A new US strategy for Afghanistan: a consulate without recognition of the Taliban regime

cable- The US State Department released a new strategy regarding dealing with the Afghan government formed by the Taliban in 2021 following the withdrawal of US forces from the country. It outlined broad points about Washington's position in relation to recent developments in the region and Afghanistan.

The strategy identifies 4 key areas:

  • Anti-Terrorism”.
  • And financial assistance.
  • and consular services for US citizens inside Afghanistan.
  • and helping Afghans who want to immigrate to the United States. The strategy also reaffirms that Washington “will continue to protect the basic rights of the Afghan people, especially women and girls.”

Commenting on this, author and political researcher Hikmat Jalil told Al Jazeera Net, “From a material point of view, it will be easier for the United States to help Afghans who are seeking asylum there.”

He explains, “There are 80,000 Afghans who want to seek asylum in the United States because they have served with American forces during the last two decades, and they suffer from slow processes regarding their applications.” Their position will be affected by the embassy's withdrawal, in addition to closely monitoring the security and political situation in Afghanistan.”

Second photo: A billboard of the US Embassy in the Green Zone in the center of the capital Kabul.
The US Embassy in the Green Zone in the center of Afghanistan's capital Kabul (Al Jazeera)

Effect

With the fall of the previous Afghan republic or government in August 2021, the United States closed its embassy in Kabul, a symbolic end to two decades of military and political engagement with Afghanistan.

In this context, international relations researcher Abdul Kabir Noori told Al Jazeera Net that there is a tendency in Washington that believes that the US State Department and US intelligence can protect US interests in Afghanistan without a military presence on the ground, “so Washington is considering returning the consulate to Kabul.

Experts on Afghan affairs believe that the new strategy revolves around American interests in Afghanistan, and there are certain points that are in the interest of the current Afghan government, that is, the United States will bring the regime to power through the use of force. Doesn't want to change. Rather, it insists on a peaceful solution and full implementation of the Doha Agreement between Washington and the Taliban until the Afghans are reunified.

A source in the office of the Afghan Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs believes that the important and positive thing in the new US strategy is that the United States does not support any armed opposition in Afghanistan.

The source told Al Jazeera Net that this is a big opportunity for the current government and it should take advantage of it to be able to build trust with the international community, and that as long as Washington views the Afghan file from this perspective, “other The parties will not do this.” Have the courage to fund and support fronts formed outside the country to spread anarchy in Afghanistan.”

Target

This strategy views ISIS-Khorasan as a threat to the Taliban's ability to provide security and stability in Afghanistan and the entire region, and focuses on China, Russia, and Iran as trying to gain strategic and economic benefits from the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. or – at the very least – putting Washington in an uncomfortable position. There is compatibility in this.

Observers believe Washington was waiting for the Taliban to change its behavior and dealings with the Afghan people and acknowledge past political movements, and then deal with the regime recognized by the international community.

Aziz Barze, director of the Institute of Strategic and Political Studies, told Al Jazeera Net, “The announcement of the new strategy is directly related to Chinese President Xi Jin welcoming the new Afghan ambassador and recognizing the Taliban-led government. The goal is to return to Kabul. It means advancing security goals, standing up to the influence of neighboring countries and putting pressure on the Taliban.

The US move signals a major shift in US policy towards Afghanistan and the region, and it is looking for a mechanism to deal with the Taliban without recognizing the Afghan government as the leader of the movement. Washington wants to achieve several security, political and economic goals.

In this context, Waheed Fakiri, a former adviser to the US military in Afghanistan, told Al Jazeera Net that the new document revealed that Washington is considering opening its consulate in Kabul without recognizing the Afghan government.

He refused to implement the new strategy before the presidential elections in the United States because President Joe Biden would not dare to open the consulate at this critical time, as Congress is discussing the issue of US withdrawal from Afghanistan and its impact on the situation in his country. Investigating. According to his opinion, in the area.

new page

During negotiations with the Taliban in Doha, Washington stipulated that the US embassy be kept in Kabul provided that the Taliban agreed to keep 1,200 to 1,800 US troops to protect the US diplomatic mission in Afghanistan, but the movement rejected this request. rejected.

Afghan government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid commented and told Al Jazeera Net, “We want to deal with the international community, and if the United States returns to Afghanistan, we will provide the security and protection necessary for its mission, and we will be a Want to open a new page with this, and a large number of embassies and consulates operate in a secure environment and there is nothing to worry about.'' Foreign diplomatic corps in the country.

According to the “Global Terrorism Index” for 2023 released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the rate of “terrorism”-related violence in Afghanistan has decreased by 75% over the past two years, but security experts say that the United States No risk of returning to Afghanistan.

Former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Reconciliation Abdullah Khunjani, speaking to Al Jazeera Net, admitted that it would be difficult for Washington to send its ambassador or diplomatic mission to Kabul, as it does not want to repeat the tragedy of the assassination of its ambassador. into the hands of armed movements in Benghazi, and the problem is how to define relations… the Taliban movement and the implementation of the Doha Agreement “is the only way to resolve the crisis in Afghanistan.”

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