Aktualisiert: Juli 9
This plan has cost 111 000 civilians their lives or injured them since 2009. American forces have claimed 2442 casualties, the Afghan military 45 000 between 2014 and 2019 alone, and the number of Taliban fighters killed is estimated at 50 000. The costs have also been horrendous. In total, US citizens spent more than two trillion dollars, much of it credit-financed. In doing so, they themselves laid the foundation for Islamist terror, which they have used ever since to justify their wars in the resource-rich and strategically important countries of the world. The business model is too lucrative for the wealthy in the West to let go of it. Moreover, US politicians have seen a geopolitical benefit in it from the beginning of their cooperation with the Islamists. US policy advisor Brzezinski wanted the Soviet Union to experience what the US experienced in Vietnam: A strategic defeat in a Southern country. As in Vietnam at the expense of millions of people who do not count in this inhuman chess game (read the interview below). The business model is too lucrative for the wealthy in the West to let go of it and of too much power-political benefit for the political leaders to weaken other countries. Unless we citizens in the West stop participating in the face of all the human catastrophes their war policies have caused. This would require a strong peace movement.
NZZ: After the Soviet invasion, the USA supplied the Mujahedin with weapons. They acted according to the principle "the enemy of our enemy is our friend", except that at that time these friends were Islamists.
After the attack on the Twin Tours, the US elite saw an opportunity to regain support for war from their own people: support they had lost after the Vietnam War. At first, President Bush spoke only of "careful, targeted actions" against al-Qaida terrorist training camps. The US government bypassed critics who had warned from the beginning that one could not answer a terrorist attack with an attack on a country, even if that country harboured Usama bin Ladin (with whom the US had cooperated against the Soviet Union and had helped build his force to Afghanistan).
The UN mediator in Afghanistan, Brahimi, explained that, moreover, the Taliban would probably have been willing to hand over bin Laden if the USA had presented real evidence of his guilt. They did not, and Brahimi estimates that the US did not want Afghanistan first, but saw it as a stepping stone to resource-rich Iraq.
There is much to suggest that the Western states are only using the injustice done to people in other states as a pretext to advance their own interests. Not only the Mujaheddin were allies of the West, but also Saddam Hussein for a long time.
Even if one wants to grant the West good motives for its intervention, the intervention in Afghanistan, like the intervention in Iraq, has shown that although it was possible to overthrow an unjust regime, the suffering of the people in both countries increased: And the interventions even created new Islamist threats to the West, such as the Islamic State. One could also cite the overthrow of Ghadhafi in Libya and the military intervention in Somalia or in Mali or Burkina Faso.
All these operations show that a political order, which is always intertwined with social structures, cannot simply be transformed towards democracy. Once again, Immanuel Kant's thesis that improvements must be won by the forces in each country itself has been confirmed. Other countries can best support this by being a good example of how things can be better and thereby giving people good arguments against their rulers.
In Afghanistan, on the other hand, the West has chosen the military path. In order to gain a foothold at all, the USA first entered into alliances with Islamist groups and regimes, then later with warlords in the fight against them, and thus - in the name of nation-building - also supported war criminals.
After twenty years, President Biden withdraws American troops from Afghanistan. Afghanistan's government and army are barely able to survive without international aid. The Taliban continue to advance.
111 000 civilians have been killed or injured since 2009. American forces have claimed 2442 lives, the Afghan military 45 000 between 2014 and 2019 alone, and the number of Taliban fighters killed is estimated at 50 000. The costs have also been horrendous. In total, US citizens spent more than two trillion dollars, many credit-financed.
The West is not expected to learn; the wars have brought too much revenue for the wealthy. According to liberal Republican politician Ron Paul, it was primarily a wealth creation programme for the wealthy. With war, astronomical sums could be justified from the national budget for rearmament and channelled into the arms sector.
And the wars set back the nation-building that had been achieved after independence from the colonial powers and weakened the states. And they have been able to considerably reduce the counterweight to the industrialised countries that emerged in the 1970s by uniting in the Non-Aligned Movement, for example, especially through the fall of Gaddafi.
Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs that the American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahiddin in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet intervention. Is this period, you were the national securty advisor to President Carter. You therefore played a key role in this affair. Is this correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahiddin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, closely guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention [emphasis added throughout].
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into the war and looked for a way to provoke it?
B: It wasn’t quite like that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Q : When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against secret US involvement in Afghanistan , nobody believed them . However, there was an element of truth in this. You don’t regret any of this today?
B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war." Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war that was unsustainable for the regime , a conflict that bought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists?
B : What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Q : “Some agitated Moslems”? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today...
B: Nonsense! It is said that the West has a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid: There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner, without demagoguery or emotionalism. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is t h ere in com m on among fundamentalist Saudi Arabia , moderate Morocco, militarist Pakistan, pro-Western Egypt, or secularist Central Asia? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries...
Afghanistan was a visibly poor country and left-wing young Afghans, who had studied mainly in the West, wanted to modernise the country and practically impose this on the country with a peasant, Muslim population. The monarchy was weak; there was nothing to be gained by overthrowing it because the political system was strongly local and regional. This had always made it difficult to defeat the country, and now it was difficult for the Americans. The leftists brought the USSR into the country against US-backed resistance. There was probably only a slim majority in the CC for the invasion, but there was, and the Soviets invaded - and, as the US had predicted, had their Vietnam. Towards the end of the invasion, there might even have been - if the West had supported it - a good solution for the country; the left-wing sectarians were pushed into a corner, a politician in the left-wing government, Mohammad Najibullah, prevailed who began to take society along with him. He was then murdered by the Mujahedin because the West did not want a good national solution and supported Islamist hardliners. It is a pity that this chance was missed. That was the story according to my memory. Maybe someone knows it better and can confirm or criticise it, because it is important to learn from it.