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Failure of America in Ukraine and Afghanistan

America takes great pride in being the arbiter of democracy and the free world's bulwark. Since the end of WWII, the United States, along with the Soviet Union, became the center of attraction. They grew into superpowers, and would then begin to play the world like something of a game of chance. Their trivial rivalry managed to draw other countries into their game, resulting in huge destruction in Chile, Nicaragua, Cuba, Angola, and the Congo, among other places.

The Soviet Union fell in 1991, following the fall of Communism in Europe in the late 1980s. As the world's sole superpower, the United States began to wield power through its economic, military, and political industrial complex.

If we look at history, America's past is anything but democratic. During the Cold War, they were involved in constant regime changes in Latin America to counter communism[1]. They believe in human rights, at the same time, they are willing to work with the rich Middle Eastern countries with abhorrent human rights records, just to get their oil[2]. And lastly, how they make absolute fools of themselves in actual international conflicts.

The War In Vietnam shattered the image of American might because the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army's unconventional guerilla warfare demonstrated how the so-called American military could perhaps fall into the said two groups[3]. When the United States leaves Afghanistan in a humiliating manner in 2021, it appears that they have not yet learned their lesson from Vietnam[4]. With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, their foreign policies to are showing cracks. In the long run, it may not bode well for America.

Failure of Afghanistan[5][6][7]
The US invaded Afghanistan after the September 11th attacks in 2001. Their main aim was to usurp the Taliban regime which is hiding the upper echelons of Al Qaeda and make the country democratic. The US was able to kill Osama Bin Laden in 2011, and for the most part, destroyed the Taliban. However, the Taliban did not completely evaporate. They still managed to instill damage to the US troops through guerilla warfare which could undermine their morale.

The situation started to change in 2020 when the Trump administration reached an agreement with the Taliban. The US agreed to withdraw its ground forces and release approximately 5000 detainees. They agreed to withdraw US troops even after the Biden administration took over for the Trump administration. When the Taliban resumed its offensive in Afghanistan in May 2021, things quickly deteriorated. The Afghan army outnumbers the Taliban soldiers, but they are underpaid, have no loyalty to the Kabul government, and are poorly trained, leading some of them to defect to the Taliban. They were on track to end the 20-year-long conflict by August 2021, thanks in part to the use of social media.

Optimus, a YouTuber, points out how the United States government has cumulatively failed in Afghanistan. He describes how people initially supported the war after 9/11, and how that support waned faster than fire. The death of Osama bin Laden may have boosted civilian and US military morale. However, no significant changes occurred in the previous decade until the United States, under the Trump administration, planned an exit strategy in 2020[8].

Afghanistan exemplifies a nation's failure to learn from history. Both the British and the Soviets failed to conquer Afghanistan. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan harkens back to America's involvement in Vietnam. And we're all aware of what was happening after that. However, Hanoi fared better than Kabul following the US withdrawal.

Failure in Ukraine [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]
The most recent blunder made by the US was the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. In February 2022, Russia invades Ukraine after a long diplomatic tension. This led the US and many countries in the West, and the US-backed Asian allies to condemn Russia. However, some countries are not budging to side on either side. India, UAE, China, Iraq, Vietnam, etc. have abstained from voting which irks the Americans. They want India and China to condemn the Russian invasion, however, they both have cordial relations with both Russia and the West (to some extent for China).

Many critics say that the US and the west have thrown Ukraine under the bus as they see fit. They only care about Ukraine through words and supplying weapons, but not through direct action. Reportedly Saudi Arabia and UAE are refusing phone calls from the US President, Joe Biden while they are getting closer to Russia. Russia repeatedly warned NATO, not to set up their bases near the Russian border, but since the latter didn't budge, Russia responded in kind.

The US and the West also made promises to protect from any external threats should they give up their nuclear arsenal. However, in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine while the West watched. And now the country is invaded, all US could do is bring the West and its Asian allies together and sanction Russia, as if it could change anything. The US also began mobilizing its troops in the Baltics, but it was too little too late.

Conclusion [17][18][19]
The failures in Afghanistan and Ukraine in just one year highlight the American weakness. Many people are beginning to question America's status as the sole superpower in the world. Some even suggest, that with the rise of China, India, Japan, and Germany as potential superpowers, America's influence on the world stage might begin to recede. Every superpower has come and gone, and they now only exist in history textbooks. America's prestige as the bastion of democracy, a free world, and whatnot are only just facades shown by corporate pop culture.

That's only a question of time before the United States admits its mistakes, accepts full responsibility, and sincerely strives to improve. Otherwise, they would be mentioned in history books in the not-too-distant future. Unfortunately, the United States' prestige may be jeopardized simply because it has become divided into political factions.

References:
  • Criticism of United States foreign policy
  • United States involvement in regime change in Latin America
  • The Vietnam War And the Agent Orange Case
  • The saddening reality of the Graveyard of the Empires: Vietnam 2.0
  • Who are the Taliban and how did they take control of Afghanistan so swiftly?
  • 2021 Taliban offensive
  • The American Ragnarok In Afghanistan
  • America's Colossal Failure in Afghanistan
  • 141 in favour, 5 against, 35 abstention How UNGA voted on Russia's war on Ukraine
  • Saudi Arabia, UAE decline calls with US amid fears of oil prices spike
  • Gravitas Plus: Did NATO push Ukraine into war?
  • Gravitas Ukraine Direct: Did NATO betray Russia?
  • Why Sanctions on Russia Won't Work
  • US weighs sending more troops to Eastern Europe, Baltics: Reports
  • US Failures in Ukraine Reverberate
  • Why US Friends India and UAE Won't Back Biden Against Russia on Ukraine
  • Why the U.S. Was Wrong About Ukraine and the Afghan War
  • The decline of the American superpower
  • Why I Don't Watch Movies And TV Series Anymore

End-Notes:
  1. Wikipedia. United States Involvement in Regime Change in Latin America - Wikipedia. United States Involvement in Regime Change in Latin America - Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, 16 Mar. 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change_in_Latin_America.
  2. Wikipedia. Criticism of United States Foreign Policy - Wikipedia. Criticism of United States Foreign Policy - Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, 17 Feb. 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_United_States_foreign_policy#Allegations_of_hypocrisy.
  3. Bachchan, Anish. The Vietnam War And the Agent Orange Case. Law Corner, lawcorner.in, 2 Mar. 2021, https://lawcorner.in/the-vietnam-war-and-the-agent-orange-case/.
  4. Deku. The Saddening Reality of the Graveyard of the Empires: Vietnam 2.0. Times of India Blog, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 8 Sept. 2021, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/deku/the-saddening-reality-of-the-graveyard-of-the-empires-vietnam-2-0-37204/.
  5. CNN, Julia Hollingsworth. Who Are the Taliban and How Did They Take over Afghanistan so Swiftly? - CNN. CNN, edition.cnn.com, 16 Aug. 2021, https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/16/middleeast/taliban-control-afghanistan-explained-intl-hnk/index.html.
  6. Wikipedia. 2021 Taliban Offensive - Wikipedia. 2021 Taliban Offensive - Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, 19 July 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Taliban_offensive#Issues_with_Afghan_forces.
  7. Bachchan, Anish. The American Ragnarok In Afghanistan. The American Ragnarok In Afghanistan, www.linkedin.com, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/american-ragnarok-afghanistan-anish-bachchan/?published=t. Accessed 2 Apr. 2022.
  8. Optimus. America's Colossal Failure in Afghanistan. YouTube, www.youtube.com, 31 Aug. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNJCI5R4k2o.
  9. 141 in Favour, 5 against, 35 Abstention How UNGA Voted on Russia's Ukraine Invasion. Ummid, ummid.com, https://ummid.com/news/2022/march/03.03.2022/141-in-favour-5-against-34-abstention%E2%80%93how-unga-voted-on-russias-war-on-ukraine.html. Accessed 2 Apr. 2022
  10. Wion. Gravitas Plus: Did NATO Push Ukraine into War? YouTube, www.youtube.com, 6 Mar. 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzgPJeYZaOU.
  11. Wion. Saudi Arabia, UAE Decline Calls with US amid Fears of Oil Prices Spike | International News | WION. YouTube, www.youtube.com, 9 Mar. 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRbqavZ-Bfs.
  12. Wion. Gravitas Ukraine Direct: Did NATO Betray Russia? YouTube, www.youtube.com, 10 Feb. 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFGEhtnUzJQ.
  13. CONSTABLE, SIMON . Why Sanctions on Russia Won't Work | Time. Time, time.com, 23 Feb. 2022, https://time.com/6150607/why-sanctions-on-russia-wont-work/.
  14. US Weighs Sending More Troops to Eastern Europe, Baltics: Reports | Joe Biden News | Al Jazeera. US Weighs Sending More Troops to Eastern Europe, Baltics: Reports | Joe Biden News | Al Jazeera, www.aljazeera.com, 24 Jan. 202224, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/24/us-weighing-increasing-troops-in-eastern-europe-baltics-report.
  15. By Faith, Science Guided. US Failures in Ukraine Reverberate. US Failures in Ukraine Reverberate, whatisreallygoingon.substack.com, 25 Feb. 2001, https://whatisreallygoingon.substack.com/p/us-failures-in-ukraine-reverberate?s=r.
  16. O'Connor, Tom. Why US Friends India and UAE Won't Back Biden Against Russia on Ukraine. Newsweek, www.newsweek.com, 27 Feb. 2022,
    https://www.newsweek.com/why-us-friends-india-uae-wont-back-biden-against-russia-ukraine-1683061.
  17. Bachchan, Anish. Why I Don't Watch Movies And TV Series Anymore. Youth Ki Awaaz, www.youthkiawaaz.com, 24 Nov. 2021, https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2021/11/hollywood-marvel-movies-alt-balaji-netflix.
  18. Barnes, Julian E. Why the U.S. Was Wrong About Ukraine and the Afghan War - The New York Times. Why the U.S. Was Wrong About Ukraine and the Afghan War, www.nytimes.com, 24 Mar. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/24/us/politics/intelligence-agencies-ukraine-afghanistan.html.
  19. Ahimeir, Yaakov. The Decline of the American Superpower - Www.Israelhayom.Com. Www.Israelhayom.Com, www.israelhayom.com, 27 Feb. 2022, https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/the-decline-of-the-american-superpower/.

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