The US decision to pull back its troops from Afghanistan by 11 September this year, two decades after being victims of a spectacular terrorist attack, would draw the curtains down from a war that had tested its patience and endurance for remaining engaged in a war torn country which historically has been the nemesis of a good many powers over centuries.
“Ironically, the legitimate government in Kabul would become the ‘sacrificial lamb’ in the game of one up man ship for ruling Afghanistan once US and its allies abandon Afghanistan,” opines Brig NK Bhatia, Indian Army veteran.
With the Biden administration announcing withdrawal of US troops in September, there is growing concern in the countries in the region and especially for India. The fears of the resurgence of Taliban in Afghanistan are real and it is a huge security concern for India.
War torn Afghanistan
In 2001, the US forces led invasion ousted the Taliban from there. So far it has according to reports spent more than USD 1 Trillion. This amount has been spent not only in fighting the Taliban but in also rebuilding the war torn Afghanistan.
While several thousands of Afghan troops, civilians and Taliban insurgents were killed in the operations which have lasted over two decades, the US has lost around 2,400 soldiers.
What has the Biden Administration announced?
Earlier this week the Biden administration has announced the withdrawal of the US, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Allies and operational partners from Afghanistan by September 11 this year.
This will bring the curtains down on a war which lasted two decades.
This was announced by the US President Joe Biden, in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday (April 14, 2021).
The process of the withdrawal of the forces will start next month, which according to the US President will be done responsibly, safely and deliberately
Sharing his views with Financial Express Online, Brig Bhatia, an expert on the region says, “The forthcoming peace talks in Istanbul, rescheduled from 16 April and now spread over 10 days between 24 April and 04 May 2021 will try to smoothen the future road map of Afghanistan over discussions, after Taliban and Afghan government, both agreed to attend. But it is any body’s guess as to the outcome of discussions with over 20 countries participating with each having its own allies, proxies and interests to back.”
“US has been facing the dilemma as how to withdraw from Afghanistan and honour the agreed roadmap it had signed in Doha more than a year back with the Taliban that has been threatening to legitimise its hold over Afghanistan through barrel of the gun,” he opines.
Significantly UN is also participating in the talks. Hopefully it may see some role for itself in Afghanistan’s future if all participants agree to work under its umbrella unitedly for restoring peace.
“The threat to peace and stability of Afghanistan remain primarily from multiple power centers that have continued to work with tacit backing of war lords and foreign powers. They for sure are going to resent if kept out of any power sharing,” says Brig Bhatia.
In conclusion he says, “Unless backed by enforceable guarantees and agreements that binds Taliban to honour their commitment to peace, any future agreement is bound to fail if Taliban tries to assert its predominance to take control of the country.”