Afghanistan: Joe Biden Blows the Whistle To End the Game

As he had undertaken at the very start of his term, Joe Biden, now “the fourth United States president to preside over the American troop presence” in Afghanistan, does not care to pass on “this responsibility” to his successor.

In addition, considering that “it’s time to end this forever war,” the new tenant in the White House announced on Wednesday that all American troops stationed in Afghanistan must leave the country before the 20th anniversary of “that heinous attack on Sept. 11,” which gave rise to this prolonged war. Accordingly, the final withdrawal of American troops will be initiated on May 1, in coordination with allied NATO forces.

Immediately afterward, the German minister of defense, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, confirmed that the troops of the NATO countries will leave Afghan territory “together” by undertaking, beginning May 1, an “ordered, coordinated and deliberate” withdrawal of troops from the “Resolute Support Mission,” which includes some 9,600 soldiers sent by 36 nations.

Having thus pushed back by several months the target date of May 1, initially set by the historic agreement reached in Doha in February 2020 between his predecessor and the Taliban, Biden, in a telephone meeting, informed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani of his decision. The latter expressed, in a tweet, his “respect” for the American decision, given that Afghan forces are now “fully capable of defending its people and country.”

But a different tune is being heard from the side of the Taliban insurgents, given that the latter had warned, the previous day, that they would refuse to participate in the Istanbul Conference on the Afghan Peace Process that the U.N., Turkey and Qatar plan to organize in Istanbul from April 24 through May 4, “until all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland.”

Additionally, through their spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban hurled a serious warning, addressed to Washington, in which they indicated that “if the [Doha] agreement is breached and foreign forces fail to exit [Afghanistan] on the specified date, problems will certainly be compounded,” and chargeable to those who don’t respect their commitments.

And yet, considering that the objective for which the American military had intervened in Afghanistan in 2001 was to prevent the country “from being able to serve as a base for a new attack against the United States” and that that objective had been “fulfilled,” President Biden urged the Taliban to respect their “commitment” made in Doha and warned them that he would hold them “accountable” if they deviate from it.

A report by the American intelligence services, released Tuesday, reveals, nevertheless, that in spite of the Doha accord, violence persists on Afghan soil between the Taliban insurgents and regular forces, as a result of which Kabul authorities will have a hard time resisting after the departure of the international coalition.

For that reason, after reading this report, Biden declared that his country is going to continue “to support the government” in Kabul without, however, “stay[ing] involved in Afghanistan militarily,” and seized this occasion to call upon the other regional stakeholders, with Pakistan leading the way in its role as historic patron of the Taliban, to do more to support their Afghan neighbor.

Is Afghanistan prepared to reestablish peace after more than four decades of discord, first as a result of the occupation of the country by the forces of the former Soviet Union, followed by those of Washington and its NATO allies?

Let’s wait and see …

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About Peter Lopatin 51 Articles
After retiring from a 25+ year career in corporate and business law some years ago, I became an ESL teacher, which I continue to do part-time. I am also a published writer of short stories, poetry, essays and book reviews. My love of the French language has been a constant and I have worked to refine my command of French over the years.

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