May 2 2021 U.S. forces are pulling out of Afghanistan’s “security hole” who will fill it
U.S. and NATO troops officially launched the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan on the 1st. Before and after that, attacks continued throughout Afghanistan and the security situation continued to be critical.
Experts believe that the U. S. military in Afghanistan 20 years of “counter-terrorism” operations have had little effect, but triggered a large-scale humanitarian disaster, and the withdrawal left a huge “security hole” difficult to fill. Afghanistan will continue to struggle with conflict and instability for some time to come.
The chaos is even more messy
U.S. President Joe Biden announced in mid-April that U.S. troops in Afghanistan would begin withdrawing on May 1st and fully by September 11th, ending the longest war in U.S. history. The night before the official withdrawal of U.S. troops began, a car bomb attack in Pul Alam, the capital of eastern Lugar province, killed more than 30 people and wounded more than 70 others. Provincial officials said it was Taliban militants who carried out the attack.
Afghan Taliban militants have re-energed since the U.S. announced a timetable for withdrawal. In the past half-month, the Taliban have carried out multiple attacks in 24 provinces in Afghanistan, killing at least 226 civilians and soldiers, according to dawn news.com.au. Afghan officials say the Taliban have also stepped up attacks on the government in recent days.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a post on social media on the 1st, the United States and NATO troops did not complete the withdrawal by May 1, in violation of the United States and the Taliban previously agreed that the Taliban will take action against the United States and NATO troops. The Trump administration reached an agreement with the Taliban in February to withdraw U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan by May 1, but the Biden administration delayed the withdrawal schedule when it took office.
The U.S. launched the war in Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but over the past two decades, the security situation in Afghanistan has not improved, even as U.S. troops are about to leave. The latest report released by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in April showed that 573 civilians were killed and 1,210 wounded in the first quarter of this year, with casualties up 29 per cent year-on-year, with casualties among women and children up 37 per cent and 23 per cent year-on-year, respectively.
Afghan political commentator Nazari Pariani told News Agency that the U.S.-led war on terror, in which a large number of Afghan civilians and members of the Afghan security forces have been killed, has now increased the number of terrorist organizations in Afghanistan from a single figure 20 years ago to more than 20, the U.S. counterterrorism gains are close to zero, the U.S.-led Western coalition in Afghanistan has undoubtedly suffered defeat.
Hamid, a Kabul resident, said the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops was too hasty and irresponsible. Now, he says, the entire country is facing a bitter conflict, and the U.S. military has abandoned Afghans in a desperate war situation.
The outlook is bleak
With neither the eradication of terrorist organizations nor the achievement of peace in Afghanistan, the United States troops have left behind a country of constant conflict, devastation and suffering. Statistics show that 72 per cent of the Population of Afghanistan lives below the poverty line, unemployment is as high as 38 per cent, some 11 million people are refugees and 3.5 million children are out of school.
Multiple factors have left Afghanistan’s future prospects bleak. First, the outcome of the peace talks within Afghanistan is difficult. Despite U.S. push for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the Taliban have been negative and are now stalling. Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Commission for National Reconciliation, said Monday that he doubts the sincerity of the Taliban in wanting peace.
Nishank Motwani, an Afghan political analyst, said peace would not be possible in Afghanistan after the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops, and the civil war would intensify, even excluding the Taliban from returning to power in Afghanistan.
Zhu Yongxuan, director of the Center for Afghan Studies at Lanzhou University, believes the Taliban are more of a strategy than an end goal. The Taliban remain committed to a self-ruled regime.
Second, the current regime’s ability to “self-reliance” is in doubt. The Afghan government remains highly dependent on U.S. support, especially from the Afghan defense and security forces, and on U.S. “blood transfusions”, both financially and humanly, according to a report released by the U.S. government. A full withdrawal of U.S. troops would test the ability of Afghan forces to defend the Afghan government without direct support from the U.S. military and its coalition forces.
Third, a power vacuum will trigger a race against each other. The end of the long-term Western military presence will create a power vacuum that forces will seek to fill and the situation in Afghanistan may be more fragile than it is now, former German Foreign Minister Wolfgang Fischer has written.
Zhu Yongxuan believes that the United States, India, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and other parties in Afghanistan have forces, in the future for the fight for influence, do not rule out the possibility of proxy war in Afghanistan. He also pointed out that the power vacuum in Afghanistan may also breed new terrorist organizations in the future, posing new threats to Afghanistan, the region and the international community.