- Gabrielle Hendricks
U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan
Failure of western leadership, government corruption based on greed, and the declining incentive to fight for freedom are broad pieces of the puzzle that encompass the twenty-year strife in Afghanistan. It does not take a military or political scholar to see the failure and lack of care from the Biden administration and internal corruption in Afghanistan that led to such a careless and disastrous withdrawal.
Anyone who has ever slightly paid attention to the political career of U.S. president, Joseph Biden, can detect the lack of militaristic knowledge and poor judgement he holds regarding sizeable military operation strategies. During the Obama era, Vice President Biden was reluctant to abide by the suggestions made by experts within the field, relying on his personal and uninformed judgement. As the current executive of the country, he is performing the same careless behavior, which has caused a mass catastrophe in the already turbulent country of Afghanistan. Biden has not only disregarded professional advisors, but he has also shown little personal interest or the want to be involved in the Afghanistan crisis, causing this abrupt removal of much needed troops. The decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was initially a bipartisan vote made by multiple Democratic lawmakers and not an official executive idea. This factor makes the final decision to withdraw from Afghanistan feel more like a popularity pleasing contest on Biden’s behalf and less like an informed, well planned and completely necessary decision. Biden’s reluctance in leadership and ignorance in tactics has caused an international uproar, and rightfully so, how could a leader be so careless with a two-decades-long situation?
Despite Biden’s failures, the blame does not rely solely on him. With any government decision made, there are always multiple parties involved and not performing their duties properly. The blame also lies with the U.S. intelligence and military elites who conducted and strategized poorly.
The recent decisions of the U.S. intelligence and military affect this withdrawal and decline in Afghanistan. Past actions have also affected the present matters of the U.S. and Afghanistan relationship. The Democrats made the withdrawal decision in the first place because of the data showing the decline of power the U.S. was able to hold against the Taliban in the region. Precautions due to poor predictions and methods of defense led to the Taliban regaining power. The civilian casualties caused by the U.S. (mainly in the mid and early 2000s) have also placed victimized Afghan people into the ploy of joining the Taliban community and adopting their ideology. Western hostility and lack of communication between the dominating military regimes and the citizens caused a predictable pattern of distrust and fall of morale to fight for freedom in Afghan fighters and units. If communication and mutual understanding between U.S. fighters, Afghan fighters, and the general Afghan population were established, both nations most likely would not be experiencing the current withdrawal mess.
The corruption of the Afghan government is also a significant factor in the withdrawal decision. The government is notorious for nepotism, leaders lining their pockets with money needed for the military, wrongfully politicizing military choices and many more atrocities. The leaders themselves are not concerned with the liberalization of their country and people. This failure of political leadership has led to the Afghan troops losing hope and the drive to keep pressing forward to their freedom. President Ashraf Ghani fled while more minor, more dedicated leaders, such as former female mayor, Zarifa Ghafari, stayed behind in consolidation with the people, showing the incompetence and selfishness of the higher-ups in Afghanistan. A true leader would not leave his people and watch from the sidelines as mass terrorists brutalize them. Both President Biden and President Ashraf Ghani have acted selfishly in the withdrawal. They have left millions of loyal and brave Afghan troops, translators, more minor politicians and aids to fend for themselves against the brutal forces of the Taliban.
Considering all matters, the wiser decision on the U.S.’ part would have been to leave at least half of the troops in Afghanistan rather than a complete withdrawal. The Taliban would not be as bold or strong enough to intrude on the territories and gain control over the region if there were proper reinforcements. The U.S. should have also intervened more critically on the Afghan government and reduced the political turmoil within the country. This withdrawal is a real atrocity and will affect women’s rights, democratic freedoms, and the general modern concept of what Afghanistan has worked its way to become. The Taliban will use Sharia law and radicalism to break down twenty years of progress.