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Saving Face: The Afghan War

Afghanistan has a long history of bloodshed and unrest which can be traced back to the period of Alexander the Great who failed to rule the area and since then, the indigenous people have been struggling for peace and harmony in their land that is quite an eye-catching destination for invaders.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

During the Old Great Game, Afghanistan acted as a buffer zone between the two powers of that time, the British Empire and Russia. Despite its geographically location, the landlocked state has played a significant role throughout history.

Due to such a long history of political unrest, violent elements were provided with a great platform to breed upon and this has been a case even today. The radical nature of the area which the world is facing today is the byproduct of countless proxy wars, which are now coming to haunt those who used the population to meet their own ends.

The turn of the new millennia saw US invade Afghanistan following the events of 9/11. The invasion was conducted in a bid to counter terrorism but the war saw the whole world dragged into a pit there’s no getting out of.

US-Afghan War in numbers

The American-Afghan War bill is more than $1.35tn and if we ignore the financial cost of this adventure for a moment and focus on the results of spending such a huge chunk of money of the tax payers, one can forgive the people for feeling disappointed.

More than 3475 soldiers have lost their lives to this war. Great Britain on the other hand, has spent $40 billion on an exercise that its population accepts, has been nothing short of a spectacular failure.

The ledger does not justify the results from any angle, especially the loss of precious lives.

The outcome

As mentioned earlier, the Afghan war failed to produce satisfactory results, despite the endless supply of finances, latest weaponry and time. After 14 years, the situation in Afghanistan is still the same. As things stand, US is still very much present there, albeit in lesser numbers than before but there is an overriding sense of failure among the troops and people back home. Comparing this to the Vietnam War would be unfair but in all honesty, recent events in Afghanistan seem to suggest that the largest military in the world has failed yet again and not a single target was met.

Events in the country from last week clearly show that American influence in Afghanistan is...