By Rakib Al Hasan

U.S. legacy in Afghanistan: Possible reemergence of terrorist groups

June 7, 2021 - 16:13
Afghans don't have festivals or celebrations in mind, but there are fears!

 After twenty long years, the war in Afghanistan is finally coming to an end. U.S. President Joe Biden has announced that his troops will no longer be stationed in Afghanistan after September this year. When the war broke out in 2001, no one knew where it will end. 

Twenty years later, as the war draws to a close, there is a mixed reaction. After spending so many lives, fresh blood and huge sums of money, many questions are now being raised in the international arena. Whose real victory at the end of the war? America, the Taliban or the grassroots of Afghanistan? There is no right answer to this question. At the end of this war, no one is relieved at all. There is no victory celebration or celebration of the festival. Rather, some Western observers are worried about troops returning to America.

errorist groups in Afghanistan have no confidence in the fears of the Afghan people and the neighbors. Although America is seemingly pulling out its forces of Afghanistan, is real peace assured?

 For even after the declaration of war, the number of suicide bombings and the number of car bombings in Kabul has increased several times more than before.

This withdrawal of American troops makes it clear that America is not concerned about the power gap and does not want to take any future responsibilities for Afghanistan. Over 10,000 troops of the United States and NATO's member nations are stationed on Afghanistan’s soil. During the U.S. election campaign, Trump announced that he would withdraw troops around International Workers' Day in May. When Joe Biden came, he held the same belief. However, he extended it a little longer, dragging it out until September.

President Biden picked a special date as well. It is the 20th anniversary of the Twin Towers attack. Although the delay gives the warring parties in Afghanistan more time to compromise, the United States does not want to assume responsibility for the withdrawal of troops. There is no blueprint for how the country should function after the withdrawal of international troops. 

The United States wants some regional powers to take over, but it is clear that they would not want to keep China in that role. Since China is moving towards global supremacy and becoming the nearest competitor of the United States day by day, taking on Chinese responsibilities in the region will contribute to an enhanced sense of Chinese power. Hence, for the time being, even if China is not considered, America would still like another power to emerge. However, the Taliban have not expressed the same interest. This is why to date no conference has succeeded.

 While many Afghans and neighboring countries have warned about the unstudied  U.S. policies in Afghanistan, the terrorist groups could exploit the weakness of the government. 

The return of the world's most powerful military power empty-handed is also an expression of their festival.  The fact that the USA has had to sacrifice so many soldiers, time and money in the past twenty years is a failure of the U.S. 

In addition, the Taliban and other anti-U.S. groups seem successful in defending their homeland. There is also the possibility of regaining their lost power. After Vietnam, this time, the U.S. has to return from Afghanistan empty-handed. The Taliban are determined to return to the character of the old regime when the American troops leave. They are not willing to go for any kind of compromise. On the contrary, they want the entirety of the country to be ruled under a single authority. With such a situation, there are extreme fears regarding the country's future and growing fear among its neighbors.

However, backing to the past means armed conflict, murder and a new round of civil war. The country then became a safe haven and pasture for all the world's most powerful terrorists. Such a situation is understandable and dangerous for any region. The most feared and terrified are the country's women's society and media. Higher education institutions are also frequently attacked. The kind of society that the terrorist groups want to establish is in direct conflict with women's education, rights and social dignity. As a result, the fear of gaining the power of terrorist groups like ISIS has become a source of concern for the people of Afghanistan and the surrounding areas.

The Afghan people are tired of over 20 years of war. But even when NATO leaves and follows its aggressive policy, there is no peace in the country. Nowhere in Biden's big news is there a festival. There is not even the slightest hint of happiness among all. On the contrary, the sky is gradually being covered with black clouds of fear among the Afghan people. Journalists working in the field fear that as soon as terrorists’ hegemony comes back, many areas could be taken over by ISIS. What once happened in Iraq and Syria. It will ignite their fratricidal conflict with the Taliban, as well as a civil war in relatively safe areas, including Kabul. In addition to ISIS, there are at least two other armed groups in the country. One is the Hazara community and the other is the Uzbeks and Tajiks. Shia Hazaras have historically differed from the Pashtun Sunni Taliban. The Taliban are also unlikely to adapt to Uzbeks and Tajiks. Although Afghanistan is a country of 14 nations and 30 languages, if the Pashtun Taliban continue to dominate at gunpoint, peace will remain elusive in the region.

 With Afghanistan being such a fertile ground for terrorist groups, there are enough headaches among the countries along the border to contend with. There is a good probability that a power struggle will arise between terrorist groups and the government and the people against the nation in the near future.  

 If Afghanistan is in turmoil again, the wave of refugees in Pakistan could escalate further. Again, if gun peace is established again, it will encourage the local terrorists inside Afghanistan and outside to take arms. There are also concerns that Uzbeks and Tajiks have close ties to the Taliban in both countries. Even if China wants to take over the region, it could be a boomerang for them because Uyghur Muslims can join hands with the Taliban in this case. 

Afghan groups have no idea of their future regime. Since terrorist groups do not want to compromise and want sole authority, many will be threatened by their demands. The extent to which women's education and rights have expanded in Afghanistan over the past few years may also come to a halt. The common people of their country do not want to accept their own model of 'religious rule'. As a result, Afghanistan's history of intolerance of political dissidents has left no hope for the Afghan people. Even if the Taliban is prepared in this way, the Afghan government does not have a strong base to stand against it. So, in addition to the ordinary Afghan people, it is also making their government think more.

 The withdrawal of NATO troops in September means that not much time remains. However, it is extremely important for compromises to be reached during that time. Unless some more local disputes, including the outline of an interim government, can be bridged, the end of the war will not bring the desired results. In addition, there is a strong possibility of using Afghanistan's land in the future for a shadow war between the countries of region for military power. Currently, there is no single force in Afghanistan with authority to control all such parties. In that case, many see America's legacy in Afghanistan as part of chaos-creating approach. An all-out ceasefire is possible in Afghanistan, which the Afghan people and no one outside the country believe. So, Afghanistan and its neighboring countries should be concerned about its future and the possible re-emergence of terrorism among the groups. Therefore, Afghan people do not share in festivities or celebrate in any way. Everyone's mind is filled with fears and anxiety about unanswered questions.

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