At least 11 members of the United States House of Representatives wrote to President Joe Biden. It was regarding the “enduring interests and ideals that should continue to govern US operations in Afghanistan; even as the armed forces’ mission in the nation ends.”
The congressmen expressed optimism that President Biden will continue to state unequivocally that America’s policy in Afghanistan is to support the survival and success of the Afghan government. It is to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. Biden further stated that America will stand by Afghans who “bet their lives on the future the US promised them.”
Re-imposing Mediaeval Authority
According to the parliamentarians, the capabilities of Afghanistan’s security forces would determine whether the Taliban’s success in “re-imposing medieval” authority over Afghans. Similarly, It will determine whether Al-Qaeda and Daesh re-establish terrorist shelter there. Also, whether the country once again unravels in civil war.”
“Moreover, if there is any chance of a just and peaceful resolution in Afghanistan; it will only happen when the Afghan military shows the Taliban that their insurgency will not succeed on the battlefield,” the MPs stated.
“We need a strategy to sustain our Afghan military partners once our troops are gone,” they added. They also cited the Afghan army’s critical relevance and multi-year international investment in its development.
Furthermore, they stated that though Afghans have long borne the brunt of the counterterrorism struggle in their country, they continue to rely significantly on US and foreign enablers, like intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, as well as equipment maintenance and repair.
The Lawmakers noted that “although most of these responsibilities are provided by contractors. The Taliban-US deal will necessitate their departure as well”. Additionally, they added, “there have even been indications that Turkey is considering pulling their security soldiers that currently safeguard Kabul International Airport.”
The US to Help Afghanistan in Essential Military Capabilities
“We would support continued funding from the United States to assist Afghanistan in maintaining essential military capabilities. As you may be aware, the Taliban-US agreement forbids the US from hiring contractors or sending uniformed forces to help the Afghans,” the lawmakers stated.
Furthermore, according to the lawmakers, the Afghan government is still permitted to hire its contractors. The US lawmakers stated that the Taliban’s efforts to overthrow the Afghan government by force continue. They said it is time to adopt a stronger strategy against the Taliban’s international allies, including potential penalties.
This comes as the United States begins to remove its soldiers from Afghanistan after a 20-year deployment. On Tuesday, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad claimed that predictions that the Taliban will soon overrun Afghan forces and take Kabul following full US withdrawal are overly gloomy.
Khalilzad informed the House Foreign Affairs Committee that; “I feel that statements that their forces will collapse and the Talibs will take over in short order are mistaken”.
Even after a three-day ceasefire from May 12 to 15, violence in the country has remained high. Just one day after the ceasefire broke, the Defense Ministry reported hostilities in 18 provinces.
According to Khalilzad, both the Afghan government and the Taliban must contribute to the Peace Process. He emphasised the need for Pakistan’s participation in Afghan Peace efforts.