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World Opinion: The Biden administration has a life-or-death decision to make about Afghanistan

12:46  31 july  2021
12:46  31 july  2021 Source:   cnn.com

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Afghanistan is a landlocked country -- we do not have the luxury of an ocean and boats to aid us in the evacuation of the more than 70,000 Afghan wartime allies estimated in need of rescue from certain Taliban death . We cannot load everyone into trucks and drive to safety now that our war is over. The White House has finally agreed our allies must be evacuated and it has a plan to evacuate those who can make it to Kabul. Sadly, it is not enough. The Association of Wartime Allies recently polled the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa population.

President Joe Biden delivered a vehement defense Thursday of his decision to end the war in Afghanistan , insisting no amount of sustained American presence there could resolve the country's own intractable problems.

As America's war in Afghanistan comes to an end, many see the inevitable parallels to Vietnam -- a long aimless war, a determined enemy ready to out bleed us, and now an evacuation reminiscent of the chaos of Saigon's final hours.

a person wearing a hat and sunglasses: Sohail Pardis, an Afghan translator who worked for the US Army, was killed by the Taliban in May. © Family Handout Sohail Pardis, an Afghan translator who worked for the US Army, was killed by the Taliban in May.

When a war ends, two questions loom large: Was it worth it? And how do we end it? Only history can answer the first. Only we can answer the latter.

As North Vietnamese forces bore down in a final assault on the dying nation of South Vietnam, American diplomats, spies, and the small remaining cadre of military advisers desperately mounted a last-minute rescue. None of it was planned ahead of time. The fact that we were able to evacuate 130,000 of our Vietnamese wartime allies in such circumstances was a miracle. Many escaped via ships -- the remnants of the South Vietnamese Navy and merchant fleet -- and sailed to Guam.

Afghan interpreter for US Army was beheaded by Taliban. Others fear a similar fate

  Afghan interpreter for US Army was beheaded by Taliban. Others fear a similar fate Sohail Pardis was driving from his home in Afghanistan's capital Kabul to nearby Khost province to pick up his sister for the upcoming Eid holiday celebrations to mark the end of Ramadan. © Family Handout Sohail Pardis, an Afghan translator who worked for the US Army, was killed by the Taliban in May. It was supposed to be a happy occasion enjoyed with family. But during the five-hour trip on May 12, as Pardis, 32, drove through a stretch of desert, his vehicle was blocked at a checkpoint by Taliban militants.

US President Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw military forces from Afghanistan , saying that US operations will end on 31 August. The fourth US president to oversee the war also defended the speed of the US withdrawal, saying it saved lives . Mr Biden 's speech comes as the Taliban militant group continues to seize territory around the country. Recent polls have shown broad US support for leaving Afghanistan , with Republican voters more sceptical of the decision to withdraw.

If President Biden decides to stay indefinitely in Afghanistan , it will adversely affect the peace process by signaling to the Afghan government that we will back it despite the heavy costs and despite its inability to confront the corruption and ineffectiveness that fuels the insurgency. The administration might be reluctant to withdraw for fear of getting blamed for the messiness that could ensue in post-withdrawal Afghanistan , but anything less than a full drawdown means that Afghanistan will become President Biden ’s war. He will have to own the predictably terrible consequences of continuing a war

Afghanistan is a landlocked country -- we do not have the luxury of an ocean and boats to aid us in the evacuation of the more than 70,000 Afghan wartime allies estimated in need of rescue from certain Taliban death.

We cannot load everyone into trucks and drive to safety now that our war is over.

Should we choose to save our Afghan wartime allies -- the interpreters, engineers, aid workers, and others essential to our effort -- we are going to need the largest airlift since Berlin after World War II.


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The White House has finally agreed our allies must be evacuated and it has a plan to evacuate those who can make it to Kabul. Sadly, it is not enough. The Association of Wartime Allies recently polled the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa population. Nearly 49% are outside Kabul -- a population of approximately 34,000 people. Unless we go save them, they will die within weeks.

Afghanistan ministry sets curfew in bid to curb Taliban attacks

  Afghanistan ministry sets curfew in bid to curb Taliban attacks Afghan officials this week announced a curfew in most provinces while the government attempts to push back against Taliban attacks as the U.S. military withdrawal nears completion. The Afghanistan Ministry of Interior Affairs instituted a nightly curfew that starts at 10 p.m. and lasts until 4 a.m. The curfew will be in effect for 31 provinces, with Kabul, Nangharhar and Panjshir exempt. The government claims that the curfew will enable it to better defend against Taliban attacks. GEN.

The Biden administration has proposed to the Afghan government that they enter an interim power-sharing agreement with the Taliban in a letter from Secretary of State Antony Blinken to President Ashraf Ghani. Blinken also proposed that Afghanistan 's neighbors, including Iran, take on a greater role and warned that the Biden administration continues to review whether to withdraw US troops. The letter, sent via US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, offers the first real look at the Biden administration 's thinking about Afghanistan , and appeared to reflect

At least 100,000 Afghan civilians have been injured or killed. “This is the immediate, practical reality that our policy review discovered,” said one person familiar with the closed-door deliberations who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss policy planning. “If we break the May 1st The decision highlights the trade-offs the Biden administration is willing to make to shift the U.S. global focus from the counterinsurgency campaigns that dominated the post-9/11 world to current priorities, including increasing military competition with China. In addition to major domestic challenges, “the

The Taliban claims to control 85% of the country and is fighting to take the cities it does not yet control. They may take Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city, within weeks. An Association of Wartime Allies survey estimates that 3,200 Afghan allies are currently trapped in Kandahar.

The Taliban has a presence on Afghanistan's roads and have created checkpoints for vehicles. They have used biometric data at these checkpoints to identify US allies and administer their death sentences on the side of the road. Hundreds have already suffered this fate, according to No One Left Behind.

Commercial air travel is scarce between Afghan cities, and most of our allies cannot afford the ticket. The Afghan military cannot defend or move these people. Only US troops can do it. Now, we have two options before us. Either we accept the mass murder of people we made a promise to save or we take bold action. I argue we must do the latter.

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The Biden administration “will begin an orderly drawdown of the remaining forces before May 1 and plan to have all US troops out of the country before the 20th anniversary of 9/11,” according to a senior official speaking to reporters on background Tuesday. President Joe Biden himself is scheduled to formally On Tuesday, however, their spokesman Mohammad Naeem only said that “Until all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland, the [Taliban] will not participate in any conference that shall make decisions about Afghanistan .” That’s bad news for both Turkey, which said it wanted to

The deadline Biden has set is absolute, with no potential for extension based on worsening conditions on the ground. Officials said that after two decades of war, it was clear to the President that throwing more time and money at Afghanistan 's problems wasn't going to work, even as senior military Biden said he had spoken with Bush on Tuesday ahead of announcing his decision to withdraw troops. "While he and I have had many disagreements over policy throughout the years, we are absolutely united in our respect and support for the valor, courage and integrity of the women and men of the

The President should order the 82nd Airborne Division or the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force back into Afghanistan. We should retake airfields we held mere months ago. Some remain in Afghan military control, others we will likely have to seize from the Taliban by force. From these air bases, we should begin the evacuation of our Afghan wartime allies that should have properly occurred before we withdrew any of our own forces.

Anything less than this bold action all but guarantees our allies and their families who are left behind will die gruesome deaths that the Taliban may film for the world to see. They want to convince our future allies that American friendship is a death sentence. With prior videos of horrendous executions as evidence, how could we argue it isn't? How will any future allies be able to trust us?

Any lives we save now will prove to allies later that Americans keep their word and will not abandon our friends to our enemies. Our allies are in danger because of their service to the United States mission in Afghanistan. America must meet our commitment to them. A bipartisan coalition in Congress, as well as veteran, human rights and faith organizations all agree -- we must save these people. A plan exists to make it happen. Only President Biden can give the order.

How will we end this war? With honor or shame? Do we have the courage and conviction to save these allies or will we leave them to die?

Matthew Zeller wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Matt Zeller © Provided by CNN Matt Zeller

Taliban capture third Afghanistan capital in as many days .
The Taliban have seized a third capital in Afghanistan in as many days as the group continues to make aggressive and significant gains in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal. Taliban insurgents seized the city of Kunduz in Northern Afghanistan on Sunday. Kunduz is the third provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in three days, but it is the first major city taken since the Taliban started an aggressive military offensive in May. The loss of Kunduz is a stark development for the Afghan government due to its significant military and political contributions.

usr: 7
This is interesting!