The last 15 years the United States spent more than 35 billion dollars supporting the Afghan army against the Taliban, but the results have not been very satisfying. See Washington Post article “Stretched by its fight against Taliban, Afghan army raises recruitment age”, February 2015. The Americans were hoping that the Afghan army could “clean” Afghanistan from the Taliban, in order for the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) Pipeline to go ahead.
The TAPI, if ever constructed, will supply India with natural gas, and that’s a very good thing because India is an American ally against China, and the TAPI pipeline will reduce India’s dependence on Iran, which is a Chinese ally. The proposed pipelines are TAPI, the Iran-Pakistan-India one, and the Iran-Oman-India. The last one has for India the additional advantage of bypassing Pakistan which is India’s greatest rival.
I have said many times how much TAPI pipeline hurts the Arabic and Iranian interests, and that’s why the Arabs support the Taliban and want chaos in Afghanistan. And that’s exactly what the Iranians want to, and that’s why the also support their old foe the Taliban in Afghanistan. See Wall Street Journal “Iran Backs Taliban With Cash and Arms”, June 2015.
Moreover, Afghanistan has traditionally been a springboard for terrorism i.e. Al-Qaeda etc. Remember that Osama bin Laden was living in Sudan until 1996, and when George Bush threatened to bomb Sudan, and the Sudanese were forced to ask Osama bin Laden to leave, Osama bin Laden transferred his base to Afghanistan. See the 1st and 2nd paragraphs of the following Guardian article “Osama: the Sudan years”, October 2001.
The amount spent by United States on the Afghan army, and the unsatisfactory results, proves the limitations of the aerial and naval superiority, when this superiority is not accompanied by “boots” on the ground. See also what happened in Iraq. It was very easy for the Americans to overturn Saddam Hussein, the Sunni socialist dictator, and bring to power the Shiite majority of Iraq, but to this very day the Americans have not managed to stabilize Iraq, because the Turks and the Arabs of the Gulf are supporting the Sunni Arabs of Iraq i.e. the ex people of Saddam Hussein.
And note that in Iraq the United States has strong allies, since the Arab Shiite (Shia) majority of Iraq is an American ally, and also the Kurds of Iraq are American allies. Even Iran is a US ally in Iraq. And still the United States cannot stabilize the country due to the fighting of the Sunni Arab minority which is supported by the Arabs of the Gulf and Turkey.
Imagine how much tougher things are in Afghanistan for the Americans, since they have almost no allies there. In Afghanistan the Americans have both the Arabs and the Iranians against them, and Russia, India and China, countries that would have a motive to support the US against the Islamic militants of Afghanistan, they are afraid to do so, because there might be retaliations in their countries i.e. terrorist attacks, since all of them have very large Muslim populations. There are 177 Muslims living in India, 23 million living in Russia, and 20 million living in Russia.
“Stretched by its fight against Taliban, Afghan army raises recruitment age”, February 2015
“Osama: the Sudan years”, October 2001
1st , 2nd Paragraphs
Bin Laden spent five years in the Sudan before being expelled in 1996. The authorities claim he was busy building roads and farming. But what was he really up to?
“Osama who?” says the information minister, when he is asked about the man who spent five years running half of Sudan’s industries, and perhaps even a global terrorist network, from an office just round the corner. “Oh… that Osama.”
President Bush’s “with us or against us” speech made plain the consequences of not siding against Bin Laden, and Sudan has had further to scramble on-side than almost any other country. It is still on America’s hitlist of states that sponsor terrorism – and Bin Laden’s handprints are all over the place. There is his bullet-scarred house in a Khartoum suburb, his plane sitting at the airport, the companies he owned, the bank accounts…
“Iran Backs Taliban With Cash and Arms”, June 2015