US and Allied troops ended their 20-year mission in Afghanistan this summer. Estonia withdrew the last of its units in early June.
The Americans alone would have invested 88 billion euros in Afghanistan to strengthen the military capacity of the mountainous country necessary to resist the Taliban. Now the country has fallen into their hands with virtually no resistance and in just a few days.
Estonia did not have much choice when the war in Afghanistan started because it was after the favor of NATO and the West, host of the “Olukorrast riigis”, said Indrek Lepik.
He found that sticking to the position that Estonia was only helping its ally the United States would be somewhat short-sighted today and denounce where Estonia has become in its 30 years of ‘independence.
Co-host Holger Roonemaa said the United States seems to be just as short of bright ideas on what to do next.
“The rapid collapse of the country was either a shock or at the very least a bad surprise,” he said. “I do not see anything that can deliver the country and its inhabitants.”
In the event of the fall of the capital Kabul, the Taliban will have regained full control of Afghanistan, raising a range of questions ranging from the possibility for girls to continue to attend school to the export of terrorism.
He added that although the US Embassy in Kabul asked not to be touched, its staff were already burning documents.
“Twenty years of US activity in Afghanistan have failed,” Lepik added, saying no one could have expected the collapse to be so swift and complete.
“Is it still a country and will it remain so after it falls into the hands of the Taliban?” Lepik asked.
The host said no terrorist acts have been committed from Afghanistan in the 20 years the Americans have been there, while the Taliban have not disappeared either.
“The situation in Afghanistan should also directly concern Russia and China. It is likely that both will make the situation worse, just to shame the United States,” Roonemaa said.
The situation concerns Estonia much more closely than the remoteness of Afghanistan would suggest because the seizure of power by the Taliban will trigger a flow of migrants which counts in the millions.
“We don’t know which roads these people will take. The influx of refugees is something we will also be addressing here in Estonia,” Roonemaa said. “If anyone has ever earned refugee status, it’s the people fleeing the Taliban.
Lepik warned against the dehumanization of Afghan refugees, suggesting they should not be seen as a wave of migrants descending to the West.
“We have to keep an eye on this anyway, when we can’t just wash our hands of it all and say the Middle East is just a bomb pit. We don’t have it. luxury to cultivate such an attitude, ”said Lepik. warned.
The host of “Samost ja Sildam” Toomas Sildam also described the events in Afghanistan as the failure of the West and in particular that of the United States.
“If it’s not a failure, I don’t know what it is,” he said.
Anvar Samost pointed out that Estonia is a pen-bearer on Afghanistan in the UN Security Council. The Estonian Foreign Ministry made an official statement ahead of Midsummer Day, saying that Estonia’s role is to maintain the viability of the peace talks in Afghanistan, support cooperation, seek mutual solutions and help maintain the successes already achieved.
“The collapse of the authorities in a few days was a very big surprise for everyone,” Samost said.
“It was said a week ago that Kabul would last three months, which was then reduced to three weeks, when we now have to ask ourselves if it would last another three hours,” Sildam added.
Samost said that we should, in light of these events, ask ourselves whether our way of life is even achievable or due in a country with very different traditions.
Sildam stressed that Estonia’s participation in the mission in Afghanistan is important because it has brought us allied relations and brothers in arms.
“We couldn’t make the country more functional and its society happier in the 20 years when the talibés were expelled. The West failed. However, hundreds of members of the Estonian defense forces have gained invaluable combat experience. “Sildam said.
Samost agreed: “I have no doubt that Estonia got a long-term foreign and security policy outcome of all of this, which was neither empty nor unnecessary but quite the right decision at the era.
Sildam wondered how the Afghan Defense Force, into which 88 billion euros was said to have been poured into, rendered the main provincial centers and the capital Kabul practically without resistance.
“Now the United States must move 5,000 troops to evacuate their embassy,” he added.
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