US Blunders in Afghan War
US war on terror in Afghanistan is considered as one of the longest war fought in recent human history. Another distinguish feature of the war is the great difference of combatants’ number between the two groups. Whereas almost fifty six nations with plenty of resources and advance technology and weaponry were on one side, only a bunch of few thousand terrorists with conventional arms were on the other. Similarly the whole world sympathy was with US, who was brutally targeted by the terrorists in the shape of 99/11 attacks and every nation of the world was supporting her. But despite all these advantages to US over Taliban and waging war for over seventeen years, she failed in uprooting terrorists from the region. And now as usual she is trying to withdraw from the country as soon as possible. By doing so, she will left the Afghanistan in chaos once again as she had did back in 1990’s.
One of the major reasons of US failure in Afghan war, as per few analysts, is the impractical decisions of the policy makers. Analysis of Afghan war shows that after conquering the country, US in spite of doing some social, political and economic development work in Afghanistan went after Sadam Hussain and attacked on Iraq in 2003. Engagement in war on two different fronts not only caused division of resources but it also divided policy makers’ concentration. It is believed that America attacked on Iraq because US generals believed that Taliban are finished and they have no power to retaliate but they were wrong.
Attack on Iraq also shows that US had no or less intentions of rebuilding Afghanistan after conquering it. After defeating Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan, US had an excellent opportunity of solving Afghan problem for once and all by empowering the political, economic and security system of the country. During these years Taliban’s moral was very low and they were in no position to retaliate and carried out major terrorist activities in the country. But US overlooked all these opportunities and attacked on Iraq.
Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group of Afghanistan and they make up to 48% of the total population of the country. In setting up the political structure of Afghanistan, USA almost ignored their participation and instead favored Northern Alliance. USA either failed to comprehend or she intentionally ignored the delicate ethnic pattern of the country. The immediate effect of this immature political move of the US was that, it infuriated Pashtuns and most of them began backing Taliban discreetly.
Indiscriminate US drone attacks, which killed innocent people ten times more than terrorists both in Afghanistan and Pakistan not only raised Anti-American sentiments among people but many of them in retaliation joined Taliban. Similarly such drone attacks also raised tension from to time between USA and her Non-NATO allies such as Pakistan and Egypt and many others.
Ignoring Afghan refugees and their rehabilitation process also created many problems for US in war on terror in Afghanistan. Immediately after the war in early years Pakistan and other neighboring countries requested Afghan government for calling the refugees back but the government denied. One of the major reasons of this deny, as per few, was with the return of Pashtun refugees, political power and control in the country would tilted in favor Pashtuns which other ethnic groups did not wanted to happen.
Pakistan is an immediate neighbor of Afghanistan and thus has suffered a lot in Afghan war on terror. Overlooking all such sacrifices of Pakistan and handing over control in Afghanistan to India, which even do not share boundary with the country and has never took active part in Afghan war on terror is the greatest mistake that USA is going to do in Afghanistan peace and rehabilitation process. US should not ignore the importance and the role of Pakistan in Afghan peace process that she can play far better than India.
So many blunders of USA in Afghan war on terror show two things. Either USA from day one was not interested to solve Afghanistan problem or she did all these blunders on intention so that she could stay in the region for long time. It is possible that in 1990’s the rapid economic growth of China have raised fear of USA about her future influence in the region or maybe she was aware of the resurgence of Russia. Whatever the reason was for her foolish decisions but all such actions of the US has caused severe loss to the region both in terms of economy, infrastructure and human lives.