News US begins troops withdrawl from Afghanistan

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US begins to withdraw some troops from Afghanistan

By Ryan Browne and Kylie Atwood, CNN
Updated 1921 GMT (0321 HKT) March 9, 2020

US begins to withdraw some troops from Afghanistan - CNNPolitics

Washington (CNN)The US has begun withdrawing some troops from Afghanistan, part of the initial drawdown to 8,600, a spokesman for US Forces in Afghanistan announced on Monday.
The move is part of the historic agreement signed between the US and Taliban late last month that sets into motion the potential for a full withdrawal of US troops who have been fighting in the country since 2001.
The US has 135 days from the signing of the agreement to reduce troop numbers from the current total of 12,000 to 13,000 currently in the country.
"In accordance with the U.S.-Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Joint Declaration and the U.S.-Taliban Agreement, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) has begun its conditions-based reduction of forces to 8,600 over 135 days. USFOR-A maintains all the military means and authorities to accomplish our objectives—including conducting counterterrorism operations against al-Qaeda and ISIS-K and providing support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. USFOR-A is on track to meet directed force levels while retaining the necessary capabilities," US Forces Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said in a statement.
If the Taliban meet the conditions of the agreement, the remaining US troops are supposed to depart within 14 months.
The Associated Press first reported the drawdown had begun.
While US officials have repeatedly stressed that the withdrawal is "conditions based," the initial drawdown comes as the Taliban has continued to conduct dozens of deadly attacks against America's Afghan allies.


The US military has carried out at least one drone strike against the Talibanin defense of local Afghan troops.
The conditions that the Taliban are expected to adhere to as part of the agreement are also unclear as defense officials have said that some of those conditions are not being released to the public.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters at the Pentagon last week that some of the information is detailed in "two classified implementation arrangement documents" developed by the Department of State in consultation with the Department of Defense.
The secrecy surrounding the deal has led some to criticize the agreement for its lack of transparency and the inability to hold the Taliban to account.
The initial drawdown is also taking place despite the fact the "intra-Afghan negotiations" mandated by the agreement will not begin on Tuesday, which was the date laid down in agreement, according to a source familiar with the planning.
The source added that the parties are trying to find a new date later this month for the negotiations to begin, but things are fluid as it is proving complex getting both sides to the table.


Those intra-Afghan negotiations were cited by US negotiators as a major accomplishment of the deal amid violence and tensions between the Taliban and Afghan government.
Tomorrow Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani is expected to announce who will be at the negotiating table for the Afghan side and the list will include multiple women, the source said. He will also announce the terms of a Taliban prisoner release. The source did not share the details of the release terms, but said it will be linked to a reduction in violence in Afghanistan.
The US-Taliban agreement committed to the release of "up to" 5,000 Taliban prisoners before the dialogue began, but Ghani immediately pushed back and said that commitment was never made. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not offer any specifics on a way forward when he was asked last week how the parties would overcome the challenges of the prisoner release.
"All the parties understand that it's time for prisoner exchanges to take place. A number of the prisoners being held have served their full sentences," Pompeo said Thursday. "We need to move that process forward."
This story has been updated with additional reporting and background information.
 

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Won't Allow Afghan Soil for Proxy Conflict, Want Good Ties: Taliban Spokesperson Assures India​

Manoj Gupta | April 18, 2021 | MSN​

Won't Allow Afghan Soil for Proxy Conflict, Want Good Ties: Taliban Spokesperson Assures India

Won't Allow Afghan Soil for Proxy Conflict, Want Good Ties: Taliban Spokesperson Assures India
The Taliban is independent and will have its own foreign policy wherein it would want to share a good relationship with all its neighbours in the region. In an exclusive interview to CNN News18’s Manoj Gupta, the Taliban’s political spokesperson Muhammad Naeem Wardak spoke on a range of issues, including India’s concerns of Taliban support to the ISI, LeT and Jaish.

Edited excerpts:

How does the Taliban see the new deal of withdrawal of forces in September 2021? Will you attend the Turkey conference?
The withdrawal of foreign troops has been agreed at the Doha agreement. Now, the timing was changed by the United States and it is a major breach of the agreement, which shows that the US has no commitment. Turkey’s position on the conference is still the same. There is nothing new about it. Unfortunately, America is not working as per the commitment.

How do you see the new Afghanistan post withdrawal of forces of the US and NATO?
Withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan is a good step. Afghanistan will be a free and independent nation without the presence of foreign forces. The freedom that Afghans have sacrificed so much in past, the freedom that every country and every nation wants and considers it their right.

The Joe Biden administration has given a new date of forces’ withdrawal. How do you react to that?
The withdrawal of foreign troops after May 1 is a unilateral and irrational decision by the United States. The decision showed to the world that commitment and spirituality are of no value to America, and that it is a great spiritual defeat for the US. On the contrary, the Islamic Emirate has always kept its promises and obligations — a spiritual and great achievement. The Islamic Emirate will continue to defend the rights and freedoms of its people. The withdrawal of foreign troops after the end of April is a clear violation of the Doha Agreement that the United States had signed with the rest of the world.

Let us talk about a scenario when the US decides not to withdraw forces even after September 2021.
This question has been answered before, but in our opinion, in the event of a breach of the agreement, whatever happens in Afghanistan, the United States will be responsible for it, because it violated the agreement signed before the world.

There is a fear in the world that if the Taliban comes back to power in Afghanistan, the situation will be like 1996 and even worse. Any lessons the Taliban learnt during these years? Establishing the Islamic State is fine, but development is the key for the future even for Taliban.
This fear is not correct. Both times and circumstances have changed, when the Islamic Emirate came to power in Afghanistan, the country was practically divided. There were separate governments in every part of the country. Kabul was divided into tribes and parties. The Islamic Emirate was able to unite the country and bring unity, security and prosperity among the people as well as prevented the drug menace. Even now, if the Islamic Emirate comes to power, it will prevent corruption in all areas of Afghanistan. Liberating the country, bringing security to the people and preventing corruption are never and should not be considered as obstacles to progress, but are the necessary steps for real progress that must be taken.

After Doha agreement, the Kabul administration released Talibani prisoners as part of its commitment. But there are reports that these prisoners are back to cadres and they have again picked up guns. Don’t you think this is breach of trust and agreement?
The Islamic Emirate has not violated the agreement. It has asked the Mujahideen, who were released as part of the agreement, to go home, continue their studies and serve their families because they have spent most of their time in jihad and imprisonment. They also have the right to earn their livelihood. By the grace of god, Islamic Emirate has sufficient mujahideen and does not need more. It should be noted that in many places, these detainees have been recaptured from their homes. Their homes have been raided in the night, they and their families have been martyred, and even gatherings have been bombed. Local officials have also told the families of the released prisoners that if they come back home, they will be arrested, killed or their house raided at night. Most detainees still cannot return to their homes or areas and then they are taken back to the prison. They also have right to defend themselves.

How does the Taliban see its relationship with India in future? If the Taliban shares power in Kabul, will you accept India as one of the regional partners?
The foreign policy of the Islamic Emirate is to establish relations with its neighbours, regional countries, and the rest of the world on the basis of respect and interaction. The Islamic Emirate will follow this policy to seek positive relations with all its neighbours and others across the world.

India has a valid concern that ISI-supported terrorist groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba are active in Afghanistan and are targeting Indian interests with the help of Talibans. We also have information that Jaish has training facilities in Nangarhar district. Some of these terror groups use Afghanistan as a training ground to stage attacks in Kashmir. What are your views on this?
This is not true. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan does not operate outside its own country. Our policy is not to interfere in anyone’s internal affairs and not to allow others to interfere in ours. There is no foreign activity against anyone in the areas under the control of the Islamic Emirate, nor does the Islamic Emirate allow anyone to operate against any foreign country. The Islamic Emirate is a united, pure Afghan and national power, whose goal is the independence of its country and the establishment of an Islamic system in accordance with the aspirations and sacrifices of the people in the country and not allowing anyone to invade Afghanistan’s territory. The Islamic Emirate is a united national force, it has no factions, it has an emir and a leader, and any propaganda made by the enemy is untrue.

A major concern for India is also ISI and Pakistan. Both are taking claims for the revival of Taliban in Afghanistan because they negotiated everything for the Taliban and they attended all peace talks. What if they want the Taliban to join their non-state actors like LET and JEM?
Who cares about whom and who does not or how they adjust their policies against their rivals is not our concern. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has proved to Afghans and the world that it is an independent entity. Its decisions are independent and will always remain independent. It is not under the influence of anyone and it will never be so.

Any message you want to convey to the Indian government or people of India for the future relationship between India and Afghanistan?
We still say that the Islamic Emirate does not allow anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against another country, group or individual. It should also be made clear that the Islamic Emirate will never allow anyone to turn the soil of Afghanistan into an arena of proxy conflicts and disputes. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on all to assist the Afghan people in achieving independence and freedom, in the light of the values of the people, in the establishment of an independent Islamic system and in the reconstruction of the country.

===============================================================================
Source: MSN
 

randomradio

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Won't Allow Afghan Soil for Proxy Conflict, Want Good Ties: Taliban Spokesperson Assures India​

Manoj Gupta | April 18, 2021 | MSN

Won't Allow Afghan Soil for Proxy Conflict, Want Good Ties: Taliban Spokesperson Assures India't Allow Afghan Soil for Proxy Conflict, Want Good Ties: Taliban Spokesperson Assures India

Won't Allow Afghan Soil for Proxy Conflict, Want Good Ties: Taliban Spokesperson Assures India
The Taliban is independent and will have its own foreign policy wherein it would want to share a good relationship with all its neighbours in the region. In an exclusive interview to CNN News18’s Manoj Gupta, the Taliban’s political spokesperson Muhammad Naeem Wardak spoke on a range of issues, including India’s concerns of Taliban support to the ISI, LeT and Jaish.

Edited excerpts:

How does the Taliban see the new deal of withdrawal of forces in September 2021? Will you attend the Turkey conference?
The withdrawal of foreign troops has been agreed at the Doha agreement. Now, the timing was changed by the United States and it is a major breach of the agreement, which shows that the US has no commitment. Turkey’s position on the conference is still the same. There is nothing new about it. Unfortunately, America is not working as per the commitment.

How do you see the new Afghanistan post withdrawal of forces of the US and NATO?
Withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan is a good step. Afghanistan will be a free and independent nation without the presence of foreign forces. The freedom that Afghans have sacrificed so much in past, the freedom that every country and every nation wants and considers it their right.

The Joe Biden administration has given a new date of forces’ withdrawal. How do you react to that?
The withdrawal of foreign troops after May 1 is a unilateral and irrational decision by the United States. The decision showed to the world that commitment and spirituality are of no value to America, and that it is a great spiritual defeat for the US. On the contrary, the Islamic Emirate has always kept its promises and obligations — a spiritual and great achievement. The Islamic Emirate will continue to defend the rights and freedoms of its people. The withdrawal of foreign troops after the end of April is a clear violation of the Doha Agreement that the United States had signed with the rest of the world.

Let us talk about a scenario when the US decides not to withdraw forces even after September 2021.
This question has been answered before, but in our opinion, in the event of a breach of the agreement, whatever happens in Afghanistan, the United States will be responsible for it, because it violated the agreement signed before the world.

There is a fear in the world that if the Taliban comes back to power in Afghanistan, the situation will be like 1996 and even worse. Any lessons the Taliban learnt during these years? Establishing the Islamic State is fine, but development is the key for the future even for Taliban.
This fear is not correct. Both times and circumstances have changed, when the Islamic Emirate came to power in Afghanistan, the country was practically divided. There were separate governments in every part of the country. Kabul was divided into tribes and parties. The Islamic Emirate was able to unite the country and bring unity, security and prosperity among the people as well as prevented the drug menace. Even now, if the Islamic Emirate comes to power, it will prevent corruption in all areas of Afghanistan. Liberating the country, bringing security to the people and preventing corruption are never and should not be considered as obstacles to progress, but are the necessary steps for real progress that must be taken.

After Doha agreement, the Kabul administration released Talibani prisoners as part of its commitment. But there are reports that these prisoners are back to cadres and they have again picked up guns. Don’t you think this is breach of trust and agreement?
The Islamic Emirate has not violated the agreement. It has asked the Mujahideen, who were released as part of the agreement, to go home, continue their studies and serve their families because they have spent most of their time in jihad and imprisonment. They also have the right to earn their livelihood. By the grace of god, Islamic Emirate has sufficient mujahideen and does not need more. It should be noted that in many places, these detainees have been recaptured from their homes. Their homes have been raided in the night, they and their families have been martyred, and even gatherings have been bombed. Local officials have also told the families of the released prisoners that if they come back home, they will be arrested, killed or their house raided at night. Most detainees still cannot return to their homes or areas and then they are taken back to the prison. They also have right to defend themselves.

How does the Taliban see its relationship with India in future? If the Taliban shares power in Kabul, will you accept India as one of the regional partners?
The foreign policy of the Islamic Emirate is to establish relations with its neighbours, regional countries, and the rest of the world on the basis of respect and interaction. The Islamic Emirate will follow this policy to seek positive relations with all its neighbours and others across the world.

India has a valid concern that ISI-supported terrorist groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba are active in Afghanistan and are targeting Indian interests with the help of Talibans. We also have information that Jaish has training facilities in Nangarhar district. Some of these terror groups use Afghanistan as a training ground to stage attacks in Kashmir. What are your views on this?
This is not true. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan does not operate outside its own country. Our policy is not to interfere in anyone’s internal affairs and not to allow others to interfere in ours. There is no foreign activity against anyone in the areas under the control of the Islamic Emirate, nor does the Islamic Emirate allow anyone to operate against any foreign country. The Islamic Emirate is a united, pure Afghan and national power, whose goal is the independence of its country and the establishment of an Islamic system in accordance with the aspirations and sacrifices of the people in the country and not allowing anyone to invade Afghanistan’s territory. The Islamic Emirate is a united national force, it has no factions, it has an emir and a leader, and any propaganda made by the enemy is untrue.

A major concern for India is also ISI and Pakistan. Both are taking claims for the revival of Taliban in Afghanistan because they negotiated everything for the Taliban and they attended all peace talks. What if they want the Taliban to join their non-state actors like LET and JEM?
Who cares about whom and who does not or how they adjust their policies against their rivals is not our concern. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has proved to Afghans and the world that it is an independent entity. Its decisions are independent and will always remain independent. It is not under the influence of anyone and it will never be so.

Any message you want to convey to the Indian government or people of India for the future relationship between India and Afghanistan?
We still say that the Islamic Emirate does not allow anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against another country, group or individual. It should also be made clear that the Islamic Emirate will never allow anyone to turn the soil of Afghanistan into an arena of proxy conflicts and disputes. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on all to assist the Afghan people in achieving independence and freedom, in the light of the values of the people, in the establishment of an independent Islamic system and in the reconstruction of the country.

===============================================================================
Source: MSN

A pretty useless interview. The only thing that's material in it is when he basically says they are gonna run the country the same way they did back in 1996 if they come to power.
 

jetray

Well-Known member
Mar 15, 2018
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India
A pretty useless interview. The only thing that's material in it is when he basically says they are gonna run the country the same way they did back in 1996 if they come to power.
good for us , why worry about it. At the end of the day monkeys will still be monkeys and nothing will change.
Hope tali's become more stronger and drag pakistan with them. We will see another ISIS play out on a smaller scale.
 

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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India
good for us , why worry about it. At the end of the day monkeys will still be monkeys and nothing will change.
Hope tali's become more stronger and drag pakistan with them. We will see another ISIS play out on a smaller scale.

The stronger Taliban gets, the stronger Pakistan gets. It will also create the window necessary for Russia or China to get in.
 

jetray

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Mar 15, 2018
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843
India
The stronger Taliban gets, the stronger Pakistan gets. It will also create the window necessary for Russia or China to get in.
what makes you think russia or china are not already in?
Pakistan becoming stronger on ability to conduct more terror strikes yes, economic & stability wise they will suffer. Once taliban consolidates its hold in afghanistan, it will encourage radicals in pakistan to ask for similar or more stricter sharia laws which will have debilitating effect on the country.
 

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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India
what makes you think russia or china are not already in?

With troops and such. Like the Russians are in Syria.

Pakistan becoming stronger on ability to conduct more terror strikes yes, economic & stability wise they will suffer. Once taliban consolidates its hold in afghanistan, it will encourage radicals in pakistan to ask for similar or more stricter sharia laws which will have debilitating effect on the country.

Yeah, I agree with that. TTP and IS will get stronger as well, so that's also a greater burden on their security.
 

jetray

Well-Known member
Mar 15, 2018
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843
India
With troops and such. Like the Russians are in Syria.
I dont think they are crazy or stupid enough to put their troops on the ground. Northern alliance or proxies are the way to go. There is Iran as well who have stake in ensuring that these monkeys dont go out of control.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
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India
I dont think they are crazy or stupid enough to put their troops on the ground. Northern alliance or proxies are the way to go. There is Iran as well who have stake in ensuring that these monkeys dont go out of control.

Best case is any civil war in Af will be a proxy war. We can't afford another hostile power entering the fray. One is already enough.

Even if either Russia or China enter Af, there's nothing we can do about it anyway.