The Kabul Times.
Politics

Concerns over early US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

By: Suraya Raiszada

Following US President Donald Trump’s tweet in connection with early US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, a number of Afghan political experts and lawmakers in their interviews with The Kabul Times correspondent consider early US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan as concerning. According to Afghan political experts, currently US President Donald Trump is trying to somehow show he is acting upon his commitment to ending the country’s endless wars. His approach is, in fact, considered as election campaign, but it will mean a historic defeat for US as the two-decades achievements will face with increasing challenges.
Meanwhile, members of Afghanistan parliament have also expressed concern over possible US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
They say that besides supporting the country’s defense and security forces, fundamental efforts should be made towards peace in Afghanistan.
Afghan lawmakers say if US withdraws from Afghanistan without any peace deal and guarantee is not given to security in the country, the people of Afghanistan will face with increasing violence; therefore, early US troop withdrawal will mean an irresponsibly withdrawal.
“I’m not optimistic about ongoing intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban as the group’s full attention is to increasing violence and war, which making any peace agreement difficult; therefore, US and NATO troop withdrawal from Afghanistan should be based on situation on ground,” said Azimi, an Afghan senator.
He added that insisting on early US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan amid of ongoing intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban was considered as an ideal situation for the group and somehow gave them a feel of victory; therefore, Taliban saw no reason to give concession on negotiating table.
According to Afghan political experts and lawmakers, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces should be equipped as well-equipped ANDSF can change the angle of war in the country.
They say that any decision that has been made for supporting Afghan militaries should be implemented as implementation of such decision can help ANDSF stand on their feet and defend the country independently.
Stressing on continued presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan, a number of Afghan military experts say Afghan National Defense and Security Forces need continued training and equipment as terrorism is unfortunately posing threats to security of Afghanistan and the region.
“Early US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan can bring out losses not only in security section but all other sectors in the country,” said Zalmay Ihsas, an Afghan military expert.
He added there would be no excuse for Taliban to fight or continue violence in Afghanistan in case early US troop withdrawal plan was implemented by Donald Trump. This comes after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has reaffirmed commitment to conditions based troop’s withdrawal and stressed consultation on the future of the alliance mission in Afghanistan.

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