Ethiopia: Afghanistan As a Stark Reminder of Foreign Policy Failure

A school-turned-IDP site in Shire in Ethiopia's Tigray Region hosts thousands of internally displaced persons.
opinion

The chaotic situation in Afghanistan and the uncertainty hanging over the war-torn country are just only the tip of the icebergs of U.S.'s failed foreign policy towards many nations.

Following the withdrawals of the US Army from Afghanistan hundreds of people poured onto the tarmac at Kabul's international airport, desperately seeking a route out of Afghanistan this week on Monday, after the Taliban's seizure of power sparked a chaotic Western withdrawal and brought to a crashing end the United States' two-decade mission in the country.

Afghanistan's chaotic turn drew a sharp condemnation against Biden by both democrats and republicans at home. The situation in the country leaves a deep scar in Biden's foreign policy track record and is pushing Afghanistan into unchartered territory as a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the war-torn country.

Alluding to the situation in Afghanistan, many experts are warning against the U.S. interference in the Horn of Africa particularly Ethiopia.

The U.S. announced that it has withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan after 20 years of presence in the country without bringing any positive impact. This shameful foreign policy failure is a lesson for the U.S. that is following the same foreign policy towards the countries of the Horn of Africa including Ethiopia. Washington has been putting unwarranted pressure against Ethiopia.

Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at University of Gondar, Andargachew Tesfahun told The Ethiopian Herald that the intervention of the western in the horn and beyond is mainly aimed at degrading the countries by using their leverage and influence.

The recent turn of events in Afghanistan is a testimony that the US has failed in Afghanistan. At the same time, the US is trying to repeat what happens in Afghanistan in the Horn of Africa. As the Horn region is a strategic area and powerful countries have a huge interest in the region and want to control the area by installing puppet governments that will execute their interest. This is what we are witnessing in Ethiopia now and if the country didn't accept their orders, they exert maximum pressure by all means so as to weaken that state, he added.

"Western intervention resulted in many failed states in countries like Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and others. On the contrary, other countries like Venezuela, North Korea, Iran and Cuba that resisted western interferences through the unity of their people."

On the other hand, currently, there is global power competition and there is a shift of power globally. The U.S. is highly worried about the influences of rising powers and the number one priority of Washington is to control the Horn region by any means, he said adding that the U.S.'s failure in Afghanistan set a solid lesson to the country and the world that improper foreign policy is not acceptable by any means and will be counterproductive.

"I think the world is well aware of U.S.s foreign policy and the recent failure in Afghanistan clearly exposed the true color of its policy. America and Europe need to revise their foreign policy. They need to reshape their old-fashion policy of interference and prepare for a win-win approach."

Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Bahir Dar University Yayew Genet shares a similar view. He said that the U.S. foreign policy towards Ethiopia needs to be revised as its current policy encourages an intervention mechanism and also prioritized its interest only than considering the interest of the other countries.

If we see the case of Afghanistan as an example, U.S.'s involvement in the country in the past two decades has brought nothing without causing more destruction and continuous war in the country. The US engagement in the area has highly damaged the economy of Afghanistan in particular and the U.S..

The recent chaotic situation in Afghanistan and botched withdrawal boldly highlighted the failure of the US foreign policy globally. The intervention of the western and other Europeans resulted in military crises and others. This should be taken as a good lesson and the West needs to design balanced foreign policy to avoid a similar tragedy in other countries, he added.

The Horn of Africa is one strategic area in the continent and globally and there is a huge interest of superpowers in the region. On the other hand, the area is facing challenges from terrorist groups and they were challenging the peace and security of the region. The US is intervening in the internal affairs of many countries across the world and challenges the internal affairs of sovereign countries which are unacceptable.

The continuous pressure from some western countries which is being exerted in Ethiopia is also as a testament to the improper foreign policy of the westerners that they have towards the country. They need to reshape their interventionist foreign policy in a proper way in which it secures the benefit of all countries. They need to revise their foreign policy and follow cooperative foreign policy.

"Interventionists need to learn from Afghanistan's intervention as the Horn Region is beyond the Afghan and if the policy is continued in this way the output will be the same."

On the other hand, the competition between the western world and the Middle East sends a warning signal to Washington and if the US does not revise its foreign policy, it may lose its power in the global political order. The diplomatic failure of the US will open space for Asian and Middle East powers and beyond, he said.

In a message posted in his social media account lately, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) said that if there is the only way to confront and resist the western intervention is standing together. A number of nations in the world had experienced similar conspiracies that created the threats of disintegration at one time or another in countries like Yugoslavia, Syria, Somalia and Libya had fallen with these conspiracies.

However, "Germany, Japan, Korea and Vietnam are some of the pioneering nations that successfully thwarted the crises they had gone through by confronting them with strong unity and currently, these nations are among the key models for their economic might, modern political system, technological capabilities and civilized social values.

The premier said these countries had been tested by the dreadful and most challenging predicaments, however, surpassed them and become prosperous now by using the challenges as a springboard. The western world uses international media outlets and other international organizations to pressurize nations that they are interested in by conducting enormous campaign, he added.

THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD AUGUST 18/ 2021

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