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Impacts of US election result on Afghanistan

The Impact of US Election Result on Afghanistan

Few countries have been as affected by the recent US foreign policy initiatives as Afghanistan. The country was once backed by Washington during the Cold War, then left to the brink of civil war; then, it was liberated from the rule of strict and authoritarian Talibanism, and during the Obama administration, with the heavy presence of the American military, its so-called reconstruction as a modern Islamic democracy began.
The United States currently has a security pact with the Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has begun a peace process with the Taliban. The first phase of the process, which was between the United States and the Taliban, was successful and ended with the signing of an agreement, but the second phase, which is negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban, has not yet finalized, in fact, it has stalled at a very early stage.
The two main candidates in the US election – Trump and Joe Biden – do not seem to have much difference of opinion on the withdrawal of troops and the Afghan peace process. However, Afghans think that the outcome of the US election will affect the situation in the country. Joe Biden has said he agrees with the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan if there is a plan to fight ISIS.
The United States launched the longest war in Afghanistan 19 years ago, which continues to inflict casualties on the Afghan people. Washington has spent hundreds of billions of dollars, lost more than 2,400 troops and even signed peace agreements with the Taliban to stabilize the war-torn country. Despite intense US military and diplomatic tensions, neither President Donald Trump nor his main rival, Joe Biden, spoke during the presidential debate on Afghanistan.
According to political analysts, if Trump, somehow, stays in the office (which seems very unlikely as he seems to have lost as per the informal vote-count), we will see the continuation of the current policy. But even if Biden is elected, we will not see the collapse of the process, as has happened in the case of Iran.
The United States signed a peace agreement with the Taliban in February this year as part of a US withdrawal strategy, which also paved the way for negotiations inside Afghanistan. The talks, which took place in September between the Kabul government, President Ashraf Ghani and representatives of the Taliban, have not helped reduce violence.
Trump has made the withdrawal of 8,600 US troops a key part of his strategy in Afghanistan. But his unpredictable and often confusing remarks have surprised many about his commitment to the humanitarian side of the Afghan conflict. Under the agreement with the Taliban, which requires the insurgent group to cut ties with terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, the United States wants to call troops home next year. But on October 7, Trump shocked everyone with a tweet suggesting that US troops should be returned by Christmas. If Trump is re-elected, his true intentions will become clear, but he warned that even the idea of a hasty withdrawal could damage the ongoing peace talks and give the rebels more courage. Biden, on the other hand, has said he agrees to keep a small group of US troops – between 1,500 and 2,000 – in counter-terrorism operations.
What is happening after the election is particularly worrying for Afghanistan’s neighbors, such as Pakistan, which hosts millions of Afghan refugees. Worse conflict could lead to more civilians migrating, leading to chaos in the region.
Whoever is announced the next president of the US, the Taliban will definitely be pressured to reduce the violence. The US presidential election result will have a direct impact on the situation in Afghanistan. The policy initiatives taken by the next US president will decide the future of intra-Afghan talks and the overall political future of the country. However, it remains a fact that the political situation in Afghanistan is fragile and now Afghanistan needs the support of the United States, whether the US withdraws its troops or not.
(Sahar News)

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