The Kabul Times.
Politics Security

US forces preparing to return to Afghanistan if threats posed

By: Suraya Raiszada

Based on reports, US forces are preparing for possible return to Afghanistan in future as concerns are raising over increasing presence of al-Qaeda in the region particularly Afghanistan.
In a Congress committee hearing, Ronald Moultrie, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security, confirmed that intelligence lessons are being learned in case there is a need to return. His answer came in reply to a question by Mike Waltz, a member of the US House of Representatives and a former Special Forces soldier in Afghanistan.
‘There is a strong likelihood that we may have to go back,’ said Waltz. ‘Al-Qaeda will resurge in the wake of Taliban gains and does intend to attack the United States again if given the opportunity.’
“It is what we’re exactly thinking of – we’re people trying to make sure what intelligence networks are focusing on,” Moultrie stressed.
In April, US President Joe Biden despite US army suggestions decided on full troops withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11 this year.
More than half of US troop withdrawal process has been completed so far. Experts are afraid of returning Taliban to get the power once again in absence of foreign troops in the country.
A number of Afghan experts say US knows that terrorist groups are threatening Afghanistan and early troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will cause worse scenarios in the country.
They are stressing that US should make further steps towards maintaining peace in Afghanistan, violence and Taliban attacks will increase in the country where other terrorist groups including al- Qaeda and Daesh will also pose serious threats to Afghanistan and the region.
Afghanistan National Security Council in its recent statement in connection with relations between the Taliban and al-Qaeda has said it would be difficult for the Taliban group to cut ties with al Qaeda as both have common interests and deep ideologic relations.
“The formula of Taliban’s power in Afghanistan has been described mistakenly. For time being, Afghan are standing to defend the system and its values; therefore, neither Taliban nor any other groups can forcefully impose its system on the people,” said Rahmatullah Andar, a spokesperson to the country’s national security council.
This comes after United Nations Security Council in its recent report has said that presence of al Qaeda has been reported in at least 15 provinces particularly in the country’s eastern, southern and south-eastern provinces.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has also expressed concern over increasing violence and civilian casualties in the country, saying that most civilian casualties have been caused by IED explosions used by Taliban.
On the other hand, officials for the ministry of defense say the country’s air forces have conducted lots of air strikes against Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in outskirts of Helmand’s Nawa district, inflecting heavy casualties to the groups in the province in recent weeks.
This comes amid of increasing violence and Taliban attacks in 26 provinces of the country. Although Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have launched military operations in several provinces, Taliban fighters are still posing threats to the government and people in different parts of the country.
It is worth mentioning that US and NATO troops withdrawal process was started on May 1st and it is determined that the process will be completed by early September.

 

 

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The Kabul Times.