It's time for US to stop militarism, return to diplomacy

TEHRAN, Sep. 09 (MNA) – Referring to US failure in Afghanistan and Iraq, Prof. Shapiro says it is time for the US to review its militarism and return to the use of diplomacy and multilateral relations.

Twenty years have passed since September 11, 2001 event, and the ambiguities of this incident and its behind-the-scenes scenario remain as a question for public opinion. Since then, numerous security reports, articles and writings have been published about the ambiguities and involvement of some politicians in these incidents.

In general, what some American theorists intended to do was to create a new order to secure American interests in various parts of the world. Therefore, based on this scenario, Afghanistan was selected as the first destination of this project. In the first step, they blamed al-Qaeda for the 9/11 attacks and, as a result, attacked Afghanistan.

Now the question is why, 20 years after these suspicious events and spending $ 1 trillion, the US left Afghanistan so hastily.

It's time for US to stop militarism, return to diplomacy
Explosion rips through the south tower of World Trade Center as smoke billows from the north tower

To shed light on the issue, we reached out to Robert Y. Shapiro, professor and former chair of the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. 

The United States has been in Afghanistan for 20 years to fight terrorism, build a nation and impose Western values, but as most experts have acknowledged, the United States has failed to meet its goals in that country. What do you think were the reasons for the US' failure?

The US tried to establish a military there like its own but they could not fully train and develop it so that it could not only use the armaments provided but also repair and maintain them without US assistance or foreign contractors. There were limitations to the population's capabilities and the government's leadership could not change this. The Taliban fought a different kind of war and, now based on hindsight, the US should have helped Afghanistanis fight that kind of war in which they could outnumber and outgun the Taliban. This would hinge of course on Afghanistan wanting to fight that kind of war. In that kind of war, it would have been less likely that Americans would kill civilians by accidents in the use of its air power.

Many also believe that the fall of Kabul was the result of a behind the scene deal between the US and Taliban. Do you agree?

No, there were evidently deals between the Taliban and local leaders and military in Afghanistan, who saw they could not defeat the Taliban without US military presence.  

It's time for US to stop militarism, return to diplomacy

US hasty and irresponsible withdrawal from Afghanistan caused many criticisms among its allies and partners.  What do you think of this? Isn't it a shame for a superpower?

These criticisms were justified and show a failure of US performance and the ability to predict what would happen--had then the US been able to get out the rest of its citizens and Afghanistanis who had worked for the US, there would have been less criticism.  

After the US withdrew from Afghanistan, they left a lot of weapons that are now in the Taliban's hands. What do you think can be the consequences for the region?

I am not sure what the long term consequences will be for the use of these weapons unless they can be maintained and replaced in some way over the long term. 

The US militaristic policy in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan has caused destruction in these countries. Isn't it time for the United States to reconsider its militaristic policies?

Yes and that is what Biden has said, or at least said implicitly.  And also rebound in its use of diplomacy and multilateral relations. 

Interview by Zahra Mirzafarjouyan

News Code 178360

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