chellaney142_MARCUS YAM  LOS ANGELES TIMES_USafghanistan Marcus Yam/LA Times

Pax Americana Died in Kabul

The unraveling of the effort to build a democratic, secular Afghanistan will pose a far greater threat to the free world than Syria’s meltdown. The Taliban’s absolute power and links to global jihadism will sooner or later threaten US security interests at home and abroad.

NEW DELHI — The terrorist takeover of Afghanistan, following President Joe Biden’s precipitous and bungling military exit, has brought an ignoble end to America’s longest war. This is a watershed moment that will be remembered for formalizing the end of the long-fraying Pax Americana and bringing down the curtain on the West’s long ascendancy.

At a time when its global preeminence was already being severely challenged by China, the United States may never recover from the blow this strategic and humanitarian disaster delivers to its international credibility and standing. The message it delivers to US allies is that they count on America’s support when they most need it at their own peril.

After all, the Afghanistan catastrophe unfolded after the US threw its ally – the Afghan government – under the bus and got into bed with the world’s deadliest terrorists, the Taliban. President Donald Trump first struck a Faustian bargain with them, and then the Biden administration rushed to execute the military exit dictated by the deal, even though the Taliban had been openly violating the agreement.

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