Today, the world is witnessing the heartbreaking images of the Afghan population leaving everything behind in the dark of the night. The hasty exit by Biden administration from Afghanistan has been castigated as a betrayal to those who served in Afghanistan and the Afghans.
The decision to run has proved to be a terrible blow to United States’ reliability as a partner and its moral standing. Many agree that Afghanistan was unsalvageable.
Newspaper headlines compare the great escape from the Taliban to the US exit from Vietnam while it was falling. South Vietnam collapsed after the US troops left. Vietnam later became a sideshow in the Cold War, which was won by the US and re-established the United States as the superpower.
Afghanistan is a different story
The United States was internally divided over the conflict in Afghanistan, which is incomparable to Vietnam’s. The internal context today is entirely different from the scenes of the 1970s. The collapse of Afghanistan is a disaster for the war on terrorism. The situation also underscores how little the views of the European allies of America matter once the White House makes a decision.
Russia and China
Pakistan is notorious for harboring the Taliban for its geostrategic purposes. With the reinstation of the Taliban, terrorism has found a new safe haven. China has always found solace in United States’ failure. Biden’s desire to re-focus on the US as a national power to rival the new and rising China has placed an opportunity in front of China to expand its influence to Afganistan.
Russia might have insecurity about the return of instability and terrorism, though it can have a laugh at how the Afghan tribal fighters have humbled the US.
Afghanistan as potential hiding places for terrorists
The displacement of the US troops has boosted the morale of the anti-Western jihadists all over the world. The ungoverned spaces are opening up in Afghanistan as Islamic State group militants are looking for a new base after a defeat in Iraq and Syria. West would now struggle in containing the jihadists.
It all boils down to Pakistan’s policies on the travel of foreign fighters to Afghanistan through their territory.
The Taliban power in Afghanistan certainly benefits the West’s opponents. The reliability of the NATO countries such as Israel, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan will also have a role to play in this crisis through their trust in the United States as a partner.
If Al-Qaeda takes over the strategic terrain of Afganistan for its operations, Biden’s decision to quit Afghanistan would prove to be fateful as per the popular opinion.