December 4, 2022

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Afghanistan: How the world’s most powerful forces were defeated “in the tomb of the empire” over the past 180 years | EC stories | | The world

The mighty British Empire tried when it was the world’s superpower in the 19th century, but in 1919 it had to give up And give them freedom.

Then the Soviet Union did, occupying the country in 1979 with the aim of keeping communism in power (established in 1978 in a conspiracy); It took them 10 years to realize that they would never win that war.

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When the British and the Soviets generally occupied Afghanistan they had first-order empires that soon began to crumble.

20 years after the US-led invasion in 2001, the resulting war Hundreds of thousands of deathsIn April this year, Joe Biden’s government decided to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

This was a controversial decision, which was heavily criticized and led to the rapid fall of the Taliban jihadist group in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Biden supported the withdrawal of troops, arguing that the Americans should not die in a “war in which the Afghans themselves are not ready to fight.”

“No military force can achieve a stable, united and secure Afghanistan,” the president said, recalling the so-called nation. “Tomb of the Empire”.

In recent centuries Afghanistan has been the graveyard of the most powerful forces that have tried to control it – with apparent success at the beginning of their respective invasions – but then had to flee the country.

“What happened in Afghanistan is not what happened in Afghanistan It was the fault of the invading empiresImperial pathology and its limitations, ”David Isby, foreign policy and security analyst, told the BBC Mundo, author of the book” Afghanistan: The Tomb of Empires “(2010).

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ISP acknowledges that Afghanistan is a difficult place “from an objective point of view”: it is a complex country with very complex infrastructure, limited development and terrain.

Afghanistan is a country with very poor infrastructure and difficult geography. (Getty Images)

“But empires, let it be Soviet, British or American They have not shown flexibility in dealing with Afghanistan. They wanted to do things in their own way and had to do it, and they could not understand the complexity of the country, “he added.

It is often said that Afghanistan is “impossible to conquer”, a misconception: the Persians, the Mongols and Alexander the Great did this in the past.

What is certain is that it is an adventure that has cost a lot for those who have tried. The last three empires that tried to occupy Kabul failed.

The British Empire and its three invasions

For much of the 19th century, Afghanistan was the center of the “Great Game” between the British and Russian empires to control Central Asia.

For decades, Moscow and London waged a diplomatic and political struggle in which the British won, but Very high price. The United Kingdom attempted to invade the country three times between 1839 and 1919, and three times failed.

When the First Anglo-Afghan War began in 1839, when Kabul was captured by the British, London suffered the greatest humiliation in its history, fearing that it would do so before them: then completely destroyed by the world’s most powerful army. Tribes with very sophisticated weapons.

Three years after the invasion, Afghanistan finally forced the invading forces to leave the capital, and the retreat resulted in tragedy.

Only one British citizen survived, Inside a group of more than 16,000 people who left the British Army camp on January 6, 1842 with the intention of going to Jalalabad (east of Kabul).

During the First Anglo-Afghan War, the world's most powerful British army was humiliated by sophisticated weapons by the Afghan tribes.  (Getty Images)
During the First Anglo-Afghan War, the world’s most powerful British army was humiliated by sophisticated weapons by the Afghan tribes. (Getty Images)

“This war weakened the progress of the subcontinent of British expansion and also affected the story that the British were invincible,” explains Isby.

Almost 4 decades later, England tried again With a little more success.

During the Second Anglo-Afghan War between 1878 and 1880, Afghanistan became a British defender, but was forced to abandon the policy of having a resident minister in London and Kabul.

Instead he elected and supported a new Afghan emir and withdrew his troops from the country.

But in 1919 The Third War broke out When a new Afghan emir declares his independence from British influence.

At the time, the Bolshevik Revolution mitigated the Russian threat, while World War I paralyzed British military spending and thus reduced interest in Afghanistan.

So, then Four months of warsLondon recognized the independence of the country.

Although the British are no longer officially in Afghanistan, they are still considered to have maintained their influence for many years.

Identity: Taliban leaders meet with former Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Vietnam of the Soviet Union

In the 1920s Emir Amanullah Khan sought to reform the country and, among other measures, abolished the traditional burqa for women. A series of reforms upset some tribal and religious leaders, leading to the outbreak of civil war.

Tensions emanating from power struggles in the Asian country continued for decades In 1979 the Soviet Union invaded the country To keep a deeply fragmented communist government in power.

The Soviet invasion was bloody in all respects.  (Getty Images)
The Soviet invasion was bloody in all respects. (Getty Images)

Various mujahideen (religious extremist) groups opposed the Soviets and began to fight with the money and weapons provided by the United States, Pakistan, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Locals were forced to flee their homes or die with the aim of destroying villages and crops in areas where they considered Moscow ground and airstrikes to be a problem.

The Russian invasion was bloody In total, it killed about 1.5 million and about 5 million refugees.

At one point, Soviet forces were able to control large cities and large cities, but the Mujahideen moved freely in many rural areas.

Soviet troops tried to suppress the insurgency with various tactics, but the guerrillas were generally able to avoid their attacks.

The country was in ruins.

The then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev decided to withdraw his troops in 1988 when he realized that war could not continue when he tried to change the Russian economy, but the image of the country was never restored.

The Soviets left the country in ruins.  The war caused about 1.5 million deaths and about 5 million refugees.  (Getty Images)
The Soviets left the country in ruins. The war created about 1.5 million deaths and about 5 million refugees. (Getty Images)

Afghanistan became the Vietnam of the Soviet Union. It was Precious and shameful war, Despite using all its muscles, the Soviet Union was defeated and humiliated by local guerrillas.

“The Soviet system demanded legal authority in Afghanistan, precisely because there were serious and fundamental contradictions in the Soviet system, its government and its military,” recalled analyst David Isby.

“It was One of the great mistakes of the Soviet Union”.

In a short time the Soviet Union collapsed.

America and its “catastrophic” withdrawal

In the aftermath of the failed interventions of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, the United States launched a new invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, promising to support democracy and eliminate the terrorist threat from Al Qaeda.

Like the previous two aggressive forces, Washington was able to capture Kabul quickly And forced the Taliban to hand over power.

Three years later, a new Afghan government took office, but the Taliban’s bloody attacks continued.

Former President Barack Obama helped push the Taliban back in 2009 Not much time.

More than 3,500 soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition have died since 2001, two-thirds of whom are Americans.  (Getty Images)
More than 3,500 soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition have died since 2001, two-thirds of whom are Americans. (Getty Images)

In 2014, which ended the bloody year of the war from 2001, NATO forces completed their mission and handed over responsibility for security to the Afghan army.

The move allowed the Taliban to seize more territory.

The following year, the group continued to gain strength and was released Serial suicide bombing. He said the attack took place at the parliament building in Kabul and another building near the capital’s international airport.

According to the SP, many things went wrong during the US invasion.

“Despite military and diplomatic efforts, one major problem is that neither the United States nor the international community can abandon Pakistan. The Battle of Benami It has been proven successful, ”he says.

“It turned out to be more successful than weapons.”

Although the Soviet invasion was very bloody, American is more expensive.

According to US government figures, the Soviets spent about $ 2 billion a year in Afghanistan, while between 2010 and 2012 the cost of the war for the United States rose to nearly $ 100 billion a year.

But the fall of Kabul has been compared to the events in South Vietnam.

“It simply came to our notice then Joe Biden’s PsychoRepublican Congresswoman Ellis Stephanic tweeted. “A catastrophic failure on the international scene, it will never be forgotten.”

After the withdrawal of US forces and the consequent Taliban victory, the world faces a new humanitarian crisis, with thousands of refugees having to find a new home.

“We need to see if there is a Taliban regime in the Middle Ages Can integrate into the international communityThis makes me very skeptical, “said David Isby, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau.

If it becomes impossible for the international community to deal with the Taliban, it remains to be seen whether another power will be involved in the new invasion of Afghanistan, the tomb of the empires.


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