Same mistakes

Same mistakes

A quarter of a century ago, Gorbachev issued a decree on the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, today the Americans are on this path - direct coincidences with our days are astounding.

The former president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, besides everything else, is a man whom Hans-Magnus Enzensberger (writer) called the “hero of retreat”: he looks like Shakespeare's heroes, he is a man who knows when it is necessary to step aside from power. or completely leave her. That is how he advises the current major world politicians. For example, Barack Obama. He supported Obama’s intention to withdraw the US Army from Afghanistan. In the Hindu Kush war "it is impossible to win". Mikhail Gorbachev became aware of the consequences and obstacles of this kind of retreat — 25 will mark this Thursday since the day when the former president, in his speech on Vladivostok’s foreign and domestic policy, partially ordered the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, and in 1989, troops were completely withdrawn from the country.

The NATO bloc, which decided on the withdrawal of US troops before 2014, repeats all the mistakes made by the Soviet army. In fact, a huge number of similarities, according to Konrad Schetter from the Bonn Center for the Study of Development Problems, is strongly striking. The most noticeable: both invasions began with the thought of the possibility of cultural, economic and political modernization of Afghanistan, both times it ended in failure. “Believing that people could be changed by sitting at the table and drawing board was a delusion,” says Shetter. Russia, in his opinion, was able to comprehend it much faster. But neither then nor now it is recognized that although a well-armed and skillful army practically cannot successfully resist the underground and partisan tactics used by the Taliban. Both the leadership of the USSR in 80-years, and international forces in this century have difficulties with the withdrawal of troops: "First, the date is not called for a long time, and then suddenly all the mechanisms turn on, and it seems that it is necessary to withdraw the troops as soon as possible", - The Bonn expert of Afghanistan noted. The reasons are immediately visible. The society of coalition countries is not yet ready for the fact that it will have to bear this heavy burden for a long time. Because of their losses, because of the huge number of civilians killed, with the result that their troops seem to be occupiers. It is also because, in the war in Afghanistan, more than twenty billion US dollars per month are spent in the United States alone. “Financial embezzlement has become too large, and it did not play an extreme role in the collapse of the USSR,” said Shetter. “It is interesting to see where this situation will lead the Americans.”

Also in the Hindu Kush country, Shetter does not imply any optimistic tomorrow. As Soviets, international forces are increasingly using the local police prepared by them in the war against opponents. The effect in all cases, according to Shetter, will be the same in everything - the militarized society of Afghanistan, to whose members, apart from the war, little is known. "There is a great danger lurking here - a fully armed Afghanistan can once again plunge into a civil war."

Because of this, the central question, according to Shetter, is how international participation will be after the army leaves Afghanistan. “Will it be possible to help Karzai or his successor in such a way that stability begins and something like a state is created - or will the country burn from the inside when the money stops flowing?” Without a constructive role, first of all of Pakistan, but also of Iran, all the forces spent on creating a lasting peace will be wasted.

Shetter connected his dreams only with the ability of the Afghan people to learn, but also with the recently established, in the initial stage, civil society. His representatives, shetter says, most likely “realized that improvements should not be expected outside: now they understand, they must understand that changes for the better will begin only when people themselves take control of the situation”.
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