The Kabul Times.
Politics

US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan & challenges ahead

Soldiers attached to the 101st Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade, Iowa National Guard and 10th Mountain, 2-14 Infantry Battalion, load onto a Chinook helicopter to head out on a mission in Afghanistan, January 15, 2019. 1st Lt. Verniccia Ford/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC110D3B25B0

By: Suraya Raiszada

If US troop withdrawal process from Afghanistan is implemented based on the US – Taliban peace deal, Afghanistan will face with different challenges in consideration to current situation in the country.
Based on the US – Taliban deal, it was determined that a ground would be paved for maintaining ceasefire and starting intra-Afghan negotiations between Afghanistan government and Taliban, but the deal was only to stress on US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Since 29 Feb 2020 when the US – Taliban peace deal was signed, no practical step has been seen from the Taliban side for reduction in violence and entering serious peace negotiation with Afghanistan government.
On the other hand, increasing insecurities, violent attacks of the Taliban on Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), IED blasts and targeted killings and lack of confidence between the warring sides have shown that Taliban is not willing to enter serious negotiating with Afghanistan government to end the continued war in the country.
What comes in minds of most Afghan people is that US has agreed to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. If this happens, the outcomes of the process will be challenging for Afghanistan. Besides, the US troop withdrawal will put Afghanistan in difficult position particularly for fighting international terrorism and maintaining security in the country.
It is known by all the people of Afghanistan even the international community that Taliban is looking for revival of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. With completion of the US troop withdrawal process from Afghanistan, the group will possibly get closer to reach their vicious goals. In addition, the completion of the process will pave the ground for another messier civil war and defeat of the convoy of 19-year democracy in Afghanistan.
Irresponsible and early US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan can change Afghanistan and the region to a hub for international terrorist and extremist groups. In addition, with the completion of the US troop withdrawal process without peace agreement between Afghanistan government and Taliban, al Qaeda and other international terrorist groups can plan further attacks on the United States and its allies.
Meanwhile, the nature and exact dimensions of threat following the completion of the US troop process is not known as there is no clear image is seen after ending the US military presence in Afghanistan. It is the people of Afghanistan who will mostly suffer following the early US troop withdrawal as Afghans will face with increasing violence and violent attacks from the Taliban side.
If the US troop withdrawal process is implemented responsibly, with close coordination of Afghanistan government and after a possible peace agreement between Afghanistan government and Taliban, Afghanistan won’t face with some messier civil war and insecurity challenges.
Although US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan can be implemented today or tomorrow, it will put some negative impacts on future of the country and region as the current Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) still needs continued military training from NATO member countries and financial assistance annually. Therefore, it is good to pay particular attention to responsibly implementation of troop withdrawal process to prevent from any possible crisis and catastrophes in Afghanistan and the region.
In current circumstances in which Taliban has not cut ties with international terrorist groups particularly al Qaeda, the military presence of US in Afghanistan is needed for the country’s armed forces despite the fact that they carry heavy burden of war on terrorism in battleground. Although Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are capable for planning and conduction any kinds of military operations against terrorist groups, they still need some support from the US and NATO member countries. It is necessary that the ANDSF needs should be urgently addressed as granting helicopters and further military equipment are considered as urgent needs of the Afghan defense and security forces.
Despite of increasing threats and military pressures from the terrorist groups, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are well-prepared and have the increasing capabilities to independently defend the country, but they still need the technical and political support of the international community particularly the US to address continued insecurities and threats if posed by international terrorist groups in the country.

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The Kabul Times.