The US and coalition withdrawal from Afghanistan which started on 1st May; has created diverse opinions on whether the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) are able to defend the country against the possible post-withdrawal chaos? However, the US and NATO officials have always shown their support and continuous cooperation with Afghan forces. The US National Security Advisor earlier emphasized that the United States will remain deeply engaged in Afghanistan. It will remain in contact with the Government of Afghanistan and the Afghan people, as US troops depart the country.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday, May 27; NATO allies will continue to support Afghanistan through civilian experts. The experts will help to advise government ministries, by funding the security forces. They will also advise on the slow-moving peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban. He further added that NATO will try to provide training to Afghan forces outside the country. However, no official decision has been taken yet. Additionally, Stoltenberg emphasized that it is time for the Afghan government and the ANDSF to take over the responsibility for the country’s peace and security.
Building Bases in Neighbouring Countries Still an Option to Support ANDSF
Following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the United States is seeking the cooperation of Afghanistan’s neighbours to support the ANDSF. The Taliban have warned that they will not remain silent on this matter. Pakistan has already refused to allow the US military base in its territory. However, according to reports, the US is in negotiation with Pakistani officials on a possible framework to make it happen.
On the other hand, building a military base in a Central Asian country to monitor Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops is another possible option. However, Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan, recently stated that; Tajikistan and Uzbekistan would not allow the United States to have a military base in their territory.