In a major victory for Trump, the US military presence in Afghanistan is now set to be reduced to 4,000-5,000 by the Election Day from around 13,000 in February, when the Trump administration signed a peace pact with Taliban to end America’s 19-year-old involvement in Kabul. In the last few months, the US has already vacated 5 military bases in Afghanistan and brought down the troop size to 8,600.
Adhering to the peace process, Afghan’s grand assembly of elders has approved the release of 400 Taliban prisoners, whose crimes included the attacks on Afghans and the foreigners. This is the first major step by the Afghanistan government in adhering to the peace process which included the release of Taliban prisoners. Loya Jirga, or grand assembly of Afghanistan, said that release of 400 prisoners was made to “remove an obstacle, allow the start of the peace process and an end of bloodshed.”
Ending the war in Afghanistan would be a major triumph for Trump as so far thousands of American security personals, 45,000 members of Afghan security services, and 32,000 civilians have died in the war. Also, the American government has spent trillions of dollars of taxpayer’s money in the last 19 years of War in Afghanistan.
This would boost the chances of Trump getting re-elected on November 8, as the majority of Americans are now fed up with involvement in Afghanistan. The peace deal is called for the withdrawal of all allied troops by July 2021. “It’s already planned. We’ll be down in a very short period to 8,000 [troops], then we’re going to be down to 4,000, we’re negotiating right now. We have been there for 19 years,” said Trump.
Afghanistan has an intricate problem with the Afghan Government controlling 219 districts and 63% of the population, while Taliban controlling 50 districts and 10% of the population, and hence making it even tougher for the USA to withdraw its troops without the casualties. The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001. Afghanistan has continued to remain the primary focus of the USA as Trump is determined to follow through on his promise of completely withdrawing its forces from the war-ravaged Afghanistan, as this would be a major agenda in the upcoming election. Also, before becoming the President of the United States, Trump had repeatedly stressed on the need to ensure peace talks in Afghanistan, and that the ex President Barack Obama had done nothing in ensuring the withdrawal of US troops from there.
The peace deal would also give Trump an edge over Biden, who, during his term as the Vice President in Obama administration, has not been able to sign a peace deal with Afghanistan or withdrawal of troops, despite his repeated promises.
If Trump can successfully reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan, he can boast in elections that he delivered on peace deal within four years while Biden, his rival, could not complete it even in 8 years. This would prove to voters that Trump is the person who can make a deal and solve their problems, and not the Washington establishment candidate Biden.
Previously, Trump had told that the people of Afghanistan will now decide their future, and the United States and its allies (including India) will support its development with direct military or administrative involvement. “Ultimately it will be up to the people of Afghanistan to work out their future. We, therefore, urge the Afghan people to seize this opportunity for peace and a new future for their country,” President Trump said at the time of the deal being signed.
Therefore, it is true that Trump has been able to solve the two decades problem of United States, and this would increase the probability of him getting re-elected against Biden, who supported interventionist policies and dramatically failed to bring peace to Afghanistan as one of the top officials of American administration during Obama’s tenure. Trump, being a master orator and campaigner, will definitely use this against Biden in rallies.
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