EDITORIAL: The Taliban militant group in Afghanistan has urged the new US administration to withdraw all foreign forces by changing its Afghan policy. The Taliban has warned that the presence of the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan would prolong the Afghan war. Prior to this, Taliban has asked the Obama administration to leave Afghanistan.Such remarks showing frustration of the insurgents which is growing day by day. The day is not far when they would face complete isolation like their masters. The statement of the insurgents has become a headline in media, but it has no value for Afghans and Americans.
But, what makes the Taliban so strong to issue such warning to the superpower is a question in itself to ponder over. The US-led coalition forces’ war strategy against Afghan militants is based on short-term objectives and military gains. Drawdown and gradual increase in troops is adopted as a common exercise. The US increase number of troops when Taliban gains foothold in the space provided by the drawdown. Taking advantage of the space, the militants send message of their strong presence by launching militant attacks in various parts of the country.
How to overcome the America’s longest war in Afghanistan, Trump’s Afghan policy has become a hot potato because the new US president has not shared his plans. On the other hand, while addressing US troops in Bagram, through a video link on Friday, Donald Trump appreciated and encouraged the American forces in Afghanistan. “We are going to win”. Trump said that US forces are doing great to defeat militant and terrorist outfits in Afghanistan. It is too early to predict that he would withdraw all troops from the war-hit country by the end of his four-year term. However, if he took the decision it would prove catastrophic for the US.
The high ranking officials of US army believe in continued military assistance to the Afghan security forces. Withdrawal of US-led NATO forces from Afghanistan would lead to failure of Afghan mission and could create disastrous situation. Taliban’s attacks and interference of neighboring and regional hostile countries cannot be ignored. Therefore, instead of withdrawal and drawdown, the US forces must target the safe sanctuaries of terrorists in the hostile neighboring countries.
Military assistance to Afghan security forces must be provided to enhance and improve their capability. Donald Trump is supposed to be a man of strong will and commitment. Thus, the new US administration should not allow Pakistan and Iran—the two neighbors, to use Taliban as their strategic assets in Afghanistan. The new US president can improve relations with Russia which would be a bad news for Pakistan, functioning as the biggest supporter and launching pad of Taliban against Afghanistan and US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan as well.
THE PASHTUN TIMES