After twenty years of conflict, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan has brought the curtain down on Nato’s military mission there. BBC News reported:
“Under a deal with the militant group, the US and its Nato allies agreed to withdraw all troops in return for a commitment by the Taliban not to allow al-Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in the areas they control” (July 5).
In the July issue of the Christadelphian magazine Brother Roger Long looked at the situation:
President Biden had set a particularly symbolic deadline of September 11 for a full US withdrawal – the twentieth anniversary of 9/11.
The departure of these forces has left a fearful Afghan population and demoralised government troops facing looming civil war, with many districts having already fallen to the Taliban – the group who had been removed from power following the US-led invasion of 2001. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently said that he is “apprehensive” about the situation. A number of analysts have pointed out that the West’s abandonment of Afghanistan may easily embolden rival powers like Russia and China:
“The obvious flashpoints are Ukraine and Taiwan … Both [Moscow and Beijing] are combining military muscle-flexing with warlike rhetoric” (Financial Times, April 19).
If the apparent weakness of the US and Nato is exploited in this way, it could easily lead to the “time of trouble, such as never was” foretold in scripture (Daniel 12:1).