US cannot count on Taliban to stand against global terrorism: Lisa

KABUL (Tolo News): Lisa Curtis Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program, CNAS at a virtual meeting with Foreign Policy Magazine stressed that the Taliban could not be trusted on addressing US and Global counterterrorism interests. According to Curtis “the US should keep a limited force presence in Afghanistan”.

She said “I recognize that comes with a certain amount of risk and that the Taliban could decide to resume attacks against US forces, but the US has the capability” to answer the group back. “I believe the risks are simply too high” to withdraw US troops, and said that the Taliban would be able to retake power in 12 to 18 months.
This would enable the reemergence of terrorist safe haven” in fact more powerful than 9/11”. Curtis indicated that some experienced republican and democrat politicians support the stay of US troops in Afghanistan.

She said “we should look at what happened in Iraq”, she added in “2011 we pulled out all US troops and what happened ISIS rose in the country and practically took over the city of Mosul” and US troops were to be sent back to the country. “If you ask Americans” they would favor preventing another 911, and the hasty withdrawal will make the US lose its global credibility. US and NATO should have a responsible withdrawal procedure, Curtis indicated.

US must expect concessions from both sides not only force the Afghan government, according to Lisa. The US simply should not be pulling support from Afghan national security forces, who hand in hand fought beside US troops. Taliban may only keep Alqaeda under wraps but “Who will protect global counterterrorism interests”, Curtis said that Afghan national security forces are who will help the US and global counterterrorism interests. She said US certainly cannot count on the Taliban to address our counterterrorism concerns,

Curtis expressed that keeping a small American troops presence in Afghanistan to support and back up the Afghan forces against terror threats certainly makes a lot of sense. So far US has not seen the Taliban being committed to their agreement, the group has not severed ties with Al-Qaeda and they continue to choose violence “ in fact at higher levels” and continue to have links with Al-Qaeda.

United States President Joe Biden is planning to keep US troops in Afghanistan beyond the May 1st deadline while working on a deal with the Taliban that would allow an American Counterterrorism force to remain in the country to battle Daesh militants, according to Adam Smith, US congressman. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith provided new details of the US President’s plan of the Afghan peace process, a process left to his administration by the former Trump administration.

During a virtual meeting at the Foreign Policy magazine form, Smith said he spoke to national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin over the US pull-out. “I think there’s a general feeling that May 1 is too soon, just logistically,” he added, “We’ve got … closer to 3,500 troops in Afghanistan. Our allies have around 7,000.”

“You cannot pull out 10,000-plus troops in any sort of way in six weeks,” he said. He added the administration’s “job one” is talking to the Taliban about allowing the US-led force to remain for a little longer. Taliban demanded that all foreign troops must leave Afghanistan, and if that remains their position Smith does not find that America has the “choice but to leave,” including counter-terrorism forces.

“What the Biden administration wants to do is negotiate past May 1 and then at least explore the option: has the Taliban changed their mind as they … are fighting ISIS (Islamic State) almost as much as they are fighting the Afghan government,” Smith continued. “Might their position change about a US presence? I doubt it. But I think the administration is thinking it’s worth the conversation,” he said. Daesh or The Islamic State is currently at war with the Taliban and US airstrikes on ISIS supports the group in forcing its rivals out of Afghanistan. According to experts Daesh or ISIS and other extremist groups in Afghanistan still remains a threat to the region and global security.