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US withdrawal from Afghanistan: return to power of the Taliban is “the most likely hypothesis”, according to a specialist

According to Gilles Dorronso, professor of political science at the Sorbonne,  Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw NATO forces at the end of 2014 condemned the Afghan government.

Franceinfo guest on Friday July 2, Gilles Dorronsoro, professor of political science at the Sorbonne and specialist in Afghanistan, considers that the return of the Taliban to power, while the United States is gradually withdrawing its troops from the country, is “the most probable hypothesis “ . The Americans evacuated their forces from the Bagram air base , the largest in Afghanistan. The withdrawal will be final by September 11, 2021.

According to Gilles Dorronsoro, several factors could lead to what the Taliban regained power they had left in 2001, when the US response after the attacks of September 11 the same year: “There is more province or district today which is without military operation of the Taliban , he enumerates.  The Afghan national army is very weakened, there is no more air support because of the American withdrawal. , the political credit of the government in Kabul is almost nil “.

franceinfo: Is there a risk that the Taliban will regain power today?

Gilles Dorronsoro:  Yes, it is even the most probable hypothesis. It is a force that is distributed throughout the country. There is no longer any province or district today that is without a Taliban military operation. The Afghan national army is very weakened, there is no more air support because of the American withdrawal. And today, frankly, the government’s political credit in Kabul is almost nil. So all of these factors mean that today the most likely is a collapse of the regime in the coming months.

Does this mean that this withdrawal condemns the Afghan regime in the coming months?

What condemned the Afghan regime goes way back. It is Obama’s decision to withdraw NATO forces at the end of 2014. This decision condemned the Afghan regime, which is extremely corrupt, totally incapable of taking over from Western forces. So we have to go back to see the decisions that were decisive.

Can we imagine today other negotiations with the Taliban?

As long as the balance of power is not stabilized on the ground, we cannot have negotiations, because negotiations suppose that everyone anticipates decisions over six months or a year. Today, we are on an extremely fast dynamic. The Taliban think they will win, and so do most foreign analysts. Even people in Kabul are panicking because they are afraid of the return of the Taliban. The government in Kabul has nothing to offer in the negotiations at the moment. If there was a stabilization of the military regime in the fall, then perhaps we could move towards negotiations.

Are these twenty years of war a failure for the Americans?

For the Americans, but also for NATO, the French, the English, the Italians… It is a global failure of the Western forces. The security situation is worse than twenty years ago. Hundreds of Al Qaeda members are present in Afghanistan. It is a humiliation for the world’s first military alliance. It is an almost total failure. Little can be saved from this failure. Most worrying is the lack of debate on the causes of this failure. It is a defeat that goes relatively unnoticed in public opinion and even among the Western military. It would be interesting to have a reflection on why, even by investing $ 2 trillion, we are not able to stabilize this country.

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