This week, the Taliban said that the transfer of U.S. and NATO-led security operations to Afghan security forces was similar to America’s retreat from Vietnam by the “declaring victory and run” strategy. The Taliban just needed to learn a little American history to know about the Vietnamization Strategy, where the US would train the Afghans to fight their own battles and allow American and NATO to withdraw with honor. Like the North Vietnamese, the Taliban can already declare victory. Who can blame them with this Administration too busy kowtowing to the Muslim Brotherhood and doing nothing to Iran? Taliban leadership believe that history and time are on their side.
America now is repeating the same mistakes the Soviet Union made during their incursion into Afghanistan; and, as with the Soviets, no matter the effort expended to modernize the tribal nation, it will always fail. Unless the Afghans themselves embrace the West and a better way of life, any effort to improve their own by showing them a better way is a waste of time, money, and lives. The initial invasion into Afghanistan was a necessity to eliminate al Qaeda and their Taliban host. Unfortunately, it evolved into a war of choice and nation-building. History has proved time and time again it has never worked.
Former British ambassador to Moscow Rodric Braithwaite wrote that the Soviets’ military “rebuilt and constructed hundreds of schools, technical colleges, over 30 hospitals and a similar number of nursery schools, some 400 apartment buildings and 35 mosques,” and built a modern infrastructure. They were guarding military and civilian installations. As long as the Afghan puppet government was getting support, they remained in power. Sound familiar? After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Afghanistan no longer had any outside support. After a series of uprisings, the Taliban rose to power; and all improvements the Soviets provided went to waste. It won’t take the 1st Century thugs long to dismantle remaining Western efforts to make their lives easier.
Just like U.S. and NATO forces, the Soviet military never lost an engagement to the insurgents; but without support from the Afghan population, they lost the war. As soon as the Russians withdrew, the country reverted to its quasi-Stone Age existence. It’s a history the Taliban know well, and this Administration is too supercilious to acknowledge it.