31 Aug 2021
US Troops Gone; What to Expect in Afghanistan?
The Index Today
Taliban celebrate victory as the last U.S. troops leave Afghanistan. Over 114,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan in the past 2 weeks alone. The U.S has managed to bring back all troops, civilians, and at-risk Afghans in its latest efforts to evacuate before the proposed deadline.
However, the complete withdrawal of the U.S military has brought to light many questions regarding the future of the war-torn nation.
What will happen to Americans and at-risk Afghans still in Afghanistan?
Although the US has managed to safely evacuate around 5,500 of its own citizens, there are still a number of Americans left behind. Most of these citizens have chosen to stay behind in order to be with their families. Alongside these citizens, there are also thousands of at-risk Afghans such as interpreters, journalists, and activists.
So far, it has not been made clear by either side of the administration where they will reside. The threat of the Taliban retaliating against these civilians remains a constant worry.
Who will control Kabul Airport?
Upon the evacuation of civilians and troops, the Taliban has asked Qatar and Turkey to help with the continuation of airport operations. The airport is said to need major repairs and renovations before it can be used to resume civilian flights. Turkey has been overseeing the security at the airport for the last six years and aims to keep the airport open to maintain the flow of supplies.
What will the Taliban-U.S relationship look like in the future?
The Biden administration plans to ensure that the country does not fall prey to a humanitarian or economic crisis in the near future. According to United Nations, the country’s population under age 5 suffers from acute malnutrition whereas over 18 million require aid.
One common factor for both the US administration and the Taliban is the threat of Islamic State militants ISIS which must be addressed to ensure safety. The real question is how and if both parties are willing to cooperate and work towards a common goal of countering the militant group.
ISIS has gained notoriety for its brutal approach and has built a reputation in the region after it first appeared in 2014. The latest attack on Kabul airport has been claimed by ISIS in which hundreds were killed. The US has carried out attacks against the militant group in retaliation to the Kabul blast.
©Photo: JIM HUYLEBROEK/NYT