US plans to prolong military presence in Afghanistan a threat to Pakistan

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Friday, 30 November 2018

The Trump administration plans to maintain American military presence in Afghanistan because it is critical to the US national security; however, for regional state actors, US administration has an ill will against the neighbouring countries and particularly against Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia that is why it is advancing its interests to counter influence of said four countries in particular.

Now, Trump administration has formally admitted it continues direct talks with Taliban; otherwise the US had been blaming neighbouring states mainly Pakistan for impeding peace process in Afghanistan. Hence, direct US-Taliban talks also a message and a veiled threat to the regional players and their legitimate interests since US becomes policeman of the region through its military presence and bases in the entire region with the exception of a few countries.
In an interview to The Washington Post this week, US President Donald Trump was asked to explain why Washington had maintained a military presence in Afghanistan for more than 17 years, Trump replied: “We’re there because virtually every expert that I speak to say if we don’t go there, they’re going to be fighting over here. And I’ve heard it over and over again.” But he pointed out that the US was actively pursuing the peace process, engaging the Taliban as well as the Afghan government to seek a possible end to the fighting. He also acknowledged his administration was holding talks with the Taliban insurgents. “We are talking about peace over there with the Taliban, with the group of people that have a lot to do with it,” he said. This marks the first presidential acknowledgment of the talks, initiated earlier this year.
So far, senior US officials have held three face-to-face talks with Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar, and plan to continue the process.
Trump did not offer any timetable for a peaceful solution, but did acknowledge that all sides want this war to end now. “They would like to see it after all these years, and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “A little bit too early to say what’s going to happen.”
That’s why, Trump said, the US had deployed some of its best fighters in Afghanistan and was backing up their efforts with moves for peace.
The Post noted that as a candidate, Trump ran against the war and promised to get out of Afghanistan. However, since he became president, he had increased the number of troops. Since the interview was recorded after the death of three US service members in Ghazni on Tuesday, Trump assured the troops of his continued support and promised to visit them “at the right time”.

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