In spite of the vast technological, financial, and diplomatic resources at the disposal of multiple presidents, the American exit from Afghanistan is another case study in failed statecraft.
The Kargil War marked a frightening new chapter in the international system as for the first time states with nuclear weapons faced off on a (fortunately limited) battlefield.
The Najibullah government held out for nearly three years and finally collapsed when the successor state of the Soviet Union was no longer able to support it with military supplies and monetary assistance.
China requires nuclear missile superiority because it wants to destroy democracy in Taiwan, wants to destroy the U.S.-led military alliance system in Asia, and wants to be the military hegemon on Earth by mid-century.
Now, military preparations across the Taiwan Strait are nothing new. A standard talking point among officials in Taipei lists the number of ballistic missiles the PLA has emplaced on the mainland within striking range of the island. Though potent, however, missiles remain over the horizon and mostly out of public view within their launchers. They are abstract.
Pakistan’s support of jihadi groups stems partly from cynical realism, in order to expand its sphere of influence in Afghanistan and support the Islamist insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir.