Afghanistan returned to the Taliban era

According to the latest news, Kandahar, the second largest city in Afghanistan, has fallen into the hands of the armed organization Taliban the day before yesterday. The situation in the capital, Kabul, appears to be in jeopardy. The United States, which was about to complete the withdrawal at the end of this month, was forced to make emergency arrangements and temporarily decided to dispatch 3,000 American troops to Kabul to assist the evacuation of embassy personnel and other nationals.

Former US President Trump and the Taliban originally reached an agreement to complete the withdrawal of troops in September this year. President Biden announced in April that about 3,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be completely withdrawn by September 11. However, in mid-July, the US military quietly began to withdraw from the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, and the withdrawal is expected to be completed early by the end of this month.

U.S. intelligence officials estimated in June this year that Kabul might be lost as soon as six months after the U.S. withdrawal, but the situation has taken a turn for the worse in the past week. U.S. forces estimated that Kabul may fall within 90 days. In other words, the fall of Kabul is only a matter of time. Countries in the world must now prepare to face an Afghanistan that has returned to the Taliban era.

NATO and the U.S. troops withdrew one after another, and the Taliban took advantage of the situation to counterattack. The Taliban, which has been victorious in the military last year, have publicly stated that they will not join forces with the current regime in Kabul, which means that negotiations between the two sides will be interrupted. The international community originally hoped that the Afghan government and the Taliban could negotiate a peaceful settlement. However, since the multilateral meeting on the Afghan peace process held in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on the 10th of this month, the result has been deadlocked. In the current favorable situation, where is the Taliban interested in negotiations.

Kabul was embarrassed on all sides, and all countries were busy evacuation of overseas Chinese. The United States has also rapidly increased its troops to Afghanistan, obviously not wanting to repeat the history of the hastily evacuated from Saigon in 1975. Biden also said on Tuesday that he does not regret the decision to withdraw troops from the local area. He also pointed out that the US spent more than US$1 trillion (approximately S$1.36 trillion) in the 20-year war in Afghanistan for more than 300,000 Afghan soldiers. Provide training and modern weapons and equipment.

This clearly shows that the United States will never look back. The current strategic focus of the United States is to deal with China and Russia. Although Biden's approach seemed hasty and was immediately criticized by the Republican and some Democratic Party insiders, it is generally observed that the withdrawal of troops is basically a bipartisan consensus, and it is a foregone conclusion. Therefore, the White House can only bluff and threaten the Taliban verbally: "It will face international isolation after seizing power by force."

What now attracts the world's attention is the possible consequences of the Taliban's return to Kabul. The war has led to the displacement of tens of thousands of people. A humanitarian crisis is brewing. A wave of refugees fleeing from the Taliban attack has emerged. Afghans fleeing the war have fled to the capital to seek refuge. According to the International Organization for Migration, about 30,000 Afghans are now fleeing their homeland every week, with Afghanistan’s neighbors, including Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan, who bear the brunt.
But these countries cannot accept an unlimited number of refugees. Once Kabul falls, tens of thousands of new refugees may also flock to Europe. Austria, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, and Germany have issued warnings to the European Union not to open the door to Afghan refugees. What will happen to the Afghans who have been in chaos and abandoned, and who have been ravaged by war for a long time but do not want to be ruled by the Taliban?

But another issue that deserves more attention from the international community is whether the military victory of the Taliban will inspire more terrorist activities by extremist Islamic organizations. Twenty years ago, the United States sent troops to Afghanistan precisely because the Taliban had covered Osama, the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Taliban seemed vulnerable back then, but now they have begun to publicize that it defeated the United States and NATO allied forces. This will surely give the jihadists a great spiritual inspiration, and Afghanistan is likely to become a hotbed of terrorism again. And extremist organizations such as the Islamic State Organization and Al-Qaeda will also take the opportunity to recruit troops and expand their momentum.

The vacuum left by the hurried departure of the US and NATO forces will definitely change the already complicated geopolitical landscape in this region. In the foreseeable future, not only will Afghanistan itself be in turmoil, it will also become a source of regional turmoil.

via: Zaobao

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