The failed war in Afghanistan

27 August 2021

The failed war in Afghanistan

Foto: SP / pxhere.com

Despite the closure of Kabul airport, thousands of people are left in Afghanistan who are eligible for evacuation. The chances of them still getting to the Netherlands is small, especially after the horrific attacks that resulted in more than 85 deaths.

According to the Socialist Party MP Jasper van Dijk, the government has a lot of explaining to do. 'The evacuation started way too late. The SP and the House of Representatives pushed for proper organisation and an evacuation plan months ago. The government, led by ministers Kaag and Bijleveld, has failed completely. The Ministry of Defence's motto 'we leave no one behind' seems to be meaningless, because many of the people who risked their lives to help our people in Afghanistan have been left behind. They're waiting in mortal fear of possible retaliation by the Taliban.'

On 7 September, the House will debate with the government to see what can still be done for those left behind. That is a good thing, says Van Dijk, but a thorough independent investigation into the failed war that lasted a full twenty years at least as important. 'Western interventionist policy is bankrupt. Twenty years of military occupation and war have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees and grotesquely high costs (more than two trillion dollars in total). The net result is that Afghanistan is back to square one. All the talk of rebuilding and so-called 'nation-building' was based on quicksand. Terrorism has not declined either; in fact it has increased dramatically.'

Van Dijk says it is time for Dutch policians to learn the lessons from this: 'NATO mercilessly bombed Afghanistan for two decades. That's the hard truth the West has to face. It's time for the political parties that supported these wars time and again to reflect. If this tragedy doesn't bring new insights to the instigators, that would be unforgivable. We will do everything in our power to put an end to the failed Western policy of war.'

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