Washington DC – The longest war in the United States is coming to an end.
U.S. troops leave Kabul again with the Taliban Responsible The U.S. military captured the capital of Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago.
Several experts said that the rapid collapse of the Afghan government after 20 years of support from the United States shows that Washington’s military power is limited, which intensifies the argument against US foreign intervention and “endless war.”
However, critics of President Joe Biden say that the scene of desperate Afghans trying to flee Kabul is a sign of US weakness and a testament to the necessity of US global military involvement.
Since much of the world’s focus is still right on trying to get Afghans to leave the country safely, the Taliban’s victory is sparking a heated debate in Washington about the role of the United States in the world.
“The military-led nation-building and nation-building projects are always doomed to fail,” said Anel Schelling, a researcher at the Quincy Institute for Responsible State Administration, a think tank that advocates anti-interventionist policies.
Anxiety about abuses under Taliban rule, including women’s rights and the safety of Afghans who are cooperating with the United States, are manifested in confusion At Hamid Karzai International Airport.
The footage of people pouring into the tarmac and clutching the about to take off shows the Afghans’ fear of life under Taliban rule.
At the same time, the Taliban’s pledge not to retaliate against its enemies has not alleviated growing concerns about the suffering in Afghanistan. abuse It’s already in progress.
Biden acknowledged that human rights in Afghanistan are threatened, and believes that Washington has nothing to do to fight the Taliban other than sending thousands of soldiers to fight in the country and possibly die in the country.
“Does anyone really believe that I don’t need to invest more in the U.S. military-your son, your daughter…may die,” he said on Friday. “For what?”
Javid Navabi, an Afghan-American assistant professor of sociology and economics at the Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, said he hopes that the United States will learn from Afghanistan and reduce its reliance on military power.
“There is a saying that if your only tool is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail, and they will only continue to do the same thing,” Navabi told Al Jazeera about the US military intervention.
“I just hope…people start to resist military methods, hammer and nail methods.”
Although it is widely believed that this is the US military defeat in Afghanistan, many hawks in Washington believe that the problem lies in the lack of lasting power behind the hammer of military power.
“Trump Biden’s exit was a big mistake,” John Bolton, a former US official who served under George W. Bush and Donald Trump, wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
“Beijing and Moscow are laughing. Tehran and Pyongyang have seen that the government is gullible when it comes to the claims of a loyal American opponent. This makes us look like fools.”
Trump-Biden’s withdrawal was a big mistake. They are laughing in Beijing and Moscow. Tehran and Pyongyang have seen that the government is gullible when it comes to the claims of a loyal US opponent. This makes us look like fools.
-John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) August 16, 2022
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who helped negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban last year, said that the current government should use force to deter Taliban fighters, including threats to hunt down their “friends and family.”
Pompeo told Fox News last week: “The Taliban are aggressive and they are fearless because our government refuses to adopt the deterrence model adopted by President Trump and me.”
Rely on force
Nawabi said that straightforward means of force is a major issue in Washington’s relationship with Afghanistan. He believes that the United States needs to gain more “soft power” in its foreign policy through aid and development programs.
U.S. spent More than 2 trillion US dollars War, but Nawabi raised the question about how much of the money was used to aid Afghans and the money used by the Pentagon and military contractors, and pointed out that the poverty rate and drug abuse rate in Afghan society are alarming.
When asked if he was surprised by the Taliban’s rapid takeover, Nawabi told Al Jazeera how long it would take the Afghan government to collapse if the collapse is inevitable.
“Why 20 years later, you built a hollow state that would collapse even in 6 months or even 11 days? If you really built a real capability and military system, why would this problem still arise?”
Xie Lin of the Quincy Institute responded to Nawabi’s remarks that resources earmarked for Afghanistan were used by the Pentagon and military contractors, citing former President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1961 “baseless influence” on the military-industrial complex. Warning.
She said that weapon manufacturers and war profiteers are those who want “eternal war to continue.”
“Afghanistan’s national construction projects will always fail because you cannot impose democracy or government systems on another person and expect it to have legitimacy,” Xie Lin told Al Jazeera.
Xie Lin added that the view that the United States should not regulate the world or participate in nation-building is very popular among voters.
Regardless of their actual policies, the last three U.S. presidents were elected on a platform of less military intervention, rather than more military intervention. Barack Obama promised to end the Iraq war in his 2008 election campaign. Biden and Trump used the term “eternal war” and promised to end them.
Call for supervision
Sahar Khan, a researcher at the Cato Institute, said that although the US military is still the largest and most powerful in the world, Washington is “overly dependent” on military power.
“I hope the main lesson that resonates is to understand the limitations of the US military more deeply,” Khan told Al Jazeera.
She said that past experience—in Vietnam, Iraq, and now Afghanistan—shows that the military cannot adequately complete the “civilian-centric mission.”
“Military organizations do not have the ability to build a country, nor should they have the ability to build a country,” Khan said.
Critics of the withdrawal warned that it could damage Washington’s reputation in the world and its commitment to allies.
But Khan said that the United States’ global credibility comes from its domestic reality, not its foreign policy.
“The strength of the United States really lies in that it is still a land full of opportunities,” she said. “And I think this narrative will indeed reach its peak in the end.”
This argument resonated with many legislators on both sides, who called for resources to be invested in the domestic “eternal war”.
Scott Cooper, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and an American veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he did not like the term “eternal war” because it had an isolationist meaning and emphasized that Washington should continue to participate in the world .
Nevertheless, he expressed support for efforts to curb executive power from participating in the war, including pushing for the abolition of the authorization to use force (AUMF) granted to then President George W. Bush by lawmakers after the 9/11 attacks.
“I don’t think this is an American first or isolationist idea,” Cooper told Al Jazeera. “What we need to have, important and responsible, is the first branch of the US government, the legislative branch, which needs to do its own job.”
The US Constitution only gives Congress the right to declare war, but World War II is the last time legislators formally declare war.
Cooper said it is always possible for the Taliban to take over Afghanistan quickly, if not entirely predictable.
“My heart is broken,” he said. “We work very hard there, especially those of us in the army.”
As for the lessons learned from the war, Cooper said that intervention will have unintended consequences.
He said: “Military options are usually the most worrying and difficult. If diplomatic options are not involved, it may not be the right choice.”
Cooper added that although the United States can supply and train the Afghan army, it cannot ensure or fully measure two important factors-morale and loyalty.