The lonesomeness of defeat

By The Statesman

The great generals of the modern era, the Guderians, the Rommels, the MacArthurs, and without doubt the greatest of them all, Napoleon, always saw things clearly. They recognized victory to be victory and defeat to be defeat and did not confuse between the two. A superb German army opened two fronts in World War II, which led to its downfall. The Americans did the same in Iraq and Afghanistan, meeting humiliation in both places.

Opening up two fronts is tricky at best. Yet, India has chosen to open two fronts now: against China with the Quad, and the apocalypse that is now sure to emerge from the west. The Americans have hightailed it out of South Asia, and will not be seen there again for a very long time. Victors of the war in Afghanistan are many, beside of course the Taliban. First and foremost is Pakistan. It was 1971 and a muggy, morose afternoon in Pakistan when the fall of Dhaka was announced.

The spirit of the nation had been broken. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan saw its chance to break their backs and rebuild its own. Unfortunately for the Pakistanis, the Americans dumped them like a used condom after that war. The Pakistanis vowed never to put all their eggs in the basket of the Americans. When the Americans returned to Afghanistan, the Pakistanis maneuvered themselves shrewdly.

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