Taliban issues Joe Biden ultimatum over Afghan airspace
0 comments | by James Lee
The group's chief spokesman accused Washington of violating a peace deal that was signed between the USA and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar in February 2020. In his warning, Mr Mujahid said: "We call on countries, especially the United States, to treat Afghanistan in light of international rights, laws and commitments... in order to prevent any negative consequences," said his statement on Twitter.
American forces withdrew from Afghanistan on August 30 after 20 years in control, and costing trillions of dollars, and many lives in the process. However, Mr Biden has always maintained the notion of the USA having an 'over the horizon' capability in Afghanistan, allowing the military to strike terrorist targets in the country. Although Mr Mujahid did not specify what the negative consequences would be, the continued presence of US drones in Afghanistan has become embroiled in controversy following an airstrike on August 29 in which the US targeted an ISIS-K target preparing an attack o Kabul airport, but instead, killing a family of 10 in the process.
US General Frank McKenzie stated not a single terrorist was killed in the failed counter-terrorism strike. Another US General blamed the Doha talks for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, resulting in many questioning whether the decision was made at the right time. Speaking of the flaws in the agreement, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said: 'under the Doha agreement, the United States would begin to withdraw its forces contingent upon the Taliban meeting certain conditions, which would lead to a political agreement between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan."
According to General Milley, there were 7 conditions in place.
He went on to say: "while the Taliban did not attack US forces, which was one of the conditions, it failed to fully honour any other conditions under the agreement. And, perhaps most importantly for US national security, the Taliban has never renounced al-Qaeda or broke its affiliation with them."
© General Milley
Reports have emerged from Afghanistan that some disillusioned members of the Taliban, as well as some more hard-line figures, have left the group to join the so-called Daesh faction called IS-K, or Islamic State - Khorasan. Speaking of the relationship between the Taliban and such groups, General Milley also said: "we must continue to protect the United States of America and its people from terrorist attacks coming from Afghanistan. A reconstituted al-Qaeda or ISIS with aspirations to attack the US is a very real possibility.
And those conditions to include activity in ungoverned spaces could present themselves in the next 12 to 36 months." The resurgence of IS-K and the motivation felt by sympathisers of the Taliban or terrorist groups could lead to lone individuals pursuing acts of terrorism in the West. With the Taliban already showing signs of division within both senior and junior ranks, the largest obstacle to the Taliban becoming a successful government in Afghanistan could be the Taliban itself.
Unless infighting is resolved quickly, and the newly formed Government can quickly resolve economic issues, and bring in much needed foreign direct investment, the situation in the country could rapidly deteriorate, with the fallout spilling over and beyond the borders of Afghanistan.