The collapse of Afghanistan was not the United States’ fault. It was Ashraf Ghani’s. If Ghani, the former president of Afghanistan, didn’t flee on Aug. 15, 2021, then Kabul would not have fallen to the Taliban.
In Feb. 2021, the standing force of the Afghan Armed Forces was roughly 340,000 troops. The Taliban had roughly 50,000-70,000 fighters.
The Afghan Army had the best in military equipment, and all soldiers were U.S.-military trained but as the Americans withdrew from the 20-year war, the Taliban overtook the Afghan Army and won back the land they had controlled prior to the war.
The only reason the U.S. went to Afghanistan in the first place was in response to the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 as part of its war on terrorism.
The U.S. spent $2 trillion dollars on Afghanistan in the form of infrastructure and military. Now an entire arsenal belongs to the Taliban.
Yes – the Afghan Army fought, and many died – but CNN and the New York Times reported that many of the soldiers surrendered, or changed into plainclothes and hopped into trucks and fled.
United States President Joe Biden was briefed on this by the CIA and other national security experts in spring 2021.
As the Taliban entered Kabul on Aug. 15, Ghani made his escape to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and posted a statement via Twitter on Sept. 8.
Biden was slow to comprehend what was happening on the ground. He told reporters in July that he doesn’t believe Afghanistan would not collapse, unknown to them that Biden had called Ghani to “adopt” a new military strategy that would’ve provided international aid.
The July call was to get Ghani to change his “mindset” and rally the Afghan Army to defend its city centres, which would convince the international community to provide support to the Afghan government.
None of that happened.
The speed with which the Taliban retook the country was enough to discourage Ghani and create doubts in Biden’s leadership stateside. The corruption in Ghani’s government also plagued any efforts.
The United Nations (UN), who the U.A.E. is a member, has been quiet about Ghani. The former Afghan president is being accused of stealing $169 million by diplomats from Russia and Tajikistan. Ghani denies any wrongdoing.
The UN should be investigating Ghani and hold him accountable in front of the international community. Instead, they are holding high-level conferences, seeking to fund $606 million in emergency aid for Afghanistan.
However, on Oct.7, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. will probe about the missing money. The people of Afghanistan deserves some answers.
The peace deal made by the Trump administration and the Taliban in 2020 only insured the safe withdrawal of UN and NATO forces.
The world knew the U.S. was going to leave Afghanistan. Former U.S. President Donald Trump wanted the U.S. out by May. Biden extended it till August. If Ghani had curbed the corruption that plagued the Afghan government, and rallied the military, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan would still exist today.
The people of the war-torn nation now face a new wave of uncertainty with the Taliban making promises to form a “moderate” government based on Islamic Law, which has yet to be seen.
The countless lives lost are all on Ghani.
Many more will die as the year continues. Should a leader be held accountable for the collapse of their country? The answer is – always.