Posted on August 20th, 2021


 No sooner the US and Allied Forces left Afghanistan, the Taliban forces walked into the capital city and captured power. What was the mission of the US and allied forces in Afghanistan for 20 long years? The unfolding events paint a very bleak picture of the expectations of the war in Afghanistan, the human and material cost incurred, and the strategies followed by the USA, the elected Afghan governments and the UN which had bags under it eyes during this long war.

Between 2010 to 2021 at times the US had more than 200,000 soldiers and the cost of war reached $100 billion a year. Total military expenditure for 19 years was $778 million. The UK and Germany ‘s Afghan war expenditure was $30 billion and $19 billion over the years, according to some studies $19 billion had been lost due to waste, fraud and abuse.

Allied forces have lost more than 3500 soldiers while more than 2300 have been US soldiers. It is estimated that 64 100 Afghan Army and Police carders lost their lives during the 20 year period of war. From 2001 to 2019 the number of civilians killed owing to air strikes increased by 330% and the total killed in the war is estimated as 241,000. The total number of civilians uprooted or displaced during the war had been around 400,000 with about 70,000 being driven away from their homes in 2020.

Joe Biden assured three weeks ago that US troops withdrawal will never be like when the US left Vietnam in disgrace and it was unlikely that Taliban will capture power

At the end of the long war hardly within a very short period of withdrawing of the allied forces, the adversary had been able to capture the total area from the control of elected Afghan government with almost all the material, machines and the arms left behind by the allied forces. Patricia Gossman. Associate Asia Director of HRW summarizes the outcome of the counter -productive partnerships engaged by the USA in following para.

..”I have spent much of these past 20 years talking to Afghans about the consequences of counterterrorism gone wrong – the civilian deaths and injuries that never made it into the Pentagon’s airstrike death count; the night raids that turned into summary executions targeting people who had the bad luck to live in a contested district; the torture of people in custody that destroyed lives and motivated revenge. I have also talked to many Afghans about the unforeseen consequences of these actions – the Taliban resurgence abetted by Afghan government abuses and corruption; the grievances and disillusionment that drove people to lose faith that post-2001 Afghanistan would be better; and the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Afghanistan, an offspring of Pakistan pandering to Islamist extremism and Afghan warlords’ mis-governance in Afghanistan’s east. The grounds for what went wrong was laid early, long before the Taliban re-emerged, through squandered opportunities and the obliviousness or apathy of U.S. generals about atrocities being committed by Afghan forces, the U.S. military, and CIA units. Safe havens provided by Pakistan certainly helped pave the way for the Taliban’s return. But far too little attention has been given to what the United States did – and failed to do – in the years since 2001, and how U.S. decisions and policies essentially set the stage for failure”.

Thus, the sudden withdrawal of forces and Afghanistan spinning away uncontrolled as stated by the UN chief was anticipated by the experts on geo -politics and many other commentators. The original objective of going in search of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda terrorists were achieved by the USA but they could not overcome the Taliban which was also considered as a Muslim fundamentalist ‘terrorist ‘ group. Some reports have highlighted that the Talibans have links to ISIS and Al Qaeda  which complicates the overall security situation as it could lead to cross border terrorist attacks in many fronts with the help of the victorious Talibans in an unstable Afghanistan.

 Finally. one should also consider the ramifications in the region consequent to the regime change in Afghanistan. One of the burning issues will be the management of refugee outflow from Afghanistan. Some estimate that the Afghans awaiting to seek greener pastures will be in the region of 500,000. Their movement immediately to the neighbouring countries in the region will have to be managed so that there will not be internal repercussions in the receiving countries. Central Asian countries, Pakistan, India

and China will have to adopt policies of engagement with the nationalistic Afghanistan, Then , the relationship with the major powers such as the USA, Russia, China and India will either provide the required balanced environment for the economic and social development  of Afghanistan or if one or more major powers strive to impose their will to control Afghanistan it will lead to a new phase of political instability in the country as well as the region.

In retrospect, the researchers have another opportunity to probe into how the arms industry helped to prolong this misguided adventure and if possible to stop such wasteful efforts in the future.



  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    US toppled sad man hussein and mad dog gadaffi and flooded Europe with fastest breeding religion aka religion of
    violence mussies. Now former Buddhist country afganisthan is destabilised and all non-mussie countries of course going
    to be the main target for the fastest breeders. Sri Lanka should take measures to stop any of the breeders get into our
    shores. Fortunately for us fast breeding big wigs bada udin, xxxxhim, muji ura raha ura etc etc. not in the Government.
    Otherwise we would’ve had plane loads of fast breeders invading our little country. Traitor chief die hard catholic token
    Buddhist lying, murderous (Sinhalese Buddhists only) thief Batlande wa(n)dakaya obviously would’ve left the doors ajar for the breeders to land. Anything to destroy Buddhism and Sinhalese Buddhists will get the green light from the traitor low life vermin being a portuguese national.

    The planet is struggling to cope with this burgeoning population while the two legged creatures worshiping mythical gods
    (even in the 21st century) keep destroying the environment and have large large families in order to wrestle control
    of the countries. We have seen former Buddhist countres iran, afganisthan, pakisthan, bangladesh, malaysia and indonesia succumb to the fastest breeding religion aka religion of violence baby machines. We should take all the necessary steps to stop Sri Lanka becoming a former Buddhist country!!!!

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