Shamefaced Superpower

The world is aghast with the outcome in Afghanistan. Indeed it is utter amazement how a superpower has been humbled and embarrassed in the hands of irregular forces. This is what I had written in my book, titled Fighting Shadows in 2018,

“Alas! If Soviet Union had known that Afghanistan was a “graveyard for empires”. One wonders whether the same statement may be repeated tomorrow with reference to the US”

The statement is indeed being repeated. One is bewildered to say the least that how a superpower could be so grossly wrong in its assessments, analysis and intelligence. Weeks ago President Biden asserted that Taliban take over of Kabul was not inevitable. Three days ago US intelligence agencies had predicted that Kabul might fall in 90 days. It has taken 1/30th of time for Kabul to fall. Gross miscalculation seems an understatement.

Almighty superpower has been left to beg Taliban for safety of its embassy staff. It’s equally appalling that a superpower didn’t have contingency planning for evacuation of its embassy staff. First they extricated all troops and then re-inducted a contingent of 6000 soldiers.

On initiation of Operation Enduring Freedom, General Pervez Musharraf had demanded from the US that Northern Alliance should not come to Kabul mounting US tanks. However, the US had no other option because it had to ally with enemy of Taliban. The day Northern Alliance came to Kabul mounting US tanks, the same day India moved into Afghanistan. India had a hey-day with favourable government in Kabul.

Withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan was bound to rectify two distortions in the country due to its presence. Firstly, a flawed political dispensation had to be rectified. Minority rule had to give way to majority rule. Secondly, India had to be cut to size. Both have happened much earlier than expectations.

The tables in Afghanistan haven’t turned rather these have been catapulted. The speed of change is mind boggling. 20 years efforts, money, planning and nation building has gone down the drain.

Rapid changes in Kabul will augur well for overall CPEC related prospective growth and development in the region.

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