Opinion: Afghan fiasco will not herald a new world order | Reviews | DW
Quite! For two decades, the West injected billions into a poor and underdeveloped country. In vain. War weariness spread. The West has overestimated itself. For years he thought he could modernize Afghanistan and sacrificed inordinate amounts of people and funds for this purpose. In vain.
When US President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of troops, the facade of democracy in Kabul collapsed like a sandcastle. From now on, Afghanistan risks becoming again an entity (that would be too much to speak of a state) in which rival tribes, ethnic groups and religious communities clash. And it is the ordinary population that will suffer.
The world has another “failed state”. There is no way to cover up the defeat of the West. It is certainly a turning point in history: for now, the West might think twice before embarking on such adventures in the future.
Russia and China rejoice
Russia and China, who both would like to have more influence on the world stage, have watched with joy the failure of the United States and Europe in Afghanistan. Leave them. Islamists in Afghanistan operate not far from their borders. They represent a much greater threat to stability in Central Asia than in Europe or the United States. The West’s withdrawal from the region will force Moscow and Beijing to become more involved, and for a long time to come.
DW’s Miodrag Soric
The howls of triumph coming from the enemies of the West will pass. Let Moscow and Beijing plead for a new world order, with different centers of power and areas of influence. Russia wants to consolidate its hold over Ukraine, Belarus and the former Soviet states in Central Asia. China would like to prevent US aircraft carriers from crossing in the South China Sea and Washington from defending Taiwan’s freedom. But the West will not do them this favor.
Universal values are true
The liberal, rules-based world order is by no means at its end. The ideals and values that the West defends and rightly believes to be universal remain valid: the dignity of every human being, the equal rights of men and women, freedom of expression, the right to assemble, democracy, respect for human rights. Just because the West failed in Afghanistan doesn’t mean these values are less important. On the contrary. The tragic development likely over the next few months in Afghanistan will prove once again that they are right.
Moscow’s claim that the United States has tried to dominate the world since the end of the Cold War in 1991 is propaganda. It is not the West’s fault that the countries of Eastern Europe have turned away from Russia in favor of the free world. Is there a single truly democratic country in Europe with which Russia maintains friendly relations? If not, why is this so?
The West must rethink
But the West must also ask itself questions. What can it do to avoid “overexploiting”, as historians say, its sphere of influence in order to conserve its forces and have sufficient funds to strengthen its defenses? For the authoritarian regimes in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and elsewhere need external enemies to survive. The values that the US and the EU represent still have global appeal: the wealth of the West, its economic strengths, the ability for every citizen to thrive in freedom and security will continue to attract people. , including millions of Russian and Chinese citizens.
The United States and NATO must learn from their mistakes. Nowhere have the military interventions of the past thirty years really improved the situation in the long term. The defense alliance must concentrate on its main task, which is the defense of its own territory. So perhaps the fiasco in Afghanistan will not have been in vain.