Opinion

Butterfly effect, from Eurasia to Eurasiafrica

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The capitulation of the United States and thus of NATO in Afghanistan was a fiasco that will go down in the annals of recent human history. Moreover, its fluttering will have a far more alarming effect on a European Union mired in ambiguity amid a continent of Africa that is failing to take off, a Maghreb threatened by Algeria and the rise of terror in the Sahel.

During 20 years of "Enduring Freedom", the Taliban had abandoned their government offices to take refuge in mountains, not far away, where they continued their activism in "teleworking" mode. And Afghanistan became a model of scorn for those who dared to anger Uncle Sam. Moreover, the country would become a place of pilgrimage where the presidents, foreign ministers and defence ministers of the coalition would parade their chests out for a photo op and to announce the important humanitarian role their armies were playing there, guaranteeing the security of their respective countries from afar.

Meanwhile, NATO had been busy instructing an Afghan Army that instantly caved in, as the Taliban had laughed at Western intelligence services by introducing agents into their ranks for military training and smart intelligence until the surrender of a Biden who did not even get a few minutes' reprieve to evacuate. Today, the Taliban have returned to "face-to-face work" after the capture of Kabul, which the Western intelligence services expected in a year's time. This explains the poor military training offered by NATO, as well as the scale of the chaotic evacuation.

Thus, in the midst of the chaos and while American soldiers in the rearguard tried to salvage what dignity remained, Merkel tried to get the immigration issue off her back while Charles Michel, President of the European Council, insisted on protecting the EU's borders. But of what, if they were only NATO collaborators and their relatives who could be executed de facto for believing in the West and the fallacy of its "democratising processes" beyond its borders?

It is clear that the Taliban victory will have its effects on the EU. Indeed, its orphanhood from the US has left it in a state of disarray that is reflected in France's insistence that Europe become independent from the Americans. All this in the midst of Germany's post-election stalemate and looming political chaos.

A situation that forces the EU to reposition itself on the African geopolitical chessboard, in line with the US where Biden is prioritising AFRICOM, and now AUKUS in the Pacific in its struggle to curb the Chinese giant, leaving a dislocated NATO in European hands.

Biden's arrival has not improved the prospects of a disunited EU, a victim of its ambiguity that has been reflected in the recent CJEU ruling on the fisheries agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco, which can be summed up as "neither with you nor without you". Endemic political ambiguity, which is why the US has left the EU in the lurch. Moreover, its enlargement to 27 countries has not yet come to fruition. Brexit could be the tip of the iceberg. The countries of the south, north, east and west have conflicting political interests and understand politics differently. It looks more like a balloon that has over-inflated and is about to burst, something that is constantly reflected in the European Parliament and other institutions.

The discrediting of the EU is provoking a rebellion in the southern farm. Africa, which is experiencing its own dynamics with Morocco and China at the forefront and now the US, had already lost all confidence in the EU because of its colonial past and because the African continent is unable to move forward as its resource supplier par excellence. The insatiable desire for extraction, in an unequal exchange that the EU intends to perpetuate and which goes against the values it advocates for itself, continues to take its toll on an African population determined to emigrate precisely to the North. Immigration that can only be held back for the time being, but cannot be stopped.

The EU is also obliged to rethink its 'divide and rule' policy in the Maghreb, where it is wrongly taking advantage of Algeria's descent into the abyss to halt Morocco's rise as a regional and continental power. Let us recall that the German and Spanish position (which has not been echoed by the other EU members as Merkel and Sánchez wished) following Trump's recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over its Southern Provinces has been a move in the wrong direction, aimed at provoking instability in the Maghreb by giving wings to a threatening Algeria. A dangerous game in which, after the fiasco in Afghanistan and France's withdrawal from Operation Barkhane, the Sahel looks like a fertile ground to emulate the Taliban victory. The recent killing of two Moroccan truck drivers in a premeditated attack in Mali has raised serious suspicions about the perpetrators.

It is worth noting Algeria's failure to lead the fight against terrorism in the Sahel through two African initiatives, CEMOC and UFE, but its haste to exclude Morocco had played into its hands. In the end, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso would create the G-5 Sahel. This initiative was joined by France and Morocco, along with some thirty countries that today make up the Sahel coalition. Since then, Algeria's role has been highly suspect in the eyes of international intelligence.

There has never been and never will be a Sahrawi republic on historically Moroccan territory on the Atlantic coasts and in the middle of an area mined by AQIM terrorists (led by an Algerian), DAESH, whose leader was a former Polisario Front member (recently hunted down by the French in Mali) and Boko Haram, among many other groups that roam the Sahel.

The militarised camps in Tindouf are now breeding grounds for terror in the area. It is a human concentration, mostly Algerian, Mauritanian and Malian, unidentified and unregistered, with neither trade nor profit, which has been operating for 45 years under the baton of the Algerian military outside the control of the international community and which the Court of Justice of the European Union has just described as the "Saharawi people", without proving it, thus violating the rights of the Saharawi people, and thus attacking the Saharawi people, without proving it, thus attacking the natural right of the authentic Saharawi population who live and govern democratically the Southern Provinces under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco and with loyalty to King Mohamed VI, as their ancestors did.

It is clear that Europe is not ready for the changes that are brewing. The EU should reflect on the need to establish priorities for action on the African continent. On the one hand, it urgently needs to abandon its economic policy in black Africa, where it insists on its failed "carrot and stick" strategy, which is manifestly inappropriate for the African population and only favours military drifts on the continent. On the other hand, it urgently needs to redefine its policy in the Maghreb and thus avoid a 'boomerang' effect of insecurity on its heels. This is an issue that, for the moment, is neither on his agenda nor that of President Sánchez, Spain being the most interested country, but which has been raised by UN Secretary General António Guterres, who advocates the creation of an African anti-terrorist force.

The effects may be more or less slow, but when they happen they will come at breakneck speed.

Will the EU wake up from its lethargy in time, and what about Spain?