US seeks destruction and chaos from Afghan withdrawal, since 'stability' is its enemy
Editor's note: The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
by Shabana Syed
A humanitarian disaster of “absolute catastrophe” is unfolding in Afghanistan resulting from a displaced population and economic paralyses, warns the UN. While the western mainstream media will point to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan as the root cause, the reality is the country has always been on the brink of disaster due to war crimes and corrupt practices of the US after 20 years of forced occupation.
Two decades of a repeated rhetoric by Washington of “exporting democracy” and “nation-building,” Biden finally admits that “Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building. It was never supposed to be creating a unified centralized democracy.”
As the US evacuated, the ground reality of the extent of corruption and war crimes the US and NATO forces along with their puppet government in Kabul committed is surfacing. After 20 years and over 2 trillion dollars spent, US withdrawal exposed there was no infrastructure building, the trillion of dollars President Biden talks about, were handed to private US contractors, NGOs, Afghan warlords, Ashraf Ghani’s government and its supporters. As witnessed by the quick escape of Ghani in a helicopter stuffed with billions of American dollars.
In 2011 Julian Assange explained how Afghanistan was used as a place for money laundering “to wash money out of the tax bases of the US and Europe through Afghanistan and back into the hands of a transnational security elite. The goal is an endless war, not a successful war”
With Biden lamenting about how the US spent trillions in Afghanistan on education or “saving women” the humanitarian crises had worsened. A 2020 UN Development Report highlighted how the occupation resulted in Afghanistan being one of the world’s poorest nations with a gross national income of $560 per capita in 2017.
This ‘resurfacing’ of US crimes is not new. Wikileaks in 2010 released the ‘Afghan War Diary’, which contrary to Washington painting a rosy picture revealed how the US was failing in Afghanistan. The 91,000 war logs detailed war crimes by the US-led coalition forces, killing women and children indiscriminately, and exposed how NATO death squads terrorised locals through night raids and killing sprees and later covered up their crimes.
The report states that 48,000 Afghan civilians were killed, many in unknown and unverified incidences. It also cites several examples of unreported civilian injuries and deaths, ranging from the shooting of innocent individuals to a major loss of life from indiscriminate airstrikes. Washington called Assange a “criminal” and a “foreign agent” and is seeking to extradite him to the US and imprison him for 175 years for revealing military secrets.
It has already imprisoned Daniel Hale who served in Afghanistan as a US soldier, for speaking out against the drone assassination policy. He outlined gruesome details of how US drones killed innocent children and “then we would put into our reports that they weren’t children but goats.”
After twenty years nearly every Afghan family has had at least one member if not many killed through the actions of coalition forces. Is it any wonder the Afghan forces did not put up any real fight against the Taliban, and why the Taliban has been gaining recruits every year?
According to the European Asylum Support office, the Afghan population viewed the police as a predatory bandit, which was the most-hated institution in the country. In many cases, Afghans preferred the Taliban courts as they were more accessible, faster and less corrupt than the government-established courts.
The chaotic scenes at Kabul Airport of people trying to flee are being flashed in the international media, some even dying while trying to get onto an evacuation jet. This has raised many questions. Many critics believe that these scenes needn’t have taken place if the US had withdrawn its forces in an orderly fashion as it had promised to the Taliban and including Pakistan, China, Russia. America had over a year to withdraw after Trump had signed a deal with the Taliban and also after asking for assurances that US troops will not be attacked after 5,000 Taliban prisoners are released.
Instead, US forces left in the dead of the night not even informing the Afghan Commander and left behind not only most of its staff, but also billions of dollars of weaponry. This raises suspicions over why one leaves so much military equipment to the enemy, when you have over a year to evacuate.
One can only assume after examining US actions in Iraq, Syria and now Afghanistan that the Pentagon is strictly pursuing policies outlined by the Rumsfeld - Cebrowski doctrine which propagates that ‘stability’ is the enemy and America can only achieve its hegemonic ambitions through destruction and ‘chaos.’
According to Peter Koenig, a geopolitical analyst in ‘Afghanistan: A New Pivot in the Greater Middle East’ argues the US has left the country in the same mess as it left Iraq and Syria, because “instability” ensures “a country remains weak”. He points out the same is planned for Afghanistan as “Washington knows that Afghanistan offers perfect transit routes for the Belt and Road Initiative, which we know, the US despises.”
US withdrawal was inevitable, the occupiers were hated, and the coalition death toll was rising. Plus, the geopolitical landscape has changed, China and Russia have emerged as two formidable forces gaining regional influence. US policies to win allies in the region have been failing against the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Also, countries like Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian nations have seen the benefits of BRI projects which will bring economic prosperity through infrastructure development, and regional connectivity. Already 171 countries and international organisations have joined BRI. Even though the US attempted to introduce development initiatives through the G7 group and the Blue Dot Network with India, it has failed to attract allies, and the US has its own economic woes.
There are already signs that for America ‘The Great Game’ as outlined by Zbigniew Brzezinski and propagated by think tanks like Atlantic Council, has taken another form, though the objective being the same, to contain China and maintain US dominance.
America may have withdrawn from Afghanistan, but it does not mean it has abandoned its Pivot to Asia strategy to contain China and Russia. The US has invested a lot in this policy, redirecting its forces from the Middle East to its many bases surrounding China, Russia and Iran, enhancing its military and naval presence.
Unashamed of America’s humiliating defeat and shambolic pull out of Afghanistan, US Vice President Kamala Harris is not concerned about the fact that countries like India may be reluctant to ally themselves with the US after its historic betrayal of allies in Afghanistan. Rather in a delusional haze of activity she is visiting countries in Southeast Asia to gain allies to confront China and promote Biden’s vision for the region for “peace and stability” and “human rights.”
The way the US withdrew from Afghanistan reveals that it is repositioning itself, to carry out a hybrid war of chaos, since it cannot directly attack as it did in 2001, today China, Russia Pakistan and Iran have emerged as a strong allied force. Therefore, it has only one option, a hybrid war that causes conflict and destroys stability. Meanwhile, the West’s political elites have another incentive, to somehow prevent China from taking advantage of Afghanistan’s estimated 1.4 million tons of untapped rare earth elements and minerals crucial for the production of renewable energy technology.
It means nothing to the West that the Taliban has just come into power without a single shot fired, or the fact it has also given assurances to China, Russia and Pakistan that it will ensure that Afghanistan will not be used as a base for terrorists.
The US propaganda war machine has started spreading fear in the media of a “renewed terrorism threat” with America’s General Mark Milley, hinting at the potential danger America is facing as “al Qaeda and ISIS could quickly rebuild their networks in Afghanistan”.
Therefore, if one wants instability and civil war in a country, it does make sense to arm the population. This may explain why the US forces left billions of dollars of weaponry, tanks, firepower, Humvees, an airforce, something the Taliban didn’t have before. This may also explain why they also left devices known as Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIDE) containing biometric data and information of who worked with the US, which ensures the Taliban has enough information to find which Afghans were collaborating with the US against them.
As one individual who had worked with the US against the Taliban said, Afghans will never forget the US’s betrayal and “those who are going to be killed by the Taliban for collaborating, their blood is on the hands of the US”.