Tokyo summer Olympics got off to somewhat hesitant start, under the looming shadow of obstinate pandemic. Media attention, however, is divided, focused on another round in the never-ending great game, unfolding in the killing fields of Afghanistan.
It also brings back fading memories of Moscow Olympics of July 1980, ironically boycotted by United States of America and 64 other nations, protesting against Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Americans are finally pulling out of Afghanistan, after two decades. This, after having sunk more than $2.26 trillion and losing 2,442 Bravehearts, 800 private security contractors, 1,144 soldiers of 36 nation (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) NATO-International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition, 72 journalists and 444 aid workers.
The tally doesn’t include 14,400 Soviet soldiers, lost in decade of 1979-89, in American organised, Saudi funded, Pakistan orchestrated, Fassad (legitimised as Jehad), Taliban executed mayhem. Afghan casualties at most conservative scale, approximate 70,000 combatants, 47,000 civilians, 10 million refugees, including the internally displaced.
Notwithstanding colossal losses, there is very little to show on targeted parameters of democracy, tolerance, women’s rights and social harmony. History will rank it along with Vietnam among worst, failed interventions, reflective of limits of coping with hybrid warfare.