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Afghanistan and U.S policy (1999-2021)

Afghanistan became a concern for US in 2001, when the US in response to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, led a military action against Al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban Government supported it. In the 19 years, the US suffered over 22,000 military causalities in there and $11 billion was used to for reconstruction and security force there. During this whole period, an elected Afghan Government has replaced the Taliban improvement in most measures of human development is yet still limited. 

Agreement of Peace:

On February 29, 2020, the US and Afghan Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar to end long war in Afghanistan. The agreement has the same conditions and points like the one signed in 2019 during Trump administration. 

The agreement has been titled ‘Agreement for Brining Peace for Afghanistan’ is over 3 pages and written in Dari, Pashtu and English language. It has two parts:

  • Taliban agrees that ‘Afghan soil will not be used against the security of the US and its allies.
  • US agreed to the withdrawal all foreign forces from Afghanistan. 

The agreement also mentions that the Afghan Government and Taliban will come on the negotiation table on March 10, 2020. The date has already passed with no meeting ever been held. Also, around 5000 Taliban prisoners and 1000 Afghan prisoners will be released as a ‘Confidence Building’ measures between the two. 

The signing of the ‘Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan’ is the result of a long and difficult process to end this long and catastrophic war.

US in 2021:

President Joe Biden announced in April 2021 that the withdrawal of 2500 American forces will be completed September 11, 2021. Simultaneously, NATO announced that the alliance will be also withdrawing its 7000 troops from Afghanistan. The US administration signed a peace deal with Taliban last year under Trump administration that the withdrawal will be complete by this May 1, yet due to some delay it will start the withdrawal from May1.  The role and force of US forces has been rapidly decreasing in Afghanistan. Barak Obama started the process, Trump gave it the momentum and Joe Biden will put this long mission to an end.

Since 2001, more than 2,200 soldiers have been lost and more than 20,000 are wounded. America has spent almost $1 trillion already and is not in mood to spend any further.

There are although a major drawback to this yet the process has already started. The US intelligence has warned of complete collapse of the Afghan Government and Taliban gaining free access to the whole region. The Afghanistan’s democracy although has started to stabilize and flourish yet it as now serious concern for collapse as there is no military backing to it. 

Washington although has suggested that some amount American troops and special operation forces will continue to be in Afghanistan yet the number is still not decided. Critical intelligence will also be present so that access of Taliban or any other group is not beyond access in the region. 

The consequences of these will be high for the people of Afghanistan and the entire region. But after the US military backs out completely it’s on the leaders and also the local people how they would want to shape the country in the present and also for the future. But with this situation US will be never be able to let go off Afghanistan and also the involvement of India to develop Afghanistan and safeguard the region will only increase more. 

Ashraf and Joe Biden meets:

On 25th June, 2021 US President Joe Biden met the Afghan leaders Ashraf Ghani and Aduallah at the White House to display its commitment to Afghanistan as US troops withdraw from the country. 

During the meeting, President mentioned that US will continue the partnership with Afghanistan and commended the leaders to try to bring peace in the region.

Ghani thanked American soldiers and their families for their sacrifices over the 20 years.

About 650 soldiers will remain in Afghanistan to provide security for the US and international diplomats in Kabul after the withdrawal of the troops completely. 

Taliban’s reaction:

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen during the interview with major media company mentioned that the group will have the right to react if US keeps its troops in Afghanistan after September11. 

With regards to the 650 soldiers being left behind, it will be regarded as the breach of the agreement signed between the two countries. 

Although Taliban has promised not letting the region to be used by Al Qaeda as their operation or training grounds yet this will be only seen with time how true will it stand. After years of war, the soldiers are finally coming home in US which will be a major sense of relief for the families. The withdrawal still have a little more than 3 months to wrap up and the establishment of peace and stability is still a long process in Afghanistan and after September this will be a road where the Afghan Government will have to travel the journey alone.