Afghanistan is a long way off. Your affairs should not concern us. These are some impressions that many in the West may be having now.
Rather, we should be very concerned about the disaster caused in Afghanistan by Joe Biden’s appalling decision to ignore intelligence alerts warning of this possible end. Western countries could be affected by what happened in Afghanistan on at least five fronts:
During the previous Taliban mandate, Afghanistan became a sanctuary for Islamist terrorism and specifically for Al Qaeda, the organizer of the attacks of September 11, 2001 in which thousands of people were killed in the United States. The return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan has been celebrated by terrorist groups such as Hamas and Al Qaeda, and also by the Iranian regime, one of the main international promoters of jihadist terrorism. The Afghan situation may provide new opportunities for Islamist terrorism to organize, receive financial and logistical support, and train its members, and these terrorists will not take long to act in the West as they did two decades ago and as ISIS did on earlier dates. recent times taking advantage of the western withdrawal from Iraq.
2. Drug trafficking
Afghanistan is the world’s leading producer of opium – it produces 84% of the world’s total – and right now its cultivation had already increased considerably. These crops had already been a great source of income for the Taliban in the areas of the country under their control. Heroin is produced with opium, and this drug has Europe as its main destination, as the UN warned in May.
The return of the Taliban to power has encouraged many Afghans to flee their country. Everything indicates that a huge wave of refugees is coming. The countries that will be most affected will be the neighbors, especially Iran and Pakistan, but this migratory wave will not take long to reach the doors of Europe as it has already happened before. Some are proposing to reduce the entry requirements for these refugees and even open our borders to them, but at a time of the rise of jihadist terrorism and drug trafficking, it would be a bad idea to open the doors to anyone who wants to enter, since those who arrive can sneak in terrorists and other criminals, as also happened before.
A possible rise in terrorism and drug trafficking could have the mediate effect of increasing insecurity on our streets. In addition, the rise of terrorism may affect maritime routes, especially those that pass through the Persian Gulf, the Suez Canal and the vicinity of the Horn of Africa, which is a considerable part of world transport. Let us also remember the effects that the terrorist wave of the 1970s and the 9/11 attacks already had on air transport. One of the challenges that the West is going to have is to combat this growing insecurity without having the possibility of intervening in one of its main focuses.
China is an emerging power that is already challenging the United States for its position as the world’s leading power. The pandemic we are experiencing, which arose precisely from the Asian country, has greatly benefited the Chinese economy. a href=”https://www.elindependiente.com/opinion/2021/08/14/afganistan-el-matagigantes-que-se-inclina-ante-china/” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>That communist dictatorship maintains friendly relations with the Taliban, who have even ignored the Chinese genocide against the Uighur people so as not to upset their communist allies. China’s interest in its western neighbor is clear: Afghanistan has significant deposits of lithium, copper, iron, gold, niobium and cobalt, as well as reserves of uranium, oil and natural gas. Until now, the instability of the country and the fact that it is partially controlled by the Taliban have prevented the Afghan government from fully exploiting this enormous wealth. China could get a big cut from its exploitation, which would help to strengthen its status as a power. If to this we add that currently many countries in Africa, Asia and America and even some in Europe have significant debts with China -which was dedicated to buying foreign debt in a massive way taking advantage of the previous economic crisis-, the Asian giant may end up controlling a good part of the world from the economic, political and diplomatic point of view. That a communist dictatorship acquires that important role can lead us to a new Cold War.
Photo: AP / Zabi Karimi. Taliban in the presidential palace in Kabul after taking control of the city on August 15, 2021.
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