“It is the worst debacle suffered by NATO since its foundation ”, it said this week Armin Laschet, Angela Merkel’s successor at the head of the German CDU and the man who aspires to lead the most powerful country in Europe. And the worst thing is that it has not ended because neither the United States nor its allies are managing to guarantee a safe broker to evacuate their fellow citizens and the thousands of Afghans who worked for them. “That is our absolute priority in our times, ”said the NATO Secretary General on Friday, Jens Stoltenberg, at the conclusion of the extraordinary meeting of ministers called to address the situation in Afghanistan.
The images arriving from Kabul airport remain agonizing, with hundreds of people crowding desperately at its entrances, including many women and children. “The problem is not the lack of airplanes, but of access to the airport,” acknowledged Stoltenberg. Since the Taliban took power, it has managed to get 18,000 people out of the country, according to a NATO spokesman, half of them in charge of the US. But there are many more left and few have just explained the inability of the coalition to launch an orderly evacuation.
“The vast majority of Afghans are not being able to leave the country through regular channels,” warned the United Nations refugee agency. “Those who face the greatest danger do not have a clear way out right now.” The Afghan exodus only looks to get worse. At the end of May there were almost 3.5 million internally displaced for the war. Some may be expected to return home, but others are in serious danger. A UN report warns that the Taliban are going house to house in search of NATO collaborators and former members of the defenestrated Afghan army.
For many of the latter there does not seem to be a plan. Stoltenlberg claimed that expects the Taliban to honor their commitments, respect the Fundamental rights and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a sanctuary for terrorism international. But he said nothing about what the coalition will do if they do not comply.
The interest of the NATO countries is focused on leaving Afghanistan as soon as possible and at the minimum political cost to their governments. A kind of take the money and run, but without money, where the national interest takes precedence over any other consideration. This was made clear during the Merkel meeting with Vladimir Putin. The German woman asked the Russian president to use his contacts to facilitate the departure of German citizens from Kabul.
If Afghanistan is left to its own devices, it is very likely that it will once again become a failed state. A scenario that fundamentally terrifies Europe, which at all costs wants to avoid a repeat of the 2015 wave of refugees, taken advantage of by the populist far right to hatch. The intention expressed these days by European leaders is to ensure that the Afghans stay in their country or land in neighboring nations like Iran, Pakistan Y Turkey, to whom it is intended to help.
Willingness for much more does not seem to exist. “Must anticipate and protect ourselves of the significant flows of irregular immigration “, said the French president this week, Emmanuel Macron, referring to Afghanistan.