Withdrawal Of Troops From Afghanistan || Twenty Years Of War And Nobody Cares

4 min readJul 14, 2021


The withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan is of little interest in this country either. The Taliban are on the rise again. Is a second “Saigon moment” looming?

No horror, no sadness, no anger. What we are experiencing, now that the USA and its NATO allies have withdrawn their troops from Afghanistan , is rather an embarrassed silence, a submission to the inevitable. Or is it really indifference, disinterest? Because we are more concerned with other things: football, the virus, the vacation?

Joe Biden, commented a few days ago, has found the “ideal time” for the withdrawal of troops domestically. Afghanistan? Hardly anyone is interested at the moment. (…) There is no political debate

Twenty years of war and nobody cares. The Taliban, who were driven out of power in 2001 , are on the rise again everywhere in Afghanistan ; they have already conquered almost half of all 400 districts in the country. US intelligence services estimate that the Islamist warriors could move back into Kabul in six months. They could start closing schools for girls and take bloody vengeance on those who collaborated with the Western armies.

Read more: Relinquished command in Afghanistan

Many in Kabul are preparing for a “Saigon moment”. Faded photos remind us of the days in April 1975 when the Communist Viet Cong invaded southern Vietnam’s capital Saigon, when desperate people rushed into the last American helicopters to take off from the roof of the US embassy. There will be no such pictures from Kabul, assures Joe Biden. How does he want to know? In any case, the speed at which the Taliban are advancing is frightening.

Read also: The Taliban are fighting their way to power

So was it all in vain? The US president doesn’t want to hear about it. The two main objectives of the military intervention with which America and its allies responded to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks had been achieved : Al Qaeda retreats in Afghanistan had been destroyed and Osama bin Laden had been killed; Afghanistan is no longer a base of operations for international terrorism.

But these two goals were achieved a decade ago. Everything else — bringing peace to the country, even democratic conditions — failed terribly. But stay longer? Keep chasing illusions that everyone could recognize as such? Biden wasn’t ready for that. Angry, he turned to his critics at a press conference last week: “Let me ask those who want us to stay: How many more?” How many thousands more American soldiers should risk their lives? How long should they stay?

The American president does not want to admit a failure. And it does when he says: “The mission has not failed — not yet.” Joe Biden never believed in successful nation building in Afghanistan. Instead, he says: “It is the right and responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future.”

Biden’s skepticism is likely to be shared by the vast majority of the population in both the US and Europe today. So soon the West will no longer intervene in distant parts of the world, either for political or humanitarian reasons.

The hopes with which the brief era of “humanitarian intervention” began in the 1990s have given way to great disillusionment. The disillusionment has three names: Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The Iraq war was based on a shameless lie. The war in Libya started out of a comprehensible impulse, but it was not strategically thought out. The war in Afghanistan lost its political justification when it no longer posed a terrorist threat.

Read also: Expected an increase in Afghan refugees

The West then left Syria to its fate. Did he act wisely with it? Or was he guilty of doing nothing? The lesson from genocides like in Cambodia or Rwanda was: The international community must not look the other way when it comes to crimes against humanity. It must then not hide behind the principle of state sovereignty. That is why the International Criminal Court was created, that is why the norm of the international “ Responsibility to Protect “ was introduced.

There may well be correct motives for military intervention. The call “Never!” is not a sufficient basis for a responsible foreign policy. But it would also not be responsible, against better knowledge, to hold on to war goals that are not achievable.

Twenty Years of War in Afghanistan

The realization that a continued military engagement was hopeless came too late. Now the hasty withdrawal: like thieves in the night, the Americans cleared their gigantic air force base in Bagram last week. Then the looters came.

The Taliban keep advancing day by day. In many places the soldiers of the Afghan army lay down their weapons without a fight. In the West, those with the simple answers will now say: It was all wrong from the start. The others will ask: what exactly was wrong? When should a different decision have been taken? What do we learn from our mistakes?

Read more: “we will leave no one behind”

But everyone should research their conscience. Because the horror, the sadness and the anger will come. No country that has sent its soldiers into a twenty-year war can endure the current indifference.

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Originally published at https://zaviews.blogspot.com.




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