Taliban Continues Takeover of Afghanistan as U.S. Foreign Policy Failed in its Mission

Posted on 08/12/2021

The United States government is considering relocating its Kabul embassy to the city’s airport as the security situation for local Afghan forces deteriorates. The Taliban captured Herat, Afghanistan’s third-largest city. In less than a week, the Taliban have claimed at least 11 of the nation’s 34 provincial capitals.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan before the 9/11 terrorist attack in the United States. It is important to remember that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were not conducted by the Taliban. They were conducted by the Wahhabi Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, a Saudi national. During the September 11 attacks in 2001, 2,977 people were killed, the Twin Towers in NYC were destroyed, 19 hijackers committed murder–suicide, and more than 6,000 others were injured. U.S. President George W. Bush brought in troops and removed the Taliban from power by using the U.S. military. However, the U.S. was mired in Afghanistan for two decades. U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned to bring troops out of Afghanistan, but got pushback from his generals and many GOP politicians. U.S. President Joe Biden accelerated and exited U.S. troops from Afghanistan, which caused a vacuum, giving the Taliban more ground. Clashes between the Taliban and Afghan forces have intensified as foreign militaries, including the U.S. and NATO, are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by August 31, 2021. Kabul could fall within 90 days as more troops defect to the Taliban. The U.K. has sent in 600 troops to help evacuate personnel and its citizens. The Pentagon will send 3,000 troops to evacuate embassy staff from Kabul. There are reports of Afghan forces selling U.S.-made military equipment to Taliban forces. The Taliban appears to obtain most of its Western-made equipment from Afghan soldiers on the battlefield.

Now U.S. diplomats are begging for assurances from the Taliban that they will not attack the U.S. Embassy in Kabul if they taks over the country’s government. The U.S. is tempting the Taliban of withholding foreign aid from U.S. taxpayers. The European Union (EU) threatened the Taliban with “isolation” if seizes power in Afghanistan. NATO member Turkey is planning to set up talks with the Taliban. Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on August 11, 2021 via a joint TV interview broadcast live on broadcasters CNN Turk and Kanal D, “Turkey’s relevant institutions are currently working until we have some talks with the Taliban. Maybe even I can be in a position to receive the person who will be their leader.”

Failed Strategies
On June 23, 2010, then U.S. President Barack Obama nominated David Petraeus, when he fired U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, as commanding general of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Earlier, McChrystal submitted a 66-page report to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates calling for more troops in Afghanistan, saying “We are going to win.” That became public on September 20, 2009. In 2009, McChrystal publicly suggested between 30,000 and 40,000 more troops were needed in Afghanistan.

David Petraeus resigned from his position as director of the CIA, citing his extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, which was reportedly discovered in the course of an FBI investigation. Eventually, Petraeus pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.

War Cost
The Pentagon spent an estimated US$ 88 billion dollars training the Afghan Army for 20 years and it collapsed around a month’s timeframe. American service members killed in Afghanistan through April 2021 was 2,448. The estimated amount of direct Afghanistan and Iraq war costs that the United States has debt-financed as of 2020: US$ 2 trillion.

Last, Afghanistan is one of the richest mining regions in the world and holds many rate earth metals. There were even talks of a possible SWF; however, that never came to fruition.

Source: Linda Bilmes of Harvard University’s Kennedy School and from the Brown University Costs of War project.

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