What can be learned from the USA’s defeat in Afghanistan?

Photo by Sohaib Ghyasi on Unsplash

After invading Afghanistan in 2001, the USA overthrew the Taliban from the government and established a democracy. The Taliban ran away from Afghanistan but they didn’t give up.

They regrouped and started guerilla warfare against the American soldiers. After a lot of destabilization in the American forces due to these attacks, the Americans decided to withdraw from Afghanistan. The US troops started withdrawing from Afghanistan during the summer of 2021. On 15 August 2021, the Taliban defeated the democratic Afghan government and retook Afghanistan under their control again.

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Here are a few things that we can learn from the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

Quality matters more than quantity

The USA spent more than $88 billion to train the Afghan National Army. Yet the Afghan National Army surrendered to the Taliban. The Taliban walked inside Kabul without firing a single bullet. They entered the Presidential Palance without any resistance.

The Afghan National Army has 350,000 soldiers. The Taliban had approximately 75,000 fighters. The Afghan army was clearly more in numbers. Still, they were not able to resist the Taliban. This is because the Taliban used a better strategy compared to the Afghan army.

The rich Afghans that lived in the city were not aware of the propaganda that the Taliban were spreading in the countryside. The government thought that they would not face any troubles since they had a good army. But they realized they were wrong when they saw the Taliban quickly taking over many districts in the countryside in a matter of days.

Lessons not learned from History

There is a saying that history repeats itself. Those who do not learn from history are bound to make the same mistakes done throughout history. The same happened in the case of Afghanistan. The British had to leave Afghanistan, so did the Russians and the Americans. They all made the same mistake.

They occupied the capital Kabul and thought that they were ruling the country. Little did they realize that the majority of the Afghan population lives in the countryside. Taking advantage of this weakness, the Taliban started influencing the people living in the rural regions to support their cause. Gradually, the entire rural districts came under the Taliban control and the urban population was left wondering how the Taliban were conquering districts so fast.

Corruption leads to a downfall

The former Afghan government was very corrupt. People of Afghanistan had to pay massive bribes to government officials just for getting basic necessities like water and electricity. This made the poor people want a change in the government. Some of the poor people who couldn’t pay massive bribes for water and electricity started supporting the Taliban.

The former Afghan government was also not able to deliver justice. They did maintain law and order, but the justice was not good enough since criminals were able to get bailed from jails after paying heavy bribes. Although the justice system of the Taliban is medieval and brutal, they do deliver swift justice to all criminals and do not compromise punishments with bribes.


The future of Afghanistan is uncertain. Many experts predict that the future would be dark in Afghanistan. But we can never know for sure what will happen. The Taliban has promised to be moderate than how it was in the past. But some critics say that they are trying to look moderate only to gain sympathy from the international community and get funds to run the country. We can only know what happens next after witnessing the future ourselves.

Originally published at https://original.newsbreak.com.



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1x Top Writer in Relationships, 1x Top Writer in Love, 1x Top Writer in Psychology. I write about Health, Life, Finance, Relationships, and many other topics.