Afghanistan Is a Geopolitical Disaster for the US

Authored by Nick Giamburno via

The Taliban often referred to this old Afghan saying when discussing their fight against the Americans. Ultimately, they were proven correct. After almost two decades of conflict, an insurgent army from one of the world’s poorest nations inflicted a decisive military defeat on the US, the global superpower that upholds the unipolar world order. The US government’s total failure in Afghanistan—the longest war in American history—signifies a crucial moment and turning point in world history.

The Soviet Union collapsed about two years after the Red Army was defeated and withdrew from Afghanistan. As we approach the second anniversary of the American retreat, could a similar fate be in store for the US? While nobody knows the future, there is an excellent chance that the colossal failure in Afghanistan could accelerate the unravelling of the geopolitical power of the US and the shift to a multipolar world order.

Afghanistan’s strategic position has always made it a coveted prize in the Eurasian landscape. Afghanistan is situated in the centre of Eurasia, at the crossroads of China, Iran, and Russia—the three primary challengers to the US-led world order. This central location is why Afghanistan has enormous geopolitical importance and why the US desired a strategic military presence there.

The US military’s presence in Afghanistan was a strategic roadblock to Russia, China, and Iran’s goal of creating a powerful geopolitical group in Eurasia that could challenge the US-led world order. However, with the Taliban forcing the US military out of Afghanistan, the door to a more coherent geopolitical alliance in Eurasia is now wide open. In short, failure in Afghanistan is a geopolitical disaster for the US.

For at least the past decade, China, Russia, and Iran have been working on an impressive plan to connect Eurasia—even while the US military was in Afghanistan. This trend will likely speed up now that the US military is no longer physically in its way. China, Russia, and Iran are constructing a vast network of land-based transportation infrastructure, making the US Navy’s control of the oceans less significant.

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