Congresswoman Claudia Tenney addresses President Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan

  • Congresswoman Claudia Tenney addresses President Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney addresses President Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan

Matthew Hoh, a Marine combat veteran who in 2009 became the highest-ranking US official to resign from the State Department in protest of the Afghanistan war, told my colleagues at the Institute for Public Accuracy on Wednesday: "Regardless of whether the 3,500 acknowledged USA troops leave Afghanistan, the USA military will still be present in the form of thousands of special operations and Central Intelligence Agency personnel in and around Afghanistan, through dozens of squadrons of manned attack aircraft and drones stationed on land bases and on aircraft carriers in the region, and by hundreds of cruise missiles on ships and submarines".

Colin P. Clarke is the director of policy and research at the Soufan Group, a global intelligence and security consultancy based in New York City.

But a degraded Al Qaeda is not a defeated Al Qaeda. And "we will not stay involved in Afghanistan militarily".

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported in April 2019 that "the U.S. military is no longer producing its district-level stability assessments of Afghan government and insurgent control and influence" as it "was of limited decision-making value to the [U.S.] Commander".

There are several difficulties in navigating what amounts to an offshore counterterrorism strategy. Relying exclusively on existing USA bases in the Persian Gulf would be inadequate in terms of ferrying in quick reaction forces to strike high-value targets.

"We will ask other countries in the region to support Afghanistan, especially Pakistan, as well as Russia, China, India and Turkey".

Foreign troops under North Atlantic Treaty Organisation command will also withdraw from Afghanistan in coordination with the US pullout.

Pakistan will continue to work together with the global community in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan, according to the statement.

But the risks of a USA withdrawal outweigh the benefits of leaving. Despite being granted access to bases in Pakistan, Islamabad has been a partner in name only. This will lead to renewed repression of the Afghan population, with the Taliban reverting to draconian Islamic rule in the areas it controls. Both of these organizations work closely with al-Qaida. "The U.S. -backed government does not differentiate between people who look like Taliban and those who actually support the group". Pakistan and Russian Federation recently announced closer security cooperation around counterterrorism. "Our diplomacy doesn't hinge on having boots in harm's way, US boots on the ground", he said. The perception of a US overreliance on Pakistan might also complicate relations for Washington with Afghan security forces and militias, which would also be crucial to an offshore counterterrorism strategy.

It is also unclear whether the United States will continue the war by providing airpower for the Afghan military and carrying out covert operations. The Islamic State also maintains a presence in Afghanistan. And if the Taliban comes to dominate large swaths of Afghanistan militarily, it will become more hard to differentiate between the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Haqqani network. The secretary added, the US partnership with Afghanistan will continue and he issued a warning to the Taliban if the terror group attempts any attacks on American troops. Ending U.S. airstrikes and covert operations is as vital to peace as withdrawing U.S. troops.

According to Sediq, "The U.S. troops were not trained to understand and respect Afghan people's culture and religion". The cell was being instructed by an ISIS operative in Afghanistan.

Yet the Biden administration, after undertaking what it called a "rigorous" policy review, ultimately decided that it was possible to mitigate terrorist threats emanating from Afghanistan even without USA troops on the ground. After all, it was the USA withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 that provided the opportunity for the rise of the Islamic State.