“The US asks Taliban to spare its embassy in the coming fight for Kabul”, read a headline in the New York Times. It appears quite clear that the superpower is urging terrorist Taliban to spare them. These words, their tone and timing speak volumes about the result of the 20-year-old US campaign in Afghanistan, especially the plan to withdraw troops from here.
Surrender by Afghan troops
Just yesterday, the critically important strategic city of Kandahar
fell to the Taliban. However, what is disturbing is the Afghan troops gave away without a fight. Many, including the Governor, fled. It not only raises questions about the will of many Afghan commanders to motivate their troops and fight the Taliban but also about the tactics and strategy that the US military has adopted.
US military tactics
Major Sunil Shetty is a veteran and a US military contractor who has served alongside Afghan forces in Afghanistan. In an interview with Chanakya Forum, Maj. Shetty pointed out several lacunae in the US military strategy in Afghanistan. Firstly, he points at the US sidelining battle-hardened Northern Alliance commanders who were considered close to the erstwhile Soviet regime. Secondly, Maj. Shetty says the training of the Afghan Army was primarily limited to counter-terrorism roles. The troops lacked tactical training, especially holding ground against an enemy.
As Afghan cities fall like a pack of cards, former US Army veteran and now US Congressman, Rep. Mike Waltz has asked the Biden administration to augment US airpower, freeze aid to terror state Pakistan and sack US’s peace envoy in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad. Afghanistan can still be saved with these steps, believes Rep. Waltz. Although the US is using airpower in Afghanistan and killing hundreds of Taliban militants, it is hardly having any impact on the advances of the Taliban. Meanwhile, all that the NATO, UN, UK, etc., have said is “they are monitoring the security situation very closely”. However, on-ground aid or action remains missing.
All this has raised questions about the Biden administration’s unphased withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. It also points at the US having lost the Afghan war. Moreover, the point gets highlighted with media reports that say China is prepared to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan if Kabul falls.