Washington : “US and NATO cannot withdraw troops from Afghanistan yet”, claimed General John Nicholson, US Army & NATO forces Commander in Afghanistan, demanding 5000 more troops to be deployed in Afghanistan. It is claimed that a new strategy is being developed by General Nicholson and US Defense Secretary James Mattis with respect to deployment of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Some analysts also claim that President Donald Trump’s Administration is indicating to overrule the policy implemented by Obama administration with respect to Afghanistan.
Over the past few weeks, General John Nicholson has been expressing concerns over the current scenario in Afghanistan. Taliban has again upsurged in Afghanistan. If this situation continues, Afghanistan will again be trapped under Taliban’s barbarous rule, cautioned General Nicholson. We cannot forget that the war in Afghanistan began post the 9/11 attack on US. If US withdraws its troops from Afghanistan, this nation would again be trapped in the claws of terrorism, which in turn would be a grave danger to the world. General Nicholson expressed these concerns in an interview to a Western news daily.
Currently the Afghan Government controls only about 62% of the population and about 57% of the territory. Rest of the area is under Taliban and other terror organizations, said General Nicholson, signifying the horror in Afghanistan. In the present scenario, the US and NATO troops cannot walk away from Afghanistan. Rather, now when Taliban is rising from its ashes, US and NATO should strengthen their army to nip them in the bud, declared General Nicholson justifying his demand of additional 5000 troops to be deployed in Afghanistan. A few weeks back, General Nicholson had made the same demand to US Senate Armed Services Committee.
General Joseph Votel, a senior officer responsible for implementing the US military strategy in foreign states, has presented a different viewpoint on the Afghanistan issue. General Votel alleged that the increasing influence of Russia in Afghanistan could be a matter of concern to the United States. To increase their influence, Russia has begun talks with Taliban. Not just that, the military officer accused Russia and Iran of providing political legitimacy to Taliban, contradicting their past staunch opposition to them. In this situation, the US cannot walk away from Afghanistan, or else the world will have to bear grave consequences, warned General Votel.
If the US withdraws troops from Afghanistan, the void thus created will be filled by nations like Russia, China and Iran, who repeatedly challenge the interests of the United States. Hence, US should keep its these interests in mind while making any decision, advise military officials. While the US Defense Secretary James Mattis has an unambiguous vote on this matter, President Donald Trump, too seems to be in favor of continuing the military deployment in Afghanistan. This could be a turnaround from the decision made by Obama administration to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. In fact, the Trump administration has signaled to conduct drone attacks and air strikes on terrorist occupied areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan, thereby indicating to intensify the war on terror.