Impact of Taliban’s rise to power: What does this mean for America?
With seizure of Kabul, Taliban have captured almost the entire Afghanistan within a couple of weeks of their military advancement as the Afghan forces trained by the NATO alliance proved to be paper tiger before them.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani relinquished the power “for fear of bloodshed” and fled from the country following which Taliban announced that “the war is over”. The type of rule and form of new regime in Afghanistan will be clear soon, said Spokesman for Taliban Suhail Shaheen in a statement.
Two of Afghanistan’s most notorious warlords, former governor of Balkh province Atta Mohammad Noor and the ethnic Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum, have also fled. They had been embroiled in wars against Taliban since the days of the Soviet invasion.
Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar congratulated the whole Afghan nation on this historic event. He said that he did not expect the success to be so swift and easy. “This all became possible with the help of Allah (SWT) only,” he said.
Without shedding blood they have seized the areas of Ismailis, Shias, Tajik and Uzbeks as the minorities are also supporting Taliban now.
The question is that what next now? Some war analysts believe that Afghanistan will not be able to run without aid of the United States as more than 75 percent of the economy has been dependent on the foreign aid during the last two decades. Which does not appear to be a valid point because the Afghan government and forces have been corrupt to such an extent that they did not let the money reach to common men, so the people would not be much affected by that. The Afghan rulers did not even bother from selling sophisticated NATO weapons to Taliban. So, the aid did not mean a lot to the commoners, even though we cannot rule out its utility all in all.
What does this mean for America?
This means a clear defeat for the US even though it will not accept it but the truth is that Taliban are apparently more powerful than they were about two decades ago. The purpose of invading the land, based on allegations of attack on the World Trade Centre and possible future attacks, was to dismantle Taliban and establish a democratic “puppet government”, which could not materialize.
According to the Pentagon, 2,448 American troops, 1,144 personnel of NATO members and other allied countries, more than 47,000 Afghan civilians and at least 66,000 Afghan military and police men have died in the war. While trillions of dollars of interest-based US debt, that generations of Americans will pay, has been accumulated.
Linda Bilmes, a senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard University, said the US will spend more than 2 trillion dollars just caring for and supporting Afghanistan and Iraq veterans as they age, with costs peaking 30 years to 40 years from now.
Pakistani analyst Orya Maqbool Jan said American soldiers’ morale had become so low and they had become so cowardice during the war that on an average 22 of them would commit suicide every day, while 700,000 suffered from posttraumatic stress syndrome.
The American dream of creating a great influence in Central Asia by seizing Afghan land has also come to an end as the last troops of the NATO forces fled in the dead of night from Bagram airport.
Now America will try to destabilize the Taliban government by creating anarchy through conspiracies and proxies.
Impact on rest of the world
Interestingly, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is supporting Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ahmad Shah Massoud for their being from Turk race, with an aim to revive Khilafat e Usmania.
Tajikistan fears that the religious movement which had been suppressed with support of the US will resurge viewing rule of Taliban in the neighbouring country.
Iran on the other hand has reconciled with Taliban. While, Russia and China are already in talks with them.
India had invested three billion dollars in Afghanistan to gain influence which all went in vain. So they are also furious over the recent episodes. They fear that Taliban may now make advancement in Kashmir too.
Pakistan may also experience fallout of the situation in Afghanistan as it will give impetus to the ideology of local religious parties and pave the way for their majority in the parliament in a bid to establish Shariah. Pakistan has long been trying to take credit for political settlement of the Afghan crisis, which Taliban have never officially admitted.