When the Taliban fighters reached the gates of Kabul, both those rushing to leave the country in despair and those staying back home must be asking God: what has the great powers’ politics to do with their poverty-stricken country? Nobody knows what answer they would have thought of. But they must have been told that the Taliban, carrying guns on their shoulders, have emerged triumphant, at least for now. Undoubtedly, the Taliban’s fast-track takeover of entire Afghanistan has astonished the entire world. Who would have thought those guerilla fighters who were once ousted back in 2001 would emerge victorious with matchless confidence? From intelligence assessments to experts’ opinions, everything proved horribly wrong as the Taliban made swift gains within little over one week. When US President Joe Biden came into power after beating Trump, he countered two tough policy options: to either stay in Afghanistan to protect the country from falling into the hands of the Taliban or to leave the country to focus on other frontiers. In a much-touted statesman act to protect his country’s national interest, Biden opted to leave the country just like Mikhail Gorbechev, an ex-Soviet statesman, who had decided to leave Afghanistan in 1986. From a realist perspective, he did what he had to do i.e. to leave behind the mess orchestrated by his predecessor. That’s exactly how a stateman deal with uncertain situations. Biden continuously refused to acknowledge ANDF’s over-estimated strength and kept writing the warning of the Taliban takeover off. Then what happened next was shocking, to say the least! Many argue that the US withdrawal on the pattern of Saigon has proven to be the last nail in the coffin of the US’ non-reliability. The chapter that had started with the Taliban’s ouster in 9/11 finally ended with the concluding remarks of their victory. The new chapter, which has just begun to be penned down, is now critically mentioning the role of Ashraf Ghani in a way no statesman would like to see. Ghani kept bragging about himself as being an expert on failed states on TED talks and in books only for the world to witness his own government collapsing within a matter of few days. It was bound to have happened as he was relying on troops with insufficient equipment, timely reinforcements, and ageing warlords. Since now, the insurgents have finally ascended to the top from where they can see the whole country, would historians try to absolve Biden and his predecessors of the executive blunders or would they highlight it? Obviously, they would highlight it. It was the Doha agreement and later, Biden’s commitment to withdrawal that provided the Taliban with a jumping pad. It had an over-powering impact on Taliban fighters psychologically and a melting down effect on Afghan forces. The troop withdrawal sparked a “domino effect” that culminated in the Taliban sweeping back into power and all the reconstruction effort of the West straightaway went into a vein. Meanwhile, Taliban’s victory also came at a cost for the US global image-an image that is now in tatters. Many argue that the US’s withdrawal on the pattern of Saigon has proved to be the last nail in the coffin of the US’s non-reliability. Chinese state-run Global Times argued that Afghanistan’s case clearly tells of Washington to be an “unreliable partner that always abandons its partners or allies.” Some argue that Biden was so quick to get its troops out of the war-torn country that he preferred to ignore UN reports detailing Taliban-Al-Qaida’s ongoing cooperation. But hardly anyone is talking about the increased burden on the US shoulders to prove its reliability as a trustful partner on the frontiers it abandoned Afghanistan. It’s worth mentioning here that the US had made its commitment to rescue Taiwan if China ever tried to invade it. With this and following humiliating withdrawal, the question that pops up in minds everywhere is whether the US is really ready to pay the price to repair the dent to its credibility, or is it still unhesitant to dampen its credibility in order to avoid the ventures of liberal interventionism? Well, the answer lies in what’s running in the Chinese strategic community’s mind? As of now, the damage has been done, not just to the US credibility as an ally but also to the confidence in the US foreign policy judgment and competence. This downfall had kicked off a long time ago with the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The real test has begun, not only for the US but also for its allies who kept jumping into the global threats orchestrated by their patron-in-chief. The writer is a freelance journalist and researcher.