Report that the United States is already preparing to evacuate its 1,400 embassy workers and other Americans in Kabul, due to Taliban advance in Afghanistan, highlights ghost from 46 years ago .
On April 30, 1975, the fall of Saigon marked the final defeat of the United States in the Vietnam War by Communist forces, symbolized by a photograph from the day before of a CIA agent helping desperate Americans at the Embassy to board a helicopter.
The impact on the American psyche of the ultimate humiliation has wreaked havoc for years, both in culture wars in its politics and in the arts to this day – just look at the number of films dealing with the trauma of the Vietnam to date.
The wars of September 11, 2001 are of a different nature, with more limited national trauma despite a further defeat by the United States, which weighed on President Joe Biden’s decision to abandon the Afghan quagmire after 20 years.
In his calculation, Americans’ boredom with wars will be enough to sustain decision support. It’s a good bet, but the account of the predictable Kabul evacuation plan reported by the New York Times on Thursday (12) reminds that the plan carries risks.
In Biden’s initial conception, the Americans would depart on exactly the 20th anniversary of the attack on the United States. Perhaps alerted by a smarter “spin doctor”, he decided to wear it on August 31, and today he has practically no more troops in Afghanistan.
As we know, the Taliban, driven from power for harboring al-Qaeda which attacked the Americans, understood and organized a massive offensive that could bring Kabul to its knees in a month, according to testimonies presented by the NYT.
So far, with the American public wanting to see Afghanistan from behind, it’s okay with Biden.
The possible risk of the country reverting to a medieval caliphate with enslaved women or the Taliban harboring an Islamic State resurrection could be for later.
Preferably after the legislative elections of 2022, unless the Americans are beheaded or a bomb explodes in the West following the withdrawal from Iraq.
But that’s where the Vietnamese ghost comes in. If the evacuation is bad enough, a lot can go wrong in the process – although it’s entirely possible that the Taliban will guarantee it, to avoid accusations of banditry and try to show itself as a responsible actor.
This is unfathomable, and the eventual downfall of Kabul will also be analyzed by the measurements of the daily White House popularity polls.
For the next day, American hope seems to lie in a proactive role of China, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Iran and Russia, which are already working to guarantee looting spaces. geopolitics. As the actors point out, the interests conflict with each other and almost always with those of the United States, however.
America’s longest war may be coming to an end, but its effects will take some time to wear off.