Afghanistan and the Vietnam war        

Noreen Shams


The writer is a multimedia journalist.

After months of military escalations and negotiations recriminations, the United States agreed to remove all remaining forces by September 2021. US President Biden set a date of September 11 for the withdrawal. Many circles are wondering why this date was chosen when Al-Qaeda targeted the trade towers of New York and the attack on Afghanistan was announced soon after. It is said that even when President Joe Biden was vice president and visited Kabul a few years ago, he spoke of lasting peace in Afghanistan and did not like the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan. Afghan forces must protect their country, but Afghanistan must be provided with the required assistance to progress.

President Joe Biden has insisted on finding a negotiated solution. He now calls 9/11 the final date for the withdrawal. “Twenty years is a long time,” he says. This is the longest war the United States has ever fought in this regard. Twenty years is really a long time. 

Experts overseeing Afghanistan’s affairs wonder what will happen after the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan. All international politics pundits are also discussing if the future of Afghanistan would be similar to Vietnam. If we weigh there are many similarities between Vietnam and Afghanistan. The Vietnam War was a proxy war between China, Russia and the United States.

The war in Afghanistan was a semi-proxy war between the United States and the Muslim countries of the region. This view may be disputed, but consider that the Vietnam War blocked the path of socialism and the socialist revolution in the Far East, even in South Asia and the Middle East. Socialist revolutionary movements emerged in Vietnam, Burma and Indonesia and were severely crushed.

Therefore, after the complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, the situation in Afghanistan and the region will become clear. USA also has gained experience fighting in dense forests, fields and valleys in Vietnam and then in Afghanistan, fighting in Rocky Mountains, valleys and valleys. Of course, in both wars, Vietnam and Afghanistan, guerrilla warfare and semi-guerrilla warfare, many American troops came to work, died in the line of duty.

The agreement discussed by American and Taliban in Qatar requires the United States to withdraw its remaining military personnel from Afghanistan, while leaving the Taliban in control of over 50% of the country. 

South Vietnam experienced a two-year “decent interval” between the signing of the agreements. During Afghanistan’s interval the Taliban are certain to gain more power in whatever coalition government. 

But as was the case in South Vietnam, the fall of Kabul will likely create hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees. These will include Afghans who fear for their lives because of their associations with the US and former Afghan governments and military, and Afghans who are as unwilling to live in an Islamic state as many South Vietnamese were to live in a communist one.

It should be also noted that the United States did not decide to send US troops to Afghanistan to protect women’s rights and human rights. Because whenever Taliban bomb girls school or try to sabotage women’s rights, the world of social media asks the United States to reconsider its decision. 

People need to understand the important point i.e. after the withdrawal of foreign troops, the balance of power in Afghanistan will almost fall into the hands of the Taliban, but there is also the problem that the Taliban is not the name of a group or an ideological force. They are divided into different groups with varied language, race and there is a big difference between north and south. In the current Afghan government, Ashraf Ghani represents the Pashtun belt in the south and Abdullah Abdullah represents the Persian belt in the north, and the two leaders have sharp differences. This popular phrase of the Afghan Taliban makes one think. ‘America has the clock and we have the time. “

If Afghan Taliban leaders seek help from the United States, the European Union, Russia, Pakistan, China and India after the withdrawal of foreign troops and focus on building infrastructure, schools and hospitals in Afghanistan, that would be a great service. How can one ignore the fact that Afghanistan is at the bottom of all walks of life in South Asia and in the world in general?

The Taliban have a real responsibility. To gain the trust of the people. Policymaking has to be done in accordance with modern requirements. Each class must be represented in state affairs. The constitution must be respected. Afghanistan needs a people’s government, not a government of jihadi groups that cannot represent the people. Establish peace and meet the basic needs of the people.

Afghanistan is one of the ten poorest countries in the world with a per capita annual income of only 600. The United States has done what it could to improve the semi-democratic government, elections, training of Afghan soldiers and civilian officers, financial aid, military aid, etc. Now the people of Afghanistan and political and religious leaders have to play a positive role.