Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

Troop Withdrawal; Change of Partnership, not End of Partnership

When the United States announced its troop withdrawal on April 14 2021, many believed the US was going to leave and abandon Afghanistan as the Soviet Union did in 1990s. Although the US president and other officials and also the NATO members announced they would continue supporting the Afghan national security and defense forces, many Afghans and international observers believed Afghanistan was not an important issue for the United States anymore and it wants to focus on its new strategic challenges. What I would clarify here is that, it is true that the US will focus on its strategic challenges and it is what any country, specially the first world power, must do. However, pledging concrete promises by the US shows that “U.S. support for Afghanistan was not ending but would be sustained despite the U.S. pullout.”
Ghani’s travel to Washington as the practical start of the new chapter of mutual relations
President Ghani and Chief of Afghanistan National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, met the US president Joe Biden on Friday ,25 June, at the White House. The US president clearly outlined the US Policy on Afghanistan; Sustained supports to the Afghan security forces and providing political and economic support to Afghanistan.
Supporting the ANSDF
Afghan security forces are handling the war on terrorism now. This war was initiated by the US and NATO allies in Afghanistan. After about two decades, Afghan forces are taking the responsibility of the war with al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS and many other terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
The ANSDF is encountering mounting challenges encountered in securing the country. Even if the US and NATO live up to promises to maintain significant levels of aid and support to the ANSF in the years ahead— the Afghan security forces have no bother way but to struggle to stand on their own feet and overcome their dependency on foreign forces. Although the ANDSF has progressed very well and have gained a good level of capacity, their management systems, supporting structures, and strategic culture, among other pillars of the security architecture, remain weak and underdeveloped.
Funding and providing training to the ANDSF is inevitable in order to counter the terrorist groups in Afghanistan. If the Afghan security forces falter in the years ahead, it can be argued that it will not just represent a failure of the ANSF to stand up to terrorist groups like the Taliban, but also a failure of donors and Afghan stakeholders to build a legitimate and sustainable security sector, sufficiently resilient to overcome existing and foreseeable challenges.  Considering this reality, the US and NANO allies have pledged their strong support of the ANDAF. Reassuring President Ghani of $3.3 billion in security aid indicates the US both is well aware of the challenge and is ready to stand with Afghanistan to address it.
Providing training and financial support to the Afghan security forces was one of the key concerns of Afghans after the troop withdrawal. However, when NATO leaders committed to continue to provide training and financial support to the Afghan security forces during the alliance›s meeting in Brussels on June 14, 2021, the announcement ended speculation over what will happen to the NATO training mission in Afghanistan once U.S. and NATO forces leave the country by September. Although, the United States will end its own training program after the withdrawal, Washington will continue funding the Afghan forces.
The United States has spent a huge some of blood and money on A Afghanistan. When the US President Joe Biden announced the US troop withdrawal, many Afghans and international observers thought the US will make the same mistake the Soviet Union made in 1990s. However, President Ghani’s to the US and the new commitments made by the US President show that partnership between the US and Afghanistan will not end and just the shape of the partnership will change. In fact, the ongoing commitments of U.S. and allies, promises of long-term multilateral foreign aid, and, ultimately, enduring strategic interests in Afghanistan and the region ensure that the future of this troubled country will remain an important concern for U.S. policymakers and the international community. Now, Afghans are sure that “U.S. support for Afghanistan was not ending but would be sustained despite the U.S. pullout.”