Afghanistan. As one writer stated, “How can you name it a Nation, when it is really four or five cities, and ten thousand villages, all tied together by tribal and family blood bonds, a religion which acknowledges no rivals; and a limitless toleration for corruption?”
For all the treasure we and America expended, with 2,349 American dead; not forgetting the British dead, 459 in bodybag numbers, as well as the numberless wounded, both physically and mentally, all the time we and our Allies spent in that sad, beautiful country: it was a complete failure. We never, ever learn from our failures. We failed in the nineteenth Century, we failed again over the last twenty years from different reasons; but we still failed. When Soviet Russia abandoned its invasion, and left, ignominiously, we in the West didn’t learn anything. When the second most ruthless Army and AirForce in the world admits it is beaten, shouldn’t the West’s politicians have at least checked what had happened? Checked before they hurled the most advanced military in the world at a force which was just above Stone-age technology?
The excuse for that invasion was, of course, 9/11, and the Taliban, along with Osama, were the targets. But, instead of getting the Afghan mullahs, the only body which really counted, to help rebuild an Islamic country, the Allies invited the Warlords back in, the very people which the Taliban had overthrown. We failed because we were not ruthless, we failed because the vast heroin trade was allowed to flourish. We failed because we brought women in to negotiate with village elders; in a country which routinely sets women as bearers of children, and nothing else. We failed because we said we were ‘Nation-building’. How can you rebuild a Nation which derides the very values you are trying to uphold?
Some eleven years ago, I wrote an essay about Afghanistan in 2050. I feel, that, in reading it now, by following the link, the reader may well agree with me that a modern China, a ruthless dictatorship capable of genocide of the Muslim Uighurs; is well capable of the planning and action which is outlined within that essay.