latest army, state-of-the-art technology and state-of-the-art air force, could not defeat the Taliban.

American intellectuals wonder why the United States cannot win wars in modern times.

The question is also whether the withdrawal of US troops will end US involvement in Afghanistan, especially at a time when China and Russia have increasingly established ties with the Taliban.

In defense of the United States, some argue that the United States has had many successes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Tom Cassidy, a professor at the University of Chicago, says: “The US military has found Osama bin Laden and killed him, destroyed al Qaeda, and many of its leaders have been killed or captured.

“Infrastructure has been developed in Afghanistan, schools have been opened for women’s education. An educated middle class emerged. Dangerous terrorists such as the so-called Islamic State militant group were destroyed in Iraq, and dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi were overthrown in Libya & Iraq. What are these achievements less?’

Five major American wars since 1945

But there is a consensus in the United States that the United States has failed to root out terrorists in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The Taliban’s victory in the war and return to power is the greatest proof of America’s failure.

If you look at history, the United States had won almost all major wars by 1945, but since 1945 the United States has won a significant victory in very few wars.

The United States has fought five major wars since 1945, including Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan. There are also minor wars, including the wars in Somalia, Yemen and Libya.

Read more: The Lost War In Afghanistan

With the exception of the 1991 Gulf War, which can be considered a victory, the United States has lost all other wars.

Carter Malkasian has worked for the US administration in Afghanistan for many years and based on this he wrote a book, The American War in Afghanistan — A History, which was published on July 1.

Why does America lose the war?

In this recent book, he sheds light on an interesting aspect. He says the wars fought before 1945 were fought between countries and the United States always won those wars.

But it has failed in all modern-day wars where the fighters are local insurgents, weaker in military power but more courageous and determined

Defeat is a thing of the past, but the way in which US troops have returned helplessly from Benghazi, Somalia, Saigon and now Kabul has made the US defeat even more embarrassing.

Why does America lose the war? Experts say there are many reasons for this, including the lack of understanding of local culture.

“Wars like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya are big civil wars,” Dominic Terni, a US foreign policy expert and professor at Swarthmore College. Power or material power does not guarantee victory in these wars.

Especially when a country like the United States is unfamiliar with local culture and fights an enemy that is more informed and more determined

The state of America on the battlefield

In his book, The Right to Lose a War, America in an Age of Invisible Conflicts, Dominic Terney acknowledges that the United States has lost recent wars.

Read also: The West Failed, But It Was Not Solely To Blame

In this thought-provoking book, Dominic Terney writes about how the United States has struggled to adapt to this new era of deadly guerrilla warfare.

As a result, most major American wars have resulted in military failure. And on the battlefield, the United States is unable to get out of the quagmire, with dire consequences for thousands of American troops and our allies.

David Froome, who wrote the speech for President George W. Bush, had earlier backed the US war in Iraq, but has since changed his mind.

We thought we were ready to make Iraq better, but we weren’t, we were ignorant and arrogant and we became responsible for the human suffering that was not good for anyone, not for the Americans, not for them, not for the region

The main reason for America’s defeat

Aftab Kamal Pasha, a professor of West Asian affairs at Jawaharlal Nehru University, also blames the US defeat on a lack of a strong understanding of local culture.

He said: “Americans do not understand the culture of other countries and do not want to understand it closely. Dick Cheney (former US Vice President), Donald Rumsfeld (former US Secretary of Defense) has openly said that when US forces enter Baghdad, Iraq’s Shiite community will revolt against Saddam Hussein and US troops Will greet with garlands of flowers. Where was the reception, where was the uprising? It was a huge misunderstanding of Iraq’s internal affairs and society.

Professor Pasha gives another example of the US defeat in Afghanistan:

Whenever US troops felt threatened, they bombed the area and used their full force to destroy the entire area

Nationalism, ideology and religious war

In the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese government established a communist guerrilla force called the Viet Cong, whose communist ideology and nationalist ambitions weighed heavily on American troops, who often thought they were thousands of kilometers away. Who are you fighting for?

Read more: The Taliban Are Erasing What The West Has Achieved

Those who did not care about death and gave their lives to their ideology finally succeeded in driving the Americans away.

The same is true of the Taliban. According to many experts, the Taliban succeeded in making it not only a war of the country but also a religious war.

Professor Dominic Terni says: “The Taliban had a goal that was a combination of religious, ethnic and nationalist appeals. In contrast, the Afghan government has failed to outline a positive message based on democracy or human rights or nationalist appeal.

Author Carter Malkasian says: ‘The Taliban were so influenced by religion that it made them strong in the war. He presented himself as a representative of Islam and called for resistance against foreign occupation. These ideas influenced ordinary Afghans.

“Ordinary Afghans are not fundamentalists, but they are proud to be Muslims. There was no such incentive for government troops. They were fighting for no purpose.

The Taliban’s determination for jihad

According to Carter Malkasin, the number of Afghans willing to die and be killed for the Taliban was high. The Taliban benefited from this on the battlefield. Carter has spent a lot of time in Afghanistan. During this time he also met with the Taliban and their supporters.

He recorded a statement from a Taliban leader in his book: “Every day I hear about incidents where police or army personnel are killed. I don’t know if they are determined to fight the Taliban.

Many policemen and soldiers fight only for dollars, they are well paid, but they do not have the spirit to defend the government while the Taliban are committed to jihad

According to Professor Pasha, when the Taliban came to fight in the field, they would come with shrouds on their heads. In contrast, the priority of US and Afghan government forces was to save lives.

“American soldiers were fighting for a country that was not theirs. Their determination was not like that of the Taliban. The Taliban were fighting for their country and they turned it into a religious war, which earned them sympathy among ordinary Afghans.

What did the United States learn from these defeats?

The US leadership did not learn from Saigon, Vietnam. In 1993, the United States was accused of repeating the same mistake for military action inside Somalia.

Scenes dragging dead American soldiers on the streets of Mogadishu have been condemned around the world. The Americans were furious at the sight. Many people became emotional. This was a turning point for the United States in Africa.

In October 1993, US troops launched a devastating raid on the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Their goal was to capture the powerful Somali warlord General Mohammed Farah and his key allies, but US forces faced stiff resistance from Mohammed Farah’s militia.

Two American Black Hawk helicopters were killed. 18 American and two UN soldiers were killed. At the time, the United States was leading a UN mission to end the civil war and famine in Somalia.

Within six months, the United States withdrew its troops from Somalia, and the failure of that mission warned the United States against intervening in the African crisis.

Professor Dominic Terney says there are many things to learn. According to him, the most important lesson is not to start a second war before the end of the first one. Don’t start a war because of moral and religious zeal and don’t refuse if you get a chance to talk.

‘Set goals that you can achieve. Remember that wars are more difficult to end than to start.

Returned but interest will remain’

Professor Pasha warned that the United States had been defeated in Afghanistan, but the return of the Taliban to power and the friendship between Russia and China and their growing interest in Afghanistan would keep the United States busy in the region.

“In Afghanistan and Iraq, nation-building, democracy, human rights and women’s education were just a veil,” she said. The big game was to keep China and Russia away and reduce Russia’s influence in Central Asia.

But after that defeat, the US strategy failed. Now the US strategy will be to keep China and Russia away from Afghanistan. Maybe the US needs Pakistan again, which has a huge impact on the Taliban.

Some are also saying that the United States should maintain direct relations with the Taliban. A glimpse of it is also being seen after the recent bombings outside Kabul Airport.

Read also: How The World Is Glossing Over Afghanistan

Russia and China are united. Not only is the United States concerned about this, but the United States is also concerned that the Taliban’s Afghanistan will once again become a haven for extremist organizations that carry out extremist attacks on US embassies or military bases inside or outside the United States.

Will US send troops to Afghanistan again?

According to Professor Pasha, the United States will not intervene directly in such a situation.

“In the last few years, the United States has moved away from Pakistan,” he added. The United States is not happy with Pakistan. Although the US had sought Pakistan’s help in the Taliban deal and guaranteed that the Taliban would not attack during the US withdrawal, now that the US strategy in Afghanistan has failed, it will feel the need for Pakistan in the days to come. ۔

The United States will now need leaders like former President and Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf, who sided with the United States in 2001 when President Bush invaded Afghanistan

He further said that the pressure on Prime Minister Imran Khan will increase. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to complete his term in office.

Professor Dominic Terni says: ‘President Joe Biden is strongly opposed to another major war in Afghanistan, but if there is a humanitarian crisis, the rise of other terrorist organizations or more, Afghanistan becomes a proxy war between major powers. If so, the United States can intervene.

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