The American defeat in Afghanistan, as important as that of 1975 in Vietnam and that of the Soviet Union in 1989, will have, even if the Taliban do not want it, far-reaching political, strategic and cultural consequences. It will strengthen the messianism of the fundamentalist armed movements everywhere. Surprising, in this dramatic context, the resounding silence of Western official “strategists”, who are incapable of drawing lessons from 20 years of massive and costly military interventions against insurgent Islamism; an intellectual and political blindness to the labeling of an enemy that does not disappear, despite tons of reports and studies and the reiteration of war methods that reinforce it, instead of eradicating it.
NATO, the vehicle of this war, is mute, “mindless”, as French President Emmanuel Macron scornfully proclaims; The EU, although historically linked to the boiling regions, remains absent, without intellectually renewing its vision of the context, limiting itself to following the empty approaches of North American experts on the Islamic world.
Thus, it has not been openly recognized that years of intervention in Africa have not worked either; Despite France’s military commitment, the continent is in the process of breaking state territorial continuity between North and South; Islamists reign, taking advantage of the migration industry and the drug business, from southern Mauritania to Somalia. In Niger and Mali, the threat is serious; on the other side, Southeastern Africa is subjected to systematic offensives by jihadist groups.
In short, instead of analyzing, understanding and acting on the causes of the terrorist challenge, the Western community adds a dose of violence and tension to countries in internal civil war, weakening the few democratic layers, which are tragically fleeing from Afghanistan today, and offering to the fundamentalists the role of national liberation. Perhaps the western forces thought that the populations would welcome them as their liberators and not as new occupants?
20 years of “war” against militarized fundamentalism have not only weighed on the battlefield, they have also generated serious restrictions on rights and freedoms in the West, not known since the Second World War, and a dangerous system of global surveillance externalized in multinational private companies.
It is urgent to reorient our gaze on the identity crisis of the Islamic world and the meaning within it of the fundamentalist challenge, a postulate that should have been the main lesson of 9/11, and not strictly the exercise of legitimate defense. The global response lies, after the resounding failure of the occupation of Afghanistan, in the restitution of international law that has failed since 2001, in the aid for the economic development of the Middle East and Africa and in the support, from politics and not the lexicon of the bombings, to the forces that fight to build the rule of law in their respective countries. It is urgent to understand that we cannot be condemned to live 100 years on the embers of 9/11.