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Afghanistan is a Test Case for the USA

Updated on December 23, 2017

The Future and the USA

The Scenario at the end of World war II

The Second World War ended in 1945 and after that the sad fact is that the USA has been at the receiving end of most wars it has fought. It all started with the Korean War which lasted 3 years and took the head of General MacArthur. But the result was a stalemate and after 3 years of fighting the USA had nothing to show. North Korea remained and the border remained at the 38th parallel. In effect the war in Korea was not a decisive victory for the USA which had to settle for an armistice with the communist powers. Over the decades the situation has not changed and North Korea and china remain the bigbears as before.

Vietnam War

Next was the Vietnam War. It ended in an ignoble retreat, something that US arms can never forget. 12 years of fighting ended in a whimper, for as it turned out the USA had backed the wrong horse. Despite all the air effort of carpet bombing by B-52's of the US Air Force , North Vietnam did not buckle down. On the ground despite great acts of individual bravery, the US army had no answer to the Viet Cong and the result was a defeat. Lyndon B Johnson must take the blame for a misreading of Vietnam and his decision after the Tonkin Gulf incident to escalate the war boomeranged badly on the USA. General Westmoreland was the man who presided over the defeat.

Iraq and the AfterMath

The Iraq war is touted as a victory. Is it? The situation there is more volatile than when Saddam ruled. Now the entire country is in the grip of anarchy with bombs and terror attacks a byword. What if an Islamic regime is ushered in? The fat will then be in the fire. The US embassy in Baghdad is like a fortress: a sad commentary on the US war effort in Iraq, that no American diplomat can walk the streets of Baghdad free and unhindered.

Afghanistan: The Last frontier

Now we come to Afghanistan. Here again the USA was in a bind and looking for a way to get out of this morass. A decision to withdraw was taken by President Obama after he and the US army realized that 11 years of fighting in Afghanistan had led to no results and no objective achieved.

But a withdrawal here will have far reaching effects. The Islamic militants supported by Pakistan will be emboldened and the next step will be an attack on the American home land. America's retreat from Afghanistan is a black mark. It cannot be categorized as anthing else. One reason is the US will to fight a long war has evaporated. Obama would like to keep some troops to train the Afghan army after the bulk withdraws. But the same thing happened in Vietnam and the moment the Americans left the Vietcong over ran the government in Saigon.

What is the USA to do in Afghanistan? The choice was clear cut. Stay and fight or retreat. Unfortunately the USA has decided to withdraw an euphemism for a retreat. The road now appears clear for the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The fact that Mullah Omar is still around despite a massive manhunt for 10 years does not auger well for the future.

The future

Its about time Obama weighed his options. The choices are hard, but he cannot throw in the towel. He realizes teh situation but the ground realities are not what 11 years of fighting can show. President Karzai is exiting and another general election for President is on. The Afghan people have voted in thousands defying the diktat of the Taliban and al Qaeda who had asked them to boycott the polls. This is a heartening situation, but in Afghanistan the gun rules and despite the Afghan people wanting a new dispensation, the chances that the country will still slip into anarchy are pretty bright.

Last Word

The USA cannot afford to return from Afghanistan empty handed. Obama and the new President must work out a viable solution to curtail the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Maybe a new President 2 years hence may have a different solution. The fact remains that Afghanistan is a test case for the USA and future world history may well be written as to how the USA faced the problem in Afghanistan.


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    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      4 years ago from Singapore

      Dear Uchenna, well commented. I wonder what lessons the US can draw after its defeat in Afghanistan

    • Uchenna Ani profile image

      Uche Ani 

      4 years ago from Mid atlantic, United States

      Bravery sometimes comes in different form. Losing a war am sorry to say can affect both counterparts because lives without doubt will definitely be lost in both sides. My point is that lessons are learned after a war ends and to what extent those lessons are put to work is what determines the status of a country in the world arena.

    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Dear Brother, Your comments are appreciated, but what I have written should be understood in perspective.True the USA survived as a world power even after losing all those wars. But the end always has a beginning and the loss of those wars is a stepping stone to what I have written.

      No world power continued to rule the world after a succession of defeats. Talking of nuclear power and economy you very well know that almost a third of the US economy is controlled by China. Nuclear war does not leave any victors and whatever the numerical superiority you cannot have an over kill.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How curious. You explain at the onset that several wars the US has gotten its arse beaten, and from our recent past. Then you close by claiming that if we lose THIS war, then we lose our #1 spot in the world. Why would this war be any different than the others you claimed were lost? It doesn't,and won't. It is rhetoric. The placement of the US at the top of the heap is based upon GDP, buying power, and the fact that we have 5,000 nukes to every 1 that everyone else has.

      This war means nothing, has absolutely no goals. You can't win a war with no goals. You claim that if we leave, then the Islamists will come here to attack us. Really? Did the ones who actually DID come and attack us, the ones from Saudi Arabia, come over here because they were emboldened by us leaving Afghanistan? Of course not. In fact, the entire premise you present is flawed. It spills of Islamophobia.


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