Zamir Awan l
After two decades of fighting in Afghanistan, losing thousands of servicemen, losing trillion dollars, killing millions of innocent Afghans, destroying millions of homes, damaging Afghanistan completely, finally, the US accepted its defeat in the Afghan war.
On April 14, 2021, President Joe Biden made a speech from the Roosevelt — the Treaty Room in the White House. In October of 2001, the exact spot where President George W. Bush informed that the United States military had begun strikes on Afghanistan. With the US-engineered incident of the Twin Tower attack on September 11, 2001, to initiate a crusade, Afghanistan was invaded. But after two decades failed to control even a tiny fraction of Afghanistan, still 70% of Afghanistan is under the control of the Taliban.
President Joe Biden informed that he had traveled to Afghanistan in 2008, on President Obama’s instruction, report back on the state of the war in Afghanistan. He flew to Afghanistan, to the Kunar Valley — a rugged, mountainous region. What he saw on that trip reinforced his conviction that only the Afghans have the right and responsibility to lead their country. More and constant American military force could not create or sustain a stable Afghan government. But it took 13 Years to implement his report. How have many precious human lives on either side been lost after his report are unaccountable yet?
President Joe Biden announced that the final troops’ withdrawal may start from May 1, 2021 and may be completed by September 11, 2021, which is against the Doha agreement signed under President Trump Administration. According to the agreement reached between the Taliban and Trump Administration, the completion of troops withdrawl was before May 1, 2021. The Taliban are committed to this agreement and have not agreed to grant any extension in the date of withdrawal of troops. The situation may turn complicated if the US insists on delaying departure. There exists a broad consensus among the regional countries for the early withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
What so ever he said in his speech, but his body language was apparent that he felt guilty and accepted defeat. It is never late to rectify one’s mistakes. Appreciated !
Allies have also regretted extending unlimited support to the US for never-ending, unwinnable war in Afghanistan. On the other hand, the regional countries suffering due to instability in Afghanistan are also exerting pressure on the US. The whole region could not develop with the war in Afghanistan.
However, geopolitics is changed already, and the US is losing its reputation and image. Significantly, anti-American sentiments in the Middle East are multiplying, and the situation may become worse if the US may not take appropriate measures in time. The Russian and China factors are not to be ignored. It will not be possible for the US to fight on multiple fronts simultaneously. The US have to close a few to focus on new and more significant fronts.
Although the US has accepted that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable, and a defeated superpower has to surrender. There should be a new peace treaty on the same lines, which were signed with Germany and Japan after their defeat in World War II. According to International law and past practices, the US should compensate for the destruction of Afghanistan and pay for all war crimes. The US spent a trillion dollars to destroy Afghanistan and needs to pay several trillion dollars to re-construct the totally damaged Afghanistan.
The UN should ensure the restoration and reconstruction of Afghanistan. Russia and China can be brokers and guarantors of such a treaty.
After World War II, the new world order was established where the US became a leader and dictated its terms and conditions. It is time for Russian and China to bring the US to justice and ensure poor Afghans’ compensation.
The article was first published in Oriental Review.