By Chris O.Maduka
LONG READ, WITH DEEP INSIGHT ON THE US/AFGHANISTAN UNRAVELING.
President Biden made a very pointed statement that simply summed up his administration’s decision to pull out of Afghanistan. (Watch the attached video clip).
“We gave them every chance to provide for their own future. But what we could not provide them is the will to fight for their own future”.
I wish the People of Southern Nigeria will be offered half of the chance or opprotunity to fight for their own future as the United States did in Afghanistan yet it all collapsed.
I suspect many people are suggesting that same might apply in the Nigeria situation. Not really. It is like comparing apples and oranges because the natural lines of scrimmage and enclave of homogenous ethnically driven societies and nations that pre-existed the colonial 1914 Amalgamation where new nations can easily emerge does not exist in Afghanistan but it does in Nigeria
What’s more? Nigeria unlike Afghanistan is driven by different religions and distincitve cultures, unlike in Afghanistan society that is nearly exclusively Taliban version of Islam regardless of their posturing as being Westernized by education. They remained inherently and culturally Afghan moslems regarless.
So there was nothing to build on in the American attempt at Nation building and remaking of Afghanistan in their own American Western image. But such grounds very much exist in Southern Nigeria as they share same Christian faith, the same Western values and Western education. Besides before even the incursion of the Western colonialists into the area, these people existed independently as a distinct people.
As a matter of fact, the Nigerian people have engaged in a very brutal civil war led by the people of the old Eastern Nigeria to end the union and revert to what reflects the pre-colonialists era that was more harmonious than the current arrangement that has created endless crises and backwardness, yet the same Western world in a clear contradictions opposed that attempt to end the unworking arrangement.
If anything, it seems it is the ambition of the Islamist of the Northern Nigeria with Taliban and Al Quada influence and mentality to expand their territory and their influence as they destroy and cannibalize everything all the way towards the Southern region aiming towards the Southern Creeks of Niger Delta and the Gulf of Guinea while the same United states remained mostly ambivalent or in some cases aiding and abating these moves towards “Talibanlizing Nigeria”.
All these moves towards the Taliban kind of dominance in Nigeria took a different turn when the former US leader President Obama helped to enthrone the current leadership in power in 2015 despite the very empirical records of General Buhari as a Northern moslem.
But such ambition has failed and will continue to fail in Nigeria because there are very distinctive ethnic Nationalities that have resisted them from making Nigeria the kind of Afghanistan where such huge effort and resources expended will turnout to be an effort in futility and a waste of resources. But that might eventually change if the United states fail to act now on the Nigeria question and final settlement.
So Nigeria is not Afghanistan, but it could be if the Western nations, especially the US continue to play ostrich and miscalculate as they’ve done in some areas and regions it has now become too little too late to engage in such an ambitious nation building that will be more in American image can be achieved. But it is not yet late in Nigeria.
However, it could be if nothing is done now. The Americans can actually defeat, both Talibans, Al Quada and their Bokoharam, Fulani herdsmen affiliates and surrogates in Nigeria and it will cost them fractions of what it has cost them in the Afghanistan misadventures because the people of Southern Nigeria, especially the former Eastern Region of Biafra have demonstrated beyond all doubts that they have the resolve to fight for their future as President Biden lamented, but Ironically, the West led by the Great Britain and even the United States have frustrated this effort in the past and even now as we speak.
However, my doubts and curiosity is that the United States may not have such vested strategic interest in the Nigeria geographic strategic location unlike Afghanistan, even with their so much talked about dwindling natural resources.
That particular area of Afghanistan has been and is still very strategic in the past and future struggle between the Old Soviet Union and even China (the Emerging super power in global geopolitics and economic dominance) and the Western allies led by the United states.
This is true if you take a look at the Nato alliance expansion all the way to former Soviet independent Republics, which Russia has resisted for the same strategic reasons. When such high level interests collides, the United states will move the world to dominate and win, even as they atimes lose based on their own past actions and inactions as we are now witnessing in Nigeria. Afterall who actually made the Talibans during the cold war? …The same Americans, during the Reagan led Administration.
Even the Chinese realized the very strategic importance of that region where Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and other Stan countries are located. Some years ago the Chinese made every effort and offered 18 billion dollars (the highest bid) for ConocoPhillips oil and gas pipelines that skycrossed through Kazakhstan all the way to the Baltic Sea.
But guess what? Citing National security interest, the US congress killed the deal. Because they realized that with that purchase the Chinese will become energy independent even in times of war and blockade as they’ll gain access to the Baltic sea. So the battle for the region did not start today and the outcome as we see is beyond the invincibility of the Talibans. There’s more.
So does anyone think that the Chinese or even Russia will support the US to succeed in that region where the Soviets failed all thanks to the US support for the same Talibans decades ago.
So these are some of the larger issues that may have informed the US decision to go into that region targeting Afghanistan, after they succeeded in isolating them from Pakistan as it was very Vulnerable under the ousted Mullar Omar.
I doubt if such huge strategic interest exist in the Nigeria situation for now. But the world and the global community still remains volatile and in a constant state of flux. It is wise to step into Nigeria today and help to bridle the situation that seems to be spinning out of control with the unrelenting islamic expansionism agenda. Not doing so today might turn out to be very costly tomorrow.
The horne of Africa was once the most strategic region in Africa during the cold war. The Gulf of Guinea where Nigeria is located is as important as any other regions as the African continent contiue to come into play in all fundametal ways. The need for alternative source of energy as the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq simply underscored the strategic importance of the Gulf of Guinea all the way deeper into the Atlantic divide between the West and the Continent of Africa. Nothing could be far much tragic and a strategic blunder than for the United States to stand by as the Southern region will fall into the hands of the unfriendly Islamic kind of Taliban inspired regime.
So the United states can achieve and accomplish what they failed to achieve in Afghanistan in Nigeria and the Subregion because the factors that mitigated and undermined
their efforts in Afghanistan do not exist in Nigeria, atleast not yet.
Afghanistan people are all nearly Moslems with their anti Western stance just like Bokoharam and the herdsmen who are still located in the North but with the resolve to move towards the Southern region.
So the United States ambition to go into Afghanistan to remake the society in their own Western image failed and will continue to fail else because even those so called educated and Wedternized Afghans are not fully entrenched on the grounds. They are not fully assimilated. They instead isolated themselves and became the much resented Neo Western occupiers as they shared more affinity with the Western World and the United states than they did with the regular average fellow Afghanistan citizens and they are very tiny minority.
The situation is completely different in the Nigerian situation.
So the trillion dollars poured into Afghanistan simply became just like oxygen applied to someone on a life support. It kept the Western imposed government in power while it lasted. The real ordianary Afghanistan people and the Talibans that went into hibernation realized this and waited for the cost of oxygen to keep rising and for the US to make a decision that will spell death for the Western installed leadership and that’s what happened with the President Biden decision to pull out of Afghanistan as the Western imposed leaders have failed to take the gauntlet and run with it.
So those shouting and giving kudos to the Talibans might be misreading the Afghanistan experience and might attempt to juxtapose or mis-apply that scenario with what’s playing out in Nigeria with the Bokoharam and the killer herdsmen.
These guys are no Talibans, and the people of Southern Nigeria are not handsfull of Western trained Afghan leaders that were seen as neo western colonialists and agents of occupiers.
The people of Southern region of Nigeria are already existing independently and have resisted any attempt to expand the Taliban kind of ideology in their areas even as there’s a renewd effort in the past few years to expand such influence and ideology.
The United states need to act now in the on-going struggle in Nigeria to avoid the very expensive and futile efforts in Afghanistan.
Public Affairs and policy Analyst/Entrepreneur
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