By: Center for Strategic & Regional Studies
Note: Click here for the PDF file of this analysis.
In this issue:
• 26 Dalwa and the story of the struggle of Afghans
• Afghanistan’s geopolitical and geo-economics situation
• Culture of xenophobia in Afghanistan
• How do nations stand up after colonialism?
• Why do we fail to build after victory?
• Conclusion and suggestions
26 Aquarius is equal to the 34th anniversary of the departure of the Soviet Red Army from Afghanistan. After the departure of the last soldier of the former Soviet Red Army on December 26, 1367 AH and after the collapse of the communist regime the governments in Afghanistan always celebrate and declare this day as a holiday every year. This year, the government of the Islamic Emirate has declared this day as a public holiday and has considered this day as a great honor for the people of Afghanistan.
The withdrawal of Soviet soldiers was done in two stages; the first stage started on 25th of Thor (Sawar) and continued until 24 Asad of 1367. At this stage, 50,000 soldiers of the Red Army left Afghanistan. The 40th Army handed over all bases in Jalalabad, Ghazni, Gardiz, Faizabad, Farah, Lashkargah, Kunduz and Kandahar to the Afghan forces. This divided the Soviet forces into two eastern and western corridors and led to the northern neighboring republics of Afghanistan; Its eastern corridor starting from Kabul and reaching Hayratan through the Salang tunnel crossing and ends at Termez Uzbekistan by crossing Dosti Bridge. And its western corridor starting from Kandahar and ending in Kushka through Shindand Herat. The second stage started in Jedi of 1367 solar year and ended on 26 Aquarius of the same year. This stage in Jeddi 1367 after a two-month delay due to the consultations of the then President Dr. Najibullah with Moscow and his emphasis on Soviet air support even after the withdrawal, always put Moscow under pressure. But the Soviets wanted to stick to the withdrawal timetable as outlined in the Geneva accord. Finally, the Soviet Union marked the end of its occupation of Afghanistan and the beginning of its collapse on the 26th day of the year 1367 with the withdrawal of its remaining fifty thousand soldiers, the last of who was General Boris Gromov, the commanding officer of the 40th Division of the Red Army.
Although, Dr. Najib, the last president and communist’s puppet in Afghanistan, tried until the last moment to prevent the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. But Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union, told him that the Soviet Union would withdraw from Afghanistan and that he should prepare himself to implement this decision within a year, because the occupying Soviet soldiers could no longer continue the war in Afghanistan. In fact, the Geneva treaty was an excuse for the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan. At the foot of the Geneva Treaty, the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Soviet Union and the United States signed under the supervision of the United Nations on 25 Hamal 1367 AH. (2)Yes, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on 6 Jadi 1358 AH and was at war with the Mujahideen of Afghanistan for nine years. As a result, this aggression led to defeat and indecency with huge financial losses and lives of the Soviet Red Army. The people of Afghanistan also suffered a lot of financial and human losses and sufferings in this jihad.
In this issue, about the geopolitical and geo-economics situation of Afghanistan, the culture of xenophobia in Afghanistan and how nations stand up after colonialism, and finally why we are not successful in building after victories; There are topics that have been addressed.
AFGHANISTAN’S GEOPOLITICAL AND GEO-ECONOMICS SITUATION
Being located on the Silk Road, Afghanistan has the status of a central point and four major transit and trade routes in the region, and this feature has always been dear to the people of this land. In a brief look at history, we find that from prehistoric times; From the conquests of Alexander the Great to the rise and fall of the Tatars, from the conflict of internal monarchies to the invasion of the triangle of England, Russia and NATO under the leadership of the United States, and being in the midst of the Cold War and dragging the feet of the three colonial superpowers to this land, all of them represent the highlights of The geography of this country is in the region.
Afghanistan and its regional position is mentioned in many historical texts; As (Xenophon) in his memoirs informs about the command of 7000 Greek troops to this land and Ibn Battuta in his travel letter informs about its strategic sensitive situations along with introducing the cultural and ethnic contexts and hospitality of this land. (3)Well, now, in the development and expansion of this hypothesis, we will take a look at the strategic subsets of this land in order to know what the role of our country’s geography lays in, and why this country is the focal point for the superpowers and they expect it’s acquiring for their international competitions and games
In a famous interpretation that the reader is not unaware of, we can start with the claim that Afghanistan is located in the heart of Asia and this position alone has given it special importance in the eyes of the super powers. The heart is the central point in the physiological structure of the body and its importance is vital for every living being, now mastering the heart can bring great victories to its owners. Second: Mountainous Afghanistan, having the jewel of the Hindu Kush mountains range and the roof of the world in it, on the one hand, is a sensitive point in the matter of partisan wars, and on the other hand, it has important strongholds in regional and international games. It made it possible to have a corridor from the south to reach warm waters, from the north a gate to enter the vast land of Central Asia and Russia, from the northeast to the western plains of China, and from the west to the land of Iran, connected to the Middle East. It has the status of a chess board among neighboring countries. These show the valuable position of this country in its geopolitical structure, if yesterday Alexander the Great used these corridors to reach warm waters, and in the 6th and 7th centuries AD, the Muslim army used to reach the large area of the Indian subcontinent, Trans-Nahar, Eastern Turkestan. All over Central Asia were trying; at the height of the Cold War, each of the great powers (Soviet and America) dreamed of acquiring this country as the first step to overcome the cold war resistance. And finally, the Soviet Union was drawn to this country with the cooperation of its domestic students and foreign allies.
Regarding the geo-economics position of Afghanistan as a rich country, rich in mineral resources and large economic reserves, many researches have been conducted and documents have been prepared. The latest researches have estimated the wealth hidden in this geography to be several trillion dollars. In this analysis, we refer to a corner of this huge capital, which has recently been reflected in the world media. First, let’s start with the waters of Afghanistan. Today, the position of water in the world is roughly equal to that of oil. In the Persian Gulf countries, one liter of water is sold for one liter of oil. Afghanistan is at a high level in the region with rich resources and large fresh water reserves, and these waters are considered a great national capital. A group of analysts consider the presence of these waters and the need of the countries in the region for these water reserves to be one of the causes of half a century of wars. The Amu River is the dividing line between Afghanistan and the three countries of Central Asia. Every year, hundred thousand cubic meters of free water flows to the neighboring countries, while large diserts and many fields in this country are waiting monsoon rains to be irrigated. From the Hirmand River to the waters that irrigate the Indus’ lands for free; all of them are national capital that is generously poured into neighboring countries. Whenever we go over the issue of water in Afghanistan, another issue comes back that cannot be denied anymore, and that is the rich underground resources of this country; Large deposits of gold, silver, copper, iron, lithium, uranium and precious stones such as turquoise, emerald, lapis lazuli, etc. These rich mines are hidden in the heart of the mountains of this land, which are considered to be the peak and pauseable point in the economic status of Afghanistan.
Some people believe that greed and avarice some the super powers on this huge wealth is one of the factors that have expanded the range of destructive wars in this country. In the other part, the economic position of Afghanistan is, its huge human resources; Almost more than sixty percent of the people of this country are formed by the young generation; This huge human capital has been used for legitimate or illegitimate interests as a form of recruitment through the recruitment of major powers, including regional governments and other organizations.
CULTURE OF XENOPHOBIA IN AFGHANISTAN
The lasting legacy of our ancestors in this land in the matter of fighting against foreigners, protection and protection of freedom and territorial integrity flows in the veins of the children of this country. In other words, each Afghan considers himself to be responsible for fighting against the aggression of foreigners. In historical events, we clearly see that this land has always been invaded by foreigners. But the great empires and superpowers have always faced the resistance and resistance of the people of this land and it has led to the defeat and disintegration of their army. If we examine the Indian subcontinent, it can be said that the Indian nation, having more financial and human resources, fell under the feet of the British army for about two hundred years. The oppressive rule of the British was visible in all aspects of their lives. The people of the subcontinent, including Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Brahmins and Rajputs, did not enjoy any individual freedom for many years. Even slaves were sent to support the British army in its power-seeking wars. Although our nation is considered a small country compared to the nation of India, but the result of our Mujahid nation’s struggles against the British is incomparable in machine gun wars. The disgraceful defeat of the British Indian army in 1839-1842; for three years in the first Afghan-British war; The fact that only 16,000 British troops were defeated by the heroic men and women of our country in Kabul is a proof of this claim. Our people all under one flag and under the leadership of popular models in spontaneous movements to preserve the freedom and territorial integrity in the Second Afghan-British War (1878-1880 AD) and the Third Afghan-British War (1919 AD) still showed courage, resistance and self-sacrifice, and the stories of self-sacrifice from Khurd alleys of Kabul (Old City) to Dasht Miwand are written in golden script on our history pages. (6) In the same way, half a century later, our people were put through another test against the invasion of red cancer and the armored forces of the Soviet Union; Although bullets rained down on people’s houses from the ground and air, our people never surrendered to this unequal war with empty hands and agricultural tools. They quickly formed guerilla groups and attacked the enemy troops in all corners of the country. When the Jihad museum of the people of Afghanistan is referred to and narrated from the historical memory of our people, then it becomes clear with what sacrifices our people have made against this red cancer by inflicting casualties of 15,000 people killed, more than 40,000 injured and disabled and thousands of people captured and lost until they won over the Soviet army. When stories like this reach the ears of the 21st century generation, they may think that it is a scene from Hollywood and Bollywood movies. While our people, young and old, women, men and children, saw the imposition of this unequal war with open eyes. This was not the end of the struggle of Afghans, but it was not long before our country and people faced a new face of occupation in the 21st century; although the face of the war had changed, they were still more vigilant against the bigger monster and enemy. This time, the enemy armed with laser weapons, drones and B-52 bombers set fire to people’s houses; they used everything from mother bombs to any other type of poisonous weapon in this country. Once again, the people of this land proved their national solidarity against xenophobia. And they said no to occupation and colonization. No one can deny the horror and destruction of this twenty-year war in the country; A war that brought nothing but corruption and betrayal. Religion, culture, imitation and all the haves and don’ts of the nation have been marked and turned our land into a field of great regional competitions. But in the end, the children of this border also faced it in all fields. In defense of culture, imitation, religion and faith, they fought against colonialism in various military, cultural and media fields, and finally, NATO led by the US declared its defeat and withdrew from Afghanistan with the signing of the Doha Peace Treaty. According to the statistics published by the SIGAR Administration, 2,400 soldiers were killed and more than 21,000 wounded American soldiers left Afghanistan. All these historical events show the xenophobic culture of our Mujahid nation
HOW DO NATIONS STAND UP AFTER COLONIALISM?
Undoubtedly, every nation has gone through twists and turns during its political life; some nations have learned lessons from the hardships and problems they have experienced and used them for the splendor of their future and created honors; they have entered into major political competitions at the global level. But some others, despite the bitter experiences of the past, are still struggling in the quagmire of disorder. As historians have written about Japan, before Matsuhito (1912-1868) took the seat of leadership and power, Japan was a highly class-based and traditional society far from new knowledge in modern governance. But during the period of Shoguns, when European and American countries invaded Japan, and especially when American commercial ships arrived at the port of Tokyo, the current capital of Japan, the government of this country realized the military power of colonial countries such as America and European countries and knew that in terms of facilities and the ability to directly confront these western powers is never equal. And without asking for cooperation with the faction opposed to Western colonialism, they stopped direct confrontation, instead they thought of rational and effective ways of confrontation to save their country from Western colonialism.
Yes, when Mutsuhito became the leader of Japan in 1868, during his coronation, he signed the five-point oath in which the plan for Japan’s progress and development was written, which included the following points:
1- Establishment of an advisory council
2- The cooperation of all classes of society in the administration of state affairs
3- Abolition of luxury laws and removal of class restrictions in the employment of civil servants
4- Refinement of Japan’s legislative system with new international standards
5- The plan and solution of modernization and the benefit of Japan from modern knowledge in order to strengthen the foundation of the imperial government
As it can be seen, on the one hand, the leader of Japan, Matsuhito, led his country towards a modern society with the reform plans proposed in the oath. And on the other hand, the Japanese elites understood the political and social situation of the country, while the policy of direct conflict with the colonialists have left the West aside, they have tried to use the knowledge and civilized achievements of the West. As a result of continuous efforts, instead of cutting off communication and sentimental slogans in their society, they entered into cultural and scientific exchanges with Western civilization. They even took advantage of the existence of Western countries at one point in time. As a result, they benefited from the knowledge and achievements of the western civilization and turned themselves into a country that created knowledge and industry and benefited from experimental products. (10) In this way, Japan became a modern and civilized society and established itself as an industrial country in the contemporary world.
Looking at Western countries; Most of the European countries that today are called paradise on earth and every year thousands of young people lose their lives to reach it while cutting off their families. In their historical background, they have gone through many wars, darkness and ups and downs. From the wars of Napoleon Bonaparte to the 30-year religious wars, from the competition for wealth resources in poor countries to the two nuclear wars, it made all the people and governments of Europe to follow the nation-building process. In this regard, by respecting each other’s values, preserving economic resources and respecting the common interests of governments that were enemies in the past, they took the path of friendship and cooperation. Common currency, common identity card, common policies and regional cooperation against foreign factors have achieved additional success which is the source of their strength today there are also other nations and governments that achieved success in the nation-building process of their country after achieving independence and freedom with unity and responsibility. But unfortunately in our country, despite continuous victories as a result of huge loss of life and money against the three great emperors of the world; none of these models were considered. In the small contexts of the people, from the village level to the big cities, we have always had many unsolvable problems that cannot be explained in these few lines. Why do we not succeed in building after victory and accepting great sacrifices? We will discuss it below.
WHY DO WE FAIL TO BUILD AFTER VICTORY?
The majority of writers and analysts who have paid attention to the great experiences of nation-building have prioritized dealing with the internal structure of nations after the end of the war and the collapse of the political, economic and cultural systems. Perhaps, as mentioned above, we have achieved great success against external factors. But in the internal problems that were left due to the influence of these foreigners among our nation, we could not succeed and were not able to find out a proper solution. A large number of analysts who have researched and studied the issue of nation-building in Afghanistan, or who have witnessed political struggles and developments in Afghanistan for several decades, have mentioned various factors in the failure of the Afghan people to save the shipwreck of their nation. Here we discuss its central axes:
– First, the feeling of superiority; this factor has a lot of negative impact to face the process of nation building in a country. It is true that we were united against the aliens and we punched the aliens in the mouth. But we did not use tolerance, self-sacrifice, and foresight towards each other. Finally, we could not present a correct plan for the unity and integrity of the nation. This is the most important factor in the nation-building process after any revolution, perhaps at the world level; for clarification, this experience can be examined in European countries and the tangible results it had in its growth and prosperity can be observed.
– Second, lack of awareness; In this case, it should be said that just as war destroys buildings, roads, and the skeleton of cities; it also destroys people’s thoughts. One of the most prominent reasons why we could not implement the process of nation building in Afghanistan is that after the end of the war, we did not give importance to building thought and belief and rebuilding the spirituality of the society. We we focused on appearance rather than the realities and started building houses and roads. Lack of political awareness and cultural maturity is enough to destroy a city and everything that has been built. It is necessary to pay attention to the intellectual maturity of our people after the success and victory in every war, in addition to dealing with the urban situation, and to arm our nation with weapons of awareness, knowledge and knowledge in every way. This is how nations can raise the flag of population, freedom and pride in all areas of life and witness the growth and development of their land.
– The third axis of personal gain, and sacrificing national interests for personal gain; One of the most important factors in the process of nation-building is the balance of personal interest and national interests, or it can be called conflict over interests; The sense of utilitarianism combined with human creation has been placed in his institution. Perhaps there is no human being on earth who was not born with this instinct. But maintaining the balance of these instincts is very important in the future and destiny of nations. There are not few kings in history who destroyed big cities and enslaved their people for pleasure seeking, malice and selfishness. We mean the balance of this instinct in the right direction of the highest national interests, and the balance between these two is of particular importance. Two brothers who quarrel with each other over a common interest actually reminds us of the story of Abel and Cain. Whether these benefits are material or spiritual! In any case, it endangers the process of nation building. One of the special features in the fate of great nations that today hold the key to technology, industry and progress in their hands is that they ignore their individual interests in front of the national interest, without sacrificing the individual. Opposit of everything is inherently a crisis and it is likely that this crisis will lead to the destruction of each of the parties. And this is the story of a nation that has been unable to create a balance between individual desires and national interests, interests and benefits between individuals and tribes, and the needs and desires of multiple regions of a land. Ethnic, religious and partisan wars continue in it and destroy nations.
Now, in a cursory look at Afghanistan, we find that none of the people and currents in this country have not only sacrificed their individual interests for national interests, but are willing to destroy a city to get their small interests. The story of the republican era and the institutionalization of corruption in government and non-government offices is the best testimony that can be mentioned in this case, and the story of the institutionalization of corruption in Afghanistan and its factors needs a separate discussion and is not included in this analysis.
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS
According to the above titles, it is believed that in order to achieve great national ideals and realize them in the practical life of nations, it is not only about defeating empires and creating cemeteries; Rather, it requires wise consideration, careful planning and understanding of the surrounding situation to enter the great global competitions along with the global caravan on the path of prosperity. As mentioned above, our people were able to sincerely and courageously achieve the freedom of the country from foreign occupation in front of the external enemies and colonialists of history. But what is a source of concern and disappointment is that despite the many sacrifices and huge losses of human and financial resources, we did not succeed in building a single nation. Afghanistan has entered a new stage after a 20-year struggle and jihad against America and its allies. At least during the last five decades, it has seen many bitter experiences in governance. It has experienced political leaders and elders who were praised by the nation and did not fulfill their basic demands. The nation of Afghanistan has never been at peace in a world where people live in comfort. They have been deprived of their most basic rights. Their annual income has not been comparable to the contemporary world; Most of them have lived below the poverty line; a large number of people have been deprived of the right to education, and the number is still increasing. They have not felt the security of life and property; we hardly know a family where some of its members are not in migration. Today, we have entered a new stage from the heart of experiences; the nation has once again accepted the recent developments. Once again, they hope for a government that the victims will not be lost and their wishes and hopes for a society that enjoys freedom, security and prosperity will be fulfilled. On this note, many thinkers and experts believe that the current situation is a very valuable opportunity, which at least in the last five decades, such an opportunity has not been prepared for the current government to put some things in the priority of its work in line with nation building and prosperity of the country. Therefore, the following suggestions are presented at the end of this analysis:
• The government of the Islamic Emirate should take action to develop and approve a comprehensive law that, while preserving Islamic values and national interests, meets the needs of the new era and brings progress and prosperity to the country.
• The jihad and struggle of the Muslim nation and Mujahid of Afghanistan and the values of the jihad of the Afghan people have been safeguarded in order to achieve the holy ideals of the country’s martyrs.
• The government of the Islamic Emirate should make an effort to create a general council consisting of different sections of the society and experts, which will continuously play a role in making national decisions by the government and be a full-view mirror of the will of the people within the government.
• Politics and policies should be established in order to eliminate ethnic, sectarian and religious strife and sense of superiority and inferiority from this land in the light of Islamic teachings.
• Employment and specialized opportunities to provide services for citizens regardless of class, language and positional differences will be created to prevent the migration of manpower and save the country from the crisis of poverty and unemployment.
• Facilitating public access to education and other citizenship needs until the level of awareness in society increases.
• The government should launch programs to create peace and mutual acceptance, far from any kind of self-conceit and beyond slogans among different sections of the society.
• Research centers, universities and science academies should provide practical research in order to transfer the experiences of advanced and industrialized countries in order to be effective in promoting an advanced and progressive Afghanistan in sync with the countries of the region and the world.
• Steps should be taken to realize the rights of all Afghan citizens in the light of Islamic laws and national values.
• Neighboring countries and the region should make serious efforts for the stability and empowerment of Afghanistan by recognizing the government of the Islamic Emirate.
• The international community has tried to remove the sanctions imposed on Afghanistan in order to free the frozen assets of Afghanistan.
• The lack of settlement in Afghanistan has a direct impact on regional unrest and besides the increase of legal and illegal immigration and the growth of drug trafficking, it widens the scope of unrest and becomes a competitive battlefield of global powers.
• The world community and international organizations, based on their responsibility towards public order and human needs, bearing in mind the bitter experiences of the past and the humanitarian crisis, pay serious attention to the current situation in Afghanistan and play their role in providing cooperation and meeting human needs. In line with the positive and useful interaction based on common interests and mutual respect with the countries of the region and the world, an active and flexible foreign policy should be adopted.
(1) Afghanistan Information Network: see the history of Afghan civilization in Western museums, http://afghanpaper.com/nbody.php?id=94020
(2 ) Azimi, Major General Muhammad Nabi, (1377) Urdu and Politics, Vol. 2, Miwand Publishing Center, pp. 368 and 370, Peshawar.
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(4)Pishgahifard, Zahra and Rahimi, Sardar Mohammad (2008), Afghanistan’s position in the geostrategy of the modern global system, vol.8, no.11, Journal of Applied Research in Geographical Sciences, pp. 107-116, Tehran.
(5) CSRS: World Youth Day and endless problems of Afghan youth
(6) Ghbar, Mir Gholam Mohammad, (1368), Afghanistan on the path of history, Vol. 4, Republic Cooperation Revolution Publishing Center, pp. 429 onwards….
(7) Ghbar, Mir Gholam Mohammad, (1368), Afghanistan on the path of history, Vol. 4, Republic Cooperation Revolution Publishing Center, pp. 429 onwards….
(8) Cigar: Quarterly report to the United States Congress, October 30, 2021.
(9) Eastern network: the story of an empire,
https://www.sharghdaily.com/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-3/737719-%D8 %AF%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%DB%8C%DA%A9-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%BE%D8%B1%D8 %A7%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%B1%DB%8C
(10) Hakimi, Mahmoud, (1367), A look at the contemporary history of the world or the crisis of our time, Amir Kabir Publishing House, from p. 9 onwards, Tehran.