What will be the future of Afghanistan if US troops leaves

By Dr.Fahim Abro,


It is “time to bring our people back home,” says President Trump, after the US signed a deal with the Taliban aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan.

Mr. Trump said 5,000 US troops would leave Afghanistan by May and he would meet Taliban leaders in the near future, without specifying where?

The US and Nato allies have agreed to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the historic deal.

Talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are due to follow.

The US invaded Afghanistan weeks after the September 2001 attacks in New York by al-Qaeda, then based in Afghanistan. The Taliban were ousted from power but became an insurgent force that by 2018 was active in more than two-thirds of the country.

More than 2,400 US troops have been killed during the conflict. About 12,000 are still stationed in the country.

There is a paradox when it comes to perceptions about Afghanistan. No one would disagree that after 18 years the Afghan state built by the West remains ineffective. Yet, no one is willing to acknowledge that if present trends continue the logical outcome will be regime collapse.

Kabul remained unsuccessful to thwart a growing jihadist insurgency dominated by the Taliban. It also is unable to prevent the Islamic State from expanding its footprint in the country. Worse is that increased factional infighting is gutting the Afghan political system from the inside.

Afghanistan is a special case. It is the longest-running war in American history. The US currently had almost 10,000 troops there, operating in a supportive role to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

The ANSF has primary responsibility for combat operations. However, they have demonstrated an inability to deal with the Taliban insurgency. In the past three years, the ANSF has also faced a growing IS a presence in the country. The Taliban remain the dominant jihadist force and have expanded their presence across the country. They reached into areas in the north such as Badakhshan province, where they couldn’t previously penetrate even during the regime’s pre-9/11 heyday.

The US could not continue to lose troops in a war that cannot be won. Washington might have considered staying in the hope that its deployment would give enough time for Afghan security forces to come up to speed. But that outcome could not be possible

Not only are Afghan forces lost their ground to jihadist insurgents, but they also suffered from a huge intelligence problem. The Taliban had penetrated the Afghan forces’ ranks. This is obvious from the many attacks that had taken place over the years due to security breaches.

Even Taliban attackers wearing military uniforms with bona fide identification and using military vehicles were able to enter a key army base in the northern Balkh province, killed at least 150 soldiers in the compound.

There was a glimmer of hope during the 2014 presidential race when the successor to former President Hamid Karzai was elected. Karzai had been at the helm since the founding of the post-Taliban state in 2002. During the campaign, various candidates—including Ghani—reached across factional lines to pick running mates and contest the vote.

The election, though, was marred by allegations of fraud when Ghani appeared to have won. His key rival, Abdullah Abdullah refused to accept the outcome. At that point, then-US Secretary of State John Kerry was forced to put together a rushed power-sharing arrangement in which Ghani became president and Abdullah was given the bizarre title of chief executive officer

In addition, regional warlords such as Atta Muhammad Noor from the Balkh area, ethnic Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum (who was technically Ghani’s vice president), and Ismail Khan from the western Herat region had also made their moves against the government. Meanwhile, Karzai had assumed a hardline nationalist approach and had been hugely critical of the United States.

Those serving in the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police, and the National Directorate of Security (the intelligence service) saw the country’s political system in tatters. At the same time, they were targeted by a ferocious insurgency that was gaining steam across the country. This did not bode well for morale.

The security forces’ confidence in the political regime declined with each passing day. In many ways, that was apparently due to the inability of security personnel to perform. While we are not looking at this process in linear terms, this downward trend could not be stopped.

Such situations lead to a growing number of retreats from battlefields, desertions from the ranks, defections to the insurgency, and the rise of militias led by warlords. The Afghan state that the West built to replace the Taliban emirate could not endure under such circumstances.

In pointed comments at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland earlier this week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said 45,000 members of the Afghan security forces had lost their lives since he took office in 2014

While no one was willing to officially admit it in Washington, the US political and military leadership was not oblivious to the writing on the wall. There was nothing that the US could do to turn things around.

If there were a solution, it would have been implemented long ago. We would not be in the 18th year of US military deployment in the country. American military power has limits. Washington can take down regimes, but it does not possess the power to rebuild a nation or pacify a country.

It would not be surprising if the US under the Trump administration decided to sign a peace deal with the Taliban and to pull out its troops as it did in Vietnam. At some point, if the US left Afghanistan without political settlement which needs to give power share to Taliban there will be the civil war for many decades.

The “significant progress” said to have been made during six days of talks between US officials and the Afghan Taliban suggests that both sides are serious about trying to find a peaceful solution to an 18-year conflict that has scarred Afghanistan.

This all could be possible with the efforts of Pakistan especially Pakistan’s military establishment played its a significant role in US Talbans peace deal, as India tried to sabotage this deal and is not happy with this deal

But the Taliban currently are refusing to hold direct talks with Afghan officials, and negotiations relating to “unsolved matters” still to continue, what has actually been agreed during the meetings in Qatar?

So, it is the primary responsibility of the US with Talbans and all afghan stakeholders and regional powers like Pakistan to give the formula for the future political settlements for the peace and stability in Afghanistan to avoid civil war in the future.

During the post-Soviet union fall, The US left Afghanistan which had created political vacuum resulted in a furious civil war which resulted in all the Jihadists moved to Afghanistan including Al-Qaida.

This time if the same history is repeated, not Al-Qaida but other terrorist groups like ISIS would get a chance to strengthen themself in the politically unstable Afghanistan which would be more dangerous.

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