Somehow, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks coincided with the complete U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Oh, the sweet irony of history! Twenty years ago, the U.S. overthrew the Taliban regime through military intervention. Washington’s pretext for its invasion was that the Taliban administration supported Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaeda terror group, believed to be behind the 9/11 attacks. At least that was the official story fed to the public. On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Taliban rose to power once again as the last American soldier withdrew, following a pullout order by President Joe Biden.
The American war in Afghanistan was based on a bipartisan consensus in Washington. To sum up, the invasion of Afghanistan was carried out as a dual-party war game.
While Afghanistan was first occupied by Republicans and neocons based on their so-called traditional national security requirements, then through the pressure of liberal hawks in the Democratic Party, the axis was expanded and turned into a “modern nation-building” project.
Coming to terms with the impossibility of sustaining a project diametrically opposed to Afghanistan's social, cultural, and administrative traditions with an externally injected force cost the Americans 20 years.
In fact, it should be noted that the 9/11 attacks were constantly used as leverage to consolidate American global hegemony in the post-Cold War world.
In this context, "9/11" and the "global war on terror" served as a Swiss army knife of sorts for the U.S. The Soviet Union, as an ideological, military, and economic powerhouse, was the U.S.’s and, by extension, the West’s only rival. In the early 1990s, the Soviet Union was no more.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States became drunk with its unparalleled "American power."
Pentagon ideologues, on the other hand, have proposed new strategies against forces that could undermine the supposed global leadership of the United States in the 21st century.
The documents leaked to the media in 1992, referred to as the "Defense Planning Guide" or the "Wolfowitz Doctrine," or the "Bush Doctrine," funny though it may sound, exposed the limits, or rather the limitlessness, of American interventionism.
The documents, which were politically rejected at the time, enabled the militarization of American foreign policy through the rhetoric of the "global war on terror" after the 9/11 attacks.
Although not linked to Afghanistan and the 9/11 attacks, the invasion of Iraq was a byproduct of a despicable deal by the American Military-Industrial-Congress-Neocons-Media Complex axis.
Although the U.S. destroyed the existing orders in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it failed to establish inclusive and permanent ones in their stead.
The invasion of Afghanistan, which was carried out under the guise of “modern nation-building” by liberal hawks and neocons alike, proved that American power is not without its limits.
The Afghanistan misadventure was a complete failure for neocons, as well as liberal and mainstream hawks alike. With the withdrawal of the last U.S. soldier from Afghanistan, neocons are trying to cope with the traumas induced by the fact that their war toys have been snatched away. When they finally regain their composure, they will start searching for a new body to operate through.
There are serious discussions in liberal U.S. circles that the Afghan policy is actually pushing society at home towards illiberal populism, even more so than Afghanistan itself.
While some liberal hawks emphasize that Biden's decision to withdraw was wrong, others argue that "we need to defend liberal values at home, not overseas." For these liberals, the fact that angry mobs of pro-Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Congress on January 6 was proof that democracy was in imminent danger at home.
Images of neanderthals storming the Congress building, half-naked, horned, and dressed in furry outfits, showed that the real problem lies not overseas, but at the very heart of “American democracy.”
That month of January served as a testament to American arrogance as another of history's edifying ironies unfolded. Everything that liberal hawks supposedly wanted to change in Afghan society emerged, in a most bizarre form, in the turmoil unfolding at the U.S. Congress, all to overturn election results. Could there be a more grave defeat for the liberal hawks?