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Saturday, December 2, 2023

The Trump-Biden goof-up that plunged Afghanistan into darkness

The blasts outside the Kabul  airport  and the tragic killing of Afghans and Americans has further exposed shortfalls and loopholes in President Biden’s Afghan policy. 

Looking at Biden’s decision of sudden pullout of American forces from Afghanistan and the subsequent  airlifting of American and Afghan nationals it seems the Biden administration  is  acting in a reverse mode in Afghanistan.  

Thus the troop pullout  which should  have happened  after the safe passage of all foreign nationals has happened before any of the civilians could leave Afghanistan leaving the latter thoroughly exposed  to the Taliban and its splinter groups like the ISIS K, Al-Qaeda and  others.

With all the intelligence  inputs at its disposal  how could the Biden administration leave all the Americans and other foreign nationals at the mercy of the Taliban and other Jihadi groups operating in the area.

Sanity demanded that before the troop pullout all civilian evacuations  should have taken place under the watchful eyes of the US and NATO  troops in Kabul. Thus the US troops could have manned the roads leading to the airport  as also the entry points to the airport. 

With the American troops on the ground manning all checkpoints  the Taliban would have been kept at bay for a few days till the whole evacuation was complete. In this manner the American troops would have been  the last people to leave Afghanistan thereby ensuring minimum  or no casualties. 

Heavens would not have fallen if the American and allied forces had extended their stay in Afghanistan by 2 weeks ensuring a safe passage for all. But President Biden chose to act hastily and unilaterally and now we have carnage on our hands.

Biden’s goof up in Afghanistan has not only resulted in loss of human lives but also a human right crisis with babies being tossed up across barbed wire fences and petrified Afghans making a beeline for the airport only to be engulfed by human bombs and suicide bombers. 

Biden set out to minimize US casualties on the ground when he decided on an abrupt troop pullout but he has achieved  exactly  the opposite  with 13  young US service  officers  laying down their lives in the  twin suicide attacks  and unfortunately their could be more with reports of another  blast in Kabul.

Afghanistan has plunged into utter chaos and darkness and the whole world is just a spectator  to the human tragedy  that is unfolding on the streets  of Kabul. The UN and the UNHRC who are so vociferous  and clamourous on Kashmir have just muted themselves  or are just paying lip service  to the catastrophy  in Afghanistan  just because  America is responsible for the unfolding crisis. 

In fact, two successive US President’s  have ensured the legitimizing of a terrorist outfit like Taliban and pulled the earth from under the feet of the Afghan  people plunging them into a deep gorge. Trump brought the Taliban  on the table in Doha thereby weakening the Afghan  government who were not a party to the talks. 

Thus, the seeds of the current crisis were sown by Trump and Biden ensured an early harvest  of death and turmoil in Afghanistan  by an abrupt  pullout  of US and allied troops giving little or no thought to subsequent  fallout. 

Now the Biden administration  can only indulge in face saving drone attacks on the  splinter terrorist  groups like the ISIS K  who are allied to the Taliban and proliferating in adjoining  Pakistan.  

The Afghan story has gone out of hand for the US and it has got a bloody nose like Vietnam  apart from the loss of credibility vis a vis its allies. America remained in Afghanistan  for 2 decades only to leave it in shambles. 

Its other allies like Taiwan and Japan must be getting the  jitters looking at the way the US has acted in Afghanistan  at the behest of the domestic audience.  They must be thinking  that the US could do the same with  them leaving them at the mercy of the  Dragon.

This haphazard  withdrawal  by the US has surely dented its superpower image and China and Russia  would  waste no time in rubbing it in.

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Aman Gupta
Aman Gupta
Political Editor, Samast Bharat magazine


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