Counter productivity of foreign invasions


Wajeeha Bilal

Military solutions and foreign interventions have never fixed political and societal

problems. In occupied countries many peopleprefer their own rulersover foreigners

as a means to preserving their freedom, culture and identity. Sirin Ebadi, a Nobel

prize winning human rights activist, argues against western intervention. She implies

that despite a regime’s poor human rights record, gender discrimination and lack of

democracy, any involvement by foreign powers would be undesirable and unhelpful.

It would simply make matters worse. Instead, she insists that change must come

from within, and points to the relatively strong women’s movement in Iran compared

with other Islamic states.

The recent results of foreign invasions are a proof of their failure in building

trustworthy institutions through outside interventions. Both in Iraq and Afghanistan,

the main aim was on engaging and training people and not on constructing strong,

loyal organizations. As the people were trained by international forces to fight their

own, corruption and exploitation prevaileddue to the lack of trust, purpose and

identity. Lack of moral and crisis of identity was strong enough to convince everyone

to give up once the decision of withdrawal had been made.

One thing that has been common in all the recent global invasions and their military

trainings is a deep-rooted sense of instability, as a consequence of their downfall.

America had faced great disgrace in Vietnam many years ago followed by other

military blunders that it had staged since then, and as a result Afghanistan, Iraq,

Libya, among others have suffered the consequences.The countries, their people and

the neighboring states have been made to suffer for superpower’s follies. Always

presuming that it will be better than before, foreign powers have not been able to

derive a lesson from their mistakes. The scale of tragedy has worsened every time.

Now after spending two decades and more than trillion dollars, the US abandoned

Afghanistan just to be handed over to the very people it had resisted in the first place.

In a matter of days the Taliban retook a country, loaded with American weapons,

corrupted with traitors, and filled with unsafe individuals. A professional soldier’s

potential is not just physical ability, but mental conditioning and discipline and most

importantly his sense of loyalty. In the Ottoman Empire, the most elite and admired

unit, theJanissaries were the private army of the Sultan. Well trained, lavishly

dressed and of iron discipline. They were mostly converts who were often members

of the Bektaşi order. A Janissary’spower was not just in his physical strength but

also in keeping ranks, following orders, and standing against all odds. It was about

fencing skills, following discipline, and staying faithful to the empire. A strong

faithful unit was set as a basis for the loyalty of the Janissaries who led the Turks to

many victories including that of Constantinople’s. The Turks made a loyal,

disciplined and highly trained unit that set an example across the world. A preference

was laid over loyalty before their training to compose a strong unit of army for the


The Afghans who had been fighting one another, their neighbors and the Soviets for

centuries are born in a fighting zone. But the US had always declared that its mission

in Afghanistan was to train the Afghans to fight for their country. It seems apparent

now that it was not about training the people but more about making the superpower

image look good through media. The US intended on showing an ideal liberal

platform and funded the free media projects that appeal to the audience who hold

their campaigns. These ideas are a means of manipulating one’s way to sustaining

the superpower image and having leverage over any country through its aid. The

resulting trained army and government lacked trust, loyalty and stronger will for

their nationalism.

Nowadays every country and their media stand in a fight against terrorism and its

effects. The focus of every news and their analysis is on finding a solution to

extremism and on building a more peaceful world. Studies have shown that the use

of military force by foreign powers to subjugate or reform societies serves only to

promote a larger number of suicide terrorists than would otherwise be the case.The

birth of terror organisations like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda are byproducts of

foreign invasion policies.Robert A. Pape, a professor of political science at the

University of Chicago specializing in international security affairs, had compiled

evidence to suggest that suicide terrorismis in fact a secular tactic rather than a

religious one, and forms part of a broader campaign to remove an occupying force

from the area perceived by the perpetrators to be their homeland. Pape’s research

found that every terrorist campaign and more than 95 percent of all suicide

bombings had the objective of national liberation at their heart. He argues that

suicide terrorism is not the result of an existing supply of fanatics but is a demand-

driven phenomenon. And thanks to the failed interventions by more powerful

countries who focus on their leverage rather than strengthening the local

governments, it is a rising concern.

The global power politics has left Afghanistan and its people at a major humanitarian

crisis. While the rest of the world needs to find a way to interact with them on

fighting terrorism and acknowledging human rights,the best that can be wished for

the sake of humanity is that the new Taliban government is more rational, with a

realization for global recognition and aid. Matters cannot be made worse by blocking

or discontinuing foreign aids just because there is no leverage through foreign

intervention. Whether the Taliban swept an easy takeover due to the lack of morale

or loyalty, any American or western sanctions will only prove counterproductive for

the humanity and world peace. Supporting local governments for the sake of their

people to avoid uprisings and regional chaos is one hope for humanity and global