A war on Terrorism turned into codependency.
After two decades of presence in Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Biden set the date, and our troops are scheduled to be fully withdrawn from Afghanistan by 31 August 2021. Twenty years should have been enough time for the world to assist Afghanistan to build an army and stand on their own, should it not?
Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) targeted the al Qaeda leadership and infrastructure supported by the Afghanistan Taliban regime. Combined with fifty allied partnering countries, the U.S. military established the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to secure the country and develop an Afghanistan security force, but the ISAF disbanded in 2014. Nevertheless, NATO did train and assemble the Afghanistan National Army consisting of 186,000 troops tallied this year and deemed combat worthy, so what happened?
Is Afghan’s Collapse, Biden’s Fault?
According to BBC, Biden said “The idea that the Taliban would take over was premised on the notion that somehow, the 300,000 troops we had trained and equipped were going to just collapse, they were going to give up,” he told ABC News on Wednesday. “I don’t think anybody anticipated that.” However, according to Christine Fair, a political scientist at Georgetown University, “It was not an intel failure, Biden’s essentially doing what he always wanted to do.”
Why Biden Pulled Out
For over a decade, Biden has been pushing against military reasoning for extending their presence in a nation filled with corruption. In 2009, Bob Woodward, an investigative journalist with the Washington Post reported Biden saying, “It’s been very difficult—impossible—for foreign interventions to prevail in Afghanistan. With tens of thousands of troops on the ground already, if we can’t do it with this number and we don’t have a reliable partner in the Afghanistan government, then it seems irresponsible to inject additional troops on top of that. We’re just prolonging failure at that point.”
Afghanistan is Codependent
According to verywellmind.com, “Codependent relationships are an inequity of power that promotes the needs of the taker [, Afghan,] leaving the giver [, US,] to keep on giving often at the sacrifice of themselves. America has sacrificed more than 2,300 lives of our people, over $80 billion dollars to train and support their people, to what avail? The world stepped in and squelched a terrorist force rightly after it murdered 2,977 people over a difference in religious views in the 9/11 attacks. Using a proven plan as they did in Iraq, the world offered to help Afghanistan do something they could not do at that point. Afghanistan, however, did not step up and it was clear back in 2009, an independent nation could not survive. Sure enough, within six days, the Taliban swept right back in.
America is not the first to fall into this trap, however.
India, an Afghan ally, has poured billions of dollars into various projects to ensure trade and economic benefit with Afghanistan. (indiatoday.in) Afghanistan duped India as well. According to foriegnpolicy.com, “In the last ten years, India has contributed close to $2 billion in aid, making it Afghanistan’s fifth largest bilateral donor, and garnering much appreciation from the local population… The agreement is an affirmation of India’s maturing foreign policy in the region. It is also a natural corollary of the constructive role India has played in Afghan development efforts thus far.” India believes their goodwill will ensure “stability there.” But even their hopes are dashed destabilizing the entire region. However, India refuses to see the hopeless cause for what it is. “For Afghans it is surely a sign that India is a reliable partner who has stepped in firmly when the West seems to be in a hurry to quit.”
Who is to Blame? Afghanistan.
“The rung of a ladder [is] never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.”Thomas Huxley
Afghanistan got comfortable with the support of others. Sorry, but our own land cries from the blood that won freedom. We salute, sing, celebrate and honor our troops for their sacrifice for freedom around the world, but until Afghanistan will stand up and make the same sacrifice for themselves, they will never have independence. While it is noble to salute the honorable service of troops from around the world in an effort to lift others, if Afghanistan will not help themselves, if they will not take that step to the next rung on the ladder, then we must support Biden, and save the lives of our American sons and daughters.
“Freedom is never given, it is won.”Phillip Randolph