KT edit: Afghanistan needs regional partners to rebuild the country
Trump's plan to withdraw both enables and threatens the prospects of peace in the country.
Ten rounds of peace talks over last year with the Taleban and an imminent announcement by the US administration that it has reached a deal with the extremist outfit could be a turning point for the war-torn country. But before the US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad could announce the apparent success of his administration, the news was punctuated with the reports of a blast in Kabul. A truck bomb exploded close to Green Village, a compound in Kabul hosting international groups. The Taleban claimed responsibility saying it had targeted foreign occupiers. Two major cities in northern Afghanistan were attacked by the group this week alone. Dozens of civilians and security forces were killed.
Several were wounded and disabled for life. The Taleban have been ruthless in their attacks and are guided by their mission to turn the country into an extremist state. For 40 years, the country has been trying to find a way to bring back calm and normalcy. And now as US President Donald Trump is desperate to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan soil. Fear that the country could turn into a future sanctuary for terrorists looms large. The US administration is trying to explore ways to partner with the Taleban. The peace deal is based on the premise that the group would cut ties with Al Qaeda and provide counter-terrorism guarantees. But can they be trusted when the only language the extremist group knows is of violence?
Trump's plan to withdraw both enables and threatens the prospects of peace in the country. The Taleban already have control over more than half of Afghanistan. America's military adventurism didn't succeed in reining in terror, and its continued presence might not produce any better results too. It is a catch22 situation for the Afghan government that is not even part of the peace talks. As the US troops withdraw, the tide of Afghan support may well accelerate in favour of the Taleban and against the government. However, regional cooperation can help rebuild the country. Afghanistan needs the support of regional players like Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China, and India. Nation-building is the only way to save Afghanistan from becoming a sanctuary for terrorists and insurgents. And for that it needs regional support and projects, not military adventurism.