The Taliban are back, stronger.
US President Joe Biden announced plans to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in April. Now that the US military presence in Afghanistan for 20 years has achieved its goal, it is time to bring it home. But somehow, Yosai Taliban’s power is stronger than ever. In particular, the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has accelerated as the US military hastily prepared to leave. It is predicted that it will only be a matter of time before the Taliban will overthrow the current government and take over as it did 25 years ago.
Despite this, President Biden repeatedly announced on the 8th that he would withdraw U.S. troops. The target for the completion of the withdrawal of the troops, which was previously mentioned, “before September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” has also been moved up to the 31st of next month. ‘It is in their hands to protect their country,’ and the work of the United States is over.
America busy leaving
On October 1, 2001, 20 days after the 9/11 attacks, then US Secretary of State Colin Powell sent a telegram entitled ‘Message to the Taliban’ to his envoy in Pakistan. There are four main contents of the telegram. △ Knowing that al Qaeda is plotting another terrorist attack △ Any terrorist attack on the United States and its allies in Afghanistan will be catastrophic △ Handing over al Qaeda leader is for your survival △ Taliban It is a warning that the leaders are accountable and that all foundations of the Taliban regime will be destroyed.
Six days later, the United States, along with Britain, Canada and other NATO allies, invaded Afghanistan. As indicated in the telegram, the US and its allies poured firepower on the Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan, and the Taliban regime collapsed within two months.
Muhammad Omar, the then supreme leader of the Taliban, and Osama bin Laden, the chief of al Qaeda, fled to avoid the Yongke attack. Pakistan denies this, but the Taliban leaders cross over to Quetta, Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, and gather up their ranks, waiting for the day they will be reunited.
Although the Taliban regime has collapsed, the Taliban continue to stimulate the US military through guerrilla tactics. After nearly 20 years of boring time with no winners or losers, both the United States and the Taliban are getting tired of the never-ending war. Eventually, in February last year, the Trump administration signed a peace treaty with the Taliban and began withdrawing its troops. Even at that time, it was pointed out that the establishment of peace in Afghanistan was far away, but the United States, who wanted to get out of the swamp of Afghanistan, and the Taliban, who wanted to stretch out their legs in Afghanistan, had no desire to break the agreement. The same goes for the Biden administration.
The United States, which was rushing to withdraw its troops, finally withdrew from the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in the middle of the night on the 2nd, like a night escape. Bagram Base, located 45 km north of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, was the largest military base symbolizing the Afghan war. At times, 100,000 Americans were stationed there. In such a place, they threw away 3.5 million military supplies and other goods, thousands of civilian vehicles, hundreds of armored vehicles, and many small arms and left without notifying the Afghan military.
President Biden said at a recent briefing that “there is nothing we can do now in Afghanistan no matter how many US troops are stationed in Afghanistan”. achieved,” he said. However, in a situation where there are high concerns about security in Afghanistan, the hasty withdrawal is ultimately for the sake of selection and concentration of foreign policy. “We can’t afford to be tied to the policies of 20 years ago,” Biden said. “The United States should focus on responding to new competition from China and other countries,” he said. Whether the United States came to Afghanistan or left Afghanistan is ultimately for the benefit of the United States.
As U.S. troops begin to withdraw, embassies in Afghanistan are taking measures for security concerns. The Australian embassy in Afghanistan withdrew to a third country at the end of last month, and India temporarily withdrew its consulate personnel. The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also asked Koreans living in Afghanistan to leave.
The Taliban are busy exporting
When U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the Taliban were estimated to be around 45,000 people. After that, it decreased to about 10,000 people, but started to increase again after 2010, and is currently estimated to be between 55,000 and 85,000. It is the largest since the formation of the Taliban. The pace at which the Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan has also nearly doubled since President Biden’s announcement of a withdrawal. The Taliban claim that it has acquired 85% of the current land. To this, the United States is showing only a principled response that “we are monitoring the situation” without affirming or denying it.
The Afghan government, which was not part of the peace treaty between the United States and the Taliban in the first place, said, “We have retreated strategically, but the government will come back soon. Areas controlled by the Taliban have little tactical value.” But Al Jazeera said the Taliban-controlled border area is rich in minerals and will fill the safes of armed groups.
Experts believe that the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is only a matter of time, and they are paying attention to what kind of political power they will show.
When the Taliban overthrew Afghan President Burhanuddin Ravani and took power in 1996, public opinion in Afghanistan was favorable to the Taliban. Tired of the power struggle within the mujahideen (anti-Soviet guerrilla militant group), the main pillar of the Ravani government, and rape, looting, and arson, the Afghan people looked to the Taliban.
But the Taliban took it one step further. Television, music and movies were banned, and girls over the age of 10 were not allowed to attend school. A beard is mandatory for men and a burqa (muslim attire that covers the body except for the eyes) is mandatory for women. The criminals were publicly executed and amputated.
With the United States still remaining in Afghanistan, the Taliban are concentrating on being as modest as possible. “They[the Taliban]recently made a nice English statement to respect human rights and women’s rights,” said Shaharzad Akbar, chairman of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, in Foreign Policy. . In fact, until recently, the Taliban did not hesitate to assassinate. Journalists, judges, peace activists and women in power are the main targets.
Michael Kugelman, a South Asian expert at the Wilson Center, analyzed, “In the Taliban, the messages of the senior foreign affairs leadership and the battlefield commander are sharply different.” The military commanders want to conquer Afghanistan even if they give up on the peace talks, while the diplomatic leaders are in the position that international peace talks need to be strengthened in order for the Taliban to be recognized as a normal partner.
Currently, the conflict between the moderate and hard-liners in the Taliban is not prominent because of the clear goal of ‘getting the US military and NATO out of Afghanistan’, but once the ‘public enemy’ leaves, a fierce power struggle between the two forces is highly likely. An official from the National Security Council of Afghanistan said, “The Taliban did not think deeply about what kind of society Afghanistan should be. It is an important limitation of the Taliban.”
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