Russia has no defense ties to the interim Afghan government and is not working on reverse-engineering US military hardware left behind by US troops, a spokesperson for Russia’s Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service said on Sunday.
âThere is currently no military-technical cooperation with Afghanistan. Any claim that our specialists are involved in efforts to copy American material is baseless, âValeria Reshetnikova told Sputnik.
Former US President Donald Trump suggested at a rally in Iowa on Saturday night that Russia and China were dismantling and “rearranging” Apache helicopters. He claimed that a large number of military equipment was never deactivated and ended up on the black market.
Russia and China already have samples of our large helicopters. We have the Apache helicopters … and they’re now rearranging the equipment, they’re doing the de-engineering. They take it apart, they find out and very soon they’ll be building the best things for less money, âTrump said, quoting Trump at theâ Save America ârally in Des Moines on Saturday.
American bombing campaign in Afghanistan
The bombing campaign that the United States launched in Afghanistan less than a month after the 9/11 attacks quickly turned into a counterinsurgency mission that ended in the failed experiment of liberalism. Western, experts told Sputnik on the twentieth anniversary of the start of the war.
On October 7, 2001, the US-led coalition launched âOperation Enduring Freedom,â in pursuit of Al Qaeda terrorists, including leader Osama bin Laden, for organizing the September 11 attacks. The United States overthrew the Taliban in mid-November but failed to capture bin Laden who was killed in a special forces raid on Pakistan nearly a decade later.
Over the course of two decades – until the last American troop left Afghanistan last month – the United States would end up spending $ 2.4 trillion on war, including $ 140 billion on reconstruction – of which about 30%, according to a special inspector general, was wasted.
The war in Afghanistan claimed the lives of more than 3,500 coalition troops, including 2,455 Americans, according to iCasualties.org. According to the Brown University Costs of War Project, nearly 70,000 Afghan soldiers and police and more than 46,000 Afghan civilians have been killed as a result of the conflict.
Former UN Election Observer and EU Advisor Lucy Morgan Edwards, in her book “The Afghan Solution: The Inside Story of Abdul Haq, the CIA and How Western Hubris Lost Afghanistan,” said the The October 2001 invasion could have been avoided because there had been an ongoing plan to overthrow the Taliban from within led by Haq, a highly respected and popular Afghan Mujahedin commander.
However, according to Edwards’ book, British diplomat Paddy Ashdown explained why Haq’s plan had to be postponed: “You have to accept that there has to be fireworks, large fireworks, the Americans ask for it and not before the fireworks display. can we continue the debate.
So the United States decided to invade.
In the early stages of the war, the United States joined forces with the Northern Alliance – a group of minority factions that wanted to overthrow the Pashtun-dominated Taliban. In addition, the CIA also paid slandered actors to help, whom they would eventually reward with ministerial seats and political power, which the US Inspector General says has helped undermine the legitimacy of the government in Afghanistan. .
Edwards said it was during the formation of the post-Taliban government in 2002-2003 that the seeds of ruin were really sown, when the United States decided to bring back figures who served in the Mujahedin government. during the years of civil war (1992-1996).
“They brought back guys, like warlords, who normally should have been brought to the International Court of Human Rights for what they had done ten years ago … many of them had committed massacres in Kabul during the civil war, âEdwards told Sputnik.
Part of Haq’s plan was to appoint King Zahir Shah, who was in exile in Rome, as the interim head of state. Afghanistan had enjoyed 40 consecutive years of unprecedented peace during the king’s reign (1933-1973), and many hoped he could unite the country.
However, in a twist of historical irony, Zalmay Khalilzad, the same American envoy who helped negotiate the Doha deal with the Taliban in 2020, pushed the king to step down so Washington could install Hamid Karzai as president in 2002 – an Edwards incident witnessed firsthand.
So instead of an indigenous political solution, as Edwards argued in his book, the Americans decided to install a puppet and attempted to set up an overly centralized Western-style government that was contrary to custom. and Afghan traditions.
“It’s a twenty-year experiment with Western liberalism that has failed,” said Edwards.
Chris Mason, professor of national security affairs at the US Army War College, told Sputnik that any chance for a stable and legitimate government in Afghanistan was lost forever when King Zahir Shah was forced to withdraw from everything. role by the head of the American delegation.
âThree-quarters of the official delegates to the Loya Jirga had already signed a petition calling for the king to be the acting head of state,â said Mason, who also served as a US foreign service officer. âZahir Shah was a beloved symbol of national unity, much like the Emperor of Japan or the Queen of Englandâ¦ Karzai was a bad Afghan, a weakling who was not respected by anyone.
President Ashraf Ghani, he added, was also an alien who had spent the past 20 years living in Europe and the United States.
âNo man had any credibility or legitimacy,â Mason said.
Mason said that another fatal move that further destabilized Afghanistan was the decision to force a constitution in 2002 and 2003, based on a strong central government, which helped pave the way for the Taliban to take back Kabul in August.
“These two catastrophic and unforced blunders predestined the US intervention to end what it did,” Mason said. “After 2003, the result this summer was inevitable.”
Resurgence of the Taliban
The Taliban’s resurgence began just a few years after their overthrow, fueled by what many saw as widespread corruption and bad government in Kabul. As the Western-backed government grew increasingly unpopular, the Taliban began to make inroads.
“When I lived there [Afghanistan] in 2005 i remember the taliban had already set up their own parallel justice system and they were setting up food delivery systems and security systems because the west was not really in a position to provide that everywhere, âEdwards said.
âThe reason was that the West had brought back these warlords, these strong men. Basically, they brought them back to revive the drug trade. “
Edwards also said the Taliban returned to power in August 2021 by making the kinds of deals Haq made in his foiled plan to overthrow them in 2001 – including with all major commanders, security chiefs, chiefs of police and key contacts within the military. .
“That’s basically what Abdul Haq was doing, he made deals with people within the Taliban chain of command and he had like sleeper cells and people were ready to come when the time was right,” he said. Edwards said. “And I am absolutely certain that is what has happened now with the Taliban and the people who were under Ashraf Ghani’s regime.”
The situation brought neither security nor the fruits of peace, so people were ready for something new, she added.
However, Edwards strongly doubted that it would be possible to implement Haq’s plan today.
“You can’t just reintroduce that same plan twenty years later in order to restore the Western backed regime because everyone is sick and fed up with it,” Edwards said. âHe was so corrupted that no one is willing to support him and that’s why it was really easy for the Taliban to take all these towns and then take the country. “