Among the most important foreign policy decisions — the first being to address the COVID-19 pandemic — that US President Joe Biden has made is to set out the deadline for a US military withdrawal from Afghanistan. It was America’s longest military campaign and it was a directionless shambles.
A lot has been written about it. In short, it was a knee jerk reaction to the 9/11 attacks two decades ago by the US – meant to show that the US would seek revenge – that led to this long intervention with a coalition of 30 odd countries under various acronyms.
But it was the US that initially created the messy politics of Afghanistan, first with the creation of so-called Jihadi warriors to push out the Russian forces with Pakistan’s help and the Taliban. And then even as al Qaeda, found its bases in Afghanistan – all under the eyes of the US- this was acceptable to Washington since it didn’t affect their homeland. But it all changed after 9/11.
However, despite the massive military effort, al Qaeda morphed with the help of Pakistan and is still around.