The Taliban are going to turn America’s loss in Afghanistan into China, Russia, and Iran’s gain. From Alasdair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
China is more determined to shape the region than many analysts realise, Alastair Crooke writes.
A huge geo-political event has just occurred in Afghanistan: The implosion of a key western strategy for managing what Mackinder, in the 19th century, called the Asian heartland. That it was accomplished, without fighting, and in few days, is almost unprecedented.
It has been a shock. Not just one of those ephemeral shocks that is soon forgotten, but a deeply traumatic one. Unlike the psychological impact of 9/11, the western world is treating the experience as mourning for the loss of ‘a loved one’. There have been ministerial tears, chest beating and an entry into the first three stages of grief simultaneously: Firstly, shock and denial (a state of disbelief and numbed feelings); then, pain and guilt (for those allies of ours huddled at Kabul airport), and finally, anger. The fourth stage is already in sight in the U.S.: Depression – as the polls show America already swinging towards deep pessimism about the pandemic, economic and prospects, as well as the course on which the American Republic is set.
Here we have a clear statement from the editors of The New York Times of who that ‘loved one’ was:
[The Afghan debacle is] “tragic because the American Dream of being the ‘indispensable nation’ in a world where the values of civil rights, women’s empowerment and religious tolerance rule – proved to be just a dream”.
Michael Rubin representing the hawkish AEI pronounced an eulogy over ‘the corpse’:
Biden, Blinken, and Jake Sullivan might craft statements about the mistakes of earlier NATO overreach, “and the need for Washington to focus on its core interests further West. And Pentagon officials and diplomats might contest any lessening of America’s commitment with indignation, yet the reality is NATO is a Dead Man Walking”.