What happens next? – OxPol


US Politics – OxPol

In February 2020, the Trump administration became made a deal with the Taliban. As part of the so-called Doha Agreement, the US and all foreign forces pledged to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 as long as The Taliban stood by their side of the deal to 1) start peace talks with the US-backed Afghan government and 2) ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists. So far the onThe greeting is implemented technically. Beg for peace negotiationsonn in September 2020but You haven’t got any results yet. The Taliban have also adhered to the letter, if not the spirit of the deal by repelling attacks against US and Allied forces (even though Attacks against the Afghan government and civilians continued). However, with the May deadline President Biden must approach quickly now decide whether to adhere to the terms of the ongreet and pull the 2,500 remaining US troops out Afghanistan, or take a different approach. The problem is, there are no longer any good options.

The original timetable for the agreement provided for a 14-month window in which the Taliban and the Afghan government could hold talks that would ideally lead to both a political roadmap for Afghanistan’s future and a permanent ceasefire. In the meantime, after two decades of occupation, the US forces and the Allies have been able to plan and implement an orderly retreat ((The presence of the US armed forces has decreased by around 75% since February 2020). T.His plan began to drift off course from the start, however. The Afghan government, which relies on US and NATO support, has had little incentive to work together. They stopped talks starting for six months with arguments over the election results, the composition of their negotiating team and the pace of the release of Taliban prisoners (which the US had agreed to how Part of the deal). In the meantime, the Taliban continued their attacks about Afghan security forces, safe in the knowledge that under the terms of the deal You could run the clock down until foreign forces leave. Indeed, Since the signing of the Doha Accords, the Taliban have confiscated key military bases and highways and moved closer to cities across the country. Conversations between the The Taliban and the Afghan government are underway However, little progress has been made towards a viable long-term solution for the country’s future. Meanwhile, the level of violence continues to rise, including among civilians prominent Women who have to bear the brunt of a renewed spate of attacks.

Should Biden decide in May to enforce the deal and withdraw troops, the US would put an end to it to It’s the longest-running war, currently costing around $ 50 billion a year. Its administration is free to re-calibrate efforts elsewhere in accordance with evolving strategic interests. Would bring the troops home Likewise Satisfying a vocal contingent in US foreign policy circles who say the decision is long overdue and the threat posed by a resurgent terrorist group in the region is covered. But Any claim to victory in Afghanistan would likely be short-lived, as after twenty years the Afghan security forces are still unable to hold their own without US support. What is missing is an extremely unlikely political solution By May, the country threatens and could get into an intensified civil war soon falling back under the control of the Taliban. The human cost of such an outcome would cause even more trouble for the Afghan people, who have lived in a war zone for four decades alongside coping with increased poverty rates and COVID-19. Even if the US were able to contain resurgent terrorist threats, either through attacks from the air or Send troops back inThe looming humanitarian catastrophe caused by this escalation of the conflict would likely create a new flood of new refugees to Europe, Turkey and elsewhere.

These concerns support a recent US Congress report who recommends Biden Renege on the cut-off date in May with or without the consent of the Taliban. That report, coupled with rumors in DC that Trump’s May deal is now “off the table”, has undoubtedly sparked a sigh of relief in Kabul. However, rejecting the deal also carries significant risk. There are two problems here. First, a unilateral decision not to adhere to the terms set out in the Doha Accords would likely result in an appropriate Taliban response, for US and Allied forces– – Currently “taboo” under the agreement – would again become a legitimate target. Should this scenario unfold, the US, Currently on the lowest operational footprint since the war began, he would either be in a “last helicopter outside of Saigon” or be embroiled in a full fight against the Taliban, who now control more territory than ever before 2001.

Second, even if the Taliban agreed to an extension– –even though Because of their military leverage and the fact that the Trump administration has already agreed to most of their demands, they have little incentive to do so– –It is not clear what another six months or so could achieve in terms of a permanent political solution. The report argues that the US should maintain its military presence and economic support package for the Afghan government until its goals are met. However, one of these goals is to create the conditions for an “independent, democratic and sovereign Afghan state”.– –a goal that for twenty years has proven elusive. Reviving the peace trail with new terms and International Attention could serve to reassure US allies that this is the Trump era about and America is back. The Afghan government would certainly benefit from a stronger hand in the negotiations. Staying on course would protect them too social and civil rights gains over the past twenty years. But The open-ended participation is little supported by the US and NATO public. The war in Afghanistan has cost billions of dollars and many thousands of lives so far, for what Army General Marks Milley has called a “minimum of success”.

As the fourth US president, Biden will find that there is no free way to end America’s “eternal war”.



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