Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Taliban Optimism: the United States on the Verge of Defeat and Withdrawal from Afghanistan

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Taliban Optimism:  the United States on the  Verge of Defeat and Withdrawal from Afghanistan

The Taliban’s chief negotiator, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai recently declared the United States is on the verge of defeat and will soon withdraw willingly or by force. He made these remarks just two days before he led a Taliban team into fresh talks with US interlocutors. Pro-Taliban social media outlets on Friday released video of Mr Stanekzai’s speech, one day after the US special reconciliation envoy Zalmay Khalilzad wrapped up the week-long negotiations with Taliban representatives in Doha.
Simultaneous to this, Robert Gates, the former U.S. Defense Chief, also warmed that there is a “real risk” that the Taliban will retake control of the country if American troops leave before the Afghan government is stable. Some of the internal political elements also believe that the Afghan government and troops would collapse without U.S. support and assistance. Conceding that a military victory is impossible at this juncture, the U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has intensified peace negotiations with the Taliban, fighting to establish a sharia-compliant Islamic emirate in the country.
As report quoted, the Taliban negotiator praised the bravery of the Afghans who defeated past British and Soviet invasions on the country and continued to resist the current foreign military occupation, referring to the U.S.-NATO coalition currently training, assisting, and advising Afghan troops in the country.” God has helped us defeat three superpowers in the last century. The third superpower that we are currently confronted with is also on the verge of defeat, inshallah [God willing]”. You will soon hear they also will withdraw [from Afghanistan] either of their own accord or they will be forced out. …We pray to God they [U.S.] withdraw in a manner  results in peace and stability in Afghanistan, and an Islamic system or Sharia is established in Afghanistan, and there is no further bloodshed among Afghans”, Stanekzai said
Earlier the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had said that the April 28 internal gathering was aimed at commemorating the day in 1992 when Afghan jihadis overthrew the communist regime in Kabul. Stanekzai lambasted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during his speech, comparing him and his allies to government leaders who supported Moscow during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s that ultimately gave rise to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The Taliban has rejected Trump administration proposals for a residual American counterterrorism force to remain in Afghanistan following a significant withdrawal to ensure the terrorist group keeps its promises. Last week, Khalilzad noted on Twitter that the two sides are making “steady but slow progress on aspects of the framework for ending the Afghan war.” He pointed out, however, that the current pace of negotiations is insufficient when you consider that “so much conflict rages and innocent people die.” “We need more and faster progress. Our proposal for all sides to reduce violence also remains on the table,” Khalilzad said.
Echoing other jihadi groups, the Taliban has urged Muslims to escalate attacks during the ongoing holy month of Ramadan. Taliban Jihadist, who have repeatedly rejected President Ghani’s offer of a ceasefire and official recognition as a political group, have intensified their attacks amid the peace negotiations with the United States. Likewise, the war in Afghanistan has come at a tremendous blood and treasure cost to the United States of nearly 1trillion$, 2,285 American military deaths, and 20,452 injuries.

On contrary to recent optimistic expressions of Taliban, the Commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller reaffirmed support to Afghan forces amid ongoing efforts to find a negotiated settlement to end the ongoing conflict in the country. “I’m always very proud and supportive of the security forces. What’s interesting now is listening to the people. And I hear the Afghan people saying it’s time for peace. Unfortunately as we work toward peace there is still fighting. And there are far too many Afghans losing their lives as a result of this fighting. So you do know I am committed to peace but at the same time I know there is a fight and we remain committed to supporting you in that fight,” Gen. Miller said in his speech during a security Shura in western Herat province.
Thus, the U.S. and Afghan officials on Tuesday began a joint review of U.S. Government civilian assistance to Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a statement. The joint review, requested by President Ashraf Ghani and supported by the United States, focuses on strategic results, alignment with National Unity Government development priorities, and identification of challenges and successes, the statement said. The joint review will support greater prioritization of U.S. civilian assistance in Afghanistan, strengthen Afghan institutions, and Afghan self-reliance, the statement added.
It seems that Taliban dream may not come true if they do not come down from their obstinate position regarding peace talks with Afghan government and Afghan centered-interests. Kabul and Washington agreed that U.S. civilian assistance and also military support will continue as aforementioned. As newly committed, the United States in coordination with the Government of Afghanistan provides civilian assistance across a range of sectors including health, education, economic growth, energy, infrastructure, humanitarian assistance, and cultural heritage preservation. Reportedly, the U.S. investment in Afghanistan builds on the efforts of the international community to support Afghan prosperity. The United States and Afghanistan look forward to continuing thier close partnership and working together to promote the journey to Afghan self-reliance.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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