Taliban paves a diplomatic path to victory
As the Taliban notches victory after victory on Afghanistan’s battlefields, consolidating ever-more territorial control over the war-torn nation, the militant group once widely branded as a terror outfit is also stealing a march on the diplomatic stage.
Meeting by meeting, the Taliban’s budding contacts with China, Russia, Iran and neighboring Central Asian states have lifted the rebel group further above ground, diplomatic legitimacy that is giving it another edge over President Ashraf Ghani’s besieged administration.
The Taliban is presenting itself in diplomatic circles not only as the leading force capable of stabilizing Afghanistan, but also as an indispensable political actor that concerned states must engage if they seek influence over the nation’s future policy and direction.
By all accounts, Ghani’s US-backed government is now losing its war with a resurgent Taliban, seen in the militant group’s push forward as it seizes ever-larger swathes of territory in the wake of America’s faster-than-expected troop withdrawal.
Despite years of training from US and NATO advisors, Afghan National Security Forces are now abandoning posts, relinquishing weapons and even defecting as the Taliban pushes north and northwest. A US intelligence report cited in news reports anticipates the fall of Kabul within six months.
China, Russia and Pakistan, among others, no doubt saw this writing on the wall much earlier and have hedged their diplomatic bets by engaging Taliban representatives.
When the war in Afghanistan began, we forecast that it would end in America’s defeat:
Does America have the will to see it through? What happens when the war spreads from Afghanistan to other, less-isolated governments—when world opinion begins to turn on the U.S.? What happens if American soldiers begin to die—or if retaliatory terrorist attacks on American soil intensify? Would the unanimity of public opinion fracture? Would fear intensify and determination falter? …
While the U.S. wants to eliminate terrorism and is becoming much more aggressive in trying to do so, its efforts will fall short. It frankly does not have the necessary will to tackle the enormity of the problem!
Thus, America is forced to confront the issue using clever half-measures. At this point Iran is no longer considered a “state sponsor” of terrorism. Instead—in a telling twist of irony—it is being courted as an ally in fighting terrorism! …
The Trumpet has often written that the pride of America’s power has been broken (Leviticus 26:19). That is God’s doing—a curse on a nation that rejected His commandments and abandoned His protection.
With the country currently standing at attention, singing patriotic anthems and waving flags, padding its security, issuing proclamations and orders, deploying ships and planes and personnel, America may appear strong to some. These actions may even be temporarily holding the next attack at bay. But on the whole, they are not acts of courage, but of fear. And they are not complete or savage enough to eliminate the threat.
To learn more about why we made that prediction, read our article “The Head of the Snake,” from the November 2001 Philadelphia Trumpet.