Part 2 of 2: Does the Afghan civil war continue after the American surrender? Or is there a pause button?
South Vietnam also put down in History as corrupt and ineffective regime. Which give fuel to Vietcong continue insurgence thus give room for North Vietnam infiltration. However looking to historical comparison and the effectiveness of US back administration in Afghanistan, I do see even South Vietnam regime can work much more effectively as comparison.
6. Allow me to add my incoherent thoughts to support your post. IMO, the 20-year war in Afghanistan by the Americans was lost by Obama in 2014. In hindsight, the rotting collapse of the Afghan government in 2021 is actually inevitable -- what everyone in the West was wrong about was the speed of the collapse. This was in part also the reason Singapore wanted to quickly end its commitments to Afghanistan during the 2013-2014 transition period.
(a) Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said: "I think there's at least a very good probability of a broader civil war and that will then in turn lead to conditions that could, in fact, lead to a reconstitution of al-Qaida or a growth of ISIS or other ... terrorist groups." Emphasizing that he could not predict what would happen next in Afghanistan, he nonetheless gave a bleak assessment. "The conditions are very likely," Milley said, "that you could see a resurgence of terrorism coming out of that general region within 12, 24, 36 months." More than any other factor, factionalism within the Taliban movement (and the lack of pay for its fighters), is huge destabilising time bomb.
(b) Even before the Obama surge (where Singapore was under pressure to contribute troops and resources), LKY clearly stated that the American post war-strategy in Afghanistan (after disposing of the Taliban) put the cart before the horse or doomed to failure. LKY understood that it really does not matter who decided what and when was what done in this NAO led war. NATO decided that for human rights concerns, it cannot bleed the sanctuary of rural Afghanistan into submission. "It wasn't lost in the last 20 days or even 20 months," Gen. Milley said. "There's a cumulative effect to a series of strategic decisions that go way back." The insurgency by the Taliban had only one strategy, to outbleed the occupier by getting as many of their own civilians killed as possible.
(c) This is why Singapore took its dignified exit in June 2013, when the last Singaporean solider departed Multinational Base Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan
in a RSAF C-130H -- with our Defence Minister saying in July 2013: ""Operations Blue Ridge (OBR) is the most complex and challenging mission the SAF has ever undertaken. As Defence Minister, I was conscious that we were putting our soldiers deployed there in harm's way for OBR. But the decision for the SAF to be part of international efforts against terrorism in Afghanistan, though difficult, was a right one."
After all it take few years for North Vietnam to conquer the South after US pull out most of it's ground troops, while it only take few weeks for Taliban to take control. Off course it's not Apple to apple comparison all the way (despite media try to picture that). However I just try to give comparison how bad the previous Afghanistan administration running the country even to failed South Vietnamese regime.
7. Using Uruzgan as an example, research suggests that insecurity is largely the result of the failure of governance, which has exacerbated traditional tribal rivalries.
(a) A group of tribally affiliated strongmen was seen to have taken advantage of their networks to secure government positions, and then to have used those positions to further consolidate political and economic power and weaken or drive away their rivals. At times even involving ISAF by labeling their rivals as either Taliban (or involved in the narcotics trade).
(b) In the context of the Dutch handover of Uruzgan and the 2014 transition, the research also raises the question of whether relying on Mohammad Khan (prior to him being killed in July 2011 in an attack on his residence in Kabul), was wise. Jan Mohammad’s main associate was his nephew Matiullah Khan, who took over the patronage network and engaged in war against his rivals that he eventually lost.
(c) These warlords capitalised on their strong personal relationship with the former President Karzai, and status as trusted partner of the U.S. in the “war on terror.” Jan Mohammad’s main instruments of mis-rule before he was killed, were personal militias, as well as government security institutions.
8. Given the characterization of American aid projects as having been monopolized by people who were seen as cruel and unjust, there was no likelihood that these aid projects could contribute to security in Uruzgan (see: https://fic.tufts.edu/wp-content/uploads/Uruzgan-Report.pdf
). Correctly understood, the roots of American failure was laid by Bush, when former President Karzai was installed into a position of power. So plenty of blame to go around -- including with troop contributors like Singapore (whose troops served in the province that was one of the first to fall to the Taliban).
We have seen many brutal regime but manage to provide relative stable government can survive all over the world. Like it or not, for most part of the world especially in impoverished nations, stability is sought out luxury then brutality of a regime...
Don't get me wrong, I have no illusion that Taliban will be a brutal regime. But at least more than a third of Government in this world are more or less a brutal regime (especially if we follow Western standard). So, the key is how far they can provide that stability.
9. In Uruzgan, the Dutch employed experienced political and cultural advisers who conducted detailed analyses of local conflict dynamics and sought to shape and support positive forces with the use of aid and understand that Matiullah Khan was a cancer. The Amercians who took over after the Dutch (and the Australians who were still stuck in the province, at that time) were a lot less competent and the dynamics of being actively misled by Matiullah Khan, played out over time.
10. IMO, right now even Pakistan is having remorse for supporting the Taliban and it proves that President Biden got it right (when he was the only one who objected to the Obama surge). China and Iran wanted to give the US a bloody nose but what they did not expect was President Biden's decision that he would be willing to pay the political price of pulling out all American troops and allowing the state to collapse. Pakistan's ISI is doomed to failure in Afghanistan. This is similar to Obama's execution of the American withdrawal from Iraq, where after the full troop withdrawal, they were invited back in by the Iraqi Government (that was Shia dominated) to fight a Sunni insurgency. Likewise the client militias of IRGC, who had the biggest say in Iraq, after the Obama withdrawal, could not fight and win against ISIS.