The Taliban has once again captured most of the parts of Afghanistan and has started to rule over the country as well. On one side the questions are being raised if countries will accept and recognize the Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan and its participation in international politics, the other side clearly states how the Taliban has taken over most of the country by capturing the cities one by one. The claims how the Afghan people desperately wanted the Taliban to take over are lies as the world has seen the anxiety inside people and their try to exist in the country in every possible way. Starting from controlling the ruler areas of Afghanistan, the Taliban has control over all the major cities including the capital city, Kabul. The legitimacy that stated about the peace and well-being of the country seems to be in despair.
The previous president of the US, Donald Trump circumvented the National Unity Government of Afghanistan led by Ashraf Ghani and entered into clandestine negotiation and after then an agreement with the Taliban. Whatever was written in this particular legal document “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan”, that was signed between the US and the Taliban was never discussed at any level within the US Congress and neither in the British Parliament. In some or other manner, it should have been known that what is written in this agreement to both public and office workers but the full text of the agreement was not published in the front pages of any public newspapers, maybe this was particularly done to not encourage people to participate in a democratic manner which itself is quite ironic.
The Trump Administration did not seek discussion at any level because they knew that a superpower like the United States seeking security guarantees from a non-state player for safe withdrawal of its forces and also of those of its allies will not be approved by many of the democracies.
Some Points of The Agreement Done Between The United States Under Trump’s Administration And The Taliban
The agreement which was signed by both of the parties clearly stated that the United States does not recognize the Taliban or the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan as a government but the only party recognized in this particular agreement will be the Taliban or the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan. The United States did not consider the Taliban as a state but the text of this agreement does acknowledge that the Taliban controls most of the parts and tracks that come under Afghanistan. Based on this acknowledgment of the de-facto territorial control of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan or the Taliban even after military intervention by the United States troops and other allies for twenty years, the agreement seeks “guarantees and enforcement mechanisms” from the group to prevent the use of “the soil of Afghanistan by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies”.
For accepting a state in international relations, the control of territory is a very important precondition. The text also mentioned that the United States and its allies want guarantee from the Taliban that the part of Afghanistan that is under their control will not be used against the United States nor its allies- “ The United States and its allies will refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Afghanistan or intervening in its domestic affairs”.
The agreement signed by both of the parties also states that the Taliban will be responsible for starting intra-Afghan negotiations with Afghan sides after the two security guarantees are announced. This agreement opened the room for the Taliban to be recognized as Afghan nationalists.
This agreement also carries provisions for “A plan to expeditiously release combat and political prisoners as a confidence-building measure” and said that those released “will be committed to the responsibilities in this agreement”. This agreement conveniently erases all memories of the lawfare which defines the lawful and unlawful combatants and prisoners war as it refers to the release of “combat and political prisoners”
Words Of Joe Biden, The Current President Of The United States
The current president of the United States, Joe Biden has stood by his decision of withdrawal of US troops as the war was turning uglier in recent days. He listed out the person to be blamed for this situation, his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Donald Trump signed an agreement with the Taliban last year to pull out and Biden was left with no choice but to follow through with the deal he inherited or send more US troops back to the war zone of Afghanistan and risk their lives as they would be stuck in a “forever war”. He had to make one decision and he chose to bring back the soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
The withdrawal was questioned by many people, as expected. There was a debate going on whether the mayhem in Kabul was inevitable or was just a failure, it was also said that if the decision was the other way round then there were chances that the situation surely would have been different. Joe Biden has two choices in front of him: either he could have withdrawn the forces, which he did, or sign to an endless escalation of the war. Since then he has been telling the public that for him, it was not a choice because he knew that Americans favored getting out of the ugly situation, “There was only the cold reality of either following through on the agreement to withdraw our forces or escalating the conflict and sending thousands more United States’ troops back into combat in Afghanistan, lurching into the third decade of conflict” Biden said when the Taliban captured Kabul in August.
According to the critics, there might not have been a clear win but the situation could have been different than today and the disaster that unfolded in Kabul could have been stopped if a different approach was followed. “The administration is presenting the choices in a way that is, at best, incomplete,” said Meghan O’Sullivan who was a deputy national adviser under President George W.Bush who saw the earlier stages of the Afghanistan war. “No one I knew was advocating the return of tens of thousands of Americans into ‘open combat’ with the Taliban”. The current military leadership of Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen and Mark Milley, chair of Joint Chiefs said that a relatively modest number of 3,000 to 4,500 troops with extensive use of drones including close air aid could have helped enable Afghanistan security forces to continue holding the Taliban off without putting Americans at severe risk.
It was not like Biden did not look to other options, his team considered other options including keeping the present troops for operations and supporting Afghanistan forces but it didn’t work out as planned. They also discussed renegotiating Trump’s agreement but the Taliban already made it clear that they were in no mood to bargain on the table once again.
Maybe, the president of the United States had options in front of him but if we listen to his advisers, he has already decided to take the step. The returning of the US military troops from Afghanistan may or may not be good for the United States but it did push Afghanistan into a worse situation. If we look, Biden made a choice which he thought would be good overall. Now, he had become America’s president who put an end to its longest war. At this point it does not matter if he was right or wrong, he already did what he thought and ended the war and there is no question on that part.