Why Ukraine is not a second Afghanistan for the USA

The West should continue military assitance for Kyiv

Quite often today you can find posts and articles on social media and some traditional media, which compare the Afghanistan – Taliban  (2001 – 2021)war to the Ukraine-Russia war  (2014 – 2022, ongoing).

This comparesence is absolutely out of place and time. As the reasoning and main goals of those wars are completely different.

Claims of the ineffectiveness of American support to Ukraine as it was in Afghanistan due to corruption in the Ukrainian government, are false and show that the authors know little to nothing about the changes in Ukrainian Armed forces since 2014. Or those authors are trying to convince their readers that the United States of America taxpayer’s money is wasted for no reason by the USA government, and the final result will be the same as in Afghanistan.

In this article, we will look into financial and economical support that has been provided by the US Government to Afghanistan and Ukraine, and also its effectiveness in regards to their ability to stand for their independence and to fight against the enemy.

We need to understand the nature of this war. So the Afghanistan war from 2001 to 2021 is one of the stages of the civilian war that has lasted since 1978 and the USSR invasion in 1979.

First of all this conflict, during which the communist government, that gained power as a result of a revolution, was fighting the oppositional organizations. Since 2001 it became a war of Afghanistan government against ultraradical Islamist movement Taliban, the main goal of which was to erect the radical Shariat standards and norms, that would be strongly enforced. TV broadcasting, music, computers, and chess were banned. This is a typical example of a civilian war.

Russian Ukraine war has an existential nature. The Russian government claims that there is no such thing as a sovereign Ukrainian Country, as well as Ukrainians as a nation.  Putin claims that Ukraine, as we know it now, was created by Lenin and Stalin. At the same time, he ignores more than a thousand years of Ukrainian history, starting with Kyiv Rus` (882) up to independent Ukraine (1991). In 2014 Russia transitioned from vocal assaults to actual armed assaults.

The Russian government claims that there is no such thing as a sovereign Ukrainian Country, as well as Ukrainians as a nation.  Putin claims that Ukraine, as we know it now, was created by Lenin and Stalin. At the same time, he ignores more than a thousand years of Ukrainian history, starting with Kyiv Rus` (882) up to independent Ukraine (1991). In 2014 Russia transitioned from vocal assaults to actual armed assaults.

In violation of international law, including many intergovernmental legal instruments, on the recognition of Ukraine’s borders as of December 1, 1991, including the Budapest Memorandum, Putin ordered troops to invade the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, holding an illegal referendum and occupying the latter. And since April 2014, regular military formations of the RF Armed Forces have been directly involved in hostilities in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, under the guise of local insurgents.

After concentrating military units and formations, battalion tactical groups and separate units around the northern, southern and eastern borders of Ukraine in late 2021, Russia launched an open military aggression against Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The shelling started from the territory of Russia and Belarus (which in 2020 became a de facto vassal of the Kremlin). Russia began airstrike on the territory of Ukraine with long-range weapons, cruise missiles “Caliber” and ballistic missiles “Iskander”, with the subsequent use of bombing, assault and fighter aircraft. There are also involved tank, mechanized, airborne units, units of the Rosguard and riot police, units of the Navy of the RF Armed Forces. Missile systems of volley fire and artillery combat aircraft operate in peaceful Ukrainian cities.

In Afghanistan, fighting broke out between the government and Taliban militants, numbering 150,000 in 2021, armed mainly with small arms and anti-tank weapons, and portable anti-aircraft systems.

In its war, Ukraine opposes the second strongest army of the world (according to certain sources), which includes full-fledged divisions, brigades and regiments, space and naval forces, and special operations forces. The number of troops concentrated around Ukraine, according to the intelligence of Ukraine, the United States and UK, can reach 190,000 servicemen.

From the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the total US military and financial assistance amounted to about USD 2.7 bln, averages 0.9 million dollars per day. Expenditures in Afghanistan, according to researchers at Brown University, amounted to more than $ 300 million per day for 20 years,” That is, aid to Afghanistan in one day was 330 TIMES MORE!

The war in Afghanistan cost American taxpayers more than USD 2.3 trln, as researchers from Brown University have concluded. “Expenditures in Afghanistan, according to researchers at Brown University, amounted to more than $ 300 million per day for 20 years,” said US President Joe Biden. In addition to hostilities, the US military conducted training for the Afghan Security Forces to further transfer military control of the country.

From the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, namely from February 20, 2014 to March 8, 2022, the total US military and financial assistance amounted to about USD 2.7 bln, which in terms of 2939 days of war since 2014, averages 0.9 million dollars per day. That is, aid to Afghanistan in one day was 330 TIMES MORE!

But this is only an estimate of financial costs (finance and armaments), and it should not be forgotten that since 2001, the United States government has recruited about 190,000 troops to carry out two military campaigns. In the operations “Enduring Freedom” 2001-2014 and ” Resolute Support” 2015-2021 about 190,000 U.S. military personnel took part, including casualties of about 2,400 servicemen killed and more than 20,000 wounded. At the same time, in the period from 2014 to 2022, no American soldiers were involved in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine. So, not a single American soldier was killed or wounded in Ukraine!

After all, how did the governments of Ukraine and Afghanistan dispose of military and financial assistance provided by the US government?

Many now compare Ukraine to its corrupt government of Afghanistan, but it should be noted that after the withdrawal of US troops within a month, Taliban militants took full control of Afghanistan and the president fled out of the country. “The answer to the question of how effectively these funds have been disposed of will be the results of hostilities directly on the ground,” said Jonathan Bill, a BBC military correspondent.

Instead, since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the Armed Forces of Ukraine in particular and the Ukrainian people, in general, have been frantically resisting the invader, destroying him by all available means. As of March 12, 2022, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the losses of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are: personnel – more than 12 thousand people, tanks – 362 units, armored combat vehicles – 1205 units, artillery systems -135, MLRS – 62, air defense – 33, aircrafts – 58, helicopters – 83 units, automobiles – 585, ships / boats – 3 units, fuel tanks – 60, UAVs operational and tactical level – 7.

As of March 12, 2022, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the losses of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are: personnel – more than 12 thousand people, tanks – 362 units, armored combat vehicles – 1205 units, artillery systems -135, MLRS – 62, air defense – 33, aircrafts – 58, helicopters – 83 units, automobiles – 585, ships / boats – 3 units, fuel tanks – 60, UAVs operational and tactical level – 7

The conclusion from all the above is very simple. For all its shortcomings and existing corruption components, since 2014 Ukraine has managed to partially modernize its Armed Forces. As a result, the troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine today oppose the quantitatively and technically superior enemy and give it a confident rebuff. Evidence that all these years the financial and military assistance provided by the US government has been used to increase the country’s combat capability is the number of Russian soldiers killed, the number of prisoners and destroyed military equipment.

Ukraine is not Afghanistan, it is able to rationally use its assistance on its own, in turn, the United States by continuing and increasing assistance to Ukraine will be able to prevent the destruction of civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties by providing defense weapons and air defense systems.

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