There is no graceful way to lose a war and the US is only further complicating its standing in the chessboard of the global politics in its desperate attempts to save face from the Afghanistan debacle. With the fall of Kabul, policymakers in the US are faced with a rude awakening as they realize that the military power, they had spent money and might 20-years building, fell within a couple of weeks. Afghanistan is back in the hands of its old guards – the Taliban. Whether the Taliban 2.0 are the old wine in a new bottle or not will only be known with time, but one thing is clear that the US has lost again and its failure in Kabul is being compared with its loss in Saigon.
But the US leadership is in no mood to accept its defeat and is looking the other way, finding for a scapegoat. Pakistan, they believe, seems fit to unload this burden of defeat. Thus, during a recent Congress meeting, 22 US senators moved a bill titled ‘Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act’ in the Senate seeking to examine Pakistan’s alleged role before and after the fall of Kabul. On Monday, senators of the Republican party moved the bill that seeks to impose sanctions on the Taliban and those who provided them support, including foreign governments.
Pakistan is once again being viewed through the Afghan prism despite the fact that this country has been an ally to the US in its war on terror. It was Islamabad that helped Washington to bring the Taliban on the same table. What is more ironical is the fact that it was the same party that has now moved the anti-Pakistan bill who were at the helm during the talks in Doha and it was their elected former US president Donald Trump who had sealed the faith for US withdrawal during his tenure. Instead of accepting their humiliating loss in the Afghan debacle, the policymakers in the US are acting erratic.
As for Islamabad, its relentless push in front of the world to recognize the Taliban regime as well as its pivot into the China orbit is doing it no favors. Whether we like it or not, a lot depends on how the US views us. Afterall, we are seeking a revival of the IMF program and are still in the FATF grey-list. The situation is extremely delicate.