Former U.S. diplomat said the Biden administration “must act swiftly” to change the course of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is in turmoil. In a large-scale military attack, the Taliban occupied nine provincial capitals, two of whom fell into militia on the night of August 10.

As militant groups ignore peace talks and kill more civilians, prisoners, and government leaders, there is a growing cry for US policy changes.

“Given Tullivan’s recent actions, US President Joe Biden’s decision to quickly withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan seems increasingly suspicious,” said five former U.S. diplomats in Afghanistan (James Cunningham). Hugo Lyorence, Ronald Neuman, Richard Olson, Earl Anthony Wayne) said. In an analysis published by the Atlantic Council on August 6.

Whether Afghanistan’s resistance to the Taliban wins or not, the outcome will be catastrophic, and the United States should continue its limited involvement and prevent the collapse and turmoil of the entire nation, five former diplomats. The official said.

“If brave people abandon it when they try to fight back, millions of Afghans can be vulnerable to the Taliban crackdown. That’s why double to support Afghan security forces. We recommend course revisions, including the efforts of the United States, especially through the immediate and important air force, and the active implementation of the US commitment to continued security, economics, humanitarian and diplomatic support, “they said. rice field. The US government argued that “we need to act swiftly and decisively in Afghanistan and gather global support.”

Rajiv Dogra, a former Indian diplomat and author of the best-selling and acclaimed book on the division of Afghanistan by the British Empire, told The Epoch Times over the phone that nothing in the world was so bad. .. What you cannot get. But the main thing is to have a political will.

“For the past two years, the United States has announced that it has withdrawn from the rooftop and left the Afghans to their destiny. This is the wrong approach, the wrong policy, and the wrong strategy,” Dogra still said. He called it a loser’s attitude that could be changed. “But change must start from the top.”

Five former American diplomats said the Taliban broke promises, returned the released Taliban prisoners to the battlefield, and ignored the promises made during the Doha peace process.

“The Taliban, which has consistently failed to involve the Afghan government in good faith negotiations, suggests that it is aiming for a total victory. The conditions required by the group: national police, military and intelligence. Management and the authority to effectively dismiss and appoint heads of state and other senior officials correspond to demands for surrender, “they added. The Taliban wants to restore a regime similar to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, but regular police over the last two decades suggest that the public does not want to live under the Taliban. ..

Epoch Times Photo
On July 25, 2021, a woman with a child is lining up with another person to submit a passport application at her office in Kabul. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP via Getty Images)

“It can’t be considered a resignation and shouldn’t be considered a failure by history,” Dogra said. There is still time to fix the course, and Dolga said he should send a message to the world that America is not a loser. He called this the “main difference” needed for American policy towards Afghanistan today.

“President Biden must admit that his message is very negative not for himself, but for the country in need. Today’s United States is a strategically declining country. Has been defeated by a group of fundamentalist tribes. “

The most important message Biden should give at this stage is that the United States has withdrawn, but it does not leave the Afghans “slaughtered by the Taliban.”

He also said that policy changes would mean bringing back the representatives the United States had chosen for the Afghan peace process. Zalmay Khalilzad is widely hated in Afghanistan and must be held responsible for process failures.

“He is recognized for his interests in the Taliban and his unwillingness to resist Pakistan’s ISI. [Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s leading intelligence agency] Not as a guardian and facilitator of American interests, or as a guardian and facilitator of the people of Afghanistan. ” Recalling Khalilzad would send a strong message that the United States is not there to be defeated, Dogura said. After all, the United States has promised at the United Nations that it has a “responsibility to protect” those facing the threat of massive violence.

Khalilzad recalls are trending with the hashtag #RecallKhallilzad. From August 7th to August 11th, there are 6417 tweets and unique user retweets. The most viral tweets with hashtags are from Afghan broadcasters. RTA World When RTA Pashto, And RTA presenter Diva pattern.

Jonathan Schroden, director of a program to combat threats and challenges at the Washington, DC-based Naval Analysis Center, tells the Epoch Times in a text message that the best thing the United States can do right away is to ask the Taliban to stop. Said.

“Pressure can be generated by speaking to the Taliban in a single voice to the region (and other important) countries and demanding at least a reduction in humanitarian violence, if not a ceasefire. It’s worth trying, whether or not it reacts to the Taliban, “Schroden said.

Air support needs to continue

Five diplomats said the United States should continue to provide air support to Afghan troops and reconsider terminating this support by August 31st. The Biden administration should also support the establishment of the Afghan Air Force of the scale and structure required by Afghanistan.

“After all, the slow development of the Afghan Air Force, which is working well now, is partly the responsibility of the United States. While corruption and mismanagement have plagued the Afghan side, the United States Also wasted $ 549 million With a crude freighter, we lost a lot of time by switching from a rebuilt Russian helicopter to the more complex American Blackhawks. “

According to Schroden, the Biden administration also needs to sort out the contract-maintaining issues that plague the Afghan Air Force.

Epoch Times Photo
A dateless photo showing a Blackhawk helicopter over Kabul, Afghanistan. (Dunky Wood / AP)

Five US diplomats said the United States has created a system for the Afghan Air Force, which relies heavily on support from foreign contractors. When the Biden administration decided to withdraw its troops, it also decided to suddenly withdraw those contractors from Afghanistan.

“Note that the AAF contract issue requires the Afghanistan government to bid on the contract, companies make enough profit to bid on the contract, and individuals bring enough profit to serve the contract. It all takes time, while AAF can fly less than half of an aircraft into the air, “says Schroden.

Diplomats said the United States must urgently support the training and maintenance of the Afghan Air Force and appoint a Pentagon official to oversee this support.

“Future urgent work needs to include proper training and maintenance to maintain the flight of the Afghan Air Force. Plans and timelines are realistic and with NATO and other related cooperation. It should be developed by funding. NATO also needs to renew its commitment to provide its own aviation assistance until the Afghan Air Force is fully built (or until peace talks are successful). It will spread the burden and risk. “

However, providing air support to Afghan troops is short-term tactical support to avoid defeat, not a policy, five former diplomats said.

“We also do not withdraw US and NATO troops without a good plan of what will happen next. It is beneficial to support the negotiations, but the other side wins the military and surrenders. It’s useless to just talk about negotiating while promoting, “they said. Sincere negotiations that have been lacking until now.

“Transactions that protect the interests of a wide range of ethnic and tribes, including guarantees that protect the struggling interests of Afghan women, are only possible through this type of discussion. That is why negotiations should be constantly supported. But it should not be allowed to undermine military action, as it was in the past year when the United States was primarily defensive, “said a former diplomat.

Venus Upadayaya

Venus Upadhayaya reports on various issues. Her area of ​​expertise is geopolitics in India and South Asia. She reports from the highly volatile Indian-Pakistan border and has contributed to India’s mainstream print media for almost a decade. Community media, sustainable development and leadership continue to be her key areas of interest.