Afghanistan Falls – and a Fateful Gate of History Opens
Bob MacGuffie and Antony Stark
~authors of The Seventh Crisis
As the current chapter of America’s involvement in Afghanistan comes to an ignominious, reprehensible, and deadly conclusion, these events may not represent an end at all, but the opening of a historic gate leading to a transformed world. Could we actually be living through a historic inflection point, mirroring that of a hundred years ago when the conflicts of World War I brought forth the dissolution of the great empires?
Does the utter humiliation of the United States abandoning Afghanistan in defeat, set in motion a shift in geopolitical tectonic plates representing a transformation in global political, economic, and military hegemony?
When the dust settled on WWI, the Russian, Austria-Hungary, German and Ottoman empires existed no more. They had collapsed in defeat and revolution. Hundreds of years of history dissolved before the eyes of the world. Before the triggering event of Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in 1914, some contemporary observers indicated that war could be avoided, but no one of note at the time seemed to predict such a monumental and permanent shift in the geopolitical balance. Yet by the early 1920s, the world had changed forever, and there was clearly no going back.
In the arc of history, does the abandonment of Afghanistan represent the opening of a gate to an interregnum of multi-national, sustained, aggression, driven by America’s ambitious and opportunistic enemies, such that when the gate closes on the period the world will have been fundamentally changed? Is Afghanistan that consequential? What can we expect to see developing in the near and mid-term in this new period? And what could be the event to trigger the closing of the gate, sealing America’s fate… and can this nightmare be avoided?
The Afghani people are terribly poor, live under conditions that are considered primitive by any standard, and are saddled with a divided tribal warrior culture, a blindly reactionary form of religious fundamentalism, and a misogynist, seventh-century patriarchal mentality that all but enslaves women and girls. It is a society that is poorly educated, has little or no industry, can barely feed its population, and produces nothing worthy of export to the outside world except opium. And while it occupies a harsh and inhospitable territory that sits at the center of other rogue states such as Iran, unstable former Soviet backwaters such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, as well as nuclear-armed rivals China, India, and Pakistan, it has been the crossroads for international rivalries and conflicts for centuries.
Worst of all, it is now run by the Taliban, a brutal, violent, Islamist-Fascist terrorist organization with close ties to even more radically violent and irrational terrorist groups such as ISIS-K and al Qaeda.
History teaches that forecasting future events… let alone predicting them, is difficult if not impossible. The Past confirms to us that the Future rarely takes the form envisioned in the Present.
However, America is now caught in the grip of a faltering leadership caste that is weak, incompetent, feckless, and… in its essence… self-loathing. In fact, it despises the country it misleads so much that it publicly proclaims its desire to see it “fundamentally transformed” on all levels. It is clear that the Biden Regime has not only taken its hand off the rudder of the ship of state, but seems to have no desire at all to even find out where it is or, for that matter, what one is supposed to do with it.
It may even be that given our leadership’s antipathy to everything the United States traditionally stands for – Liberty, Capitalism, Meritocracy, Judeo-Christianity and Traditional Family Values – they hope that the current ship of state, which they see as corrupt, greedy, unfair, intolerant and, of course, irredeemably racist, does crash on the rocks of crisis in order to produce a larger, contrived crisis that will “justify” making their rule permanent.
Yes, it is that bad.
So how may this extreme dereliction of duty on the Regime’s part affect the future? Are the current events in Afghanistan simply another case of a failed state in a backward area of the world, or do they telegraph a fatal weakness in U.S. “leadership,” and portend something more fundamentally important and existentially different about the Future?
Afghanistan is once again the home of the “the Base” – al Qaeda. But the “Base” is not the source. That lies elsewhere: what is important here for the Future is that this Base sits in the nexus of a powerful circle of America’s enemies: China, Iran, Russia, and, to a lesser extent Pakistan, that each has a strategic interest in helping it hamstring the United States. Three of these states already possess nuclear arms; the other is on the verge of developing them and all four have deep ties to various international terrorist groups.
Behind the regional power of Iran sits the aggressively authoritarian Putin Regime in Russia whose revanchist goal is to return to the former days of the USSR’s superpower status… and behind them all is China.
The Chinese goal is to achieve military and economic superiority over the United States as the most powerful and influential state in the world by 2049, the 100th anniversary of its founding as a Communist country. What better way to achieve this than by opening the gate to a historic realignment through Afghanistan?
The gate that has been opened is one to a pre-9/11 world where the terror organizations have control of a state which will harbor legions of terrorists, and facilitate the planning and execution of mass-scale terror attacks in the West.
Once these groups return to a pre-9/11 posture in Afghani training camps they will easily secure funds from America’s enemies, happy to see it rent by terror attacks and the internal misery such attacks cause. More, it serves their strategic interests to turn America’s focus back to spending lives, treasure, time, and effort chasing shadowy terrorist cells rather than focusing on Russian moves against Ukraine or, Iranian moves against Israel, and even more dangerously, Chinese moves against Taiwan.
The assassination of the Austrian Archduke, a simple act of terrorism, opened the gate for the great power chess pieces to begin to realign themselves on the world stage. And just as Serbia, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Germany, France, and England cascaded into war in 1914, a similar situation could be shaping up today in the wake of the United States’ humiliating exit from Afghanistan.
The surrender of Afghanistan has opened at least two distinct paths along which events will develop. One which would presumably require direct retaliatory action by the United States, and one which would force a decision on discretionary military action. These monumental and determinative decisions are still over the horizon, but history informs us they will now be faced by American leadership in the near-to-mid term. Had our ruling political class acted with principle, resolve, and strength in foreign policy, these challenges could have been avoided. But the gate has been opened and the actions taken by the U.S. in the near term will determine its place in the world once events play out and the next gate of history is closed behind it.
After twenty years, now with a safe base for nefarious planning secured, could not the next major world conflagration occur due to a far more devastating terrorist act than anything attempted before? It is not possible to posit that a terrorist group with members determined to die in the act, could procure a nuclear device from one of our nuclear-armed enemies, plan its use in Afghanistan, and then unleash it on a target in the United States, elsewhere in the West, or in Israel?
And once such an act took place, would not the United States or Israel be compelled to retaliate? Their citizens would demand it.
Would America not attack terrorist bases in Afghanistan while Israel did the same in Iran?
Would Iran then have its own nuclear weapons and use them to attack Israel?
And simultaneously with that response, what would America do if China moved against Taiwan at the same time Russia moved against Ukraine or the Baltic States? These would still remain discretionary responses. Would existing treaties be honored by the United States?
Would nuclear-armed India come in as our ally against their hated enemies in Pakistan?
Would the United States fight a two-front, limited nuclear war with Iran, China, Russia, and possibly Pakistan as well, to prevent their geo-strategic goals… or, given the retreat in Afghanistan, simply accept the new status quo?
In such a situation, Afghanistan might prove to be less a Gate of History than the Gate of Hell itself.
No one knew or much cared about Serbia, let alone Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1914 when a terrorist act took the life of a comic opera aristocrat, yet it plunged the world into an orgy of death and destruction.
The same might be said for the Donbas region in Ukraine or the Kargil District on the India-Pakistan border or Taichung across the Taiwan Straits today… but that doesn’t mean what happens there won’t have earth-shattering consequences once the great powers of the world get involved. A diminished United States, in a starkly different world landscape, could emerge upon the closing of the next historic gate.
The United States has now entered a time of testing, all brought on by decades of mis-leadership from a corrupt, rudderless ruling political class, and the absolute worst of the bunch are currently entrenched in all the important positions of national power. These decadent people cannot be expected to rise to the test. Instead, all we can look forward to is a decline in American power, presided over by a geriatric leader in a severe state of personal decline himself. But the pieces will play out on the board regardless, as the Regime maintains its current and innate, tepid, and feckless posture.
Those who hate us… and there is no doubt that they do… will undoubtedly use this time, at the least, to prepare an attack against us. Should they feel sufficiently emboldened to launch that attack, and are confident that there is no Will to oppose it, there may very well be no “long term” for us or anyone else in the West.
It all depends on whether America still has the precious time to be able to rid itself electorally of this near treasonously incompetent regime soon enough to remind our enemies that we indeed have the power and the Will to defend ourselves.
Unless and until that is done, the specter of an international collapse into world war will hover over us.
Messrs. MacGuffie and Stark are authors of the new book “The Seventh Crisis – Why Millennials Must Re-Establish Ordered Liberty,” www.seventhcrisis.com which seeks to offer the Millennial and Gen-Z generations a way out of the dangerous crisis they currently face.