While President Donald Trump made an announcement about the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan, but he had plan for action in his mind. His announcement, which took the form of a tweet, was met with horror, by many in his own party as well as people from around the world.
Any withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan – a country that was torn apart by war and where peace is fragile – needs to be coordinated and well thought out, so it is not dangerous for either the Americans or the Afghanistan people.
The US has said there will be no unilateral withdrawal and that any reduction in troops would be well coordinated and thought about. It would also be done in conjunction with other NATO members.
The NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, has said that the alliance’s mission in Afghanistan will still receive top priority.
At present, there are approximately 14 thousand US troops in Afghanistan and Trump would like to bring half of these back home. Everybody would like to see the forces back home, but it needs to be done in a smart and a safe way.
The Taliban have demanded US forces leave Afghanistan as a condition for peace talks with the Afghan Government, but to leave the people of Afghanistan, especially women, in a vulnerable state is not the right approach. Women in Afghanistan have made huge strides towards equality under their Afghan government and there are fears that without US troops on the ground, women could again lose everything.
World Ambassadors from NATO met on the February 14 to discuss the future of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and feedback was that NATO has come out strong and with strong co-ordination plans. It is clear that all countries involved in Afghanistan need to work together. They also need to increase pressure on the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special peace envoy for Afghanistan, briefed the NATO ambassadors on developments in talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. They also discussed NATO’s missions in Kosovo and Iraq.