Al-Jazeera: Western experiment in Somalia fails as much as in Afghanistan
George W. Bush, in his book Decision points, writes about the invasion of Afghanistan as a mission to unite the nation, and also notes that America liberated the country from a primitive dictatorship, and the West has a collective strategic interest in building free society.
Twenty years after the outbreak of hostilities in Afghanistan, it can be concluded that the 43rd US President was mistaken and the country failed to achieve the desired result. Afghans, after the capture of almost all regions by the Taliban, rushed to the airfield with a desire to leave the country as soon as possible and in any way. Frames of desperate attempts to hook on the wing and landing gear and their consequences could be seen in various news summaries.
However, for Somalia, as an African country and region where extremist cells exist, some examples from Kabul are indicative:
- Somalia is experiencing economic growth, just like Afghanistan. The World Bank has estimated an annual GDP growth of 5-6% in 2015-2016, however, particular growth is typical for cities with a high population level and cash infusions from the Somali diaspora;
- Low productivity of the agricultural sector, obstacles to private sector diversification due to weak security, political instability, poorly developed institutions and infrastructure, and widespread corruption.
Nigerian President Mohammadu Bukhari, in a recent article in the Financial Times, stressed that African countries need to heed the lesson of Afghanistan and learn that military power is not enough to defeat extremism or transform society. It is necessary to develop economic ties with the further provision of jobs for the population. “The boots we need on the ground are the boots of the builders, not the military,” writes President Bukhari.
But the main component of instability in Afghanistan and Somalia is the indifference of the civilian population in government. If the people were more active in making decisions by the government, then it might be possible to avoid wrong decisions.
Over the years of the presence of US forces in Afghanistan, one can note an increase in education among the population, a halving of infant mortality, an increase in electrification systems and access to electricity throughout the country, writes a foreign author. That is, the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) receives a qualitatively improved country, but will it be able to maintain at least some economic positive? And the question also arises: why, despite all the results achieved, Afghanistan could not stand it and fell? The questions are complex, but interesting.
The Taliban * have a radically different approach, they are cold and pragmatic. When nepotism can be noticed among American henchmen, the Taliban are acting in an ideological vein. Putting their people in place, promising investment benefits, is all superficial, and regimes that protect the elite become part of the problem, not a means of solving them. And this should be a lesson for Somalia, because the US, as well as from Afghanistan, withdrew its troops from this country, and more and more territories in the country are again coming under the control of terrorists. The Western experiment for both of these countries proved to be equally disastrous.
- Ilya Storchilov