Like many other wars, the eleven years old war in Afghanistan has also turned into an embarrassing defeat of the US-led combat forces but American leadership, both present and promising, still shamelessly vows to engage into many more armed conflicts.
It was October 7th, 2001 when the United States along with its western allies launched a military offensive against the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on the pretext of its military campaign called “war on terror.” The title of this campaign is, however, a paradox in itself. One of the major drivers of the attack, as claimed by America, was the presumption that the chief commander of al- Qaeda and the alleged “mastermind” of 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, is based in Afghanistan. However, how false these claims proved to be with the passage of time is a well-known fact. Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in a suspicious manner in the neighboring state of Pakistan in 2011; there are sound, rationale and strong evidence which questions the said intention of America in waging war in Afghanistan and the genuineness of the American text of 9/11 attacks itself.
Once the territory of Afghanistan was attacked with a said resolve to rein-in and sabotage the terrorist set up of al- Qaeda, a simultaneous imperative was discovered to topple the regime of Taliban in the country. The self-proclaimed saviors and promoters of democracy and human rights around the world, the US along with its European allies forced regime change and established a puppet government in Kabul. It is about 11-years now since the Talibani regime was ousted but the large scale military operation is still unabated; huge loss of lives are continuously being reported, economy of both Afghanistan and US crumbled, and another blot on human history with exacerbating effects are being recorded. But despite of it all, can America count the Afghan war as a successful military operation in its long history of engaging in wars against foreign lands?
As the elections in the United States is nearing, President Barack Obama continuously asserts that due to the wars fought by his and George W. Bush’s administration in the past decade, America has established a “goodwill” and is more “respected” around the world. This assertion can, however, be simply and categorically described as rhetoric and nothing else. The United States have, in fact, lost their much touted war in Afghanistan and other simultaneous wars it fought in the region. Its protracted military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq has rather become a matter of humiliation, shame and disgrace for them.
The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanitan is under alarming stress and enduring heavy casualties because of a dramatic surge in violence against them. The insurgents in the country have repeatedly been successful in targeting many highly fortified buildings including the Afghan interior ministry, western diplomatic missions, military bases of International Security Assistance Force, parliament and so on. There have been strings of attacks on foreign forces in Afghanistan under various campaigns such as “Spring Offensive” and “Green-on-Blue”. There are continuous reports of Talibani infiltration in Afghan army and police force. Moreover, many senior policemen and army men have turned their guns against their foreign counterparts voluntarily too. According to US military spokeswoman, Maj. Lori Hodge, 34 international coalition soldiers have been killed by Afghan security forces in 26 different incidents in 2012 so far. This figure stood last year as 35 casualties in 21 incidents. The Isaf keeps on dubbing them as “isolated” incidents but considering the frequency of such cases and the number of casualties it has caused to the foreign forces, it is difficult to accept such a claim.
Mr Obama at a Nato summit in Chicago earlier this year said, “Just as we’ve sacrificed together for our common security, we will stand united in our determination to complete this mission (Afghan war).” However situation in many European countries which are at the forefront with the US in its prolonged military operation in Afghanistan are not favorable and they are apparently not “united” on wars anymore. Europe is going through a deep and a very serious economic crisis and there is widespread public anger against active involvement of Europe in wars that have been fought since the 9/11 attacks. Many countries are planning to withdraw their troops before the coalition schedule of 2014. The former president of France and a key warmonger ally of the US, Nicolas Sarkozy, too had to promise early withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan in his re-election bid, considering a pandemic public clamour against the ongoing war. He promised to bring troops back home in 2013. However, Mr. Sarkozy could not retain power and the newly elected president, Francois Hollande, moved a step further and pledged to withdraw French soldiers by the end of 2012 only.
Now in line with his promise, Mr. Hollande have started disintegrating France’s military establishment in Afghanistan and its soldiers are returning home.
In a major setback to the coalition forces, dozens of US war veterans, who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, tossed their medals away onto a Chicago street near where a Nato summit was taking place, calling them “representation of hate,” “lies” and “cheap tokens.”
Moreover, the US army in Afghanistan had faced fierce public ire due to some actions of their own. Earlier this year, a video of three US marines urinating on the dead bodies of alleged militants emerged, and within a couple of months another immoral incident of soldiers burning copies of the holy Qur’an was reported at Bagram Air Field, a US air base north of Kabul. As a consequence, the US military was severely rebuked by Afghan civilians and the government. The widespread demonstrations, which were sparked by Qur’an burning incident, turned into rioting and claimed more than 30 civilian lives; two US soldiers were also shot dead.
The strong resistance from Taliban which is causing grievous damage to foreign forces in Afghanistan, unfavorable economic condition at home and in ally countries, conscience of war veterans and their public acceptance of malicious intentions of America in waging wars, a trust deficit between the US military and Afghan civilians etc. are clear indications that United States is at the back-foot in Afghanistan on both fronts: military and morally. Whatever goodwill or respect it possessed in the past is now obliterated and the American empire has just become a symbol of bullying, oppression, materialism, division and hatred. And it is witnessing a gradual decline in its hegemony.
But unfortunately, irrespective of all the adverse situations which has surrounded America, its leadership is not paying heed to what is undermining America’s interests and well-being. As the case has been for decades, American policies continue to be drafted in accordance to the demands and needs of the Zionists in Israel and in other corners of the world, no matter how detrimental it is proving for its own existence as a sovereign state. President Barack Obama is apparently a little bit reluctant in engaging in any more wars but does not rule out military action against the mighty Iran, and Syria as well, after all he is remote controlled by the Zionist lobby and inclination of Zionists towards wars is a well known fact. Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for the US elections 2012 is adamant on war policies and pledges to support Israel, if elected to power and if the Jewish state chooses to attack Iran on their allegation that Iran is in pursuit of nuclear weapons. Such a stand by him is predictable because wooing the Zionists is an integral and an essential part in winning the elections in America.
[Views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Jamia Journal’s editorial policy.]