United States: Would there be peace in Afghanistan?

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After more than 18 years and more than 2000 deaths, the war in Afghanistan could end if the correct agreements are made

United States: Could there be peace in Afghanistan?

The longest war that the United States has fought could come to an end, taking into account the Donald Trump's statements in mid-December last year. It is the war in Afghanistan, where since 2001 troops have been fighting against Taliban forces trying to control the country.

Leer en español: Estados Unidos: ¿Podrá haber paz en Afganistán?

As Hernán Burbano tells in the review Nova et Vetera of the Universidad del Rosario, the arrival of Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1996 and his subsequent attack against the Twin Towers and the Pentagon led the United States to undertake a "global war against the terrorism". From this moment on, the military attacks against Al Qaeda and the Taliban began in Afghanistan, which were killed due to the strong international presence.

However, members of the Taliban spread through rural areas throughout the country, and little by little they regained political-military control of some areas. For Burbano, "through their presence in different communication channels and the control of the production, marketing and distribution of opium and heroin, the Taliban gradually acquired greater political control in certain areas where they had the support of the population".

In this way, the Taliban began to gain strength and to represent a problem for the United States and NATO, an organization that had also sent troops to fight terrorism. However, the arrival of international organizations generated a political instability that would remain throughout the war.

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Is the war over?

In recent months, the president of the United States, Donald Trump expressed his desire to withdraw US troops, about 14,000 soldiers. In this war, until August 2017 and according to El Mundo, 841 billion dollars had been spent.

Among the main reasons for keeping this war alive is "the geopolitical importance of Afghanistan, the war motivations of the United States and the presumed natural resources of the country", according to Telesur.

In spite of the above, the decision received strong criticism and even the resignation of the now former Secretary of Defense of the United States, James Mattis. For several experts, Trump's decision is hasty and would leave political, social and security gaps in the country. Likewise, the outcome of the conflict is seen more as a determination of Donald Trump to rejoice over having fulfilled his presidential promises than a thorough analysis of the situation in the country.

For Trump, the policy of " America comes first " is applied to the letter, and takes refuge in his statements, as he states that "the United States loses its time when it intends to go to distant places to fight in distant places" and that his country's role as "World Attorney" does not work anymore.

However, the repercussions for the Afghan people are bigger than what is believed, because although it has been the main victim of the war, with the departure of the troops it could be even more at risk. If US troops leave the country, the Taliban are likely to regain control of Afghanistan, as the Ashar Gani government is weakened. If the situation worsens, it could lead to a civil war.

Because of the above, it has been stated that before the troops withdraw completely, the United States must create an institution that fulfills a clear function and "that prevents the resurgence of violent extremism", according to Vanguardia.

The conversations

As part of a prompt solution, both the United States and the Taliban and the Afghan president agreed to establish a dialogue table located in Russia. Recently, Taliban chief negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai demanded the creation of a new constitution, as what currently exists "is not legitimate". He also proposed that "the Constitution of Afghanistan must be ratified by Afghan religious leaders and academics to make it acceptable to the Afghan people", as Europa Press recalls.

Considering this,  Ghani said that to obtain the approval it had to be approved by the Government, which doesn't participate in the peace talks, since the Taliban have not agreed to hold direct meetings with them. Also, Abbas Stanikzai said that when the troops begin to leave the country "dialogue will be held with other communities and political forces to reach an agreement."


Up to this point it is clear that if the troops leave, Trump would be advocating for his own benefit and he would go over the lack of policies that help regulate the situation inside Afghanistan. In addition to fighting in the war, one of the functions of the American soldiers is to train soldiers to strengthen the Afghan army. In order to continue with the above, it is necessary that the withdrawal take place over a long period of time in order to guarantee that Afghans can take charge of their own security.

Thus, in order to comply with strict rules of not leaving the country in a crisis and on the verge of political instability, it is necessary that Trump organizes institutions that are watching out on the possibility of a new war, or that the Taliban deliver the country to the hands of Al-Qaeda forces or the Islamic State.

For the time being, it is expected that in the coming days a new meeting will be convened to continue discussing the political situation in Afghanistan. In addition, Donald Trump will have to see how he solves the problem with the Senate, as an amendment that criticizes the departure of troops because "the country faces threats from terrorist groups, thereby endangering the nation" was approved with 70 votes in favor and 26 against.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Estados Unidos: ¿Podrá haber paz en Afganistán?"

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