The U.S. intervention in Afghanistan has been a defining dilemma for a generation of American diplomats, military personnel, aid providers, and policymakers. The war has taken the lives of nearly 2,500 U.S. servicemen and service-women, cost a trillion dollars, and occupied the attention of four presidential administrations. The United States requires a new approach to match this new phase. On September 11, 2001 after the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, Afghanistan went from USA’s lowest dolomitic priorities to its highest. USA had spent around $3 trillion in Afghanistan in 20 years. Now finally this war is going to end as the USA will withdraw all its troops from the land of Afghanistan by 9 September 2021, exactly 20 years after the 9/11 attack.
The peace talk between Afghanistan and Taliban was started many times between 2011 and 2013 but they failed. The peace deal was re-established when Trump took the office in 2016 and made efforts to start negotiation between the government of Afghanistan and Taliban. The deal was signed in February 2020 by the Trump administration and withdrawing the American troops from the foreign land became the top priority. The deal said that the USA and its NATO allies would withdraw all troops in 14 months, if the Taliban upheld its promises, including not allowing al-Qaeda or other militants to operate in areas it controlled, and proceeding with national peace talks.
Ghani government has kept its side of the barging by pulling out around 5000 Taliban prisoners, even the USA is keeping its promise by pulling out troops from Afghanistan and by shutting down various military bases but the Taliban has itself not ended the violence, it still maintains links with al- Qaeda according to UN reports and Taliban is still violating the cease fires agreements, mentioned in the Peace Deal. But the dye is already cast, regardless of the non-fulfilment of the promises by Taliban the USA government is desperate to pull out its troops from Afghanistan and even the people of Afghanistan will not accept the USA’s military intervention in their county again as the same was done in the team of Obama when the number of troops were raised in Afghanistan again.
Consequences of the War for Afghan
The Afghan war or War against Terrorism of America didn’t bring any positive change for the people of Afghanistan as more than 64100 Afghan military and police officers had been killed since October 2001, when the USA first took first step in Afghanistan. After 20 years, now Afghan government is the weakest party in the talks as after the withdrawal of the US and NATO troops, there are a lot of chances that the violence in the country will start and the democratically elected government of Afghanistan might face crises in future.
The Stand Of India
Even though India is one of the strategic partners of Afghanistan as more than 75000 Afghan students have come to India in last few years and India has spent around $3 billion in Afghanistan on various infrastructure projects, democracy reestablishment, education and training etc than also India is not a part of peace talk as Indian soldiers have never put their boots on the land of Afghanistan. But now this is the time when India should participate in talks with Taliban as the USA is ready to pull out from Afghanistan, China had long ago reached to Taliban, Russia has hosted various talks with Taliban and even the European nations are showing interest in sponsoring talks with Taliban. India has to become flexible with Taliban as there are a lot of chances that Taliban will be one of the most of important groups in Kabul parliament and to safeguard the billions of dollars investment in Afghanistan India should start its talk with Taliban.
Authored by Yash Garg, Research Director, Shri Ram Consulting and Research Centre