In the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan, much can be learned from Star Wars about the practice of Counterinsurgency (COIN). In the fictional universe, the period between the final moments of Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) and Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) would be when COIN tactics would be most clearly utilized. With Afghanistan, the United States effectively lost, the Taliban taking control of Kabul and pushing out the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the pro-democracy, U.S.-allied government. This is quite similar to how the Empire itself lost to the Rebel Alliance; a large, technologically advanced force being overwhelmed by a smaller, primitive force. However, beyond this similarity of being an insurgency, the Taliban and the Alliance share little else.
Even though President Biden’s arguments for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan are legitimate, one could not have expected to have an organized national response from a country in which the process of nation-building is incomplete. The United States cannot ignore terrorist thugs undoing 20 years of progress in the field of women’s rights and civil society. The international community cannot ignore that, as Kabul falls into the hands of the Taliban, Afghanistan may become a hotspot for terror organizations.
By pulling out of Afghanistan, Joe Biden has put an end to 20 years of U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan and thus to Washington’s “forever war” in the mountainous, landlocked country. This strategic decision leaves the democratically elected government in Kabul struggling to hold on to power. The withdrawal of US and NATO troops is therefore likely to fuel an assortment of security and geostrategic consequences contrary to Euro-Atlantic interests.