The U.S. military hegemony is responsible for the dire situation Afghans face today, an expert has said.
“The initial stages of U.S. intervention in Afghanistan were characterized by a lack of clear objectives,” Jalal Bazwan, a lecturer at Kabul-based Kardan University, said in a seminar recently held by Xinhua Institute, the think tank of Xinhua News Agency.
In a newly-released report, titled “Origins, Facts and Perils of U.S. Military Hegemony,” Xinhua Institute outlines the formation of the U.S. military hegemony, summarizes the means Washington adopted to maintain it, and delves into its perils by presenting facts and data.
Bazwan said that deviating from fighting with al-Qaeda, the United States was involved in “a protracted engagement without a visible endgame” and “combating elusive adversaries in asymmetrical warfare.”
During the two-decade-long war, the United States backed a leadership, which Uncle Sam bragged about but failed. “The increase in warlords with tainted records and human rights abuses eroded trust among the Afghan population,” he said.
Afghan disabled people staged a protest in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 22, 2022. Scores of disabled persons staged a protest in Jalalabad, capital of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar Province on Tuesday, urging the United States to return Afghan assets. (Photo by Hamidullah/Xinhua)
“The ensuing disconnection between the leadership and the people hampered efforts to build a legitimate and stable Afghan government,” said Bazwan.
The U.S. invasion exacerbated corruption within the Afghan society, the scholar said. “The corruption in Afghanistan cannot be solely attributed to the Afghan government because a significant portion of the development funds was channeled through the DOD (U.S. Department of Defense), USAID (the United States Agency for International Development) and other U.S. agencies.”
“These agencies directly managed these funds, and the Afghan government received only a minimal share for developmental projects,” he added.
Bazwan said the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan two years ago damaged America’s reputation globally.
Chaotic evacuations marked the withdrawal, he said. “Some people were given more priorities to leave. This left Afghanistan’s future uncertain because many educated and skilled people left the country. This has caused Afghanistan to lose many talented people who could have helped the country.”
The United States was seen as a superpower that could project its global power and influence. However, he said that its pull-out from Afghanistan has shown that the superpower is not invincible and that determined adversaries can defeat it.
“This has led to a decline in confidence in the United States and made it more difficult for it to build alliances and maintain its influence in the world,” Bazwan said.
He noted the long-term effects of the U.S. military rule in Afghanistan, including environmental damage and human suffering and deaths.
“The toxic environmental and humanitarian ramifications of extensive aerial bombardments caused civilian casualties and inflicted lasting ecological damage,” said Bazwan.