September 25, 2021

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Afghanistan.  Troop withdrawal expert: the worst possible scenario

Afghanistan. Troop withdrawal expert: the worst possible scenario

  • The situation in Afghanistan will have a potentially significant impact on security in Europe. Expert says it is a possible new migration crisis from Afghanistan
  • – In Paris, there is already talk of a post-American world, some French believe that Afghanistan is a good example of America’s withdrawal. He adds that others are angry with this great American shoe and arrogance because they did not consult the Europeans
  • – All Afghan experts were amazed at how quickly this house of cards of the Afghan administration collapsed. Americans, Germans and British should be better prepared for this. This is where the political and moral responsibility that these countries will have to deal with falls – emphasizes Michai Baranovsky
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Piotr Maciej Kaczyński: The Americans are withdrawing from Afghanistan in disarray, the Russians are leaving the embassy in Kabul, the Chinese are rubbing their eyes, not knowing what’s going on. Where is Europe in all of this?

Mikhail Baranovsky: First of all, the way to withdraw from Afghanistan is a humanitarian disaster for that country, but it is also a failure in the image of the United States and NATO. The biggest problem is that the Americans did not prepare an adequate withdrawal strategy and did not consult it adequately with their allies. I emphasize once again: the problem between the United States and Europe is the lack of consultations – President Biden made this decision practically alone, and this hurts the US allies in NATO. The situation in Afghanistan will have a potentially significant impact on security in Europe. It is a possible new immigration crisis from Afghanistan.

Moreover, the anti-Trump president was supposed to be familiar with foreign policy, and the way to withdraw from Afghanistan shows the worst possible scenario.

“You can see a lot of tension in the transatlantic relationship”

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Is this a cold shower for Europe?

surely. But it is received differently in different capitals. In Paris there is already talk of a post-American world, some French believe that Afghanistan is a good example of America’s withdrawal. Others are angry at this great American shoe and their arrogance because they did not consult Europeans.

Still others see this as a tragic situation, but it doesn’t undermine transatlantic strategic relations either because Afghanistan is not a key strategic location for America or the wider West. On the other hand, there is currently a great deal of tension in transatlantic relations.

President Biden did not expect much criticism from Europe and is trying to save NATO?

Certainly, Biden and his administration did not anticipate such a situation in Afghanistan itself. Hence the problem within the alliance itself. If the exit was without consultation, but did not end with such a picture and human failure, it would spread “above the bones.”

Atlantic Ocean He remembers the story from 2010, when US Vice President Biden said it was ugly that Nixon and Kissinger weren’t hurt by Saigon, so even a hard exit from Kabul wouldn’t be the end of the world.

The problem in the past two weeks is not that the US and NATO are leaving Afghanistan – but how. The decision to leave, of course, was somewhat disputed both in Washington and at NATO headquarters. But the consensus, especially in the United States, has been that Afghanistan is not a strategically important place, if only because the sources of terrorism are now elsewhere.

The prevailing conviction there is that the United States should focus primarily on strategic competition with China and Russia. In this context, the continued presence in Afghanistan is only an obstacle to such a strategic focus. In other words, the Pentagon should focus on preparing for a possible confrontation with a similar strategic enemy, not on fighting the Taliban or terrorists.

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So there was no English departure like this, gracefully, withdrawing silently in the shadows?

The plan was that after 20 years of investing in this country, Afghanistan would eventually be able to do it on its own. Meanwhile, the entire Afghan state administration collapsed like a house of cards in nine days. This is a big surprise, but also for decision makers in Washington, Berlin, Warsaw and Brussels. They are responsible for that.

Liability is a major issue here. Were the Americans and Europeans living in a media bubble and withholding information about the strength of the Taliban and the weakness of the puppet rule, as it turned out?

For a long time, NATO and its leaders had hardly any dealings with Afghanistan. It was an “eternal war,” Biden said, but it was also a forgotten war. Had it not been for the dramatic events as it is now, I think Afghanistan would not have made the headlines.

On the other hand, all Afghan experts are surprised at how quickly this house of cards of the Afghan administration collapses. The Americans, the Germans, the British – they should be more prepared for this. This is where the political and moral responsibility that these countries will have to deal with lies.

The rest of the conversation is below the video:

What could be the consequences of anti-TVN law

The new US ambassador, Mark Brzeziński, will fly to Warsaw. Will he have a lot of work to do on a good morning?

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Ambassador Brzeziński It comes at one of the most difficult moments in Polish-American relations. On the one hand, Poland and the United States are strong allies, especially in security matters, and on the other hand, Warsaw and Washington differ on issues related to core values, which are essential to transatlantic unity.

Relations with Warsaw are among the most difficult challenges facing US policy in Europe. They have not yet figured out how to deal with allies who are “out of the way” in political matters. Poland will be a place where Americans will have to learn to solve these dilemmas, and this is the main task of Ambassador Brzeziński.

What penalties can be expected if President Duda signs the anti-TVN law?

On the other hand, I don’t expect that The Media Law will be passed as is. On the other hand, I cannot imagine that Polish-American relations will remain as high as they have been in recent years, but if the law comes into force. We can see the results in three areas: political, economic and military. I am convinced that the new US ambassador will do everything in his power to prevent the deterioration of Polish-American relations due to the media law.

Do you expect President Biden to visit Warsaw this period?

We still have 3.5 years of Biden’s term, and a lot could happen. Certainly, relations at the political level will depend on the fate of the media law. There is still plenty of time to decide on President Biden’s future trips to Europe.

* Peter Maciej Kaczynski – Trainer and journalist, member of Team Europe at the European Commission Representation in Poland.