Bleak Future? Watchdog Warns US May Repeat Flops of Afghan War
Over the past few weeks, violence has been on the rise in Afghanistan, where the Taliban* is stepping up military activities amid American and NATO troops withdrawing from the country.
Washington may repeat the failures of previous foreign military missions, a federal watchdog has claimed, a warning that came after the organisation's report predicted a dim future for Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops.
John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), told reporters on Thursday that a number of disastrously managed wars that America has waged over the decades means the White House will most likely make the same mistakes again in the future.
© US ARMYAerial porters work with maintainers to load a UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter into a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during the withdrawl of American forces in Afghanistan, June 16, 2021. Picture taken June 16, 2021
Aerial porters work with maintainers to load a UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter into a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during the withdrawl of American forces in Afghanistan, June 16, 2021. Picture taken June 16, 2021
© US ARMY
"Don't believe what you're told by the generals, or the ambassadors, or people in the administration saying we're never going to do this again. That's exactly what we said after Vietnam. We're never going to do this again. Lo and behold, we did Iraq. And we did Afghanistan. We will do this again", Sopko asserted.
The remarks followed the release of SIGAR's report that highlighted several troubling trends in Afghanistan, warning that a raft of recent gains by the Taliban could create an "existential crisis" for the Afghan government if these troubles are not "addressed and reversed".
"The news coming out of Afghanistan this quarter has been bleak", the report said, adding that an ongoing Taliban offensive has left government forces "surprised and unready".
The claims were preceded by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken telling the news network MSNBC that Afghanistan will become a "pariah state" if the Taliban forcefully seizes power in the country.
According to him, if such a scenario takes place, Afghanistan will not receive the support from the international community it is hoping for. Blinken added that Washington does not believe in a military solution for Afghanistan, but is working out a mechanism to put an end to the Afghan gridlock.
The past few weeks have seen a rise in violence in the country as US and NATO troops are gradually being withdrawn from Afghanistan amid the Taliban's push to step up its military activities. The troop withdrawal, which is already more than 90 percent complete, was one of the points of agreement that the Taliban and the United States reached in Doha in February 2020.
Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden announced that his country would pull out its troops from Afghanistan by 31 August, updating his former order stipulating that the exit will be completed by 11 September, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.
*Taliban, a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other nations.