Connect with us

Latest News

Khalilzad reflects on fall of Kabul govt and military

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: September 30, 2021)

US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said this week that many questions remain unanswered on why former president Ashraf Ghani fled the country unexpectedly and why the Afghan military forces dissolved within just a few hours.

He also stated that in his opinion, the leadership of the former government made a “grand miscalculation” – that the US would never withdraw its troops.

In an interview with Foreign Policy on Tuesday, Khalilzad said: “Why did President Ghani do what he did? Why did the forces behave the way they did? The question is, you know, we invested so much in this force. The numbers were impressive on paper, the capabilities were there, internal weapons, air power – especially special forces of the military, which we thought was quite significant and capable and dedicated, some of them, that perform extremely courageously as individuals, as units.

“There were forces at work for our various other agencies that were all there. What happened?,” he asks.

He said while the US did not have information yet on the issue it does seem the security forces were left fighting for a government they didn’t want to defend.

“We haven’t done enough work to say what definitively happened in terms of that. But that’s what it looks like,” he said.

“And there have been some quick assessments of why, even as districts were falling, people saying that many commanders were changed. There are others who say, you know, people didn’t think this thing was worth fighting for.

“Could it be the standing of the government changed with the soldiers because of corruption and perceptions of corruption? I don’t know; we don’t know. This will take a lot more time,” he said.

Khalilzad also said many Afghans complain that the US pushed Ghani too hard, while others have said Ghani should have been pushed harder on the negotiations.

He said he thinks Ghani may have been “ill advised” but that no one, except some individuals, expected the military and government to collapse so quickly.

“People thought it might take years if it happens. Then as these districts started to fall, some people shrank the time that it might take.

“But Ghani, whenever I saw him and when the secretary (of state Antony Blinken) spoke to him the night before all of this happened, he was of the view that even after our departure (troops withdrawal), sometimes he would say it was a blessing.”

Khalilzad said he had many conversations with Ghani in the lead up to the collapse of the former government, but the former president was “of the view that the Talibs (IEA members) would not be able to win militarily.

“He believed that very, very passionately and strongly until, I think, they (the IEA) were surrounding Kabul.”

He said in reference to the Doha talks between the US and the IEA, which led to the Doha deal in February last year, that he “respects those who say we shouldn’t have negotiated with the Talibs (IEA) without the government being there.”

He said commentators “don’t deal with the underlying forces or balance that caused us to do that which was that we were losing ground”.

“Since after (former U.S. President Barack Obama’s) surge, each year we were losing ground to the Talibs (IEA), meaning Talibs (IEA) were taking more territory. So unless we agreed to another surge, time was not on our side.”

“I think that the grand miscalculation of the Afghan leadership was this: that we were not going to leave.”

He said putting a condition in place with the IEA that troops would be withdrawn only once an agreement was in place between the IEA and the former government, “could have been an option”.

“But there was a lot of pessimism here, whether the Afghans could ever come to an agreement with each other. And therefore, if you made it a tight condition; You’d never leave; in a sense, you’re saying you’re going to stay”

Khalilzad stated that in his opinion Ghani was reluctant to forge an agreement with the IEA as a new government would mean he might lose power.

“This new government idea meant that perhaps he wouldn’t have led the government. It took us a long time to get him to even appoint an inclusive delegation to go to Doha.

Khalilzad also said however that the IEA played a key role in ending ISIS-K’s (Daesh) foothold in Afghanistan.

“I think on ISIS, they played a vital role in ending the territory of ISIS in Afghanistan. We will watch that closely. We are, this is obviously of vital importance, we hold them to their commitments on terrorism, including al Qaeda.

Khalilzad said that the US has made some achievements in Afghanistan over the past 20 years.

“People live longer, are more educated, wealthier. The physical face of Afghanistan, of Kabul, changed fundamentally. On the building of a vision – that of a democratic, self-sufficient, secure Afghanistan – I think we fell short together. And you have to learn from what happened.

“Could we have done things differently? Was there a problem of ends and means that our ambitions were too large compared to the strategy and resources?

“How we built the [armed] forces? Could it have been done differently to make it more resilient and more self-reliant and motivated to fight? Should we have pushed harder for a political settlement earlier? Yes, I reflect on those, and I will reflect on them for some time to come,” he said.

Latest News

Parwan residents receive much needed food from Bayat Foundation

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

Hundreds of vulnerable families in Parwan province received much-needed food aid from Afghan charity the Bayat Foundation this week.

The leading charity organization distributed foods parcels – that included flour, cooking oil, and rice – to at-risk families in the province.

Bayat Foundation, so far, has distributed food supplies to thousands of vulnerable people in Logar, Maidan Wardak, Paktika, Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Baghlan, Jawzjan, Paktia, Khost, Kunduz, Kandahar, Kunar, Urozgan, Kabul, and Bamiyan provinces.

Haji Mohammad Ismail, Deputy Head of Bayat Foundation, stated: “Today we brought food supplies to Charikar city in Parwan province to distribute to deserving and displaced people.”

“The aid included flour, rice, and oil. We will distribute aid to other provinces soon,” Haji Mohammad Ismail added.

Grateful recipients of the food aid thanked the Bayat Foundation and said they needed the food desperately.

“We are grateful for the much-needed aid [by Bayat Foundation] and call for the continuation of this assistance,” said a resident of Parwan.

Another recipient of the Foundation’s assistance said: “Food prices are high and we face unemployment; therefore, people are suffering financial hardship. This aid will help people.”

Bayat Foundation provides at-risk families with food supplies ahead of and through winter every year. This year, the foundation has ramped up efforts to reach as many desperate families in the country as possible amid the ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis.

Continue Reading

Latest News

AIB takes delivery of 6th cash aid package from UN

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

The sixth transfer of humanitarian aid in US dollars from the United Nations has arrived in Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank said on Monday.

The aid, totaling $32 million, was immediately handed over to the Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) on Sunday.

Da Afghanistan Bank, the central bank, has thanked the UN for its assistance in helping to overcome the current economic crisis in the country.

Last month the United Nations announced it would provide $20 million a week in cash as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan by the end of March this year to save the banking system from running out of cash.

The Central Bank of Afghanistan announced four days ago that it had also received the fifth package of $32 million in cash from the United Nations.

After the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the United States froze nearly $10 billion in foreign reserves belonging to Afghanistan.

Continue Reading

Latest News

IEA wraps up first day of talks with Norwegian authorities

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said on Monday members of their delegation, led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, to Norway met with Norwegian officials on Sunday and discussed issues related to the current situation in the country.

According to a statement issued by the (IEA), “a one-day joint meeting was held between officials of the acting Afghan government and a number of personalities in Oslo, the capital of the Kingdom of Norway”.

“During the meeting, the participants listened patiently to each others’ opinions and exchanged views on the current situation in the country.

“They affirmed that Afghanistan is the shared home of all Afghans, and stressed that all Afghans need to work together for the political, economic and security prosperity of the country.

 “The participants of the meeting recognized that understanding and joint cooperation are the only solutions to all the problems of Afghanistan,” read the statement.

The IEA also said all participants declared such meetings to be in the interest of the country.

Speaking at the end of the first day of talks, IEA delegate Shafiullah Azam told The Associated Press that the meetings with Western officials were “a step to legitimize (the) Afghan government,” adding that “this type of invitation and communication will help (the) European community, (the) U.S. or many other countries to erase the wrong picture of the Afghan government.”

Norway’s Foreign Ministry meanwhile said in a statement last week that Afghan representatives have been invited to Oslo from  23-25 January to meet Norwegian authorities, the international community, and other Afghans.

The statement noted that the meetings do not represent a legitimization or recognition of the IEA “but the de facto authorities must be talked with so that we prevent political situation leading to a worse humanitarian disaster”.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Ariana News. All rights reserved!