Afghanistan Fiasco Is an Even Bigger Humiliation for Empire’s Vassals Then the US Itself

At least the US is making the decisions

If the Afghanistan pullout has been a disaster for the U.S., its European allies arguably have suffered even greater ignominy. At least the superpower is an actor: It makes its own decisions, and it could, at least theoretically, make different ones if its leadership wanted to — at comparable and bearable cost. The Europeans have pretty much lacked agency since the beginning of the crisis, mainly because of domestic political issues and a paralysis of will. At the same time, the political and economic costs of failure are higher for them than for the U.S.: It’s much easier for Afghan refugees to reach Europe than North America.

The nations involved in Afghanistan include three nuclear powers, the U.S., U.K. and France, and one of the world’s greatest economic powers, Germany. These mighty nations would have us believe that they can’t stay in Afghanistan a minute longer than the U.S. does, because, even together, they are unable to hold back a ragtag force like the Taliban — not even long enough to evacuate their own citizens and the Afghans who had worked with them. That’s what all the desperate discussion of deadlines between the U.S. and the Europeans is about. The impression of utter powerlessness this creates about the Europeans is worse than any damage America’s reputation is suffering because it has set such a tight deadline, effectively abandoning thousands of people to their fate.

Yet to what extent is that powerlessness real?

“The west could not continue this U.S.-led mission — a mission conceived and executed in support and defense of America — without American logistics, without U.S. air power and without American might,” U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament last week. This is a two-part justification: Firstly, it was the U.S.’s adventure, not Europe’s; secondly, Europeans lack the military capability necessary to stay in Afghanistan for any length of time after the U.S. goes.

The second argument strikes me as somewhat disingenuous. During the NATO operation in Libya in 2011, Europeans led the air war. The French flew the most missions. Theoretically, European NATO members could bomb the Taliban into temporary submission long enough to complete the evacuation.

Johnson’s first argument, however, is the important one. There’s no way he, French President Emmanuel Macron or the potential successors to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, now in the last weeks of an election campaign, could justify to their voters a last stand in Kabul after the U.S. leaves. Poland, another North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, has already halted evacuation flights — a week before the U.S. deadline — because it “cannot risk the lives” of its diplomats and soldiers.

Majorities or pluralities in 11 of 16 European NATO members featured in a recent Pew Research report said their countries shouldn’t use military force in defense of an ally in case of a conflict with Russia; these 11 included Germany and France. And for Europeans, the events in Afghanistan do not approach that kind of major conflict in importance.

European diplomats such as U.K. ambassador Laurie Bristow and French ambassador David Martinon are shining examples of selfless service. But their political leaders aren’t as invested in the Afghan situation; that, to a large extent, explains their failure to pull out their people earlier.

There’s a lot of talk about the failure of intelligence services to predict the Taliban’s blitzkrieg. But Germany’s BND, for example, with a large team on the ground in Afghanistan, reported to the government in January that the Afghan government’s security forces only counted 25,000 combat-ready soldiers, far below the official number of 300,000; more recently, warnings from the BND about the Taliban’s rapid progress were coming in daily. That the government chose to listen to more calming assessments, some of them coming from BND experts too, and to the Afghan government that asked it not to evacuate people in order to avert panic, was a decision born of Afghanistan’s relative unimportance in national politics. Political leaders thought they could afford to hide their heads in the sand.

There could be another reason why Europeans don’t want to stick around longer than Americans. In a way, the fewer refugees make it to Europe, the better for the European leaders. Some 2.2 million Afghans were seeking asylum in neighboring countries as of the end of last year; 2.9 million people were internally displaced then and almost 600,000 have been added since. Now that the Taliban has overrun the country, the potential for outflows approaches that of Syria in the middle of last decade, and mainstream European politicians know that could bring a recrudescence of rival populist parties whose growth had recently been blunted. As recently as Aug. 5, several interior ministers from European countries, including Germany’s Horst Seehofer, objected to the Afghan government’s request that they stop sending rejected asylum seekers back to Afghanistan.

From a cynic’s point of view, the U.S. deadline offers Europeans a convenient excuse to end their own rescue efforts, given that it’s overwhelmingly Afghans who will still require protection by then.

And yet the troubles of European leaders will truly begin once the evacuation ends.

Firstly, the same voters who probably wouldn’t buy an extended military presence will wonder why their governments should get involved in further U.S.-led operations. Formally, NATO allies went into Afghanistan because of the organization’s Article 5, to help the U.S. respond to a terrorist onslaught. But this month’s events have left no doubt that it’s they who require U.S. help — the initial setup in 2001 was all about the tail wagging the dog. Europe’s involvement in Afghanistan was for the most part a symbolic investment in the U.S. security guarantee. European nations did pay a price in soldiers’ lives, though, and have little to show for it. That makes going along with U.S. President Joe Biden’s announced strategy of strengthening NATO a tough political sell.

“At times, NATO decisions are de facto made in Washington, and NATO in Brussels hardly has any chance to have a say but merely operationalizes them,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a recent interview with Der Spiegel. “We need a lot more political discussion before we send our soldiers anywhere. Otherwise, we run the risk of merely always following Washington’s decisions regardless of who is president there.”

Maas’s question for political discussion is whether NATO should be involved in anything but purely defensive operations. “Is it our job to keep the peace?” he asked. “To ensure that human rights are respected? Does this also include exporting our form of government? That has certainly failed in Afghanistan.” Those questions, according to some observers, have already found an answer in Washington. Gerard Araud, the outspoken former French ambassador to Washington, interprets Biden’s decisions on Afghanistan to mean that “the United States would fulfill their obligations according to the NATO treaty, but would do nothing beyond the letter.”

That assessment, however, may be overoptimistic. After the U.S. acted unilaterally in Afghanistan, repeatedly ignoring allies’ objections, a nagging doubt about the reliability of the U.S. security guarantee will always be present. That means some kind of Plan B is necessary. But building up the European Army project, mostly a fantasy now despite years of discussions and half-hearted proof-of-concept deals, can only undermine U.S. willingness to provide an effective umbrella. That’s why Maas spoke only about building up NATO’s European pillar, not a fully-fledged EU military force.

Continuing without a defense Plan B can only lead EU and NATO members, especially the smaller ones, to cover their bets and try to make side deals with Russia and China.

And of course, the refugees are coming no matter how many fences are built along Central Asian, Middle Eastern and southern European borders. Afghanistan’s neighboring states, such as Uzbekistan, where many Afghans have been hastily evacuated, don’t have the infrastructure or the wealth to support large refugee populations, and even if Western money is forthcoming, their authoritarian regimes likely cannot afford the instability that would come with hosting the Afghans long-term. Their ally Russia would also look askance if they were to serve as Europe’s refugee camps.

Germany received 10,035 new asylum applications from Afghans in the first seven months of the year, before the Taliban seized Kabul — more than the 9,901 that came in during full year 2020. Obstacles can’t stop many people from seeking their fortune, and the number of Afghans unwilling to submit to Taliban rule cannot be realistically assessed.

If nothing else, perhaps the threat of increased immigration should serve as a wake-up call for Europe’s leaders: They need to develop more than  “strategic autonomy.” What they lack, more than anything else, is the ability to make bold and independent decisions.

Source: Bloomberg

  1. yuri says


  2. Ruan Gong says

    America made the mess, Europe has to deal with the consequences. That’s the destiny of lap dogs.

    1. Jerry Hood says

      You are absolutely right!

    2. ken says

      Correct me if I am wrong but weren’t there military’s from many European nations in Afghanistan showing their ‘solidarity’? They could have easily restrained from participation. Now all of the sudden this is an American mess!

      I have been bad mouthing America’s 20 year debacle since the beginning. OBL had nothing to do with nineeleven. The culprits were/are 10,000 miles closer.

      So now the rats are jumping ship and it’s all America. We too have thousands of people illegally crossing our southern border,,, many from NA/ME. We too will suffer the consequences and it was our money that paid for most everything. NATO is 75-80pct funded by the US.

      So next up is China. NATO is already jumping in with Her Majesty’s lone A/C carrier with borrowed US aircraft poking the dragon as we type.

      So why don’t you Europeons just sit the next one out and let America burn from its own mistakes. Maybe a little humble pie would be a good thing for militant Americans.

      1. Ying Jun says

        Wrong! America is the gang leader. America bullies European countries into committing war crimes around the name in the name of freedom and human rights. When the wars turn into shit, America runs away and the lapdogs are left to deal with the consequences. Serve all of them right.

        1. Raptar Driver says

          Europeans have no need for us to teach them about how to conduct war.
          We learned from them.

          1. yuri says

            Farcical rat driver
            “amerikans are ignorant and unteachable”. George Santayana
            “amerikans are the living refutation of the cartesian cogito ergo sum. amerikans are yet they do not think. the amerikan mind puerile and primitive lacks characteristic form and is therefore open to any standardization”. Julius Evola
            you are proof

            1. Raptar Driver says

              Zionist homosexual.
              Come on urinator.
              Tell everybody here how you think Israel is no problem for Syria or Russia.
              Should I bring up your post?
              Yuria; a distraction dance!

            2. yuri says

              racist rat driver stupid LGBT trailer par hillbilly—-only stupid racist hillbilly believes Israel is a problem for us or Syria—

            3. yuri says

              peurile primitive rat driver inferior species
              “amerikans are not at all happy, they feel themselves lacking in something (like feminized rat driver). all the sensitiveness has dried up in them. the crystallization of love is impossible in USA. I admire their kind of happiness but I do not envy it: it is the happiness of a different and INFERIOR species”. Stendhal
              more LOL

            4. yuri says

              rat obsessed with homos, urine—typical uncivilized racist murikan money worshipping atheist

        2. yuri says

          “amerikans have always been genocidal enjoying killing from afar”. Philip Slater
          European and traditional societies have a super-ego: amerikan culture does not”. Daniel Dayan
          “from the inception of amerika it has been informed by ubiquitous sleeze and and Hustling”. Walter MacDougal
          everyone knows amerikans are fake—the nation of liars beggars and thieves: “the cult of sincerity: ameikans are not sincere—it is a performance”. David Riesman…this is confirmed by Christopher Lasch, Richard Sennet, Daniel Boorstin, Richard Hofstadter, Geoffrey Gorer, Morris Berman, Calvin Trilling, Arlie Hochschild, Sacvan Bercovitch—“amerikans are blind from birth…USA=the ultimate trickster’s paradise”
          “amerikans bewilder Europeans”. Geoffrey Gorer

        3. ken says

          Hi Ying

          Is it Americas fault European countries have pussies for leaders?

          What about the People of those countries? Where were the massive demonstrations saying NO Fk-ing way! After all,,, it’s their sons and daughters dying, not great leader….

          Don’t blame America for their cowardice. Just tell the bully to piss off!

  3. ken says

    One doesn’t hear a whisper about the 22,000 EU dead in 8 months being vaxecuted averaging 90 dead per day. So what is the difference? Money…. Apparently the kick backs are far greater from the medical nazis at home than any military operation.

    Riddle me this,,, Why would the lives of those that have been bleeding Afghanistan dry for 20 years be of import while the lives of the covid conned seem trivial?

    Same here in the states. The news cries over the poor left behind in Afghanistan but the 13-15,000 dead,,,, chirp, chirp

    Even the citizens themselves consider those lives expendable demanding everyone to play Russian roulette.

    And just like that, the Pfizer kill shot goes from experimental to approved by the Fraudci Death Agency. Did you know that out of 13,033 “reported” dead, 9,024 were from the now ‘approved’ Pfizer kill shot.

    Safe and effective!

  4. padre says

    It’s interesting how courageous they seam to be with their declarations, but in the end just do what they were told!

  5. mijj says

    the instinct and will to continue death and misery for the folks in Afghanistan is there, but the competence and leadership is lacking.

  6. Marshall Lentini says

    The European political elite fear “the rise of the far-right” more than millions of thirsty Afghans scrambling for their lebensraum. Whatever. I hope they all make it there. Infinity brown people is the only way to prove we are not racist. Extinction, it’s our values.

  7. NGg says

    Russia had to supply Stingers and modern weapons to Taliban, as Americans did before, so these bastards would be long gone

    1. GMC says

      Go check out the list of planes, helicopters, tanks, APCs , manpads and other arms that the USA left for the Taliban and their Isis proxy armies. Col. Кассад.

    2. yuri says

      idiot racist—taliban weapons mainly amerikan

  8. William White says

    When I view the chaos , the poor planning, the whining and complaining I think to myself, “these folks were told in April that this was going to happen but they all procrastinated and bet against it”. They lost, too bad.

  9. Kieran says

    if America had gone about things correctly, Afghanistan could have been brought to the path of democracy and nation building. Unfortunately from the start the intention was to profit a few honchos running the Pentagon, a get rich quick trip for arm manufacturers, contractors, and whatever of the 2 trillion largesse went for administrating Afghanistan unfortunately AGAIN went into the wrong hands and created a wealthy corrupt elite and very little improvement in the lives of ordinary Afghan people. So we hear now that only 35% electrification could be effected and that development did not spread much beyond Kabul which is why most of the region fell to the Taliban like a pack of cards once the Americans decided to quit as the government writ never did run much beyond Kabul.

    Well, China will enter the scene because of the lithium, copper, and other mineral reserves that have to be exploited but they will go about it the proper way. Already talk of an exclusive oil pipeline and 100% electrification to solve their energy problems and improve their living standards. there will be no corruption tolerated by the Chinese and their citizens taxes will be well spent and once the Afghan people achieve a standard of living that has been denied to them, they will quickly dump the US into the garbage bucket of history

    1. Raptar Driver says

      That could have never have happened since that’s just a cover story.

    2. yuri says

      “of all peoples in an advanced stage of economic civilization amerikans are least accessible to long views always and everywhere in a hurry to get rich they give no thought to remote consequences, they see only present advantages…amerikans do not feel, they do not remember: amerikans live in a materialist dream”. Moisede Ostrogorski
      “amerikans are not at all happy. they feel themselves lacking in something. all the sensitiveness has dried up in amerikans. the crystallization of love is impossible in USA. I admire their kind of happiness but I do not envy it: it is the happiness of a different and inferior species”. Stendhal

  10. yuri says

    embarrassment and humiliation for amerikans far worse—“I know of no nation where there is less independence of mind nor any real freedom of debate than amerika”. Tocqueville
    worse today—amerikans cannot think

  11. EvilBugger says

    Silly goyim being tricked into fighting each other as always. When will you ever learn.

  12. jerry wayne carver says

    The US is a failed state and its going to get much worse. The Russia-Saudi military pact will destroy the petrodollar and collapse the empire.

  13. Rowdy Yates says

    The only way for Muslims to change foreign policies of America is to go there, become citizens and lobby for change. It cannot be done from the outside

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