Dienstag, 14.09.2021 / 13:46 Uhr

Stimmen vom Golf: Afghanistan ein Desaster

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Einiges hat sich in den letzten Jahren geändert am Golf. Vor zwanzig Jahren saßen die größten Unterstützer der Taliban noch in den Arabischen Emiraten und Saudi Arabien, heute ist es das mit ihnen über Kreuz liegende Katar, das sich in Afghanistan profiliert.

In den anderen Golfstaaten verfolgt man die Entwicklung dagegen mit wachsender Panik, schließlich setzt man seit langem nicht mehr auf die islamische oder gar jihadistische Karte sondern unterstützt vor allem In Nordafrika so ungefähr jeden Akteur, der die Muslimbrüder unterdrückt oder schwächt.

Entsprechend entsetzt sind die Reaktionen auf das Desaster von Kabul:

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is a shattering earthquake that will shape the Middle East for many years, a senior Gulf official has said, warning that – despite the group’s promises of moderation – the militant group is “essentially the same” as last time it was in power.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official also said that the rapid and chaotic US withdrawal also raises serious questions for Gulf states about the value of US promises of security over the next 20 years.

“Afghanistan is an earthquake, a shattering, shattering earthquake, and this is going to stay with us for a very, very long time,” the official said on Monday. He added that the episode marked a complete break with the outdated Carter doctrine – a commitment that an oil-dependent US would use military force to defend its interests in the Gulf.

“Can we really depend on an American security umbrella for the next 20 years? I think this is very problematic right now – really very problematic.”

He suggested that 20 years of warfare, supposed to be “a battle against those who had hijacked Islam”, had left no legacy in Afghanistan, and predicted that the Taliban’s seizure of power would prompt concern among leaders in West Africa and the Sahel about the rise of a newly confident Islamic extremism.

The official added he had no expectation that the Taliban would behave differently from when it was previously in power, saying, “They are essentially the same, but just more world-savvy.”

The biggest surprise, the official said, was the sheer incompetence of the US operation and the signs of bureaucratic infighting that marred US thinking.

Afghanistan, he said, will probably come to be seen as a Pakistan victory, and a Chinese opportunity – with the US playing a minimal role. “If there is a geopolitical struggle over Afghanistan, we will see Pakistan and China on one hand and India, Iran and Russia on the other hand,” the official said. “And I don’t think the Americans are going to be a part of the geopolitical struggle over Afghanistan.