How – and why – the Taliban won the high -tech war in Afghanistan

For the coalition, things will be different. Western forces have access to many world-class technologies, from space surveillance to remote-controlled systems such as robots and drones. But for them, the war in Afghanistan is not a war to survive; it was a war of choice. And because of this, most of the technology has been made intended to reduce the risk of deaths rather than achieving direct victory. Western forces are heavily investing in weapons that can remove soldiers from harmful means – wind power, drones – or technology that could facilitate immediate medical treatment. Items that keep the enemy at gunpoint or protect soldiers from harm, such as gunshots, body armor, and roadside bomb detection, are targeted for the West. .

The main priority of the Western military is everywhere: in the struggle between more and more powers. In technology, that means investing in hypersonic missiles to match those of China or Russia, for example, or artificial military intelligence to try to identify them.

Technology is not a cause of conflict, nor a guarantor of victory. However, this is a doable.

The Afghan government, bordered between the two worlds, ended up having more in common with the Taliban than the coalition. It is not a war of choice but a major threat. Yet the government will not progress in the same way as the Taliban did; its advancement was marked by the fact that the foreign military equipped the main force advanced by technology. While the Afghan army and police certainly provide combat bodies (of which many lives were lost in the process), they are not in a position to create or even operate advanced systems. Western countries are hesitant to equip Afghans with weapons, fearing that they will not continue or may end up in the hands of the Taliban.

Take the wind power of Afghanistan. It is equipped with, and trained on, fewer than two dozen propeller aircraft. It makes a modicum close air support, but it is far from the edge. And working in the U.S. means Afghanistan is not free to look elsewhere for technology transfer; it is, as a result, stalled in a fearful phase of development.

What does this tell us? It is said that technology is not a cause of conflict, nor a guarantor of victory. However, this is a doable. And even weapon coats can take the day into the hands of enthusiastic, patient people who are willing-and able-to make any necessary progress.

It also tells us that the battlefields of tomorrow will be the same as in Afghanistan: We will see fewer technological conflicts won by the military with the most firepower, and more old and new technologies being discarded. . That’s how we look at conflicts like the one between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the pattern we can see even more over time. Technology may not win wars, but innovation can-especially if one side is fighting an existing war.

Christopher Ankersen an associate professor of clinical in global activity at New York University. He served at the United Nations throughout Europe and Asia from 2005 to 2017 and was with the Canadian Armed Forces from 1988 to 2000. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including The Politics of Civil -Military Cooperation and The Comes to Global Affairs, he holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Mike Martin a Pushtu -speaking former British military officer who served on numerous tours of Afghanistan as a political official, advising British generals about their approach to the war. He is now a guest studying war with King’s College London and the author of A Close War, who has been writing about the war in southern Afghanistan since 1978. He holds a PhD from King’s College London.

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