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Published On: Wed, Aug 16th, 2017

Taliban urges Trump to pull US forces out of Afghanistan

nsnbc : In an open letter to US President Donald Trump released to the press, the Afghan Taliban, describing Trump as a responsible US leader, urged him to stop listening to stooges in Kabul and warmongering generals and congressmen in Washington, and to withdraw US troops from the country.

(archives)

(archives)

The Taliban’s main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, released the open letter to a number of media including nsnbc international on Tuesday while the Trump administration is mulling different options in Afghanistan. The Taliban, in its letter, maintains that certain congressmen and generals are pressing Trump to prolong the war in Afghanistan because they seek to preserve their military privileges. The Islamist group notes:

“If you failed to win the Afghan war with disciplined U.S. and NATO troops, advanced technology, experienced military generals, consecutive strategies and mighty economy, you shall never be able to win it with mercenaries, notorious contractor firms and immoral stooges. … We have noticed that you have understood the errors of your predecessors and have resolved to thoroughly rethinking your new strategy in Afghanistan. … “You must also not handover the Afghan issue to warmongering generals but must make a decision where history shall remember you as an advocate of peace.”

The Taliban also claimed that U.S. generals are concealing casualties the Taliban is inflicting on American forces. The Taliban also claimed that the war in Afghanistan could be resolved by withdrawing the U.S.-led occupation forces from the country. “Therefore it would be better for you to understand the realities as a responsible president of the United States and then make decisions based upon them,” it added.

The United States has 8,400 in Afghanistan, training, advising and assisting local forces under a NATO-led military coalition, in addition to conducting counterterrorism operations. General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has requested several thousand additional troops to help Afghan forces break the military stalemate with the Taliban.

Some influential Republican congressmen also have supported the call for troop surge. Senator and Chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, John McCain, recently tabled legislation that also calls for a more clear and determined military effort in Afghanistan. McCain criticized both the Obama and the Trump administration.

Afghanistan's oligarchy - warlords and rights abuses included - unchanged for decades.

Afghanistan’s oligarchy – warlords and rights abuses included – unchanged for decades.

The Taliban has made major territorial gains in 2017 and inflicted heavy casualties on Afghan military and police forces. The insurgents also have besieged several provincial capitals and blocked main highways that cross Afghanistan. Criticizing the government in Kabul, the Taliban stated:

“You must realize that these repulsive sellouts neither care about your interests nor that of their own nation, rather the only thing they hold dear is retaining their seat of power and securing their personal interests.”

Corruption, nepotism and rights abuses initially were main factors that helped the Taliban to come to power before it was toppled in a US-led war. However, it didn’t take long after the Taliban came to power before its extremist Islamist policies led to even greater rights abuses and less liberties than before.

More recently, there are several factors that may have contributed to a resurgence of the Taliban – and broad popular support is not one of them.

Political rivalries within President Ashraf Ghani’s national unity government is weakening the government’s determination and ability to implement a clear and consistent policy. Continued foreign support of the Taliban including support from Iran is another factor. A third – among many other factors – is that the oligarchical structures and politicians who have dominated decades of war remain largely unchanged while “untainted” politicians and parties who propose actual alternatives are oppressed and lack international attention and support. The lack of actual alternatives to the establishment plays right into the hands of the Islamists.

CH/L – nsnbc 16.08.2017

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