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Afghan end-game?

58 5 20
18.01.2019

The Afghan war is whimpering to an end because of natural causes. The Americans have exhausted their patience to sustain an outpost of little consequence. Why they went there in the first place beggars reason as indeed much that the US has undertaken as policy in the foreign domain in the last two decades. Surely the return on their investment – over a trillion USD by now – has been overly negative.

America’s perception as the sole superpower has been severely dented by a rag-tag militia, while it continues to bleed precious resources in an adventure of monumental proportions. All these years, the world and the region have been working overtime to discern the underlying cause and give meaning to this Afghan expedition which finally has been brought to nought by the futility of it all. The US president implied the fact in a tweet with the desire to cut his losses and vacate. An imperial impulse brought them to Afghanistan, and another will take them out of there.

Deeper strategy is possible but just as most have failed to ascertain one over the last two decades this one too will return empty. Vietnam haunts American psyche and that is the last thing they would like to invoke in suspecting minds. Hence a demeanour plausible to be confused with strategy as the US chalks out a phased withdrawal. To those who might read too much in the retention of some air bases as is the din from the initial two rounds of peace talks – nay, escape – currently underway between the Taliban and the Americans: wait a while, in a couple of years the bases too will close out. Unless a bigger war opens, say against Iran. But if that front too sleeps away despite significant irks, or the going gets tougher in Afghanistan, even this token presence may just fizzle itself out.

The US had a base in Kyrgyzstan which closed in........

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