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why the Biden administration can delay the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan – RT in Russian

American troops are unlikely to have time to leave Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, as was established by the treaty with the Taliban * concluded by the Donald Trump administration. This was announced by the chairman of the committee on the armed forces of the lower house of the US Congress, Adam Smith. In turn, the presidential adviser for national security Jake Sullivan said that Joe Biden had not yet made a final decision on the withdrawal of the American contingent from Afghanistan. According to experts, the new administration of the White House expects to review the agreements with the Taliban in order to maintain its military presence in Afghanistan and the Middle East as a whole.

The United States is unlikely to have time to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan before May 1, 2021, as required by Washington’s agreement with the radical Taliban *, concluded by the Trump administration. This was stated by the head of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith.

According to him, he discussed the issue of the withdrawal of the American contingent from Afghanistan with the presidential adviser on national security Jake Sullivan and the head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin.

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“I think everyone understands that, in terms of logistics, May 1 is too soon. We have … about 3.5 thousand servicemen in Afghanistan. Our allies have about 7 thousand. It is impossible to withdraw more than 10 thousand soldiers in just six weeks, “Smith quoted Reuters as saying.

The Democrat added that the administration’s number one task now is to discuss with the Taliban the possibility of slightly extending the presence of the troops of the US-led coalition.

“The Biden administration wants to agree on the postponement of the date after May 1 and at least explore the possibility (to stay. – RT): Maybe the Taliban have changed their mind, since they … are fighting ISIS ** almost as much as with the Afghan government, ”explained Smith.

At the same time, the congressman doubted that the Taliban could agree to the White House’s proposal to revise the terms of stay of American troops in Afghanistan.

Revision of agreements

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Recall that the other day, Biden’s national security adviser said that the head of state had not yet made a final decision on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

“The President is fully and decisively determined to ensure that the withdrawal of troops is safe and orderly. If he finally makes that decision. However, there is no solution yet. When he has all the facts in his hands, the president will study everything and make a decision based on the interests of US national security, ”Sullivan said in an interview with MSNBC.

US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin made a similar statement. Before his first visit to Afghanistan, he also told reporters that the decision to withdraw the military from this country remains with Biden.

And the 46th President of the United States himself, during his first press conference, said that it would be difficult for Washington to withdraw its units by May 1. According to him, this is due to “tactical considerations”, and the United States intends to consult with its allies on the issue of ending the conflict.

  • Visit of the head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin to Afghanistan

  • Reuters

  • © Presidential Palace

At the end of January, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that the new leadership of the department intends to review and give its own assessment of the Trump administration’s decisions to reduce the number of American troops stationed abroad.

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Kirby then stated that the Taliban had failed to fulfill their obligations under the agreement with Washington.

“If they (the Taliban. – RT) do not fulfill their obligations to renounce terrorism and stop violent attacks on the Afghan national security forces, and thus on the Afghan people, it is very difficult to chart a definite path to a negotiated settlement, ”said a Pentagon spokesman.

The State Department also spoke about plans to revise the agreement with Afghan radicals. Thus, the official representative of the department, Ned Price, on January 28, following telephone conversations between Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, issued a statement in which it was noted that “the United States is reviewing the agreement with the Taliban concluded in February 2020, and is considering whether whether the Taliban are fulfilling their obligations. “

“They’re not going to leave”

Under the terms of the Doha agreement between the Trump administration and the Taliban, the United States and its NATO mission partners have pledged to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan within 14 months. In response, the Taliban agreed not to use the country’s territory for actions that could pose a threat to the security of the United States and its allies.

The American intervention in Afghanistan began in October 2001, making it the longest overseas military campaign in United States history. The overthrow of the Taliban regime and the establishment of a new government in Kabul with the support of Washington led first to a guerrilla war against the international coalition and government forces, and then to a full-scale armed civil confrontation.

  • American Marines in Afghanistan in 2001

  • Reuters

  • © Jim Hollander

In the early 2010s, the number of Western forces in Afghanistan reached about 150 thousand people. The reduction of the American and NATO military contingent began only in 2014.

However, despite the actions of the Western military, the Taliban have managed to significantly strengthen their positions over the past few years. They currently control a significant part of the territory of Afghanistan.

Taking into account this circumstance, the Biden administration wants to slow down the withdrawal of American troops or revise its conditions, since it considers this a blow to the prestige of the United States, says Vladimir Batyuk, head of the Center for Political-Military Studies at the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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“The problem in this case is not so much a technical or logistical one as a political one: the United States is not at all happy with a situation in which the Taliban or other radical Islamist forces come to power, since this will demonstrate that Washington suffered a humiliating political defeat in Kabul,” he explained. Batyuk.

At the same time, according to him, the Taliban may regard the attempts of the US authorities to revise the agreement as a violation of their obligations, which formally will give the radicals a reason to intensify hostilities. In addition, according to Batyuk, the American establishment does not intend to give up its positions in the region.

“Biden understands that if he withdraws his troops, the vacuum formed in Afghanistan can be filled by other geopolitical players, including the unfriendly United States. Considering that Iran, China and Pakistan border on Afghanistan, which have their own geostrategic interests and views on the future of the neighboring country, the White House seeks to postpone the withdrawal of American troops, ”Batiuk explained.

In turn, Pavel Feldman, deputy director of the RUDN Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts, recalled that the American contingent is in Afghanistan to control the territory of the Middle East – a strategically important point of the current system of international relations.

“The actions of the Americans during the previous administrations of the White House contributed to the rampant terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan. And now official Kabul is unable to provide even minimal security on its own. The United States, on the one hand, has destabilized this region, and on the other, now it simply cannot leave, because in this case complete chaos, total civil war will begin here, “the interlocutor of RT said.

“Washington will now have to solve a problem it created itself,” he added.

The specialist drew attention to the fact that the Taliban agreed with Trump on a truce and the withdrawal of American troops, but after the change of power in the White House, these agreements may well become invalid. Feldman also expressed the opinion that American troops are unlikely to leave the region in the foreseeable future.

“The United States is not going to leave from there, because for the military leaders this is a rather promising economic direction, a” black hole “where funds from the military budget are constantly flowing … This campaign is beneficial for the American military leadership,” the political scientist concluded.

* “Taliban” – the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 02/14/2003.

** “Islamic State” (IS, ISIS) – the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.

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