The US Exit from Afghanistan

Realistically, the Biden administration chalked various new strategies on issues such as the reduction of violence, withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, negotiations within Afghanistan, and counter-terrorism guarantees within the framework of the US-Taliban Peace Agreement negotiations. However, these decisions have brought some new problems to the agenda.

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After 10 years of waging war against the Taliban, and another 10 years of vows to withdraw from Afghanistan, the United States under President Joe Biden finally set September 11, 2021 as a deadline for a full troop exit from the country. US troops and their NATO allies intend to be out of Afghanistan by early to mid-July, well ahead of President Biden’s Sept. 11 withdrawal deadline, military officials said, in what has turned into an accelerated ending to America’s longest war. But the race to the exits, which has picked up steam as planeloads of equipment and troops are flown out of the country, leaves the United States grappling with huge unresolved issues that officials had thought they would have more time to figure out.

With reference to Istanbul Conference, the Turkish Foreign Minister remarked that the key focus of the summit on the Afghanistan Peace Process is to fast-track and assist ongoing intra-Afghan consultations in Doha on the accomplishment of a long-lasting political agreement. Nevertheless, According to disclosed State Department report said the US sought the Istanbul conference for pronouncement of revamped plan that aims to supplant Afghan President Ashraf Ghani with an interim government involving the Taliban, and another key stakeholder of the country.

The US has increased its efforts to gain favorable assistance from all the key parties over the reoriented strategy of the Biden administration for the troop’s withdrawal. In account to this, The US envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been traveling in the region to gain support for a cessation of hostilities and peace settlement that could include a provisional government in Kabul.

The role of the central government in Kabul and settlement with Taliban’s remain subtle and a paradoxical hurdle for the smooth continuation on the defined roadmap for the building plausible intra-Afghan consensus. Retrospectively, The Ashraf Ghani administration, which supported the earlier Trump initiative, stated that they were ready to negotiate with the Taliban with no preconditions and also made various promises to the organization (such as the recognition of the Taliban as a political party and releasing of the Taliban elements in prison), extending an olive branch to it. However, this step taken by Ghani was not met with the necessary appreciation and approval from the Taliban; on the contrary, the Taliban once again turned its back on the Kabul government, stating that it would be addressing itself to the US only and not to Central government in Kabul. Quite contrary to that, now under Biden’s administration, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani intends to present a three-stage plan at the Istanbul talks. The first step involves reaching a political settlement with the Taliban and announcing an internationally monitored ceasefire. Secondly, holding an early presidential election in which the Taliban could take part to form a “government of peace”. That would lead to a slew of development programs across the war-torn state and take measures for the constitutional framework of the foreseeable future.

Realistically, the Biden administration chalked various new strategies on issues such as the reduction of violence, withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, negotiations within Afghanistan, and counter-terrorism guarantees within the framework of the US-Taliban Peace Agreement negotiations. However, these decisions have brought some new problems to the agenda.

The first days of May, the Taliban attacked several provincial centers. In the south, the Taliban began a massive assault on multiple fronts against Lashkar Gah, the center of Helmand province, where the U.S. and British forces previously fought hard campaigns against the Taliban. Ghazni and Qalat, the centers of Ghazni and Zabul province, saw Taliban assaults too. In the north, the provincial centers of Baghlan and Laghman were also assaulted. The Taliban succeeded in none of their fights over the various provincial centers. The Afghan Army pushed the Taliban back in each case. Nevertheless, the Taliban remain on the edge of provincial centers, posing an imminent threat.

But reaching agreements, especially with some of the former Soviet republics bordering Afghanistan’s north, remains unlikely given the proximity of those countries to Russia and the Kremlin’s influence, according to U.S. officials. Taliban and the Afghan government have started, it is pertinent to mention that a likely clash of interest that may arise during these consultations could briskly change into escalated violence, and it is already evident post  1st May deadline security development in Afghanistan. Under the current circumstances, it is also obvious that that peace in Afghanistan is up to the Afghans and there exists a massive trust deficit at intra- state-level stakeholders. Adding further, another vital concern is the chance of variability being retriggered on Afghanistan soil with the foreign troops’ withdrawal and that the exchange of prisoners was carried out at a date too early, which left the Contending actors with fewer bargaining options.

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