View: Donald Trump should end interventionist foreign policy of US in Afghanistan
Talks between Khalilzad, chief US negotiator, and Talibans are likely to continue to thrash out the issues.
Credit must be given to President Trump for unmasking the real face of the US interventionist foreign policy, which the previous incumbents used to unsuccessfully camouflage under the garb of protecting American interests, promoting world peace, democracy, human rights, fighting terror etc. While addressing the media during his maiden visit to Iraq on December 26, 2018, Trump said “the United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world. We are in countries that most people (Americans) have never heard about. And, frankly, it is ridiculous”. The rest of the world can’t agree more.
Credit should also be given to the people of Afghanistan for their remarkable resilience in resisting the foreign intervention despite the US scaring them by using (testing) all kinds of arsenal, including dropping the “mother of all bombs” having yield more than a tactical nuclear weapon on April 13, 2017 in Nangarhar Province. The resistance, unfortunately, is being spearheaded by the Taliban, whom people equally dislike.
Having smelt victory, the Talibans have agreed to provide the much-needed fig leaf to the US promising that they would prevent Afghanistan from ever becoming a platform for international terrorist groups and individuals. The Talibans have, so far, not agreed to the other two conditionalities pressed by the US that they should announce ceasefire and hold talks with the National Unity Government of President Ashraf Ghani. However, they have separately opened channels of communication with other Afghan leaders, including former President Hamid Karzai. The talks between Zalmay Khalilzad, chief US negotiator, and the Talibans are likely to continue to thrash out the above two issues.
What a climb down for the US! A similar result could have been obtained by it with much less death and destruction. At least it would have saved itself the humiliation of pleading before a bunch of obscurantist Mullahs to get this concession.
(The author is former Intelligence Bureau official who served in Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan)
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.