Article In Taliban Magazine: U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan Was Defeat At Hands Of Taliban

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July 28, 2022

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On July 27, 2022, the Taliban published Issue 198 of their official Arabic-language monthly magazine, Al-Somood.[1] The issue featured an article, titled "Was America Indeed Defeated By The Taliban," which discussed the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan almost a month before its one-year anniversary.

"A Withdrawal Of The Defeated"

The author, Ihsan Faqih, primarily argued that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan should be considered a defeat. "The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was a withdrawal of the defeated because the U.S. did not achieve its goals through its military presence, it suffered severe losses, it drained the American treasury, and it suffered other casualties that influenced American public opinion," he asserted, continuing, "So the withdrawal was the result of mounting losses over 12 years."

Defeat In Afghanistan Like Defeat In Vietnam, Somalia

Faqih further compared the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan to alleged U.S. defeats in Vietnam and Somalia, while criticizing analysts who "refuse to describe the withdrawal from Afghanistan as a defeat." "Those who do not accept the idea of the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan are also unwilling to acknowledge misfires by U.S. forces and its withdrawal in shame from the jungles of Vietnam," he quipped, citing casualty figures from the war in Vietnam before doing the same for the 1993 U.S. intervention in Somalia.

He rebuffed how quickly analyses produced after the U.S. announcement of withdrawal from Afghanistan turned into a conversation about "arrangements between the U.S. and Taliban based on the U.S. desire to install an entity that threatens Russian and Chinese interests." He implied that such analyses were intended to justify the withdrawal without acknowledging an American defeat at the hands of the Taliban.

However, Faqih argued: "When the world recalls that the United States led the armies of the West to conquer the Taliban, but instead remained engaged in a full-blown conflict that lasted 12 years without achieving a decisive victory and that costed  at minimum 992 billion dollars, and killed or wounded more than 23,000 soldiers, not to mention the losses of its allies, only to simply abandon the land for the Taliban to aggravate Russia and China, despite instructions by the strict movement [the Taliban] not to permit foreign presence and to insist on the implementation of the Sharia [Islamic Law] – after all that, will the world be convinced that the U.S. withdrawal was not a defeat?"

Islamic Ummah Wrongly Divided Over U.S. Defeat

Faqih concluded by lambasting some unnamed Muslims nations that purportedly continue to refuse to acknowledge the alleged U.S. defeat in Afghanistan. "The whole world is talking about the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan," he noted, "except for a group from our Ummah that has become accustomed to submitting to the American model and another group that is possessed by fear over control by Islamists." Despite their reservations, however, Faqih quoted a Danish newspaper in closing to reinforce the reality of the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan: "Afghanistan is the biggest defeat for the United States since the War in Vietnam and it is a humiliating end."

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[1] Twitter, sumoodmag, July 27, 2022.

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