Friday, September 24

Afghanistan and the post-American world


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The withdrawal from Afghanistan is not what it seems. It is not an ephemeral international news, nor a distant event encapsulated 8,000 kilometers away. Nor should it be a new opportunity for politicians to kick themselves in the rear of our foreign policy again. This one-sided, hasty, and chaotic end should be seen rather as the end of an entire epoch. An outcome that in the case of the United States is framed between the assault on the Capitol and the takeoff of the last plane with Pentagon troops from the besieged Kabul airport.

Afghanistan’s incorporation into the post-American world is comparable to the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, the fall of Saigon in 1975, and the

Cuban revolution of 1959. This time, however, the US international retreat may prove as irrevocable as it is profitable for all those who rejoice at the exhaustion of the liberal international order formulated after World War II. Not forgetting the consequent damage to the great alliance that Western democracies have built since 1949.

During another traumatic transatlantic divergence caused by the questionable invasion of Iraq, Romano Prodi as president of the European Commission participated in a 2003 summit held in Washington in order to overcome the ‘axis of misunderstanding’ generated between the allies by Saddam Hussein and his non-existent weapons of mass destruction. As the Italian leader warned: “When Europe and the US unite, no problem or enemy resists. If we divide, each problem can turn into a crisis and each enemy into a gigantic monster.

The great irony is that, under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty invoked after 9/11, the US and its allies have gone to Afghanistan together, sharing enormous sacrifices. However, emerging from this disastrous form – as the brilliant historian Niall Ferguson argues, comparing the decline of American hegemony with that suffered by Great Britain a century ago – the risks of a conflict that will make the ‘war more pale’ multiply. long »from Afghanistan.

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