Announcing the withdrawal of US troops and NATO (Western military alliance) from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said the United States needs to worry about other challenges – starting with an “increasing China.” more assertive “.
The United States attacked and invaded the South Asian country on October 7, 2001, following attacks on planes in its territory on September 11 of the same year. It is the longest military engagement in the country’s history.
Biden has confirmed that he will start withdrawing his troops from what the Taliban, the Islamic fundamentalist group defenestated from power nearly 20 years ago for welcoming the mentors of the terrorist attacks, considered the date of total departure: the 1st may.
The deadline for the departure of some 3,500 Americans and 7,000 allies from the country is, in fact, September 11 of this year.
Biden was clear in his motivation. He said he saw no reason to “concentrate troops in one country” as the fight against terrorism has become a widespread effort across the globe. In addition, we have to face the “competitors of America”, citing China, but not Russia with whom it is strange in Ukraine.
He also spoke of being prepared for a future pandemic, “and there will be a new pandemic.”
Negotiated by his predecessor Donald Trump, the deal was “inherited,” Biden said. The Taliban spokesman has already said he will not accept the foreign presence after agreeing to start peace talks with Ashraf Ghani’s government.
Biden said the timeline was “responsible” and would not “be rushing to the exit.” “The Taliban know that if they attack us, we will defend ourselves,” he said, notably leaving attacks on local government targets out of the equation.
The US president, who addressed the Afghan issue at the height of US engagement as Barack Obama’s deputy at the turn of the 2010s, expressed his weariness and frustration with the war.
“The goal [da guerra] it was clear, the cause was right. We guarantee they won’t attack us. We caught Osama [bin Laden, o mentor dos atentados]. That was ten years ago, and we are still there. The reasons are not clear, ”he said.
Declaring he is the fourth president to handle the conflict, he said: “I will not pass the responsibility to a fifth”. Emotionally, Biden recalled that his son Beau (who died of cancer in 2015) had served in Iraq in one of the post-9/9 wars.
“It’s time to end America’s longest war. It’s time for US troops to return home,” Biden said.
In Brussels, NATO confirmed that it would follow the US timetable for withdrawal. Among the 36 countries contributing to the effort are countries outside the alliance, such as New Zealand and Georgia.
Biden recalled, taking a letter from his pocket that he said he had carried since he was a vice, the 2,448 Americans who died in the conflict today. There were no words for the rest, totaling nearly 160,000 casualties, including Afghans on both sides, civilians and even Western mercenaries.
After his television speech, he went to Arlington (Washington) Military Cemetery.
He complained about those who “insist it is not time to go” because it “will weaken the United States”. “I think the opposite. NATO said seven years ago that it was time to go. When will it be? In two, ten years? Not now? This is how we got here “, he said.
The repercussions of Biden’s admission of the futility of war today followed. In candid testimony before the Senate, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns said that “when the military leaves, the government’s ability to collect [dados] and working on threats will decrease “.
“It is simply a fact,” he added. Analysts consider the risks of an increase in terrorism to be low in the short term, but the example of Iraq is there to remind everyone – the difficulty of managing the insurgencies has helped give birth to the Islamic State.
It is possible that the Taliban initially focused on restoring power, as a dominant force or not. The group has always had territorial objectives, it was not a global terrorist network like Al Qaeda, no matter how much it always used terror.
It will certainly be hostile to the West, and radical groups abound on its borders with Pakistan. It certainly scares Americans and Europeans, but maybe the Taliban aren’t interested in repeating 2001, when they were toppled for harboring those responsible for 9/11.
Biden spoke to Ghani, the Afghan president who is considered by many in his country to be an American puppet. “Our troops are fully capable of defending the country,” Ghani said.
The American, in his speech, said that the United States would remain present in Afghanistan, but not militarily. “Our diplomatic and humanitarian work will continue,” he said, noting that countries like Pakistan, Russia, China and Turkey also have a role today in the region.
I remember he put together an army that now numbers 300,000 – including a small Air Force that has its star in the Brazilian fighter Super Tucano.
The continuity reservation is intended to allay a historical concern, which dates back to the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979.
Over the next decade, the United States supplied weapons to the Mujahedin (Muslim holy warriors). In the end, overwhelmed by the terminal crisis of the communist regime but also humiliated by the guerrillas, the Soviets withdrew.
From there, the Americans left the Mujahedin behind. They were not only Afghans of the dominant Pashtun ethnic group (40% of the population), but also foreigners like a certain Bin Laden, the rebellious son of a Saudi tycoon.
Afghanistan fell into a bloody civil war from 1992, which ended with the victory of the Taliban (“talibs”, students of Pashtun, in the case of religious schools in the tribal areas of Pakistan), four years later.
The destroyed country was then dominated by fundamentalists backed by Islamabad, which needed a strategic shield on its northwest border, and not by an ally of its rival India.
The horror of those years is well documented, as in the eradication of women’s public life and their rights. The executions, torture and draconian laws were aimed at mimicking a medieval caliphate on the fringes of the 21st century.
Some mujahedin have left the country, such as Osama, who created the Al Qaeda terrorist network from there, which started showing its teeth in the late 1990s with actions in Africa and the Persian Gulf.
In 1996, after being expropriated and expelled from Sudan, Osama took refuge with old acquaintances in Afghanistan.
From there, traveling on the porous border with Pakistan, he carried out the attacks of September 11, 2001, the culmination of his dark career. As hosts, the Taliban footed the bill and were overthrown by subsequent US military action.
Osama, the trigger of the so-called war on terror, which spread to places unrelated to its beginnings in Iraq, was executed by the Americans in a house near the main military academy Pakistani woman in Abbottabad, ten years later.
The legacy of conflict has so far, according to a study by Brown University (US), 800,000 lives and $ 6.4 trillion spent, perhaps a third of that of the United States. Afghanistan only. And the world has never been the same, even though the initial impact of fear of terrorism has been diluted and incorporated into daily practices – as all air travel proves.