The United States was showing Afghan fatigue for quite some time. The US looked tired after an unnecessary war -WMD was not found! Earlier in the last century the US withdrawal from Vietnam was less than honorable! I was watching the world's only superpower running away with scaffolds helping them to the waiting helicopters, from the serenity of Trinity College, Oxford.
Afghan withdrawal is much worse than that. After 20 years of the NATO efforts to defeat Taliban and not succeeding, NATO leaves the battleground to the Afghan government, not yet ready to face the Taliban onslaught. The situation has precipitated so dramatically, largely because the support the Talibans are getting from Pakistan: not only safe haven but Strategic Military Support as the Afghan Vice President has been alleging since day one.
Following 9/11, Al Qaeda has been practically eliminated, but large majorities of the Talibans have a soft corner for the Terror Group. The only strategic success the US had in those 20 years was the seizure of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, a few kilometers away from the top secret Pakistan Military establishment in Quetta. Pakistani Generals deny the presence of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan till today!
Some Provincial Capitals have been occupied by the Talibans. They are however facing some resistance from the Afghan defense Forces in places like Herat and Lashkargah. In other areas they are resisting the Taliban attack. Reportedly, US B52 bombers are in action- but for how long! The Security Council has come out with an important statement against reported Taliban goal to establish Islamic Caliphate in Afghanistan! The Council resolution has the support of the Veto member countries including China! China has her own concern with the West Turkistan Islamic Separatist Movement. On 13 July 2021 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met the press and told about the current situation of Afghanistan and then he pointed out that China supports and expects all parties in Afghanistan to follow the "Afghan-owned and Afghan-led" principle and proceed from the fundamental and long-term interests of Afghanistan to build a political structure that suits Afghanistan's national conditions and has the support of the Afghan people through intra-Afghan dialogue and consultation, to jointly open up a new future for the country. Wang Yi said that as a neighbor of Afghanistan linked by mountains and rivers, China always respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, always pursues a friendly policy toward all Afghan people, always adheres to the basic principle of not interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, and always believes that the various parties and ethnic groups of Afghanistan have the ability and wisdom to properly handle their own issues and run their own country well. As a matter of fact the Chinese National Intelligence was not unhappy with US Presence!
When Pakistan is fishing in troubled water, this is called acting in bad faith. Napoleon paid a heavy price when he broke rules of the game. Concert of Europe put Napoleon in his place-humiliating to say the least.
Pakistan reportedly did not allow the Americans to have a Base in Baluchistan. It must be the China factor. Though China is thoroughly fed up with the bad faith of the Pakistan army- so much so that China refused to lend about $6.b to bail out Pakistan. The Saudis are upset with Pakistan because of its cosying up with Sunni Turkey. The Gulf States have shut their doors. The Pakistan Prime Minister has Gen Bajwa! Americans, at least for now, don't want to have any defense deal with Pakistan! A security state, with tactical nuclear weapons in silos, in total disregard to the US security establishment’s position, one has to watch, the next Pakistani pas deux trois.
Pakistan is in a bind. The over ambitious Military ‘desires’ to have a strategic depth with Afghanistan on her side does not seem to make much headway. They forget that Afghan have been chary on such matters regardless of the support they get from Pakistan. For the Talibans, Strategic inconvenience with Pakistan’s Afghan misadventure, Pakistan is now faced with a strategic ‘confusion’ – Pakistan has done everything to please the Chinese in the CEPEC project by depriving the Baluchis of their rights. Baluchis have not forgotten how the Nawab of Kalat was forced at gunpoint to accede to Pakistan in 1947. To make the matter worse, another General Pervez Musharraf gunned down the Nawab and all his men in the mountain top hideouts. Baluchis have not forgotten. Malala Yousuf zai, the Nobel laureate represents the zeitgeist of the oppressed Baluchis, their hope and aspiration. We can only wait and see.
Whatever happens, the geopolitical contours are changing in the region. As for Pakistan, it is a pyrrhic victory!
Ambassador Waliur Rahman, Chairman, Bangladesh Heritage Foundation, Former Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and now he is working as an Aide to the Prime Minister on International Crimes Tribunal (ICTBD).