As China, Russia, Iran, and others rise to the occasion, the ascent of the Taliban may signal a post-American world order.
After 20 years of American boots in Afghanistan the Biden administration decided to pull out the remaining 2,000+ troops left and what came out of that decision is a resurgence of the Taliban which we’re currently seeing the consequences of not just in Afghanistan but all over the world, “In a stunning rout, the Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week, despite the billions of dollars spent by the US and NATO over nearly two decades to build up Afghan security forces. Just days earlier, an American military assessment estimated it would be a month before the capital would come under insurgent pressure,” (The Times of Israel).
The Taliban fighters have taken control of many provinces in Afghanistan and have also taken control of Kabul – the nation’s capital – a series of events that prompted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country, “Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country Sunday after Taliban fighters entered Kabul, the nation’s capital, demanding a transfer of power,” (CBN News).
In just over a week, fighters have taken over nearly all of Afghanistan as thousands of people have fled the war-torn country. A duty officer with the Defense Press Operations confirmed that roughly 3,000 American troops were heading to Kabul on Saturday to assist with the evacuation of U.S. civilian personnel…The insurgents also seized Maidan Shar, the capital of Maidan Wardak, and the land border at Torkham on Sunday. (CBN News)
Following the fall of Kabul, there have been reports of Taliban fighters “going door-to-door and forcibly marrying girls as young as 12 as Jihadist commanders order imams to create ‘marriage lists’ and offer girls for sexual servitude” and many trying to flee from the country with reports that some who clung to a US Air Force plane fell to their deaths after it took off at Kabul’s airport.
The Taliban is soon to announce a name change to “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”, “Taliban forces fanned out across Kabul on Sunday night as an official with the militant group said it would soon announce the creation of the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ from the presidential palace in the capital. That was the name of the country under Taliban rule before the militants were ousted by US-led forces after the 9/11 attacks,” (The Times of Israel).
To America’s enemy’s, they see this as a resounding defeat which will likely serve as a means to embolden them and other terrorist organizations, but to America’s allies, it will no doubt cause them to question the reliability of America if or when things get tough, “The Washington Post also pointed out that the Taliban’s stunningly swift advances across the country have sparked global alarm, reviving doubts about the credibility of US foreign policy promises and drawing harsh criticism even from some of its closest allies,” (Global Times). Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi all celebrated the recent developments with China recognizing the Taliban as a legitimate government. China is now increasing its rhetoric against Taiwan claiming that the US will not back them.
Yesterday’s Saigon, today’s Afghanistan, and tomorrow’s Taiwan?” read some online posts by internet users in the island of Taiwan, implying that the so-called alliance that Taiwan has forged with the US is nothing but an empty promise that will eventually “leave the Taiwan people hurting alone.”…”The US’ fleeing action is a warning to the Taiwan secessionists, or rather, a forecast,” Li said. He noted that if the island of Taiwan continues on a path misled by secessionists to directly confront the Chinese mainland, the US will cast Taiwan aside just as it has done with Vietnam, and now Afghanistan. (Global Times)
Something that also needs to be noted is that the lives of Afghani Christians are at an increased risk due to this new shift in power. As we can see, the situation there now is serious and the people of Afghanistan, as well as fellow believers, need our prayers.
With all of this going on there’s also the question as to the prophetic significance of these latest events which I believe The Jerusalem Post’s latest article helps us with. The article delves into the unforeseen consequences this pullout could have including a shift away from a reliance of America while nations such as Russia, Iran, and Turkey take advantage of the power vacuum, “The long term consequence may be that the Afghan War symbolizes a global shift away from US power,” (The Jerusalem Post).
Many countries appear to be rushing in to feast on the failure. Turkey wants to have discussions with the Taliban and run the airport. Iran, working with China, sees a silver lining in Afghanistan. As Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China and Turkey prepare to rush in, European countries are evacuating embassy staff…The fact that in each case, when there is a withdrawal, the US footprint is filled by Russia, Iran, Turkey or other adversaries of the US is the real challenge for Washington. (The Jerusalem Post)
They note that this withdrawal in Afghanistan may also cause other withdrawals in other parts of the Middle East, “As the US withdraws, there are calls for more American withdrawals, such as from Iraq and Syria”, (The Jerusalem Post). With the constant mention of Russia, Iran, and Turkey being brought up and the possible decreasing presence of the US in the Middle East in general my mind immediately goes to Ezekiel 38.
Ezekiel 38 describes a last day’s invasion of nations such as Russia, Iran, and Turkey (known by their ancient names) who will attempt to come against Israel for material gain (Ezekiel 38:12-13). Verse 13 shows us during this time a few nations – Saudi Arabia and the Gulf nations as Sheba and Dedan – will protest the invasion, but will not offer support. There may also be a reference to the US and other Western nations via the mention of “the young lions” although this is debated.
But the point here is for years many of us have wondered where is the US in all of this? How could the US, one of Israel’s greatest allies not come to their aid during this time? God is the only one to come to Israel’s aid as we read in verses 18-23. It’s led some to believe America may be rendered powerless before this occurs, or an anti-Israel administration may be in power, or there will simply be a lack of US presence in the Middle East at the time so that even if they did want to assist they would lack the ability to do so.
To me, it’s no surprise to see the US gradually move out of the Middle East as a whole because bible prophecy seems to point us to that future reality and the very nations that will one day come against Israel (i.e. Russia, Iran, and Turkey) are the same ones filling up the power vacuum the US leaves and working together while doing so. What’s going on in Afghanistan and in the broader scope of the Middle East is a gradual stage setting for what the bible has already told us will occur.
So what does this leave us with? For one, it shows us that God is still on the throne. None of this catches him by surprise and everything is following his perfect plan so that should leave us encouraged even in the midst of the chaos ensuing around us. We can also be confident in the fact that the injustices perpetrated by the hands of the Taliban will one day be judged by God.
Till then, let’s continue to pray for those in Afghanistan as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ there! That the church will continue to grow and the gospel spread even to the Taliban. May the Lord also continue to strengthen and embolden his children through the difficulties that come their way.
Unpredictable consequences from the Afghan crisis
The Jerusalem Post: The US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the rapid advance of the Taliban are not necessarily a simple cause and effect. The US had very few troops in Afghanistan, and they weren’t doing much fighting for years. The Taliban appear to have planned a massive offensive, unlike anything seen in the past, likely with foreign intelligence and other support, after having sent delegations to Russia, China, Iran, Qatar and Pakistan.
This means that what is happening has unforeseen consequences. There are many unanswered questions. The New York Times claims that “few will gang up on the U.S. for finally stopping a failed enterprise.” But in the longer term, “the notion that you cannot count on the Americans will strike deeper roots because of Afghanistan.’’ This may underpin some European reactions, according to the article.
What is more perplexing is that other NATO members, including European countries, also withdrew from Afghanistan, and yet, oddly, this doesn’t erode confidence in whether anyone can count on NATO or European countries. The unspoken point may be that no one was counting on NATO or European states anyway, so it was America’s war to lose. There are many arguments floating around now about whether things had to turn out this way in Afghanistan. An article at The Dispatch by Paul Miller argues it didn’t have to end like this.
The US could have kept training the Afghan army until it was ready to fight. They could have given Kabul more leverage in discussions with the Taliban. It’s hard to know. Many countries appear to be rushing in to feast on the failure. Turkey wants to have discussions with the Taliban and run the airport. Iran, working with China, sees a silver lining in Afghanistan. As Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China, and Turkey prepare to rush in, European countries are evacuating embassy staff.
The question that remains is not about assigning blame or even figuring out why the Afghan army appears to have disintegrated if such an army even existed in the first place. The question is what may be the unpredictable or unforeseen consequences. The long-term consequence may be that the Afghan War symbolizes a global shift away from US power.
The US became a global hegemon in the wake of the Second World War and Cold War and that has led to the construction of an American world order based around US allies and partners from South Korea to Israel, from NATO to US bases that used to be in place like Afghanistan. As the US withdraws, there are calls for more American withdrawals, such as from Iraq and Syria. The consequences are not just the immediate power vacuum or empowering US adversaries and not just a blow to US reputation. Read More
Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.” (John 13:19)
For the believer in Christ, these are amazing times we’re living in as we see the world stage being set up just as the bible says it will in the last days preceding Christ’s return. For us, it’s a time of hope as our redemption draws near, but for those yet saved, they lack the same hope and instead may find themselves living in fear as to what tomorrow may bring.
In Revelation 19:10 we’re told that the essence of bible prophecy is Jesus, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” My purpose in writing these articles in relation to bible prophecy is to express this truth to ultimately point you to Christ. Bible prophecy is not meant to scare but to prepare. These things were revealed to us so that we have confidence in God’s word and believe in Jesus (John 13:19).
If you have not placed your faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross, I implore you to do so today (2 Corinthians 6:2)! The bible makes it clear that our life is like a vapor so tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for anyone (James 4:13-14). We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23) and due to this, there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves or somehow work our way to heaven (Isaiah 64:6). Because God is Holy he must judge sin. The penalty of this sin is death and ultimately the Lake of Fire (Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:11-15).
But God, in His love has provided a way to escape his wrath through Christ (John 3:16-18, John 14:6). Jesus paid for our sin penalty by taking God’s wrath in our stead on the cross (Romans 5:8). He died for our sins, was buried, and rose again 3 days later (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). Although God offers humanity the gift of eternal life through the shed blood of his son, it’s our choice to either reject this gift and pay for the penalty of our sin ourselves or accept it by placing our trust in the one who’s already paid it all in full (Acts 16:30-31, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9). Make sure you’ve made the right decision about Jesus today! It will be the most important decision of your life, for eternal life.
- Iran’s Raisi: ‘Defeat’ of US in Afghanistan is chance for lasting peace (August 16th, 2021) – The Times of Israel
- Hamas praises Taliban for causing American ‘downfall’ in Afghanistan (August 16th, 2021) – The Times of Israel
- Islamic Jihad hails ‘liberation’ of Afghanistan after Taliban conquest (August 16th, 2021) – The Times of Israel
- Video shows people latching on to a moving US Air Force plane at Kabul’s airport as they desperately try to flee Afghanistan (August 16th, 2021) – Insider
- China warns Taiwan it should be ‘trembling’ as the US ‘won’t protect you’ from invasion leading to WW3 fears (August 16th, 2021) – The Sun
- Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow? US treachery scares DPP (August 16th, 2021) – Global Times
- Viral Video: Weeping Afghan Girl: ‘No One Cares About Us. We’ll Die Slowly In History’ (August 16th, 2021) – The Dailywire
- Taliban to announce ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ from presidential palace (August 15th, 2021) – The Times of Israel
- Unpredictable consequences from the Afghan crisis (August 15th, 2021) – The Jerusalem Post
- Afghan President Flees Country as Taliban Fighters Enter Kabul (August 15th, 2021) – CBN News
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Himitsu | End Times Study.