The greatest challenge for Trump: Afghanistan is more than a nuclear bomb
Recently Trump called for a meeting with the Taliban and this invitation took place on a day considered to be a benchmark for all Americans. The celebration in the memory of the victims killed in the Twin Towers. Taliban are struggling for eighteen years now to throw the american-backed government in Afghanistan. But after a suicide-bomb attack in Kabul on September 5th and the killing of american soldiers, the forthcoming negotiations with the Taliban was called off.
The Taliban regime seems to gain ground on the same time when Trump and the U.S. are losing it. There would never be a thought upon a negotiation arrangement, if it wasn't for the U.S., having reached a culminating point of instability caused by financial costs in order to maintain all these troops and also the lack in stamina after such a long battle in the area, which is also translated as a loss, in terms of political credibility for Trump.
With only a flick through the situation already shaped in the Middle East area, and the impact it can have to the West, and most importantly Trump and the U.S., who are number one claimers of the assets that their controlling manoeuvres can bring, in both finacial and political terms, we are in front of a huge crisis in the Middle East, much more frightening than a nuclear bomb.
First of all, at the moment, the Taliban and islamic extremism thrive in Afghanistan. It is indicating of the situation, the fact that the government of Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan, is seen as a puppet supported by the U.S. Ashraf Ghani was educated in the U.S. and recently had a speech in TedX and got applauded for his ideas and beliefs concerning the future and the restructuring of Afghanistan as a state from scratch. Although he is well educated and seems he has ideas that are not always aligned to the big boss U.S., he is considered by the Taliban as an american puppet, same as the Shah in Iran was once considered by his own people, during the Revolution.
This means that the Taliban will never negotiate neither with Ghani's government, nor the U.S.. And that is really frustrating and brings Trump in an armlock with Afghanistan. Except for Afghanistan, there is also another bomb in the region. Assad and his brutal strategy to remain in power, caused the massacre of the Syrian people and a refugee crisis without any precedent. Syrians move in masses, with Turkey using them as a negotiation paper with the EU, threatening to open the gates in any chance, and send even more refugees to the countries nearby Greece, Italy, et.c...countries which are already suffocating with refugees.
Assad's policy and the war in Syria, will have an impact for years in the region, involving international policies which will be needed to be initiated globally, so that the impact becomes more affordable.
Iran supported the Assad regime and rumours say they even intend to support the Taliban, just as a means to create a stronger protection in the region, against the U.S.
Obviously in this context, Trump loses ground. And Russia is trying to gain whatever is lost in this battle by the U.S. And what is really frightening is that the outcome of this so called balance can not easily be predicted. Russia invaded Afghanistan for years. But now they are supposed to be less of an enemy than the U.S.
The geostrategical distribution of powers on the occassion of this turbulence in the Middle East, will be the tug-of-war for Trump and his successors. The future of the U.S. will be determined by the outcome of the financial war with China and by the handlings in the Middle East, in the forthcoming years.
written by Themis Panagiotopoulou, PhD in Political Science