Analysis collapse of the republic in Afghanistan: the lessons learned and its implications

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by Bibi Homaira Hashimee    30 October 2022

“Never rely on the sole support of the international community, but with unity,
self-reliance and self-determination of Afghan own destiny, Afghanistan can only
achieve lasting peace and universal human rights compliance with international
law”.

There are many causes and factors behind the overthrow of the republic in
Afghanistan on 15 August 2021, after two decades, which predominantly goes
back to the incompetence and faintness of the preceding administration of
Afghanistan, its regional and international allies, exclusively the United States
and Western countries.

These causes and factors comprise widespread corruption, fragile state-building
in both civil and military areas, the igniting of proxy wars at the regional level,
and lastly, the conflict of interests of the great powers, which led to the erosion of
the Afghan war in the fight against terrorism.

However, the consequences of the overthrow of the republic in Afghanistan are
more intertwined with the current performance of the Taliban. Consider to the
performance of the Taliban in the past year on the ground of preserving the
fundamental human rights as essential values of the last two decades, such as the
right to education and employment, women’s rights, the right to freedom of speech
and inclusive political participation is this collapse can be pondered as another
regression to the era before 9/11 September 2001?

In light of the above concerns, the foremost question is, what lessons can be learned
from the breakdown of the republic in Afghanistan and whether the mission of
the international community, specifically the U.S. and its allies, in the fight against
terrorism and state building in Afghanistan has over or not?

The causes and factors of the collapse:

The causes and factors of the breakdown of the republic in Afghanistan are
divided into two core sections, internal and external. The internal causes and
factors incorporate the following:

The inefficacy of the state-building together in civil and military extents and
the dearth of transparent mechanisms for the effective consumption of foreign aids
from the international community’s side, which led to prevalent corruption and
it’s rotting from the inside;

The fragility of the political atmosphere and the chaos and dispersion between
the political strata in Afghanistan due to various linguistic, ethnic, and religious
reasons and due to the obvious interventions of the interested countries in the
internal affairs of Afghanistan;

Failure to utilize the experiences of other countries as a role-model in harmony
with the contingent traditional desires of Afghanistan in matters such as the
process of state-building to produce lasting institutions, the process of integrating
the opposition to the republic led to the triumph of an inclusive political participation
followed by a stable peace process and post-peace agendas toward sustainable
developments in the future.

Nevertheless, the external causes and factors embrace the following:

The erosion of the combat in Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism and drugs;
Inflaming proxy wars in Afghanistan by the interested and involved countries in
the region, comprising Pakistan – India, Iran and Russia, against the United
States;

The antagonism and, to some extent, the conflict of interest between the major
powers in Afghanistan over the mechanisms of fighting against drugs (i.e. U.K.
and U.S.A) and terrorism (i.e. Iran, Russia, and Western countries) and the
launching of intelligence rivalries of the beneficiary countries in Afghanistan;
Lack of transparency and accountability in the pitch of funding and expending
the aid of the international community in the matter of state-building and the
combat against terrorism and drugs in Afghanistan and;

shortcomings in the effectiveness and efficiency of consuming international
community’s aid in order to strengthen infrastructure and sustainable
development in Afghanistan and its place run short-term development projects
and agendas.

The consequences of the collapse afterward:

The fall of the republic also has extensive domestic, regional and international
consequences.

The consequences of the fall of the republic inside the country are contingent on
the performance of the Taliban on the ground of foreign policy and the
preservation of human rights and the last two decades’ values. As much as the
achievements of the last two decades of the republic are disregarded, it will lead
to the isolation of the Taliban in the international arena and the imposition of
more sanctions for violating their international obligations under the Doha agreement
and other international instruments.

There are also potential opportunities for the Taliban nowadays, including the
nonexistence of a proper substitute to replace them and hence be acceptable
across the country, the existence of a minimum secure atmosphere for extracting
mines towards Afghanistan’s self-reliance and attracting international investors
comprising China, India, and Iran investors.

However, from the regional and international outlooks, the effects of the collapse of
the republic in Afghanistan comprises the following: Historically, geostrategic,
the geopolitical and geo-economic position has always engaged Afghanistan in the
great game at the center of major powers’ attention in order to gain control over
the region. For instance, the withdrawal of ancient major powers, such as the British
Empire and the Soviet Union (USSR) and their implications that led to the
the emergence of new borders and countries in South and Central Asia.
Nowadays, the hasty and unplanned withdrawal of the US and its allies from
Afghanistan has also marred the influence and prestige of the US as a major
power in the international arena and twisted the ground in favor of other major
power seeking their influence in the region. For instance, Russia’s military
invasion of Ukraine, China’s recent military rehearsals overseas near to
Taiwan, and recently the US intervention again in the fight against terrorism by
claiming to kill the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Afghanistan, can be
revealed as the implications of these outcomes at the regional and global
horizontal.

The Lessons Moving Forward:

The history of Afghanistan has distinctly demonstrated this matter that due to its
geostrategic position, the scarcity of a competent and powerful administration,
and the lack of an autonomous foreign policy without the inclination to east or
west blocks, it is always a victim of conflicting interests between major powers
and proxy wars amongst its neighbors.

For this reason, there is an essential prerequisite to leading a comprehensive dialogue
and adopt practical means by the international community in the framework of
the United Nations Charter to establish a sense of lasting peace and stability through
recognition of Afghanistan as a permanently neutral country concomitant with an
impartial and dynamic foreign policy.

Secondly, there is a vital requirement to make efforts as much as possible towards
indigenous state-building and restoration of fundamental values in harmony with
the social, cultural, and political contingencies of Afghanistan. Since the
implementation of preceding projects and short-term agendas with the full-fledged
backing of other countries has never been applicable and practical in
Afghanistan alone.

Thirdly, the international community under the command of the United Nations
can assist in the formation of a comprehensive transitional government,
and the Loya Jirga or a Constitutional Council for once to restore the past two
decades gains and the commitment of the Afghan government in the fight against
terrorism in accordance with international rules;

Last but not least, the implementation of these measures requires maximizing the
influence of the international community under the UN framework over the
current Afghan administration for legitimacy through self-determination
approaches and conditioning the funding and aid of the international community
and removal of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.