A withdrawal with concerns
The Americans have called the recent warnings of the Taliban as concerning. The Taliban have warned of possible attacks on foreign forces after May 1st. The group had previously warned against the possible deployment of new troops to Afghanistan. These warnings have raised concerns in the United States about the possibility of a Taliban attack on foreign forces as they withdraw from Afghanistan.
US officials have decided to send a number of US special forces to Afghanistan to ensure the safe withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. The exact number of these forces is not yet clear. They have also deployed two B-52 bombers for the same purpose in Qatar. The USS Dwight Eisenhower aircraft carrier and its patrol vessels will remain in the Middle East until the completion of the withdrawal.
This high level of readiness for the withdrawal of 2,500 US and 7,000 NATO troops from Afghanistan is a sign of American concern over the Taliban’s warnings. It is very important for the Americans and the NATO military to leave Afghanistan safely. Hence, their concern about the Taliban’s recent warnings is understandable.
On the other hand, there are concerns that US and NATO officials do not trust the Taliban to adhere to the group’s obligations under the Doha Agreement. They believe that the Taliban will launch possible attacks against foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan after the first of May due to unintentional non-compliance with the withdrawal commitment in the agreement. This perception has become more evident for US officials and NATO with recent warnings from the Taliban.
The message of the US precautionary measures for the safe withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan to the Taliban is that any attack by the group on these forces will be met with a strong response. The deterrent power of this message is great and it will probably prevent the Taliban from attacking foreign forces in the last moments of their presence in Afghanistan. The above precautions also help foreign forces leave Afghanistan safely.
The Americans and the NATO military are implementing the withdrawal plan in May, but they still have no confidence in Afghanistan’s future. Possibilities such as the collapse of the Afghan government and its army and police, and the country becoming a center of activity for terrorist groups, still keep them worried. That is why US officials have said they intend to monitor the situation in Afghanistan remotely and plan and decide on the relocation of their forces to areas around Afghanistan to combat potential threats from the country.
Just a few days ago, Britain asked its citizens to leave Afghanistan and refrain from traveling to this country. This is a sign of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan from the perspective of this country. Some European countries are still worried about the future of Afghan women and the possibility of losing the achievements of the last two decades. All of these concerns indicate that the United States and NATO are not ready to reconsider the decision to withdraw, despite their full control over the situation in Afghanistan and the anticipation of all the bad scenarios for the country. Their biggest preoccupation right now is how to get their troops out of Afghanistan safely.
The Taliban, which has been using the “wait-and-see strategy” for many years, will not make a mistake in the final minutes of its game with the United States and NATO. Despite its warnings during the withdrawal of foreign troops, the group will not launch large-scale attacks against these forces. The Taliban, which considers itself the “winner” of the war, will not launch attacks that will change the course of the game to the detriment of the group. In the event of a major offensive by the Taliban against foreign forces, the group may receive a resounding response, which could undermine the group’s military and political power for a long time. This is a danger that the Taliban have realized and will act accordingly during the withdrawal. Therefore, it is better for US and NATO officials to plan to address their concerns about Afghanistan’s future, in addition to focusing on a safe withdrawal plan. It would be ridiculous for the legacy of the US and NATO forces to be sadly destroyed by the Taliban after twenty years of military presence and with billions of dollars spent. Strengthening the Afghan army and police and protecting the country’s national institutions is the only way to preserve this legacy in the post-withdrawal wars. At the same time, peace diplomacy must be seriously pursued and the path of dialogue must be paved for Afghanistan to achieve lasting peace. This is the only way to overcome the concerns of US and NATO officials about the future of Afghanistan.