“The international community has a vital role to play in demonstrating our confidence in the Afghan people”. General Sir Nick Carter in “The Times” today.
This sort of empty, platitudinous rhetoric bedevils western perceptions of countries like Afghanistan. The underlying premise is that western States and, by unavoidable implication, their military forces have a role to play to prop up governments we approve of or to bring down those we don’t. The premise is false for both moral and practical reasons.
The idea that the United States, with or without Britain, has the right or even the capability to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries is, or should be, have become outdated by experience. Civil wars are endemic to the human condition and from Korea, via Vietnam to Afghanistan western interference on one side or the other only makes things worse.
What about diplomacy or international institutions like the United Nations? They don’t work in such circumstances either. Neither War War nor Jaw Jaw achieves anything. Ever. The sad reality is that the League of Nations failed to stop the Second World War and that post war the UN has often accelerated conflict rather than put a break on it. Indeed the UN was the prime mover in supporting South Korea against the North in 1950.
We can boast about our concern for the “Afghan people” but in reality these words are empty. It may sound harsh and uncaring but the Afghans have to be left to resolve things for themselves. President Biden was right to withdraw American troops and if he’s sensible he’ll think twice about deploying them as policemen anywhere again.
We the people have a voice, if we are prepared to use it. Strip away the faux-patriotic flag-waving bombast and there is nothing much left. 179 British servicemen died in Iraq and more than 450 in Afghanistan. And sad though it is they all died in vain. Surely we have had enough of body bags being flown home from faraway countries of which we know nothing?
The Taliban has won in Afghanistan and though we may deplore it we cannot deny it or ameliorate it. The “international community” is impotent in the face of this truth.
2 thoughts on “The Taliban has won in Afghanistan and the “international community” is impotent in the face of this truth”
The Americans under Trump negotiated with the Taliban and signed a peace/withdrawal treaty in Doha without the presence or acquiescence of Kabul. That gave the Taliban legitimacy, like or not. That legitimacy suggests the Taliban are an entitled part of the future political structure of Afganistan.
The real question is what will they do with that political power and control once they take over Kabul? I suspect the US brokered some sort of secret agreement from the Taliban leadership that they would not allow Afghanistan to be used again for the training of terrorists or attacks on the USA.
Will they keep their word. Probably not. Islamic Jihad doesn’t allow for deals with the infidels but pragmatism may stay in play. Then what? What is a Taliban-led state going to look like?
I suspect China might get interested in bolstering its influence there. After all, every other superpower has tried and failed, maybe it’s just buggins turn.
The Taliban will of course turn the country back to the Middle-ages. The wholesale slaughter of its opponents on a scale even Pol-Pot would reject is inevitable. The heroin-growing warlords will broker expensive immunities for their fiefdoms.
If I were part of the Kabul regime I would be now desperately seeking the exit door for my family. The next refugee problem stands ready to overwhelm the west.
Farage and Co are I am sure already sharpening their rhetoric.
One day western nations may learn that despite their military supremacy they cannot fight wars when they have absolutely no hope of winning the peace.
Very insightful comment. 👍