What's new

What did 20 years of western intervention in Afghanistan achieve? Ruination

ziaulislam

ELITE MEMBER
Apr 22, 2010
15,052
10
14,290
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
What did 20 years of western intervention in Afghanistan achieve? Ruination
Simon Jenkins
Contributor image for: Simon Jenkins
Britain’s justifications for invading were having influence and deterring terror. They are just neo-imperialist platitudes

Fri 16 Apr 2021 07.40 EDT
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via Email
The longest, most pointless and unsuccessful war that Britain has fought in the past 70 years – its intervention in Afghanistan – is to end in September. I doubt anyone will notice. Nations celebrate victories, not defeats.

Twenty years ago the United States decided to relieve its 9/11 agony not just by blasting Osama bin Laden’s base in the Afghan mountains, but by toppling the entire Afghan regime. This was despite young Taliban moderates declaring Bin Laden an “unwelcome guest” and the regime demanding he leave. The US then decided not just to blast Kabul but invited Nato to launder its action as a matter of global security. Britain had no dog in this fight and only joined because Tony Blair liked George W Bush.


American and British troops roamed the country, signing up warlords or setting up new governors. Visiting Kabul at the time, I was told of Nato’s ambition to wipe out terror, build a new democracy, liberate women and create a “friend in the region”. I had an eerie sense of Britain in 1839 embarking on the First Afghan War.

Most Americans at the time wanted to get out, and concentrate on nation-building in Iraq. It was the British who were eager to stay. Blair even sent a minister, Clare Short, to eliminate the poppy crop. Whatever she did, it increased production from six provinces to 28, and raised poppy revenue to a record $2.3bn (£1.7bn).

Biden announces all US and Nato troops to leave Afghanistan by September 11
Spin forward to 2005, and the British army was in full imperial mode, itching to march south with 3,400 troops and conquer Pashtun Helmand. The British commander, General David Richards, was adamant that it would be just a matter of winning hearts and minds in friendly “inkspot” towns. His defence secretary, John Reid, hoped this would be achieved “without firing one shot”. They had fun giving their operations names such as Achilles, Pickaxe-Handle, Sledgehammer Hit, Eagle’s Eye, Red Dagger and Blue Sword.


Everything in Helmand went wrong. The expedition had to be salvaged by 10,000 American marines. Four hundred and fifty-four Britons died.

The Russians, who had been forced out of Afghanistan a decade before, were privately amazed at the ineptitude of the western operations – and publicly delighted. Gordon Brown, by then prime minister, was forced implausibly to explain in 2009 that British troops were dying in Helmand to make Britain’s streets safe.

Since then, most of Nato has retreated, hoping against hope that diplomacy would rescue the Kabul government and the west from abject humiliation. Three US presidents have pledged various forms of “surge and depart”, but lacked the political nerve to go through with them. Even Joe Biden has extended a May deadline to September. Each has done just enough to keep the puppet regime in Kabul safe without returning to full-scale imperial rule.


America’s 2,300 troops and their air support will now leave, as will Britain’s 750 (as one senior UK defence source told the Guardian: “If they [the US] go, we’ll all have to go,”). For the US, the cost has been high: 2,216 dead and more than $2tn spent. Billions in “aid” are said to have left Afghanistan, much of it to the Dubai property market. The cost to Afghan civilians has been appalling, put at between 50,000 and 100,000 deaths over the two decades, all in retaliation for “hosting” the 9/11 attackers. Is that what we call western values?

As a senior US official said this week, when President Biden fixed his new deadline: “The threat against the homeland from Afghanistan is at a level we can address.” That has surely been the case for years in Britain as in America, yet we are still there.

The latest peace talks in Qatar are going nowhere. The reason is obvious: that the Taliban need only to wait for September, when they can do as they choose. The current regime may hold Kabul for a while, but if it can barely govern with American help, it can hardly do so alone.


Left alone back in 2001, the Taliban leadership – with which US intelligence was already liaising – would have dealt with Bin Laden. It would have been held in check by its local warlords and by the Pakistani army. Instead, the Pashtun have been left to rampage for two decades, financed by western heroin users. The worst it has suffered is the decimation of its senior figures by US drones, to absolutely no effect. Afghanistan will need these people to contain another product of Nato intervention: the country is now a focus of Islamic State activity.
What has the US and UK intervention achieved? The military theorist Gen Sir Rupert Smith, in his book The Utility of Force, has pointed out that modern armies are almost useless in counter-insurgency wars. They have roamed the Middle East from Afghanistan to Libya, “creating one ruined nation after another”. Britain’s sole justification is the hoary Foreign Office cliche about having influence, deterring terror and standing tall in the world. They are neo-imperialist vacuities. In a world of apologies, some mighty big ones are due in September.

Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist
 

Dalit

BANNED
Mar 16, 2012
13,107
-17
23,839
Country
Pakistan
Location
Netherlands
It is a whole list of ruins. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the entire Middle East.

Let's ask a question. Is the world today a safer place after Saddam was killed? Is the world today a safer place after failed US/Western war adventures against brown nations?
 

Imran Khan

PDF VETERAN
Oct 18, 2007
59,079
2
116,507
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
lets be strait sir no need suger coating

it was revange and they bang afghanistan . revenge have no goal no purpose nor it have goals
 

CrazyZ

SENIOR MEMBER
Mar 3, 2019
3,327
2
4,213
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
USA spent trillions on low relevance wars in Afghanistan and other parts of the ME over the last 10 years. Imagine if the USA had instead investing trillions into its civilian industry, infrastructure and technology, as China was doing during this period. USA wasn't ruined put it squandered huge amounts of resources.

In hindsight, the Obama regime was far worse for the USA then even GWB was. Surge in Afghanistan was pointless. USA should have killed OBL declared victory and left. Obama also was never focused on jobs and never pushed civilian industry or infrastructure. Key turning points that historians must access.
 

Hakikat ve Hikmet

ELITE MEMBER
Nov 14, 2015
12,292
15
31,324
Country
United States
Location
United States
As for the China-Russia axis the following are the achievements:
  • Time to recuperate and regroup for Russia
  • Opportunity to be a global power for China
  • Now, they can beat the USA down from her sole Super Power position together
 

Maira La

SENIOR MEMBER
Mar 5, 2010
3,442
3
4,536
Country
Bangladesh
Location
Thailand
It is a whole list of ruins. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the entire Middle East.

Let's ask a question. Is the world today a safer place after Saddam was killed? Is the world today a safer place after failed US/Western war adventures against brown nations?
I get your point but don't glorify Saddam, that guy was total scum.
 

Xone

FULL MEMBER
Oct 13, 2019
530
0
569
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
They have roamed the Middle East from Afghanistan to Libya, “creating one ruined nation after another”
The question is not what they have done, The real question is why they have done this?
To me the answer is quite simple "is it not to decimate the muslims?" maybe you take it otherwise.
They have done it intentionally, not inadvertently. They will continue to do so.
Why is it so hard to discover this naked reality? How much suffering will make us understand this?
if US has wasted trillion $ in such wars, have not we, the muslims, compensated that loss?
Now, why is US making Pakistan scapegoat?
The reason is obvious “creating one ruined nation after another,”
When will we think to put a full stop to end this onslaught?
Allah knows Better.
To be, not to be
is the greatest human tragedy in Shakespeare's words. Is it not true for us right now?
will the darkness recede from our minds in time to undo the incoming danger?
 

khansaheeb

ELITE MEMBER
Dec 14, 2008
10,242
-2
11,975
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
What did 20 years of western intervention in Afghanistan achieve? Ruination
Simon Jenkins
Contributor image for: Simon Jenkins
Britain’s justifications for invading were having influence and deterring terror. They are just neo-imperialist platitudes

Fri 16 Apr 2021 07.40 EDT
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via Email
The longest, most pointless and unsuccessful war that Britain has fought in the past 70 years – its intervention in Afghanistan – is to end in September. I doubt anyone will notice. Nations celebrate victories, not defeats.

Twenty years ago the United States decided to relieve its 9/11 agony not just by blasting Osama bin Laden’s base in the Afghan mountains, but by toppling the entire Afghan regime. This was despite young Taliban moderates declaring Bin Laden an “unwelcome guest” and the regime demanding he leave. The US then decided not just to blast Kabul but invited Nato to launder its action as a matter of global security. Britain had no dog in this fight and only joined because Tony Blair liked George W Bush.


American and British troops roamed the country, signing up warlords or setting up new governors. Visiting Kabul at the time, I was told of Nato’s ambition to wipe out terror, build a new democracy, liberate women and create a “friend in the region”. I had an eerie sense of Britain in 1839 embarking on the First Afghan War.

Most Americans at the time wanted to get out, and concentrate on nation-building in Iraq. It was the British who were eager to stay. Blair even sent a minister, Clare Short, to eliminate the poppy crop. Whatever she did, it increased production from six provinces to 28, and raised poppy revenue to a record $2.3bn (£1.7bn).

Biden announces all US and Nato troops to leave Afghanistan by September 11
Spin forward to 2005, and the British army was in full imperial mode, itching to march south with 3,400 troops and conquer Pashtun Helmand. The British commander, General David Richards, was adamant that it would be just a matter of winning hearts and minds in friendly “inkspot” towns. His defence secretary, John Reid, hoped this would be achieved “without firing one shot”. They had fun giving their operations names such as Achilles, Pickaxe-Handle, Sledgehammer Hit, Eagle’s Eye, Red Dagger and Blue Sword.


Everything in Helmand went wrong. The expedition had to be salvaged by 10,000 American marines. Four hundred and fifty-four Britons died.

The Russians, who had been forced out of Afghanistan a decade before, were privately amazed at the ineptitude of the western operations – and publicly delighted. Gordon Brown, by then prime minister, was forced implausibly to explain in 2009 that British troops were dying in Helmand to make Britain’s streets safe.

Since then, most of Nato has retreated, hoping against hope that diplomacy would rescue the Kabul government and the west from abject humiliation. Three US presidents have pledged various forms of “surge and depart”, but lacked the political nerve to go through with them. Even Joe Biden has extended a May deadline to September. Each has done just enough to keep the puppet regime in Kabul safe without returning to full-scale imperial rule.


America’s 2,300 troops and their air support will now leave, as will Britain’s 750 (as one senior UK defence source told the Guardian: “If they [the US] go, we’ll all have to go,”). For the US, the cost has been high: 2,216 dead and more than $2tn spent. Billions in “aid” are said to have left Afghanistan, much of it to the Dubai property market. The cost to Afghan civilians has been appalling, put at between 50,000 and 100,000 deaths over the two decades, all in retaliation for “hosting” the 9/11 attackers. Is that what we call western values?

As a senior US official said this week, when President Biden fixed his new deadline: “The threat against the homeland from Afghanistan is at a level we can address.” That has surely been the case for years in Britain as in America, yet we are still there.

The latest peace talks in Qatar are going nowhere. The reason is obvious: that the Taliban need only to wait for September, when they can do as they choose. The current regime may hold Kabul for a while, but if it can barely govern with American help, it can hardly do so alone.


Left alone back in 2001, the Taliban leadership – with which US intelligence was already liaising – would have dealt with Bin Laden. It would have been held in check by its local warlords and by the Pakistani army. Instead, the Pashtun have been left to rampage for two decades, financed by western heroin users. The worst it has suffered is the decimation of its senior figures by US drones, to absolutely no effect. Afghanistan will need these people to contain another product of Nato intervention: the country is now a focus of Islamic State activity.
What has the US and UK intervention achieved? The military theorist Gen Sir Rupert Smith, in his book The Utility of Force, has pointed out that modern armies are almost useless in counter-insurgency wars. They have roamed the Middle East from Afghanistan to Libya, “creating one ruined nation after another”. Britain’s sole justification is the hoary Foreign Office cliche about having influence, deterring terror and standing tall in the world. They are neo-imperialist vacuities. In a world of apologies, some mighty big ones are due in September.

Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist
It has always been the case-" That has surely been the case for years in Britain as in America, yet we are still there. "

I was talking to two Syrian friends at the outset of the Afghan war and they were laughing and joking how Afghanistan and the Talibs were going to get annihilated and I told them then that " the spirit of Islam cannot be defeated and that the Islamic spirit cannot be killed no matter how many Muslims are killed". Really I don't know how a Russian or American can look an Afghan in the eye after being humbled by the poorest nation on earth and the richest men of belief. After realising the futility of their fake power Israel is trying to protect itself with the shroud of Arab treachery and it will be to no avail , a fruitless exercise to delay the inevitable.
 

Taimoor Khan

ELITE MEMBER
Jan 20, 2016
12,199
4
18,414
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
Left alone back in 2001, the Taliban leadership – with which US intelligence was already liaising – would have dealt with Bin Laden. It would have been held in check by its local warlords and by the Pakistani army


People need to get out their illusions pretty fast if they still haven't after two decades. Afghan war was never about Afghanistan. As someone said ,Translation: "Camp Afghanistan, target Pakistan", so if some chaps in western power circles are moaning about Pakistan doing what needs to be done, I would say, choke on it, swallow it. It is what it is.
 

Jobless Jack

FULL MEMBER
Aug 12, 2012
1,692
0
1,977
lets be strait sir no need suger coating

it was revange and they bang afghanistan . revenge have no goal no purpose nor it have goals
But the long term loser is the USA

Because of intervention on afganistan, USA is now on the brink of financial collapse, social collapse.

Not to mention the chinese and the russians are out smelling blood.
 

Dalit

BANNED
Mar 16, 2012
13,107
-17
23,839
Country
Pakistan
Location
Netherlands
I get your point but don't glorify Saddam, that guy was total scum.
The Americans and her British ally plunged an entire nation back to the Stone Age. Tell me honestly. Has Iraq recovered after Saddam was hung? Look at that country today. Absolutely zero recovery. Saddam might have been a drunk maniac, but Iraq was still in one piece. The Americans and Brits didn't ravage Iraq to bring democracy and prosperity. They were there to loot.
 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom