The collapse of the Afghan government marked the culmination of a 20-year foreign invasion and occupation. The brutal and unconditional withdrawal of American forces was then followed by the capture by the Taliban of the capital Kabul. The widespread public panic that ensues reported the prospect of a large-scale humanitarian crisis.
The rapid establishment by the Taliban of de facto control in Afghanistan reflected yet another failure of American foreign policy. While the initial military intervention was carried out under the pretext of preventing Al-Qaeda from using the country as a stronghold, the long-term US presence in Afghanistan has sparked skepticism about the intentions of the Western powers that have occupied the region. A long history of American intervention in Afghan affairs can be observed, especially in the rise of religious extremism in the country and the increase in internal conflicts.
Reports of the Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan (SIGAR) over 7 years have Noted the growing influence of the Taliban. In their 52nd quarterly report, SIGAR reported numerous offensives and increased incidents of enemy attacks by the Taliban against the Afghan national defense and security forces. In early August, reports revealed 58 civilian casualties in the first five days of the month and over 400 districts were taken.
Despite indications that the Taliban would continue to conquer Afghanistan after the exit, the United States proceeded as planned. As US investments in the security of Afghanistan have summer insufficient to achieve the expected results, the resurgence of Taliban activities across Afghanistan should have signaled the possibility of failure. Overwhelming evidence and intelligence signaled an impending takeover; however, the American representatives insist that this outcome could not have been foreseen or avoided.
Although President Biden and the NATO Secretary General sharp blame the Afghan rulers for the fall of the state to the Taliban, an internal division emerged within Biden’s administration regarding the burden of responsibility. However, it was President Trump’s administration that bypassed the existing Afghan government to to negotiate with the Taliban in February 2020. The public blame game persisted when President Biden and former President Trump critical another for the consequences of the withdrawal. NATO’s “lasting partnership” with Afghanistan after their respective withdrawal lift up additional liability issues.
Accusing the Afghan leadership of not caring enough about defending their country, especially when NATO and the United States have undertaken capacity-building and security missions in Afghanistan, is a thinly veiled attempt to absolve oneself. of responsibility for the collapse of the government.
Contrary to numerous claims that nation-building has never been a facet of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, the commitment made by President Bush to rebuild the country after the destabilization suggests otherwise. The reconstruction is understood as a principle of post-intervention efforts, although its application is not prescriptive by virtue of the responsibility to protect. Now a dilemma arises as to the burden the United States should bear in what has been widely denounced as a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The misadventures of the United States were frequently observed by SIGAR, including but not limited to: impractical training for law enforcement officials, inadequate surveillance and misuse of funds earmarked for reconstruction, all of which are exacerbated by the drastic reduction in funding for reconstruction.
The report in addition interrogates “If the level of foreign aid during this uncertain period is sufficient to prevent the collapse of the state,” while stressing that the reconstruction mission was riskier in 2021 than it had ever been before.
Threats to women’s rights have been highlighted by SIGAR’s high-risk list, especially with regard to how the Taliban interpret “Islamic values” as it relates to women. The progress that Afghan women and girls made is in danger ; for girls looking for an education, a job or just to stay single, the future is particularly uncertain. The Taliban use of force when women took in the street to protest against the interim government indicates the urgency of the situation and the need for a rapid response. Concerns about women’s rights seem to have been justified because girls were excluded plans to reopen schools and the Ministry for the Status of Women has been replaced by an institution nicknamed “moral police”.
As Afghans attempt flee the country en masse, US evacuation efforts are fall short with extensive verification procedures and multi-step processes to prevent Afghans to be able to leave. Numerous world leaders have either downright rejected Where imposed extreme limits to the reception of asylum seekers. While an exodus seems inevitable, the United States cannot wash its hands of its controversial mandate in Afghanistan. Violence perpetrated was arguably disproportionate to the results of the occupation, and reconstruction efforts failed to establish the security promised during the intervention in the region. The Pentagon has recognized the August 29 drone strike as a “tragic mistake”, reversing previous statements about the attack that successful in the death of 10 citizens. Yet it remains doubtful whether the United States is fully held to account for this important mistake.
It is clear that the United States must now act in a non-military capacity; repay and reassess the reconstruction approach is the minimum required to meet the 19-year U.S. commitment to to assure “a future of progress and stability for the Afghan people”.
In terms of immediate action, US policymakers must commit to evacuating and resettling Afghan refugees at a higher rate and with fewer restrictions. The United States has a separate moral obligation to Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons, including women, girls, and civilians who have helped the United States and government efforts by thinking that they would be protected from retaliation.
In addition, the United States and the international community must impose sanctions on the Taliban and refrain from recognizing their government as legitimate. Sanctions were called by many Afghan groups and representatives. Articles 39 and 41 of the Charter of the United Nations justify that coercive measures be to put up in the face of a threat to the peace. These circumstances would pose a threat both to nationals and to the world community as a whole. Discretion should be used to ensure that sanctions are not extended to aid organizations and local NGOs providing humanitarian services.
In the long term, a localized approach must be adopted in international assistance and engagement. How funds are used is essential to ensure that an international presence in the country has a positive impact. The contributions of local organizations and partners should not be overlooked in the overall response. Listening to the needs of people on the ground is crucial for the development of effective frameworks for reconstruction and accountability. Improving localization would turn the existing approach into an international effort to prevent the Taliban from restricting basic rights.
A swift and collective response is needed to prevent this situation from escalating, taking into account the unique risks posed to Afghan women and girls. Inaction, however, is unacceptable.