In his 2010 memoir Decision Points, former United States President George W Bush explained his rationale for the decision to invade Afghanistan in the following words:
“Afghanistan was the ultimate nation-building mission. We had liberated the country from a primitive dictatorship, and we had a moral obligation to leave behind something better. We also had a strategic interest in helping the Afghan people build a free society… because a democratic Afghanistan would be a hopeful alternative to the vision of the extremists.”
After two decades of Western occupation, however, there seems to be little sign of the “hopeful alternative” Bush predicted, at least judging from the desperate scenes at Kabul airport, where people have been scrambling to leave the country following the extraordinarily swift Taliban takeover of the country. This is despite the lives and treasure the West has poured into rebuilding Afghanistan’s institutions and economy, and into training and equipping the Afghan army and police.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.