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US peace interventions a double edged sword

By Stephen Ndegwa
Thursday, September 17th, 2020
US President Donald Trump has vowed to pull troops around the world. Photo/COURTESY
In summary

The first peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban political movement and military organisation are ongoing in Qatar.

The main agenda of the unprecedented talks include setting terms for a permanent ceasefire, and the disarmament of tens of thousands of Taliban militias. The two parties are also discussing constitutional changes and power sharing. 

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 after the New York twin towers bombing by terrorists associated with Osama Bin Laden, who was then holed up in Afghanistan.

For almost two decades, America was involved in one of its most bloody, longest and expensive wars in modern history.

According to statistics from the US Department of Labor, as of July 27, 2018 there were 2,372 US military deaths in Afghanistan, in addition to 1,720 US civilian contractor fatalities. The war also cost the US at least one trillion dollars. 

For Afghanis, it is a scorched earth, with the country now a shell amid its vast unexploited riches.

In the main, piecemeal and ad hoc peace initiatives by the US have been the bane of global stability.

An example is the recent initiatives by Trump to broker peace in the Middle East. 

Israel’s neighbour, Palestine, has expressed strong opposition to these two rapproachment efforts.

The Palestinian government has condemned the peace deals, warning that it “considers this step extremely dangerous and constitutes the destruction of the Arab Peace Initiative, the decisions of the Arab and Islamic summits, and international legitimacy”. 

Those making amity outside the Arab Peace Initiative (API) are seen as betrayers of the Arab cause.

The API, also known as the Saudi Initiative, is a 2002 of the Arab League 10-point proposal towards normalisation of relations between Arab States and Israel. 

It demands for full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967 as demanded by UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and the Jewish nation’s acceptance of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Experts say UAE and Bahrain are lightweights in the Middle East crisis. Like several of his predecessors, Trump is seen as using the current peace deals to prop up his international image during an election year.

To drive his agenda further, the US president has already hinted of another Arab nation soon making peace with Israel.  

The US has been a major hindrance to lasting peace in the region, with the Islamic world accusing the super power of using Israel as a proxy to safeguard its geopolitical interests.

Of course, Israel perfectly understands this matrix, and uses it for protection, almost blackmail.    

Left to their own devices, Jews and Arabs might have come to a common understanding already.

According to research published in ScienceDaily in May 2000, Jews are the genetic brothers of Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. 

According to a paper titled, “US Middle East Policies and their Consequences.

Policy Perspectives” published in JSTOR, US Middle East policies have produced certain consequences for the region, the US itself and for the world.

This revolves around America’s support for Israel with military, financial and diplomatic assistance to aid the Jewish State’s supremacy over the politico-economic affairs of the region.

Most of the terror attacks targeted at the US, even from far-flung countries like Somalia, emanate from its selfish policies in the Middle East.

For the same reason, US allies around the world have also borne the brunt of terrorists, catastrophes that America finds not in its purview to compensate its friends for.  

Libya is the latest classic study.  — The writer is a communications expert and public policy analyst   —  [email protected]

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