Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Will the United States renege on its position of withdrawal from Afghanistan?

Friday 14/April/2023 - 07:44 PM
The Reference
Mohamed Yosry


August 15, 2021 constituted a turning point in the history of Afghanistan and the history of US military intervention abroad, especially in the volatile security areas that Washington considers a source of danger to its security. Although the withdrawal was not sudden, as the current US administration claims, the strange way in which it was carried out sparked a state of controversy at the time among observers because of the chaos that accompanied the withdrawal and the lack of clarity of vision. Recently, the United States has admitted that the situation did not go well, so will Washington review its position on the decision?


Admission of failure

The White House revealed secret documents on Thursday, April 6, about the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan. In its report that it submitted to Congress after reviewing the results of the withdrawal, it acknowledged the failure of the US intelligence services. The report claimed that it did not expect the hardline Taliban movement to take control of the country so quickly after 20 years of US intervention and support of the former Afghan government.

The recently disclosed confidential documents considered that the United States was defeated in Afghanistan after more than 20 years of operating on Afghan soil and losses amounting to more than $2 trillion.

The report blamed the administration of former US President Donald Trump, stressing that his administration left the departure to the Biden administration after setting a date for withdrawal without developing a plan clarifying the implementation mechanism and the following scenarios for withdrawal.

The report also cited the failure to plan for the withdrawal, as a suicide attack carried out by ISIS during the withdrawal process resulted in the killing of 13 American soldiers and 170 Afghans in the vicinity of the crowded airport during the military air bridge that was aimed at evacuating those who collaborated with the United States, at a time that witnessed the evacuation of more than 120,000 people in just a few days.


Trump’s response

However, former President Trump did not acknowledge the report, viewing it as deception from the current administration. He considered that current President Joe Biden bears sole responsibility for the failure withdrawing from Afghanistan, adding that they blame him for their disastrous surrender in Afghanistan and accusing Biden of being solely responsible for that disaster.


Contrasting reality

Although the documents released by the current US administration did not bring anything secret or new, except for describing the reality of the withdrawal process and its effects on the ground, they concealed other matters that were not hidden from anyone, namely the relationship of the United States with the Taliban, which extended for more than three years of direct interaction between the two parties during rounds of direct negotiations with the leaders of the movement and ended with the agreement that took place between the two parties in the Qatari capital, Doha, before the withdrawal and did not give any value to the previous Afghan government headed by Ashraf Ghani.

In addition, the terms of the agreement between the two parties were more explicit in Washington’s desire to hand over the reins of power to the Taliban immediately after the withdrawal and to give the movement the green light to seize power.

Regarding these differences between the Biden and Trump administrations and the extent to which Washington could back down from the decision to withdraw, Mohamed Abadi, a researcher in international affairs, said in exclusive statements to the Reference that it is unlikely Washington will renege on its withdrawal, as the United States is reviewing its accounts and its military interventions abroad have begun to recede due to its heavy losses, and therefore it is not It is easy to do so at the moment.

Abadi added that the current US administration completely refuses to send a new generation of US forces to fight a new war in Afghanistan, indicating that the Biden administration has no choice but to maintain the current situation.