The Consequences of American Withdrawal from Afghanistan

As the American and NATO forces begin to withdraw from Afghanistan, there is an air of impending apocalypse now.  The return of foreign powers will be accompanied by an almost immediate meltdown of the civilian Afghan regime and by the end of this year we could see a regime change in Kabul. The new Taliban regime would be more extremist, more repressive, and more fundamentalist than their earlier regimes two decades ago. The Afghan army, trained and equipped by America, is no match for the battle-hardened Taliban forces who do not operate under any moral, ethical, or Geneva-type conventions. The Afghan army will burn their uniforms and go hiding in the mountain passes, Tajikistan, or another neighboring country. The American government should seriously consider the fate of their Afghan “collaborators” who will be quickly exterminated by Taliban. It is the moral obligation of America to save as many of these people as it can.

The entry of American forces in Afghanistan twenty years ago was not an altruistic action. It was a strategic move, in furtherance of American national interests, to defend America, to hunt down Osama bin Laden and to destroy ISIS, and it incorporated the collateral benefits of being able to keep one eye on (nuclear) Iran and the other on deception-filled Pakistan. The presence of Americans in the region has produced only one long-term success—the killing of Osama bin Laden inside the territory of Pakistan, its treacherous buddy. The withdrawal of America will result in the rebirth of ISIS, the Taliban, and a host of other extremist and terrorist groups. They will be able to freely roam through both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and pose a serious threat to Kashmir, as well as to India as a whole. India would need all its resources, luck, and new relationships such as The Quad to fight these forces of evil.

The vacuum created by the departure of American and allied forces will suck in China, a country that is always ready to swoop down and take advantage of any opportunity that comes its way. By the end of this year, we can expect to see the birth of a new Axis-of-Evil comprising of China, the failed state of Pakistan, and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. This is not a far-fetched scenario, we will definitely see this regressive development in the coming months. What can India do to safeguard its interests? “Buckle Up” and prepare for the worst. The Islamic forces that are now beginning to gather at our doorstep to the northwest comprise of the extremists, terrorists, and jihadi groups. And then we have China which will now be able to threaten us from two fronts.  India will need to use all its political and diplomatic prowess to divert the aggression of terrorist and Jihadi groups in Afghanistan towards China, that would before the yearend be ensconced in Afghanistan, for the persecution of its Uighur minority suffering a few hundred miles to the north.