A sea of tents sprawls over the US American airbase Ramstein (Germany, state of Rhineland-Palatinate) to host at least 20,000 Afghans; more likely 34,000 already. About a thousand arrivals land every day and the troops have moved a 5,000 of them to their nearby military base ‘Rhine Ordnance Barracks.’ The US works feverishly to expand its capacity there to host even 6,000 of them. And while many conservatives have dropped the ball in their obsession to exploit any failure of the Biden administration, the uneasy question who can be rescued, correctly identified and who can not remains unanswered. Commentator after commentator shows compassion with that 50% of women that will have to live under the Taliban despite the Pew Research finding that 99% of those very women want to live under shariah law. Everybody feels heartless asking how the other 1% can be identified so we don’t import the very Taliban we once set out to fight. And now with the sprawling camp smack in the middle of Europe nobody knows how to get some of the “rescued” back home again.
The Biden administration and its NATO allies have scrambled out of Afghanistan in the most chaotic and irresponsible way: Weapons fell into the hands of the enemy and, in an attempt to not embarrass the now exiled government, the level of security was misrepresented leaving thousands trapped. During the preparation of the withdrawal no time was spent to identify those who could have moved to other places, non-Western countries, and in the rare cases of highly skilled and highly freedom-oriented individuals, to Western countries. Now, thousands of unknown passengers are transported to Western nations and nobody can identify who is deserving and who merely seeks their financial luck.
Was the war a mistake? After the initial revenge for 9/11 it seems to have grown into one. NGOs and many a military officer saw an opportunity to elevate their status and income. They did not honestly report the (lack of) progress to the citizens at home while more and more money sank into the swamp. Afghanistan was not ready to run its own affairs and won’t be anytime soon. It is a place where small advances can be encouraged, but large civilisational jumps can’t be imposed. The same holds true for immigrant populations. It is not enlightened to expect more of people than they can achieve. The individual can be advanced if he is open to it. Masses of people or entire countries will have to take their time.