Published on :
Washington announced on Saturday that all of its troops will have left Afghanistan by the end of August. American and NATO troops have already left the Bagram air base, the largest in the country, on Friday to return it to the Afghan army. The Taliban welcomed the departure of foreign forces. Decryption of the situation with Jean-Charles Jauffret, specialist in Afghanistan.
All American and NATO troops left the Bagram air base, the largest in Afghanistan, located 50 km north of the capital Kabul, on Friday July 2, which was returned to the army. afghan. Washington announced on Saturday July 3 that all of its soldiers will have left the country by the end of August.
The Taliban “welcomed” the departure of foreign forces from this base, which was the backbone of American operations throughout the war that began in 2001. It is from there that the international coalition has been operating against the Taliban ever since. two decades, that the air strikes were carried out against the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies, and that the resupply of the troops was organized.
According to the agreement signed between the Americans, the Afghan authorities and the Taliban in February 2020 in Doha, Washington should only resort to air force if the insurgents threaten the main cities.
For Jean-Charles Jauffret, professor emeritus of contemporary history at Sciences Po Aix and specialist in Afghanistan, within the framework of this agreement, “it had been promised to the Afghan president, (Ashraf) Ghani that the Americans would keep a minimum, ie the biggest base, Bagram “. Which is ultimately not the case. “How do you want to intervene on the ground if you don’t have planes in Afghanistan,” he wonders.
“Return of obscurantism”
For this specialist in Afghanistan, the Doha agreement is now “obsolete”. “We have forgotten the essential, that is to say respect for human rights,” he explains. “The Taliban have been asked to promise not to help the terrorist groups, after having left for more than two years, on their own territory in the so-called Pashtun area, east and south-east, to resettle Al-Qaeda. “
For Jean-Charles Jauffret, the American withdrawal is akin to a failure and even “a shame, to leave the Afghan people and especially the Afghan women in such a state since, we saw it in 1996 until 2001, the “Taliban state is the great return of the most terrible obscurantism, especially for civil society,” laments the specialist.
Washington leaves Afghan army “weak”
“I believe that the Americans lacked tact towards the Afghan army”, judge Jean-Charles Jauffret. Washington leaves an Afghan army “weak” unlike, he reminds the Soviets who, when they had left Afghanistan in 1989, had left a strong Afghan army and had continued to support it until the fall of the empire Soviet, explains Jean-Charles Jauffret. “I see these terrible images of American soldiers destroying equipment instead of giving it to the Afghan army.”
For the professor, the political transition process in Afghanistan is also failing, as the head of government Abdullah Abdullah was tasked with leading talks with the Taliban so that they can enter the government, but these talks are for the hour, at a standstill.
>> To read: Afghanistan: “A real possibility of seeing the Taliban in power in the coming months”
Fighting continues between Taliban and Afghan forces
In the past 24 hours, more than 300 Taliban have been killed in fighting with government forces, the defense ministry said on Saturday, adding that around 50 had died in airstrikes, including one in the night in the southern province of Helmand, the scene of frequent clashes between Afghan forces and insurgents.
>> To see: Withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan: the Taliban are gradually approaching Kabul
Observers fear that the Afghan army will struggle with the Taliban without the air support provided so far by US forces. “We will speak of complete defeat when Kabul falls” into the hands of the rebels, probably “by the end of the year,” said Jean-Charles Jauffret.
“I think the Taliban are smiling softly while waiting for the complete American withdrawal”, concludes the specialist in Afghanistan.