US can’t work with enemies, professor says
TEHRAN – An American scholar claims that the United States cannot work with its enemies because it could leave them in a weaker position.
“Some people think we shouldn’t legitimize ‘pariah states’ (those that don’t follow the Western order); we cannot trust our enemies; working with our enemies could leave us in a weaker position, ”Brian Warby, associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa, told The Tehran Times.
The US military has withdrawn over 90% of its troops and weaponry from Afghanistan. At the same time, the Taliban are advancing in various districts of the war-torn country. This decision raised questions about the future of Afghanistan.
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan announced on July 14 that they had taken control of one of the main border posts with Pakistan, perhaps the most strategic objective they have captured so far in an advance fast across the country.
According to Reuters, a Pakistani official said fighters brought down the Afghan government flag from the top of the Friendship Gate at the border post between the Pakistani town of Chaman and the Afghan town of Wesh.
Many in Afghanistan and other countries in the region believe that US unilateral policies have resulted in such a situation. However, some argue that the partnership with neighboring Afghanistan and regional powers, including Russia and China, could have prevented the country from degenerating into anarchy.
But it is not easy for Americans to work with their rivals.
“Diplomacy is slow and we need quick action; diplomacy requires compromise and many Americans do not want to compromise with the “axis of evil” (a term used by George W. Bush to describe Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, but also represents the feelings of some Americans about Russia and China), ”notes Warby.
Here is the text of the interview:
Q: How do you see the American withdrawal from Afghanistan?
A: This is a very broad question, so I will give you my opinion. The United States has been in Afghanistan for a long time. We have been talking for a long time about wanting to “get out” of Afghanistan. Even though the United States was for the most part already outside Afghanistan, especially compared to the “wave” under Obama where we had over 100,000 troops on the ground.
The United States has also recorded very few casualties in recent years. The United States continued to spend quite a bit of money. I think the American sentiment about our presence in Afghanistan and the general desire to leave is based more on imagined or fabricated war exhaustion than on the actual demand for American resources. Of course, as my psychologist friends like to say, perception is reality. In other words, Americans are tired of our military presence in Afghanistan, mostly because it doesn’t seem like things have improved much in the past 8-9 years. Also, the idea that we have been “fighting” (we haven’t fought a lot in recent years) this war for 20 years bothers many Americans.
Q: Do you expect China and Russia to fill the power vacuum in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal?
A: China and Russia have the capacity to fill the power vacuum, but I don’t think they will. I don’t think Russia is very interested in Afghanistan, and after the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s, I don’t think the Russians would have much liking for any other long-term involvement. China has some interest, but administering Afghanistan (i.e. filling the power vacuum) requires a lot of resources, especially as the Taliban is on the rise. I think it’s likely, however, that China will make deals with Afghanistan for resource extraction and infrastructure building. I think China will have little qualms about working with the Taliban.
Q: What are the implications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan for Washington’s allies in the Arab world?
A: I imagine the US allies in the Arab world are a little uncomfortable with the US withdrawal, but I think they also realize that the Arab world has more strategic value for them. United States than Afghanistan.
Q: Is the American media promoting the idea of withdrawing from West Asia and focusing on China instead? Why has China been so important to the United States?
A: China is the closest peer to the United States in terms of economic might and military might. The relationship has been somewhat strained, with the trade war, South China Sea disputes, intellectual property protections (or lack thereof), etc. Personally, I don’t think China poses a great threat to American security or even our well-being, but China will almost certainly continue to undermine American hegemony. Many Americans, including many politicians, see this as a threat.
Q: The United States mainly tries to resolve crises through unilateral action or, at best, with the support of its Western allies. Why doesn’t the United States try to work with its enemies, including Iran, Russia and China, in critical areas like Afghanistan?
A: That’s a good question but I’m not sure I can give you a good answer. I think there are many different reasons that different people use to justify unilateral or western-centric interventions. I don’t think there’s actually a lot of talk about why we don’t work with our enemies on most things, it’s just generally accepted that we don’t. Some think that we should not legitimize the “pariah states” (those which do not follow the Western order); we cannot trust our enemies; working with our enemies might leave us in a weaker position; diplomacy is slow and we need quick action; diplomacy requires compromise and many Americans do not want to compromise with the “axis of evil” (a term used by George W. Bush to describe Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, but also represents the feelings of some Americans about Russia and China). There are probably other half-formed reasons people have in mind, but most of these ideas seem to be half-formed and rarely openly discussed.