Afghanistan, Scrap Yard of the Great Powers

By Willy Wimmer.

Now, all of a sudden, it’s supposed to happen quickly. With President Trump and his plans to withdraw from Afghanistan, no one in Berlin really wanted to believe the withdrawal. Now it is irrefutable when you look at how quickly the new President Joe Biden intends to implement his predecessor’s contractual agreements with the Pashtuns/Taliban concerning Afghanistan. This inevitably raises the question for Berlin regarding what Germany has gained from the deployment of the Bundeswehr, apart from dead German soldiers and more than 10 billion euros that have been wasted in Afghanistan.

According to the political approach in Berlin, this can only mean that the issue is to be kept silent in order not to rudely awaken the sleepy voters. To deal critically with the deployment of German soldiers can, according to the local interpretation, only mean to dig around in the history of the Wehrmacht in order to silence those who would have to deal with today’s problems.

One could, after all, consider the question of whether the NATO alliance case proclaimed in connection with September 11, 2001, which was tied to criteria under the United Nations Charter but was never followed, should be maintained beyond the withdrawal date from Afghanistan. So far, at least, nothing has been mentioned in this context. However, NATO is accustomed to desperately holding the last corner of legitimacy in its clutches in order to give parliamentarians the opportunity to close their eyes to the crooked building of NATO’s legal construction.

It has been long, too long, since Germany has been aware of having a department of international law at the Federal Foreign Office with an international reputation. This department has disappeared into insignificance since the wars of aggression against international law, in which Germany has to participate via the NATO.

Almost simultaneously with the withdrawal decisions of NATO and thus also of the Bundeswehr, the former ambassador of Pakistan in Bonn, General (ret.) Asad Durrani, pointed out in a press release almost ironic regularities in connection with any great power deployment in Afghanistan. Since ancient times, great powers have invaded Afghanistan as great powers and fled Afghanistan humiliated. On the famous bridge near Termez in Uzbekistan, the Soviets managed to leave the battered country with a good show of troops.

After the recent Pashtun/Taliban announcements, it must be expected that the withdrawal of NATO troops under U.S. leadership may degenerate into a hopeless rout. Especially if the Taliban act on their threat and attack the withdrawing soldiers, including German soldiers, as they pull out. America, however, will have to deal not only with the question of what its status will be after it has not broken the iron law for attacking Afghanistan. It has added just one more example to the long list of great powers that have failed in Afghanistan. It has not been able to break the “curse” hanging over foreign invaders in Afghanistan.

According to Ambassador Durrani, however, there is a second sentence that applies not only to the United States. This is something that Berlin can also keep in mind. With regard to Afghanistan, will Washington, as well as Berlin and the other usual suspects, be willing to rebuild the bridges to peoples and states that they themselves have deliberately destroyed? Who can still remember that in relation to September 11, 2001, Afghanistan was at least an arbitrarily singled out target for American revenge? In any case, the perpetrators did not come from Afghanistan, insofar as they had been responsible for what had caused death and terror in New York and Washington. In addition, appropriate channels were chosen from the time before the American invasion of Afghanistan until immediately before the killing of Osama Bin Laden and his relatives to bring Osama Bin Laden before an international court.

Today, one is left with the impression that, from a geo-strategic point of view, the mission in Afghanistan can be ended because the next target, Myanmar, is on the doorstep.

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Image source: Michal Knitl / shutterstock

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