Defence Connect Insight continues its analysis on the upcoming May deadline for coalition troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
As has been previously discussed on Defence Connect Insight, Afghanistan sits precariously on the edge of civil war. Time is ticking for the Biden White House to make a firm decision on whether or not to honour the Trump administration’s US-Taliban Doha Agreement and exit the country by May. Not only has the Taliban done little to meet their end of the bargain, but recorded attacks on coalition soldiers has increased over the last 12 months. These are not the actions of an understanding, stable and fair partner in a mutually advantageous peace process. In early March, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered stern advice to the President of Aghanistan Ashraf Ghani that the consequences of inaction would be dire to the Afghan people. As the May deadline comes near, it is no clearer now than when Blinken sent these messages whether the US will withdraw from the country thus leaving a vacuum in the region or anger the nation’s citizens by staying.
Dr Nishank Motwani, deputy director of the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit in Kabul, Afghanistan, writing in the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter last month describes that the Afghan government is “fighting for survival”, as both regional neighbours and internal threats seek to exploit the potential power vacuum left by the removal of coalition troops.