World News: U.S. Troop Withdrawal Proves Afghan People are Expendable

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The advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, now on the doorstep of Kabul, the capital of a country that has been plagued by almost chronic unrest for more than forty years, is sure to worry the international community.

The risk of a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan puts the Islamist terrorist threat, which had diminished, back at the center of the diplomatic game. And the question of a common position in the face of a situation that is constantly evolving and escalating state has arisen.

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While the United States has announced the withdrawal of its troops, since it will be effective on August 31, the chancelleries are agitating and scrutinizing the Afghan situation on a daily basis for reasons that refer to a fear: The resurgence of a terrorist threat that had been if not eradicated at least for some time around the world despite still virulent outbreaks in sub-Saharan Africa (Mali, Burkina Faso-Fasso).

The potential fall of Kabul and Afghanistan into the hands of the Taliban therefore re-risks for many Western nations, including Russia, which could, in an as yet unknown period of time, materialize in the form of various and varied attacks which would take Afghanistan as their epicenter.

Disengagement and State Maturity

Just as Syria was with the Islamic State, Afghanistan could thus once again become an uncontrolled space comparable to a rear base of international Islamic terrorism where individuals with malicious intentions would enter and leave.

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Now supported by the United States, which has been seeking since Joe Biden came to power to disengage from several theatres of operation that are costly in all respects, Afghanistan and its President Ashraf Ghani know that this support will in no way last forever and that it will eventually be necessary to face more than a Taliban threat.

A political test that awaits this South Asian country because repelling and defeating the Taliban threat presupposes a state maturity that for the moment is lacking in Afghanistan. Externally, and for the international community as a whole, the temptation to isolate Afghanistan is great, or could become so, but also carries a major risk. Isolating a fragile and exposed nation such as Afghanistan would be tantamount to giving a blank cheque to the Taliban, who could then act with impunity in a country at their mercy.

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At the same time, however, the idea of sacrificing Afghanistan and abandoning it to the Taliban would also be a solution aimed at containing the threat of lamism in a single territory around which a kind of cordon sanitaire would be set up.

However, this is a very relative cordon and a temptation of the most dangerous because, situated between Pakistan and Iran, Afghanistan is surrounded by the most dangerous neighbors. For the time being, the conjectures, certainly on both sides of the international chancelleries, do not respond in any way to the current situation: How to stem the advance of the Taliban?  

Few responses contradict the discourse of a reality tacitly considered as recorded, namely that the Taliban will certainly take control of the country. For many now, it is no longer appropriate to manage the moment but to anticipate tomorrow.

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Bio: Olivier Longhi an opinion columnist for, has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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