Donald Trump’s plan for a rapid withdrawal of more than half of US forces in Afghanistan comes at a dangerous time for a country that is formally participating in peace talks, but is struggling with mounting bloodshed and diminishing financial support from foreign donors.
Attacks have risen 50% since the start of negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban in September, as a recent US government report found, well above average levels for this time of year.. .
Austin Scott Miller, the top US general on the ground, warned that the insurgent attacks « are not in line » with the withdrawal agreement the United States and the Taliban signed in February and « undermine ongoing Afghan peace talks. ».
The violence has also been reported to demoralize Afghan forces, who have been ordered to remain on the defensive as part of the peace process.. The Afghan government’s repeated calls for a Taliban ceasefire or reduction in violence as evidence of the goodwill of the insurgents during the talks have gone unheeded..
A series of targeted assassinations in the city have kidnapped talented reporters, human rights activists, and moderate religious leaders. A delegate in the peace talks was also targeted during the summer, although she escaped from the car bombing, with minor injuries.
Many of these killings have not been claimed, but the murders together sent a chilling message about the dangers of fighting for rights like freedom of the press and women’s education, which a generation of Afghans have created since the Taliban regime was overthrown in late 2001..
Critics of the talks have always raised concerns that the Taliban is more interested in gaining time for the American forces to leave than in trying to reach a political settlement..
They fear that the excessively rapid withdrawal of US forces, which is currently providing air cover and other military assistance to Afghan forces, and logistical support to NATO allies with troops on the ground, could push the country toward more violence..
“The US government has the right to withdraw as it wishes (even if it waives its commitment to the Afghans). However, if you will, do so responsibly! Saad Mohseni, director of Mobi Group, the largest private media company in Afghanistan, said on Twitter. « A house burning on your way out is not what we expected of an ally.
History provides a grim precedent 30 years ago, when Russian forces withdrew from the country in 1989, leaving the government they supported to fight alone against the US-backed rebels.
Although the past decade has seen bitter fighting and atrocities on both sides, the years of civil war that followed unleashed new levels of death and material devastation in the country, culminating in the Taliban’s rise to power.
Donald Trump, Afghanistan, Iraq, U withdraw. s. Troops from Afghanistan
World News – CA – Trump’s pullout plan could push Afghanistan toward more violence
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