Catastrophic mistake in Afghanistan was thinking that all will be perfect once Babrak Karmal is removed from power, after Soviet troops left. But it just opened door to widespread anarchy.
However, Afghanistan worked for centuries on the base of patronage system. Soviet intervention brought lots of outside funds into system. USA outdid them – and made Afghanistan patronage system dependent on foreign money.
Once USA funds drained, new sponsors: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, jumped in. But their funds were less abundant so they had to settle on less perfect solution, as long as it was staunchly Islamic. And Taliban were conceived.
True fix is dismantling of patronage system, but to achieve it is necessary both strong economy and higher educational level of general population. Good luck!
Your very wise blog entry expresses as you note a fundamental truth about diplomacy and international relations.
I was waiting, however, for you to cite Machiavelli’s very apposite formulation of your main point in The Prince, Chap. 21.
Interesting and wise. Would you say that the Soviet Union was blowback from Germany’s sending Lenin to the Finland Station? How about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as blowback from the Balfour Declaration?