The United States withdrawal from Afghanistan affirms the west new response to global security and economic crisis in Africa and the rest of the world. That response is to ensure minimal sacrifice in achieving its goals in any country and ultimately abandoning the country to its fate.
The United States invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban regime sheltered Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist group, al-Qaeda. The military deposed the Taliban and sent bin Laden fleeing the country.
Since then a Taliban insurgency brewed in Afghanistan as the U.S. and her NATO allies of Britain and Germany sent thousands of soldiers to ensure Afghanistan had a functioning government with security forces capable of defeating the Taliban. But they failed.
Defending his decision to withdraw US troops and leaving Afghanistan in chaos and uncertain future, President Joe Biden blamed the Taliban takeover on the unwillingness of the Afghan army to fight the militant group. ‘’American troops cannot and should not be fighting and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves’’, Biden said.
He argued that remaining in the country was no longer in the US national interest. The citizens of Afghanistan are now left to will a future for themselves: to continue to destroy their country as militant groups or build a progressive and prosperous country.
In Mali, France had her troops deployed there since 2013 when they intervened to force Islamic extremist rebels from power in towns across the country’s North under operation Servel which was later replaced by Barkhane and expanded to include other countries in an effort to help stabilize the broader Sahel region. Islamist violence however continues intensifying across the Sahel despite presence of local, regional and international forces.
French President Emmanuel Macron, tired of the unending violence in the Sahel that has led to death of hundreds of French service men, announced last July that France would start removing much of its 5,100 member Barkhane force after eight years of helping local forces stave off the threat from armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS).
“France doesn’t have the vocation or the will to stay eternally in the Sahel, “Macron said, “we are there because we were asked to be’’. Marlians will ultimately decide whether they want development and good governance or tribal wars. Despite the support of the United States and the European Union that enjoys cordially friendly and strategic relations with Ukraine, the country has completely failed to reportedly reform its public procurement in the defense sector and deliver on its judicial reform, even as a range of its anti-corruption reforms have been actively sabotaged.
A recent survey of the Ukrainian military show-cased that only 40% of Ukraine’s combat aircraft are in good repair, with this figure declining to 15 -20% rapidly. While only 40% of it’s Air Force crew are reportedly ready to perform combat missions, some 50% of its surface to air missiles are said to be obsolete with all its naval ships in need of repair and replacement.
The neglect of the fundamental problems of the Ukrainian army is glaring, said one Defence expert. High level corruption in the Ukrainian Army has reportedly rubbished the rank and file troops who are neglected, betrayed and often abandoned to their fate as cannon fodders.
More than two years into Zelensky’s presidency, it is increasingly becoming clear that the west has grown tired of Ukraine’s failure to deliver on promised reforms even when it had held it up in 2019 as icon of democracy. Even African countries are now beginning to scratch their heads on whether to strengthen economic ties with Ukraine given the country’s weak position in international affairs which has left it unable to advance its key foreign policy goals.
Since 2009, Boko Haram has carried out assassinations and large scale acts of violence in the country. After the group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in March 2015, the United States boosted it’s military assistance to Nigeria and deployed three hundred soldiers in an effort to help the country fight Boko Haram.
And has gone ahead recently to deliver six of the $500 million valued 12 A-20 Super Tucano fighter jets, the Nigerian government ordered from the US to aid in the fight. Since the delivery, the jets are yet to be deployed. According to reports, work on the infrastructure at the Tucano Fighter Squadron at Kainji in Niger State is still ongoing and some equipment needed for the aircraft full operation is not yet built up.
The country is not ready to deploy jets she ordered since 2018 even as Boko Haram insurgency continues to send thousands of Nigerians including police men to their early graves, and bandits rule the land with kidnapping of Nigerians including school children for ransom as high as N1.415 billion.
The truth is the United States can only assist Nigeria with arms and equipment, but it’s left for our government to decide the destiny of the country under Boko Haram insurgency that is exacerbating the ethno-religious differences in the country and posing strong challenges to the survival of the country. If the country is plunged into crisis of Afghanistan dimension, on this score, the west, of course, would intervene for their self-serving interests, and then finally abandon the country to its fate.
Yerima writes from Kaduna