After more than 20 years, the American involvement in Afghanistan is coming to a close. CNN is filled with lamentation and breast-beating about the fate of Afghanistan under the Taliban after ignoring the conflict for almost a decade.
Truth be told: occupying Afghanistan – going into Afghanistan to save it from itself – was always a terrible idea, doomed to failure. Bush the Younger and Dick Cheney are to blame for the debacle with Donnie Rumsfeld, bin Laden and Al-Qaeda all playing significant supporting roles.
There was never an end-game but this: backing out and packing it in with nothing to show on the ‘plus’ side. ‘Graveyard of Empires’ is the un-official motto of that sorry place; the British Empire, the Russian Empire, the American Empire have all left corpses and treasure to rot there. Was American exceptionalism meant to make the inevitable somehow moot or ineffable?
Now, after the pull-out of American forces, – none dare call it defeat or retreat – we witness the ugly truth. The unpaid and under-paid, under-trained and under-equipped Afghan forces evaporate like morning dew before the fanatical heat of the Taliban forces. In short order, the ‘Students’ will control Kabul and rule under their perverted version of Sharia Law. It was all but inevitable.
What is also inevitable will be the failure of the Taliban to rule and administrate the tragic nation. One need only recall the ill-fated ISIS Caliphate, the ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq, which rose in a spectacular and brutal manner only to wither, die and blow away. Religious fanatics are notoriously poor civic leaders. They tend to ignore the more materialistic needs of their subjects.
Now, add in the inherent, ingrained corruption of the former Afghan government to the disastrous mix. Graft, corruption, ineptitude and religious fanaticism make a very poor recipe for success.
Condolences must be offered to the people – especially the females – of that sorrowful region. They are in for some very bad times.