India's military czar concerned about U.S. pullout from Afghanistan

Marco Green
April 16, 2021

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan starting on May 1 to end America's longest war, rejecting calls for them to stay to ensure a peaceful resolution to that nation's grinding internal conflict. Hoh, a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy, was a Marine in the occupation of Iraq, followed by a State Department position in Afghanistan.

He said all United States troops would be withdrawn from the strife-torn country by September 11 to end America's longest war that has cost trillions of dollars and the lives of over 2,400 American soldiers. Biden's delayed troop withdrawal may start then, but will it be as complete as promised?

"Doha peace pact called for the US forces to evacuate by May 1 and the Taliban to cut ties with Al Qaeda".

The most recent estimate of the financial cost to the US of the war in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, from Brown University's Cost of War project, is $2.3 trillion - which could have built a lot of infrastructure, in Afghanistan and in the United States.

Policymakers, high-ranking military officials and counterterrorism analysts are concerned that in the absence of a USA military presence in Afghanistan, al-Qaida will metastasize and once again pose a direct threat to the us homeland. CIA Director William Burns acknowledged the challenges that a usa withdrawal will present to intelligence collection and the ability to act on that intelligence.

There are several difficulties in navigating what amounts to an offshore counterterrorism strategy.

Sediq pointed out that the U.S. "That is why we need a United Nations peacekeeping force immediately". The Pentagon is reportedly discussing several Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. But both Russian Federation and China exert significant economic and political influence in the region, and this option would put the the mercy of internal politics in countries at risk of instability. Without U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan, intelligence analysis must occur from afar.

India is concerned about a vacuum developing in Afghanistan following the proposed withdrawal of the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces from the country, the chief of the defence staff said on Thursday.

Now, after almost twenty years of a war that has been as bloody and futile as all those previous invasions and occupations, the last 3,500 USA troops and their North Atlantic Treaty Organisation brothers-in-arms will be coming home from Afghanistan. Despite being granted access to bases in Pakistan, Islamabad has been a partner in name only.

"This support of the Taliban runs counter to Pakistani cooperation with the United States, including as they have, allowing the use of airspace and other infrastructure for which the United States provided significant funding", he said. Both of these organizations work closely with al-Qaida.

As with Central Asian countries, staging the crux of USA counterterrorism operations from Pakistan would make the US hostage to geopolitics. Pakistan's domestic population has demonstrated a strong anti-American streak. And Pakistan's close relationship with China means that Beijing could also have a say in what shape a US presence in Pakistan might take. The perception of a USA overreliance on Pakistan might also complicate relations for Washington with Afghan security forces and militias, which would also be crucial to an offshore counterterrorism strategy. "Additionally, Pakistan's ISI aided and abetted the Taliban while opportunistically cooperating with the United States", Reed said.

"Many locals do not support the government, but also don't support the Taliban".

According to Ihsanullah Sediq, political representative of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan, the next five months will be crucial for the future of Afghanistan. -Afghan Forces and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Under the terms of the withdrawal, the USA government has pledged to "hold the Taliban to its commitment to ensure Al Qaeda doesn't threaten" the US and allied interests. "This is a mistake, US should not have extended the deadline until September 11". The cell was being instructed by an ISIS operative in Afghanistan.

Biden is also coming under attack from Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Senator Mitch McConnell artfully slammed Biden's decision, accusing him of helping US enemies "ring in the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by gift-wrapping the country and handing it right back to them". After all, it was the US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 that provided the opportunity for the rise of the Islamic State.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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