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Afghan Challenge for President-Elect Biden

By ET News

A key task before President Joe Biden would be to contain the damage wrought by his predecessor’s decision to withdraw most troops, save those required to protect local American facilities, from Afghanistan.

The Taliban have not kept their side of the agreement struck in Doha, having unleashed numerous attacks on Afghanistan’s State and society, piling up dead bodies. Probably the president-elect should talk to Nato leaders for an interim increase in their Afghan troop deployment till President Biden can reverse the decision to bring most American troops back home.

President Trump’s decision to reduce US troop in Afghanistan to 2,500 by January 15 puts the region’s stability and peace, and the safety and security of countries beyond the region, at great risk.

It will undo the gains made by the Afghan people over the last nearly two decades. The elected Afghan government must be helped to expand the size, capability and reach of official law enforcement and stabilise the emerging democracy being held hostage by the Taliban and their sponsors, Islamabad.

The point is not to lose the gains of the last two decades, in terms of setting up democratic institutions and norms, ensuring education for girls and modernising attitudes towards women. These advances have been made at great cost — in blood and treasure, including American.

Abandoning Afghanistan for the Taliban to take over would be an invitation to ratchet up terror directed against liberal streams of Afghan society, besides at India and the wider world beyond, not excluding the US itself.

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