The dismantling of an illusion in Afghanistan – 08/15/2021 – Mathias Alencastro

Kabul is under siege, President Ashraf Ghani has resigned and the military occupation of Afghanistan will end with the return to power of the group that housed Al Qaeda, responsible for the largest attack on the United States since World War II . The end of a cycle as tragic as it is inevitable.

The international community has never found a solution to the challenge of state formation in Afghanistan since 1989 and the Soviet withdrawal: the decentralization of power, divided between militias, warlords, regular and insurgent forces, and the consequent absence of a state monopoly of force. The pompous programs of reconstruction of justice and public services, led by university professors and international consultants, have drained fortunes, but they have never succeeded in pulling the regime out of the logic of war and extraction. .

The speed of the collapse of the military apparatus is not without surprise. The 150,000 regular soldiers received training, pay and weapons, but their political attachment remained non-existent. When the winds started to turn, the soldiers refused to confront the future owners of the country in the name of a government and an occupying force they never believed in. The only exception is the contingent of 50,000 special military forces who, despite sophisticated means, suffer in the face of the insurgents, masters in the art of asymmetric warfare. In the absence of the American Air Force, which guaranteed the artificial superiority of the army by devastating bombardments, the Taliban conquered the provincial capitals without any opposition in a week, until they reached the strategic corridor between Kandahar and Kabul in the last 48 hours.

Joe Biden made it clear in his official statement released last Saturday (14) that there was no alternative. He knows that the Afghan occupation project collapsed in 2003, when President George W. Bush mobilized the entire military apparatus in the criminal invasion of Iraq.

The memory of the past 20 years will be shaped by the events of the coming days. Images of school closures and the return of the worst misogynistic practices will be cynically exploited by Republicans. Washington’s failure to face the desperation of Afghan civilians who will be persecuted for simply believing in the United States is unjustifiable shame.

However, while Biden is to regret his July 8 statement when he said he trusted the resilience of the Afghan government, he still trusts the legitimacy of his decision, championed by military experts and societal movements. civil. In a gesture of rare political courage, he took responsibility for a cursed legacy. Quite the opposite of his predecessors, who preferred to entertain an illusion with billions of taxpayer dollars.

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