From time to time I get some grad students papers to read…..the following is one of those papers…..
The US has a peace deal with the Taleban…..for good or bad…..
On February 29, 2020, in Doha, Qatar the United States and the Afghan Taliban signed a peace agreement designed to end the long war in Afghanistan. The agreement contains largely the same conditions that had been agreed upon in September 2019 but which was scuttled by President Trump. Essentially, this agreement calls for the removal of United States and Coalition forces from Afghanistan in exchange for the promise that the Taliban would not allow terrorist groups to operate on Afghan soil. However, the agreement is premised on several assumptions that will make its success problematic. The agreement assumes a functioning Afghan government in Kabul with which to negotiate. The recent Afghan presidential election, rather than resolving who is in charge, has in fact muddied the waters. The failed presidential election took place last September, but the vote counting process was so confused and contested that the winner was not announced until February 18, 2020, almost five months after the election took place. The flawed and contentious election has resulted in a contested and split government in Kabul, creating a stalemate regarding who is in charge and making the implementation of the next step in the peace agreement problematic. The result may be that with a weak, or split, government in Kabul, the Taliban will be in a stronger position to dictate terms of an agreement over the future of Afghanistan favorable to their point of view.
After 19 years there are whispers of a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan…..and I state again….”whispers”…..Pompeo has threatened a cut of a billion dollars in aid because of the impasse…..an impasse of the creation of the US….
NBC News, quoting two current US senior officials (and one former official) on Tuesday reported that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a trip to Kabul two weeks ago on March 23, threatened President Ashraf Ghani and his opponent Abdullah Abdullah that President Trump might do a complete troop pullout, as well as an cut aid, if the dispute continues.
Immediately following his visit to Kabul, the US State Department released a statement saying that because of the failure of the Afghan leaders to end the political impasse, $1 billion in US aid money for Afghanistan would be cut, and funding in 2021 might also be reduced.
However, the statement about a complete troop withdrawal was not previously reported.
That promise has been made so many times that most of us have lost count.
Let’s say the US pulls troops…what will that mean for the region and for say China?
With the U.S. troop withdrawal in sight, Afghanistan’s future seems less certain than ever. As a neighboring state with significant interests at stake, how does China view and prepare for Afghanistan’s future?
Since 9/11, the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has presented a dilemma for China. On the one hand, Beijing instinctively sees American troops in China’s “backyard” as a serious strategic threat. However, China believes that it has benefited from the security that the United States has provided there, especially in terms of curtailing the growth and spread of anti-China terrorist groups. The implication of this dilemma is that China wants the United States to withdraw — but only when the withdrawal is responsible and does not leave a chaotic power vacuum that would destabilize the region. The reality, however, is that the American decision regarding Afghanistan will be made in Washington — not Beijing — and that China must react to whatever moves the United States makes going forward.
China will probably use their best weapon in Afghanistan….economics.
One last point…..the Taleban is preparing for our departure and their ascension to power…..
A draft of a Taliban charter consisting of a list of rules, presumably intended as a guide for the potential future governance of Afghanistan, was shared with TOLOnews by a senior government official. Titled “The charter of the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan,” the list of articles looks very similar to those of the former Taliban regime, which was in power in Kabul from 1996 to 2001.
The charter, which calls for the establishment of an Islamic emirate, has 149 articles which include a broad range of topics covering how laws will be passed to the mandate for a white flag.
The document which is seen by the leadership of the Afghan government suggests that the Taliban’s plans for their “future government” are not very different from the policies of their former regime.
So basically….Afghanistan will return to the way it was in 2000 before the invasion and occupation.
Same as it ever was!
And they may well be much more successful than the use of force.
Just a thought.
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