President Biden has promised Afghan President Ghani to remain a sustainable partner, although he wants to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September. He did that during a visit from Ghani to Washington.
Biden wants 2,500 soldiers and 16,000 hired support personnel to leave Afghanistan by September. This puts an end to twenty years of American presence and struggle against the Taliban and al-Qaida in the country. America invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attack because the Taliban, who were in power at the time, protected terrorists like Osama bin Laden.
Since 2001, 2,400 soldiers have been killed and 20,000 injured. Biden wants the soldiers to leave for the twentieth commemoration of September 11, but says he does not abandon Afghans.
The announced troops withdrawal has led to uncertainty to the Afghan government. It is concerned that the Taliban is gaining strength and that the country can fall back to the period when extremist Islamists were in power and a brutal version of Islam was imposed, such as the late 90s.
Ghanas visit takes place the week when The Wall Street Journal newspaper revealed that U.S. intelligence agencies estimate that his government may fall within half a year after the military withdrawal.
Over the past few weeks, the Taliban has attacked dozens of districts and surrounded cities. Something that is happening continuously in recent years, but is considered with more care in the light of the announced troops withdrawal.
American media compares to the U.S. troop withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973, and two years later, the American-backed government of South Vietnam dropped and the communist North Vietnamese took over.
Biden wont come back to his decision. His announcement is a means of pressure on the Afghan government to reach an agreement with the Taliban to end the attacks. Negotiations have been underway in Qatar since last September, but without concrete results. The Taliban wants to say in the government.
President Ghani and chief negotiator Abdullah Abdullah expressed their unanimity visiting the Oval Office: “We are determined to come out of this unanimously,” Ghani said. Biden added that Afghans have to decide their future for themselves. “What they want. They wont miss us.”
Previously, Ghani and Abdullah met U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin in the Pentagon. Ghani said to respect the announced withdrawal and spoke of a strategic decision. Ghani wanted to debunk the image that the United States abandoned Afghans. In an opinion piece in Foreign Affairs magazine, he called the withdrawal a turning point for his country.
Fate of Interpreters
Those who are at the greatest risk of the withdrawal of Americans are the interpreters, engineers and other Afghans who have worked with the Americans in civil and diplomatic fields over the past twenty years.
The US government wants to put some 18,000 of them to safety. They would first be taken to a third country, pending their U.S. visas. What country that is, or how that procedure should continue to work, is not clear yet.
Although former President Trump wanted to withdraw US soldiers as well, Biden criticizes his plan from the Republicans. Senate Republicans President Mitch McConnell blame Biden for leaving the battlefield, creating an even greater terrorist threat. He insisted on postponing the withdrawal.
Ghani shook his hand to McConnell and held a plea for a support package to continue the fight against the Taliban.
The main goal of Ghanis visit to Washington was to show that he has the support of the US government. This proved before the meeting of the presidents; before Ghanis arrival, it was announced that America is sending 3 million Janssen vaccines to Afghanistan in the fight against corona.