US defense leaders say the Taliban’s takeover of power is due to an agreement reached between the Trump administration and the Taliban.
General Kenneth Frank McKenzie said at a panel hearing on Wednesday that the Doha agreement has had a very detrimental effect on the Afghan government and military. The Doha Agreement is a peace agreement negotiated and concluded between the Trump administration and the Taliban in February 2020.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin joins the analysis, claiming the agreement helped the Taliban become “stronger,” reports say BBC. He drew criticism in connection with a hearing in the House Defense Committee on Wednesday.
The session comes about a month after the Taliban took power in the country at record speed. The complete collapse of the government and army led to the chaotic evacuation of Western military forces, embassy personnel, and Afghan and foreign civilians at the military airport outside Kabul. Also, 182 people were killed in a suicide attack during the evacuation.
Adverse psychological effect
General McKenzie is the head of US Central Command. He says that the US commitment to the Doha agreement has had a psychological impact on the Afghan authorities.
– The signing of the Doha Agreement had a very detrimental effect on the Afghan government and military forces in the country, and psychological impact more than anything else. “But we’ve scheduled a certain time about when to travel and when they expect all assistance to end,” General McKenzie said during the hearing. Watchman.
The Taliban launched a massive offensive this summer that took over the entire country in a week and a half. Afghan cities fell like dominoes during the Taliban offensive, often without any resistance from Afghan forces that had been equipped and trained by NATO countries.
“The other screw in the coffin”
McKenzie also said at a committee hearing that the collapse of the government and the military would be inevitable if the United States reduced the number of military advisers in Afghanistan to less than 2,500.
The current president also does not escape criticism. General McKenzie refers to President Joe Biden’s announcement of a force cut in April as “the second nail in the coffin.”
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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the US commitment to the Taliban to end its airstrikes on the group also contributed to the total collapse of the country’s government and military forces.
“The Taliban has become stronger, escalated their offensive operations against Afghan security forces, and Afghans have lost many people on a weekly basis,” Austin said during the session.
The day before, at a similar Senate hearing, US Defense Secretary Mark Milley called the withdrawal from Afghanistan a strategic failure. The chief of defense also had the view that the at least 2,500 US troops remaining on the ground in Afghanistan needed to avoid collapse.
This is the deal
The agreement referred to isAfghanistan Peace Agreement». It sets a 14-month timetable for the withdrawal of “all US, allied and coalition forces”. The US also pledged in the agreement to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners, while the other side was on the verge of releasing up to 1,000 prisoners. The Taliban also vowed “not to threaten the security of Americans or their allies.”
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The four-page agreement states that the Taliban must take measures “to prevent any group or individual, including al-Qaeda, from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.” It also imposes obligations on the Taliban to instruct its members not to cooperate with groups or individuals who threaten the security of the United States.
– Signs you gave up
The former UN envoy to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, had previously expressed dissatisfaction with the US’s ability to negotiate with the Taliban.
The Americans surrendered so quickly in the negotiations without asking for anything in return. “I think that came as a surprise to the Taliban,” Eddie said Internet newspaper The day before the fall of Kabul.
Former Defense Chief Ambassador Dessen Internet newspaper In August, the Americans did not take seriously the special conditions they imposed on the Taliban.
– You could say that the Taliban at no time showed any indication of compliance with the agreement in terms of reducing the level of violence. They admitted that they had retreated from their attacks on NATO forces, but responded with continuous attacks on Afghan forces and Afghan police. When they faced these attacks, they only responded that it was the other party who started the attacks. So the Taliban did not adhere to the agreement in terms of the level of violence, Dessen told Netavisen in August.
– But the Americans did not leave any consequences for that. They actually handled the agreement in such a way that this withdrawal is not based on terms, but is driven by time. When you finally say explicitly that you want to go out on a certain date, you have indicated on the American side that the case of low levels of violence is not seriously intended, and that you have, in fact, given up, Diesen said.
Biden was free to drop the deal
Although it was President Donald Trump who, upon concluding an agreement with the Taliban, initiated the process of complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden was free to change plans. Instead, Biden announced that all US forces would withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States.
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