Withdrawal from Afghanistan is a turning point

Withdrawal from Afghanistan is a turning point. By Aris Roussinos.

Now that the full weight of the Taliban’s wrath is directed solely at them, the Afghan security forces are suffering an utterly unsustainable casualty rate of 3,000 personnel a month. It’s unlikely in the extreme that their hold on even the country’s largest cities can long survive the American withdrawal. The Communist Afghan government forces managed to hold Kabul for three years after their Soviet backers finally pulled out in 1989 — whether or not the current Afghan National Army (or ANA) can outlast it is an open question.

So what was it all for? It’s reasonable to assume that the withdrawal from Afghanistan will be remembered as a turning point in history — fantasies of spreading liberal democratic governance at gunpoint in countries where it has never existed will be abandoned. …

It is painful, now, to remember the fashion for counterinsurgency or “COIN” doctrine in the 2000. This doctrine held the sincere belief that political legitimacy could be “borrowed” by embattled governments like that of Kabul through infrastructure and governance projects imposed on a restive population by foreign occupiers like ourselves.

Iraq and Afghanistan were military victories by the West, but the occupations were cultural failures brought about by arrogance and political fantasies. An ignorant western political class ignored  realities such as the cultural strengths of those societies, and why they are like they are. They didn’t understand them.

The western political class has multiple blind spots due to its ideological positions and fantasies on race, sex, IQ, religion etc — and blundered badly as a result. This withdrawal won’t correct those PC fantasies of course, but hopefully they will have learned to try persuasion instead of inflicting them on nations of deplorables by force of arms.