WASHINGTON – The consensus of Afghanistan’s future following the withdrawal of U.S. troops by Sept. 11 is grim, according to some U.S. experts.
The estimated 2,500 U.S. troops that President Biden has ordered home offered some slim assurance that the Afghan government could withstand the Taliban insurgency that has re-emerged across the country of 37 million.
Without those forces in place, the same negative trends – the ascendance of the once-topped Taliban, the descent of the U.S.-supported Afghan government and erosion of rights and protection for women and children – will likely accelerate, some say.
A woman casts his vote in Parliamentary elections in old city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (Photo: Rahmat Gul, AP)
“It undermines our commitment to the Afghan people, particularly Afghan women,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. “I urge the Biden administration to make every effort between now and September to safeguard the progress made and support our partners in the formation of an inclusive, transitional government.”
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Retired Maj. Gen. Mark Quantock, the former intelligence chief for Central Command, which oversaw operations in Afghanistan, was even more pessimistic.
“I’m hopeful that I am wrong and that the Afghan government can stave off the Taliban,” Quantock said. “But I am not optimistic that will occur.”
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