When Are We Going To Get It Right?
Without a doubt, our abrupt and chaotic exit from Afghanistan did not go unnoticed all over the world. After twenty years of fighting the Taliban, our mighty forces realized that we had lost the war. Not only that, but this time, we put all of our faith in our enemy – the Taliban – to secure the exit of thousands of American Citizens and the Afghani allies who helped us fight them for two decades. A bitter irony which we indeed paid for immediately, with the bloodshed of thirteen U.S. service members who lost their lives.
The President of the mighty USA told us now, that we were misinformed. That the 350,000 member Afghani army we left behind, turned out to be much less in number, and that they were overwhelmed by the ferocious Taliban army, and Kabul fell in 48 hours. Which means that the 2,448 American service members lost, the 3,846 US contractors and 444 aid workers dead, the 72 journalists and 47,245 Afghan civilians demised, and the two trillion dollars spent, was all for nothing.
But sadly, our losses in Afghanistan didn’t stop there. Our major loss is the global mistrust in the American leadership around the world. Our allies in Germany, France and even in the UK expressed their open dismay of this shameful and bloody display of American failure of leadership. Even our Middle East allies were dumbfounded and started to count their losses. The only countries that welcomed the Taliban uprise to take over the Afghani government were Russia and China, who immediately declared their support.
Soon, we’ll witness the armament of Taliban with their weapons, only if the 80 billion worth of weapons we left them wasn’t enough. But as is customary with China, soon we’ll find Chinese businesses flood the Afghani markets to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and construction, in exchange for their heavy metals and political domain.
This utter leadership failure, however, does not come as a surprise. For since the mighty Marshall Plan after WWII in 1948, when the US provided 15 billion dollars to rebuild Western Europe, the US foreign policy had been, unfortunately, a series of failures, with a few scattered successes, not to leave the fall of the Soviet Union, and the stoppage of the war in Bosnia behind. But in the recent past, what have we done? In the Korean war 40,000 Americans died and more than 100,000 were wounded. Then, we fought in Vietnam afterwards, and lost 1,353,000 military and civilian souls, and lost the war. During the first Gulf war, we sided with Saddam against Iran, then we turned against him in the second Gulf war. We empowered the Shias in Southern Iraq in the process, only to leave them hanging at the end of the war, for their ruthless leader to slaughter 180,000 of them.
Then, September 11, 2001 came. A domino effect followed through starting with the pursuit of Bin Laden in Afghanistan, which led to the current debacle of our hurried and poorly planned withdrawal. Later, came our futile war in Iraq -to fetch imaginary Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s) which left the country in a political vacuum after the death of Saddam, and it eventually fell into the hands of Iran. Then the latter power-hungry state of the Mullahs extended its military to prevail in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. We then went on to try to dismantle Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, to enable Islamists to run those countries as we were busy with presidential elections. Luckily, and despite our best efforts, only the last succumbed, with a complete failure of state, after the death of Qaddafi. Libya is now run by warring militias and its army and their weapons have been totally dismantled. In the process, we lost our diplomats during the fiasco of Benghazi.
In summary, we are led by short-sighted politicians whose only aim is the benefit of their partisan affiliation, to gain small victories, which enable them to win elections here and there, but ultimately lead us to utter failures, one after another. Our leaders don’t want to ever learn from their precedents’ mistakes. We are hopelessly trying to maintain our position as the only Super Power. However, this seems to be coming to an end soon, if we don’t pay attention to our aspiring world rivals who exalt in the trails of our repeated shortcomings.
Sherif Meleka is an Egyptian American physician and writer who resides near Baltimore MD.
The views of guest authors are not necessarily those of the ACLJ and do not always reflect the policies of the organization.