Kabul 2021, the end of three decades of interference rights

By Marc Semo

Posted today at 08:12

These images, the United States would like never to see them again: panicked crowds, massed at Kabul airport, at the end of August, ready to do anything to flee the Afghan capital – conquered by the Taliban even before the GIs did. ‘have completed their withdrawal. Scenes reminiscent of those in Saigon in April 1975, even if the Vietnamese rout was on a whole different scale than this voluntary departure laboriously negotiated with the Taliban by the Trump administration to end a never-ending war, of a overall cost estimated, depending on the source, between 1,000 and a little over 2,000 billion dollars.

To an American opinion in shock, worried about this sign of weakness but still remaining largely convinced of the need for disengagement, Joe Biden recalled that “This decision on Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan.” ” It’s about, he added to end an era of major operations aimed at reshaping other countries. “ While recalling that the French withdrawal from Afghanistan was completed in 2014, Emmanuel Macron held similar words : “Our military interventions are not intended to replace the sovereignty of peoples, nor to impose democracy from the outside, but to defend international stability and our security. “

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The insistence of staffs, like that of American and French political leaders, on the need for better targeted and time-limited interventions is not entirely new. These speeches with accents of contrition mark a turning point nonetheless. In the prestigious American magazine Foreign Affairs (November-December 2021), the Briton Rory Stewart, recognized analyst of international conflicts, pointed out “The disillusions of maximalism”, not hesitating to mention “The last days of the interventions”, whether they are carried out in the name of humanitarianism or counterterrorism.

“None of the Western military interventions of the past three decades have yielded positive results”, notes political scientist Bertrand Badie

Convinced of their universal vocation and permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the United States, France and the United Kingdom, endowed with military forces capable of projection, have been the pillars of all the interventions carried out, for twenty years, against terrorism – and before, during ten years, of wars carried out in the name of the humanitarian. A terrible oxymoron summed up in a concise sentence by the philosopher Monique Canto-Sperber: “Kill civilians to save civilians. “

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Kabul 2021, the end of three decades of interference rights